In order to understand the basics of Adobe Photoshop, we were given the task of creating a costume design, based on a template of a character and an array of suggested texture/fabric.
In doing this I learnt the absolute basic like coping an image into Photoshop, before manipulating this image into the shapes found within the costume, using the layer toolbar and demands such as the selection via the Magnetic Lasso Tool and the inverse selection command, as well as the handling of several layers.
Using Photoshop The tool I found most successful/ useful and effective was the Lighting Effects tool found under the filters and in the drop down of Render. This is because Lighting Plays such a major role in theatre, and designers often don’t get a say in the lighting aspect, therefore, to be able to professionally indicate suggested lighting effects within a storyboard, would help not only the designer, but also producers to get a feel for the possible atmosphere within a set design.
3D Studio Max Victorian Table Exercise 3D Studio Max is a useful software to help visually portray your set designs in a virtual way. A fascinating characteristic that I particularly favoured in this programme was a commanded that in effect allowed you to walk your design, therefore allowing them to be fully appreciated and explored. Also the lighting tool in 3D Studio Max is also very good at capturing and exploring atmosphere within your designs, and is made even more realistic by the incorporation of “natural shadows”
3D Studio Max Victorian Table Exercise continued… At first I found it a struggle to master the commands in 3D Studio Max as well as incorporating the suggested direction of Light. However in order to understand this programme, I incorporated everything I wanted to create within my design into simple shapes that would either need to be stretched copied, mirrored or combined with other shapes and distorted by commands to form foundations that could then be textured to portray say a kitchen table with bottles and a fruit bowl. Capturing Texture key in m, select diffuse colour click none, select appropriate image from your research, click ok, alter the scale to what you feel appropriate, select the area you want to be surfaced on your drawing, click on the sphere drag and release, your texture is complete. this to me is the most important and significant piece of information i absorbed from doing the brief 3d studio max sessions. unfortunately i still need to perfect on the actually creating the set, however with practice and in time will develop and expand what my own skill in this software.
Displayed here are exercises created in AutoCAD, aimed at getting us used to the very basic commands available.
These commands include, use of the line tool to create the shape, and those found on the Modify tool Bar. Modify Tool Bar Chamfer… Aim of each exercise was to start off with the line tool before branching off into the following commands… Fillet … Offset… Rotate… … and trim, to get rid of un wanted lines formed whilst configuring the other commands . Mirror… Copy… When using the line tool, the command box can be used to type in the length of the line, making sure that an accurate shape is performed each time.
The Floppy Final When using AutoCAD you usually work in layers These layers include; Dimensions Text Centreline Drawing Out Line Each of these layers are dedicated to a colour, this is because each colour is then associated with a line thickness, so that when printed out (opposite), the lines are of different thicknesses, in this case the outline of the floppy disk 7mm thick compared to the drawing line which is .25mm thick. The purpose of this exercise was to introduce us into to using software that would allow us to do technical drawings of our set designs, within a plan of a theatre, resulting in a much quicker more accurate and professional finished drawing. I personally found AutoCAD to be very tedious at times with the continual pressing of the enter key or escape key, to be released from commands, as well as just generally being confused, due to not being familiar with the software at all. I can see, after lots of practice and playing around, how vital AutoCAD would be for theatre designers now, due to its accuracy and swiftness, and the ever advancing technical age, where more and more directors are expecting the use of computer aided plans, to make jobs easier and general transporting involved within the realm of theatre.
I decided to use what I learnt in Photoshop to come up with a quick costume and set design for ‘A Midsummer's Nights Dream’ by Shakespeare.
Basically for the set deign I used additional research of images I felt would be relevant for the environment I wanted to create and simply collaged them into a illusion space (the stage). I Then used various filters such as under painting, to portray textured planned, before altering the opacity tool to indicate layers within the designs, and those that would move/ fly in and out. I personally feel, as with all of the programs that I have been introduced to, that with a lot more practice and playing around, Adobe Photoshop will be a very useful software programme to use during the designing stage and also in particular the storyboarding of ideas For the costume design I used exactly the same process used to create the drawing in the exercise. Using my own template I then found appropriate images of textures before copying, pasting and moulding these into the shapes found within the costume. The was doable due to the fantastic layering system and History tool bar( which allows you to keep referring back to certain stages, and of course the inverse tool which crops the research image down the size and shape of the area previously selected by the magnetic tool. The Filter I found most appropriate and useful was the Lighting Filter, as an array of fascinating and theatrical affects can be portrayed. I can see myself from now on incorporating this filter into my story boards to help visually portray thoughts and suggestions on lighting of set as well as indicating a sense of the atmosphere I see being portrayed within the set I have created.
Summary The Final ‘A midsummer’s Night dream’ set design, with costume design incorporated. In the past several weeks or so, I have been over loaded with so much information on 3 amazing software's Adobe Photoshop, 3D Studio Max and AutoCAD all of which, once mastered, will be very useful throughout my intended career as a Theatre Designer. Although at times I struggled and got very confused, I hope and plan to have/create future opportunities to advance on these software's. I am fully aware that I have only just touched and to a certain extent mastered the basics of each, or not in some cases (AutoCAD), but will continue to play and try things out, which I feel is the best way to go about learning all of these. Personally I have found Adobe Photoshop the easiest to understand, this is because the tools, and commands are clear in what they do, and also because the layering makes it so much easier for objects on the page to be moved and controlled, therefore a great way to portray/create and add to an environment, like that of a theatre set. Adobe is also a very good software to add suggested lighting to storyboards. I found 3D Studio Max to be a fantastic programme, when done with accuracy, to create a set deign within, this is because due to its Virtual practice is the closest a designer can get within their designs before a model box stage or in some cases instead of stage box. Whereas AutoCAD, is the ideal programme to create accurate perfected technical drawings.