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modeling the house and stage space


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Adam,

Here are some things I do when creating a model space for a theatre, auditorium, ballroom etc.

If you are looking to just created a basic space in which to later add your set or lighting design, then these sugestions may help.

If you want a detailed, "Looks just like the picture" everything in it model space of your theatre, these won't help.

Perhaps they may save you some time and steps. I have found that knowing how much information is really needed to communicate your design effectively to all parties is really the key.

1. Keep it simple. That rule works for everything. When I first started drawing theatres, I tried to jam as many details as possible into my model, and it eventually proved to be unecessary when communicating a design.

2. Use simple polygons, extruded rectangles, and basic elements to keep rendering speeds high, and reduce clutter. You only need a simple rectangle to represent a proscenium.

3. Don't try to add curtains using the curtain tool. This just slows everything down, and you can get your point across using an extruded rectangle with a black fill.

4. When drawing the apron, I use the layer "Z Height" feature. I draw my walls and proscenium from 0'-0" (The stage floor surface)

and go up, then when I want my floor I draw the stage area and apron as a ploygon and the extrude it with a negative "Z" Height value that is the same as the height of the apron. This basically creates a "minus" floorthat has thickness. Works great. If that doesn't work for you, you can extrude up, switch to Front View and move the extruded surface down using the Move command.

With a little thought, you can also do this for stages with orchestra pits or traps, by methodically drawing polygons and "negative" extruding them for different floor thickness.

You could also do this using two different layers (one for Apron and one for Walls) with their respective heights set properly so they show up nicely when rendered, but I found it troublesome when trying to switch back and forth between various views and perspectives to keep eveything lined up so I adopted the method used above.

5. Think about creating a very basic version first, then adding to it as the design gets further along and more definitive. You can waste a tremendous amount of time trying to make something look perfect from the start, only to have it cut later on. I keep my model and first two design version very basic, and only after second Director and PM approval do I start to create a more detailed version.

6. Plan your classes and layers before you start. If you can't figure it out on paper, the computer won't help. Think about what you need to see as you develop the design, and how you will want to work, then add as many layers and classes as logical to allow you to turn them off and on when viewing things from different angles. I don't always work from a pre-built template because it isn't necesary, so this planning step helps.

Hope that answers your question properly. If you would like more information or explanation just ask, and someone will be happy to assist you if they can.

.

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