Drawing and Drafting

Light Plots

Add the area, person, set you are going to light. ltplotb
Draw an arrow for each direction you would like a light to shine from.  ltplotc
Create a drawing for each different set. Sometimes this can create a very crowded drawing. In that case, you can separate the lights and drawings into areas and sources.  ltplotd
You can create a drawing for each "system." Here is the front light via the stage left side.  ltplote
All the back light. Notice that some are two-fered.  ltplotf
 Figure out where you can hang lights. Note: if you want a light to be someplace that is missing a pipe, you have two choices. 1) hang a pipe, or some other device to hang a unit from, or 2) move the light.  ltplotg
Take each small drawing of arrows and add the arrows to one big drawing.  ltploth
Now we change the arrows to symbols. For this prep plot, I've used a "V" and a 3 sided box. The V is for lekos and the box for fresnels. The lekos have an "x" followed by a number, 9, 12, 16, etc… To represent 6×9, 6×12, 6×16, etc…

You then need to number all the units, from stage left to stage right.

Now, to tell you the truth, this is enough to get a show hung. That is, if you're going to be there to answer lots of questions.

 The next step is to create the final plot  in scale.  This plot is being created by one of my students during out lighting classes. You'll notice that the theater doesn't look like the one I've used above. This one is a small black box theater with a grid. If you take a close look, you'll see drafted symbols representing lighting units.  ltplotj
 This is a close up of a lighting template. They are available from most lighting supply houses and from some web sites. You can check our pro-corner to find a vendor. These templates are made in several different scales and for different types of lights.  ltgtmplt
Drawing and Drafting


How do we get our lettering to be good? Practice, practice, practice. I've known young designers who have copied the front page of the newspaper to practice.

Lettering comes in different sizes, or heights. 

What you're labeling Size
Dimensions & Notes 1/8" tall
Set pieces & Page titles 3/16" tall
Show Titles (the most important) 1/4" tall

Here are some guidelines for proper lettering:

bullet Practice!
bullet Use guidelines. Draw two very faint horizontal lines; a top and a bottom and then place your letters between them. The top of the letter touches the top line and the bottom touches the bottom line. It's ok to add style here. For example, the letter T. The bottom of my T's tend to drop down below the bottom line. Almost three times farther down past the line. You'll see in the example.
bullet Practice!
bullet Keep track of you spacing. The letters shouldn't get to tight. However, some letters should be closer then others. For example, the word "AT." Look at the two letters, the A and the T. If you had the same spacing of AT as you had for the word "AN", it wouldn't look right. Check it out: AT AN. Take a close look. Doesn't it look like the A and the T should be closer? You can do this. Simply make the left wing of the T overhang the right side of the A.
bullet Practice!
bullet Check your spelling. If you have to, type it on a computer and do a spell check. Then copy it to the drawing.
bullet Practice!
bullet Remember that the drawing is just that; a drawing. The lettering is simply to clarify stuff on the drawing. Too much lettering can be distracting. A picture is worth a thousand words. Make the picture do the talking.
bullet Practice!

I'll be scanning in a few examples soon.

Drawing and Drafting

Paper Layout

Positioning the paper: you'll want to position your paper a little closer to the straight edge side of the board. If you have a straight edge on both sides, well, for righties, place the paper towards the left. For lefties; well, you get where we're going. Place the paper at about mid height on the board. 

Using masking tape or drafting tape to tape the paper down in each corner. You only need pieces of tape about two inches long. If you're using a very large piece of paper, you may wish to add tape to the top, bottom, left & right of the paper as well. Be careful not to use too much tape. You don't want to rip the paper when you're done. And you never want to leave the tape on the paper for storage. It just sticks to everything; except the board the next time you try to draw. Always use a new piece of tape. 

The next time you want to lay out your drawing, you'll need to do an extra step. Take your T-Square, or other straight edge, and use a line you have already drawn to align the paper on the board. To keep your work accurate, you need to tape the paper down so new lines will be parallel to the old lines.

Technical Drawings – sometimes also called "working drawings" – are a significant part of a set or lighting design. The process of making technical drawings is called "drafting."

Precise graphic information about size, proportion, and structure is essential in architecture and engineering, and the art and science of technical drawing was developed over many centuries. Representational drawing and sketching is concerned with "drawing what you see," or "drawing that which you imagine as if you actually saw it ". Technical drawing is concerned with representing objects according to conventions that allow size, proportions, and structure – as well as appearance – to be precisely specified. The most fundamental concept involved is the geometry of "projection."

There are a number of other systems of projection: orthographic, central (or perspective) projection, oblique projection, etc. In Scenery and Lighting Design, the expected technical drawings normally use the conventions of orthographic projection in order to specify the size, proportions, position, and spatial relationships of the objects designed.

In the practice of Theatre Design, technical drawings must be made, in order to clearly communicate the exact size and proportions of the items to be fabricated or arranged. Most technical drawings for stage scenery and lighting employ the conventions of orthographic projection.

In this system of drawing, an object is visualized as oriented relative to viewing planes that are perpendicular in 3 dimensions, its surfaces are projected onto these planes, and the resulting "imaginary glass box" of views is "unwrapped" and flattened to make a 2 dimensional scaled representation of the object. When a viewing plane passes through an object it is called a section plane and the resulting view is a section view, which is normally oriented parallel to one of the standard views.