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Stage models

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by Sam_, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. Sam_

    Sam_ Member

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    Simple enough question- how do you make your set design models for the design process?

    Me: Until very recently I did all my floor plans from plain ol' old fashion drafting, but lately I've been using a program called TurboCAD to make them. Great program for designing. After that, we make scale models, usually 1/4 or 1/2 inch, and show em to the directors over and over making adjustments until we're ready to build.

    How 'bout you?
     
  2. Peter

    Peter Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm.... you are supposto *design* a set.... hmmm.... thats and interesting idea :) lol actually I really dont do much work with sets, but now that i think about it, I have never seen any kinda plan besides the one the back of the script for any kinda set design. A art teacher in my school does all that stuff, and it is really all just up in her head.... there are a few lucky kids who get to work with her and carry it all out, but it's very hard for them b/c they cant see what's in her head :-( I'll be watching this thread and seeing if I can possibly rub off any ideas to this teacher!
     
  3. Sam_

    Sam_ Member

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    Yeah my school is a perfroming and visual arts school so the students do EVERYTHING. It's a great experience. We all design the stage set sound costume etc. Someone is named master electrician propmaster stage manager etc etc... Teachers don't even show up. It's just us. It's really fun.
     
  4. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    I inherited all the technical drwaings I need on a day to day basis. When I need something new I get out the pencil, t-square,ruler and compass and do it old school style!
     
  5. Drmafreek

    Drmafreek Active Member

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    I tend to do all my drawings on Autocad or Vectorworks. Very easy to use drafting programs once you get used to them, and you can change plans quickly on the computer screen with the director there if you want. If I do a model, I do a white model first until the director and I finally come up with a finished idea. At that time I do a finished model, with paint textures and everything. In the situation I'm in right now though I tend to do a lot more color sketches and renderings. They're quicker to do so I have more time for all the other jobs I have to take care of.
     
  6. foeglass

    foeglass Member

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    I am a drafter myself......but rough. When I was in class I would draw a rough design.....make it out of tag board and then make the floor plan. Once thes sets got more complicated I started using AutoCad.
     
  7. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I used to make some very elaborate models so as to best show the director and talent what they were getting. Great idea for those that can't read a blue print and a few elevations. Front elevation and floor plan was often sufficient for most, but to get a really good feel for the space, you can't beat a model. Also when hand drafting, much easier than attempting to whip out a three point perspective otherwise often considered acceptable.

    On the other hand in not knowing Turbo Cadd, if it's possible to do in the 3D these designs, you would probably be able to print up some perspective drawings and paint them. This would save a lot of time especially if you are more than just designing - also building and time starts to run short.

    Two types of models I might make at times. First if really short on time but a model would help a lot was the black & white. Lacked a lot of detail and all color which the various elevation views once painted, or perspective drawings would take care of, and you could get a feel for the space.

    Otherwise when given time, I often did some really elaborate models. Save them and take photos of them for your portfolio. Unfortunately I lost all my scenic models due to a slight mercury spill in my parents basement by the gas company. The models, lots of drawings and other stuff all went into little plastic bags and to a hazzardess waste site.

    "Theory and Craft of the Scenographic Model" by Darwin Reid Payne is a good text on the subject.
     
  8. Traylen

    Traylen Member

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    I used to do my set design drafting by hand, with an architectural scaled ruler. But thankfully I was introduced to the idea of drafting software. So I learned AutoCAD and then switched to Vectorworks since its industry standard for theatre and seem to be more helpful to know the industry standard, though the extra knowledge of AutoCAD opens one up to the possibilities of drafting things other then for theatre.

    For my lighting designs I do the paperwork on Microsoft Excel because I can customize it easier. But I am starting to learn Lightwrite since once again, another industry standard. My plots I also do on Vectorworks, but I use Vectorworks Spotlight of course. ;) And if I’m bored or are interested in showing a concept, I may do a look with WYSIWYG.

    As for models, usually make them to a 1/4 scale because 1/2" is quite big. The theatre is made out of black poster board, and can be re-used. There are a lot of different things one can use to create the set within, usually platforms are made out of think Styrofoam poster board, walls and such are made out of thing board, and if you want to get detailed. You can get little nick-knacks and what not at hobby stores. By nick-knacks I mean things like shrubs, grass, trees (the train set stuff) and what not to add to the idea of the model. Usually you also paint the model to look the way you expect the actual design to come out.
     
  9. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    I use Martin Show Designer to position and program lights in a virtual reality environment. Available as part of LightJockey or you can buy it by itself for about $1800. The difference is with the LJ add-on, you only get a blank stage. There are no trusses, no models, no staging, no nothing. You can position lights, but basically you're focusing them in an empty black box and you don't really get much sense of what is going on. The full version gives you people, trussing, a whole lot of stuff. Here's one I'm working on with 6 moving lights and 24 acl in pods I'm building for around the stage. http://www.controlbooth.com/users/len/demo2.jpg
    Plus, for truck packing, electrical and trussing loads, etc. I use LDCalculator Lite, which is a free download from paul-pelletier.com

    I also use a freebie called Microlux light which I got for free somewhere.
     

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