Set Design and Google SketchUp

  • Set designer Kim Tolman - designs theatre sets using SketchUp
  • Explanation of the entertainment industry
    • design time frame
    • modeling and time management
  • Presentation of book featuring case studies passed around throughout, Kim's project featured as 1 of the 16 studies
  • Presentation of images
    • Shakespeare production set - Midsummer Night's Dream
    • SketchUp images of rough set design
    • dynamic set, with moving walls, changing flora
    • elevations of structures, in this case walls, to deliver to shop to be painted
    • photo's of the actual show
    • set design that's functional as well as visual
    • walls and set like a jungle gym, fewer restrictions on actors
  • Design drawings start in SketchUp and then go to anyone on the production team that is interested
  • 95% accuracy, use AutoCAD for exact measurements
  • More elaborate sketchup model images of a set of Enchanted April
    • models look photo-realistic due to large image and texture library
    • lighting condition issues between models and actual sets
  • Another example, 'Breaking Up' - Dracula?
    • director wants sketches, no computer models
    • did SketchUp models, printed and overdrew it
    • excessive hand drawings incorporated into basic SketchUp layout
    • shop used SketchUp model for 1/4" model creation, for director
    • 1/4" model images shown
    • determining appropriate angles and addressing safety issues for actors
    • the angles of various set pieces
    • preserving a realistic sense
  • Question: pre SketchUp steps
    • with no template, all projects differ
    • early meetings talk about inspiration, art, books, research
    • what can the budget allow
    • what is realistic
    • what does the show need
    • rough sketches in SketchUp and Layout
    • director critiques design, develops further design
  • Set example shown, with theatre included
    • using models for storage, set infrastructure
    • as-builts for existing stage conditions
  • Telling the story with the set
  • Dynamic elements within the scenes
    • showing the director functionality of the set
    • doors open / closed
  • Value of showing the director the usefulness of the design
  • More and more designers will use digital design, the existing theatre models will speed up set design
    • templates and models that can reduce modeling time line
    • networking with other models
    • set designers collections and groups on 3D Warehouse
    • resource sharing difficulty between set designers
  • Level of detail in entourage; seats
    • depends on set
    • some complicated sets use less entourage due to file types
  • Accuracy of models and recognizing sets
  • Designing sets without site visits
    • advantages and disadvantages
  • Similarities between theaters
    • theatre architecture
    • architecturally dysfunctional theatres due to lack of space, etc
    • importance of consulting set designers in building and theatre design
  • 7 foot door example
    • when set builders have to fit the sets into the building through small loading doors
    • good contact between shop, set designer and venue
    • where responsibility lies when something goes wrong
  • Dracula issues
    • accessing lights when the set has no flat surfaces
    • work arounds
    • budget concerns when something is overlooked
  • Importance of performing arts
    • theatre deserves to survive based on performance
  • Hiring policies within set design
    • competition in set design
    • establishment in community
    • style matching directors ambition
    • multi skilled / not pigeon holed into one type of set
    • bending the rules, changing the idea of doors, to entrance holes to the stage
  • Many designers do not use SketchUp as a design tool
    • 6 years ago, no one used it
    • digital design is catching up to the industry
    • sharing design ideas digitally, training designers on SketchUp
    • more people working with the same tools refines tools
    • revision phase of design problems
    • even though digital allows many changes, you have to stop developing design
  • Increasing responsibility of designers with increased tools
  • 2D drawings hiding problems
  • Comparing SketchUp models and set images
  • Designers as artists
    • lighting
    • contrasting tech / art
    • sensibility to creating mood
    • designers as a team, sharing the responsibility of creating a set
  • Using lighting in modeling
  • Staying away from design aspects that will change anyways
  • Lighting designers do lighting, set designers do set
    • not exclusive in collaboration, but in design
  • Layout used in presentation
    • shop drawings done in AutoCad
    • importing DWG into SKP
    • used primarily as base to build SKP models from
    • clean up when exporting from SketchUp to ACAD
    • weld ruby script
  • Eliminating AutoCAD files for SketchUp files
    • getting everything you need from one program
  • Realtime animation in film making
  • Efficiency with tools viewed as being lazy
    • SketchUp models looking too easy
    • adding styles to look rendered
  • Weeding out the simple modelers for the talented modelers
  • People thinking they're a graphic artist when they're just using simplistic tools
  • Process length - Dracula set
    • 3 revisions
    • since February
    • working on 6-8 projects at a time
  • demo of Swiss architectural design
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