Challenges in Lighting Design Projects: Scaling and Symbol Clarity for Large-Scale Events

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Hello guys, Happy New Year!

I have a question to which I can't find an answer, even though I've explored various ways of approaching a project.

Let me explain:

At a New Year's event, I was tasked with creating a lighting and wiring project for a panoramic facade that spans 175 meters, where I had to distribute 20 lighting fixtures.

Upon observing the location, I realized that each fixture had to be spaced 9 meters apart, with 2 meters from the beginning and end of the wall.

I drew the wall where the fixtures would be placed (175 meters) and spaced them 9 meters apart.

This resulted in a project that was too stretched out, and when inserted into the sheets for printing, the scale had to be very large for the entire wall and all fixtures to fit on the sheet. This made the patch and Fix ID numbers very small, and even the symbols for the fixtures were too small to understand what they were (there were different fixtures in different positions).

This led me to reduce the drawing scale to a factor of 4.5. I drew a wall with 87.5 meters and spaced the fixtures 2 meters apart in the project.

Everything was fine; the issue of the overly stretched drawing that hindered the perception of symbols and text was resolved.

The problem arose when I needed to understand the distances of the cables required for the project. I had to constantly multiply the cable values by 4.5 to know the true necessary length of the cables. The same applied to obtaining the respective dimensions between the control positions/Artnet nodes/DMX splitters.

I proceeded with the project in this way because there was no time to change, however, now that it's completed, I've revisited the matter to understand how to draw something of such large dimensions where symbols are correctly understood (in this case, not even painting with Data Visualization allowed me to identify which fixtures were represented in the drawing).

I would like to discuss with you the best way to approach this because even with a scaled drawing, I believe the problem wouldn't be completely solved.

This is a print screen with 2 meters between fixtures on an A1 sheet.

How does it look if you do a sheet layer with a few view ports? I would have one VP with the whole wall, then maybe 3 VPs of L,C,R sections of the wall at an easier to read scale. I would be tempted to include a ruler so the distances and relation between L,C,R were clear.

• Vectorworks, Inc Employee

I'm with @Mike Rock on this. Larger viewports for the details. Here's a rough example. You can make as many and as large as needed to give your crew the necessary details.

• Vectorworks, Inc Employee

For movie location shooting, we'll draft everything to scale, and like Scott says, use detail viewports at a larger scale to show certain areas. For an overall plan, I'll use data tags in the annotation. The label legends will be too small to read at that scale, but the data tags are page based, so they will always be legible.

This was my first approach trying to make the sheets have some good perception by having the project's real and correct dimensions.
But I didn't like the final result very much... it didnt seem very enlightening to me, and´it was a little confusing information to deliver to the field team. Especially related to the DMX and Network wiring Sheet. An approach of this type is VERY CONFUSING. I can draw this again and show you, if you don't understand what I mean

However, I believe that it is the only way within the resources that exist now, and that is why I decided to launch this discussion.

7 hours ago, Scott C. Parker said:

I'm with @Mike Rock on this. Larger viewports for the details. Here's a rough example. You can make as many and as large as needed to give your crew the necessary details.

• Vectorworks, Inc Employee

@Cristiano Alves I'm sure we'd like to see examples of what you're describing. At the end of the day, communication is about what the listener understands.

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