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Transforming Location Part Eight: Creating a Colour Model

Creating a colour model

A colour model is a great way to convey ideas in transforming a location. This is because it allows the viewer to fully realise your ideas without any ambiguity. A colour model explains colour schemes, furniture, the placement of walls and storage possibilities whilst given a realistic impression of how you propose a design for your chosen location and how this can be used.

The Plan

To begin, I prefer to start this process with a plan. I find that having a plan helps you to cognitively process how to bring an idea into realisation, considering all practicalities and implications that may incur. As part of a transforming location project, we were to initially produce a white card model in 1:25 scale that accurately replicates a chosen location. I decided to recycle my technical drawing and sketch a rough plan of how I wanted to transform this. I chose to recycle my technical drawing as this allows me to experiment with the design without spending hours of time redrafting until I was happy with the final design. After I pencilled in where I wanted walls and other elements of the design, I also planned colour – to ensure this would not upset the balance of the room.

As seen in these plans, I have created a slight division in terms of colour. This is because this would allow the camera to use a lighter angle of the room to portray something positive, and another angle to portray something negative, all naturally. The room does not appear too divided as having a stable colour or feature binding each elevation together units them without being too obvious.

Traditionally, the guest would sit in front of the alcove with their back to the hanging scroll and decorative ornaments whilst the tea maker positions themselves next to them. As my character is going to be an assassin, any interaction with her would be negative. By positioning the guest in the lighter side of the room, any eye line match shots or two shots would subtly give clues to who is the villain.

The next step is to recreate this plan in a colour model.

Construction

I began with the floor as the slight raise in height will give the elevations a ridge to slide into. This was constructed from lollipop sticks. I carefully split the wood in two using a safety ruler and Stanley knife. This was then sanded and stuck to a white card cut out prior to staining with a walnut varnish. I prefer to use a varnish when re colouring wood as this allows the natural grain to show through. Alternatively I could have diluted brown acrylic and layered this until I reached my desired darkness but as I had the correct shade of varnish; it made sense to save time.

At this point I developed more thoughts into how to show a disturbance has happened here, and thought about where a body would be placed as we were not allowed to actually show a character within the set. I decided that my assassin Maiko would have hidden the body under the floorboards as the Tattami mats would conceal the gap. I plan to leave some evidence on the premises that my assassin Maiko was interrupted, as without this my back story would not be clear. I have done this by leaving one floorboard slightly raised. This is propped in place with some smaller wooden cut offs stained in the same varnish to conceal these.

As this was drying, I continued the wood work in my construction. I worked on the exterior, cutting the lollipop sticks to size using the Stanley knife and sanding any splinters.  This was then painted with the same varnish used on the floorboards.

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Next, I began constructing the shoji sliding doors. To show this was a sliding door, I used thicker pieces of wood to create the upper section to suggest the hidden groove the doors slide along. I planned to construct the smaller panels with matchsticks, so kebab sticks (stained with varnish) worked well for the upper section as there is a couple of millimetres difference in thickness. I wanted to reinforce this as without reinforcement the structure would be very flimsy. I have done this by sticking this to card and cutting out the exposed areas using a scalpel. A nail file helps to sand down hard to reach edges. I then backed this with tracing paper to replicate the rice paper traditionally used in Shoji doors.

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I used a slightly different method when creating the smaller panels of the shoji doors as the matchsticks were too small to reinforce in the same way as the upper section. I drew a grid of where I wanted to place the matchsticks and cut and stuck these on top. I used tweezers to position them as this was too fiddly for fingers!

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The fusuma panels were made in much the same way, using an image of fusuma painted by artist Yasunobu Kano during the 17th century. The woodwork was a combination of stained lollipop sticks and kebab sticks.

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For the opposite wall, I constructed the alcove entirely out of foam board using the measurements acquired in my amended technical drawing. To create the display step, I used foam board and lollipop sticks.

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The alcove was then painted in my chosen colour, light green and the step was varnished. The inbuilt plaster dados were replaced with wood. This was created using foamboard and acrylic paint as I did not have any wood remaining in the correct thickness and length.

The final wall was the simplest to create. I simply painted the foam board with the same shade of paint and used foam board for the wooden dado. To replicate a wood grain with acrylic paint on foam board, I began by painting a diluted coat of brown acrylic and waited for the paint to dry. This is the lightest shade of brown seen in the grain. Once this had set, I applied a second coat of acrylic. This coat was not diluted. Just before this dried, I used a stiff brush to push the concealed paint into wood grain patterns. This method both lifts the paint and pushes it into thicker sections.

Decorations

Decorations and props are so important in bringing a set to life. A set without these touches is essentially a display stand and does not convey enough about the character or environment. Props speak volumes about character as these items support their personality or job role. Decorative touches make a set unique; they tell a story without words.

I began my decorative touches with the fiddliest: the decorative flowers.

To start the process, I used wire cut and bent to various lengths and shapes to replicate the branches of the red maple tree. This was glued at point of contact and positioned using tweezers. When this was setting, I used a scalpel to carefully cut out leaf shapes into tracing paper. I then painted these in red. As this was drying, I used brown acrylic to paint the branches. When this had dried, I used UHU to stick the leaves onto the wire branches.  I used the same method to create the reed.  I created a vase using leftover wood cut offs and painted this black.

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The hanging scroll was made by printing a scale replica of a traditional hanging scroll and using matchsticks and cotton to replicate the scroll weights.

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When photographing the finished alcove, I noticed the leaves looked a little synthetic. I went back and added veins and shading to bring these to life on camera.

The final result looked pretty convincing!

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Next, I created the Tattami mats. This process was fairly straightforward. I used red satin ribbon to mimic the outer edges of the mat and used hessian ribbon to replicate the straw/reed blend. Hessian ribbon is woven slightly tighter than usual hessian so works well as a reed substitute. If I could not find any of this ribbon in Hobbycraft, I would have used a scalpel on foam board to replicate the woven texture and painted this with layers of acrylic. The cushions were made using the same red satin ribbon pulled tight around pre cut foam board.

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As seen in the photographs below, my set was really taking shape now. In rolling back and moving the mats it implies that someone was trying to hide something or there has been a struggle.

I added in some fake blood to give a further clue to who was the victim and where the body could be hidden. In doing this I had to think about where the impact blow was, and how the body was moved as this would affect the placement of blood. I decided my victim was hit on the head and dragged from their cushion to the lifted floorboard. I added in a couple of extra touches as it hit me that an assassin wouldn’t leave a trace of the crime. So this looked convincing, I added in small squares of tissue soaked in fake blood and have recreated wipe marks and hand prints as if my assassin had attempted to conceal the crime but may have been interrupted.

So there we have it, a full 1:25 scale model of my proposed design in transforming a location.

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Transforming Location Part Seven: Set Design Research – Japan

As seen in part six, my character was a flirtatious but sinister Maiko who may be involved in a murder mystery and has a wardrobe predominantly in red.

To begin designing a set, I had to consider the following:

  • Time Period
  • Suitable setting
  • Colour scheme
  • Possible murder weapons
  • A suggestion of events

As Geisha and Maiko are an intricate part of Japanese history, I wanted to create a set fitting to the traditional aspects of Japan and have begun researching into key traditional design in Japanese architecture.

I have pursued this because key architectural features and furniture contribute to establishing a time period without being too “on the nose”.

engawa

Engawa

An engawa is a small but long corridor made of hardwood that runs around the perimeter of a traditional Japanese house[i]. This acts as a walkway between the shoji and the amado when the amado is pulled shut during typhoons.

Shoji

 Shoji

The term Shoji refers to the sliding panel constructed of wood and translucent paper that acts as a door or window[ii]. The translucent paper diffuses the natural light without eliminating the light all together.

amado

Amado

Amado is the exterior panels that can be shut for security or to prevent damage to the shoji during rainy season[iii]. They are usually constructed from a thick wood and are placed around the perimeter of the property.

fusuma

Fusuma

Fusuma act as room dividers and traditionally bare beautiful works of art. They are traditionally seen as vertical rectangular panels constructed of wood, cardboard or cloth. The fusuma allows the housing tenant to easily divide a room, transforming a living room into two bedrooms come nightfall[iv].

ramna

Ramna

Ramna is an ornate piece of carving that is situated above shoji to allow airflow and natural light in[v].  They are usually situated between rooms or above the shoji.

tatami

Tatami

Tatami floors or mats are a traditional feature of Japanese housing design as this allows a comfort when sitting or sleeping. Traditionally these mats were reserved for nobles, and later introduced to ordinary people following the 17th Century[vi]. There are three parts to a tatami mat: The reed or rush covering, the straw core and the woven fabric around the outer edges.

tokonoma

Tokonoma

A tokonoma translates to alcove, and this is where important works of art, scrolls or flowers are displayed. An important guest would traditionally sit nearest this, with their back to it. This is because the Japanese are tremendously modest about their possessions and would not like to subliminally brag about their possessions to their guests.

I found it fascinating to research into traditional Japanese architecture as I found out so much more about their culture than I originally anticipated. I was amazed to find out just how modestly the Japanese lived: the houses were designed around fitting a large quantity of people into a small space (hence the requirement of fusuma). The designs are usually very sparse of furniture, and the furniture they did have was designed to be multi-functional and easily stored away.

However, I did want to investigate into rooms used to traditionally entertain guests as this would be a suitable surrounding for my character. I discovered that tea rooms were where Geisha’s and those in training would host parties for their guests and I was fortunate to discover that traditional tea rooms still feature key traditional Japanese design elements such as the tatami mats and tokonoma.

tea room plans

Tea Room Floor Plans

I came across a number of traditional tea room floor plans[vii], and have selected one I believe will suit the natural interior of my chosen location. I hope that I can adjust these plans to accommodate a tokonoma which is one of the most important features to a traditional tea room, and a place to store cushions so I can disguise the window to appear like a long stretch of shoji.

To convey my ideas,  mood boards were constructed:

Set desin tea room

Set design final moodboard

What these mood boards imply is that the location will be transformed into a tea room with evidence of a tea making ceremony taking a dark turn. The potential weapons could be the cast iron pots or a candlestick (if I wanted to keep the theme in line with my original inspiration: Cluedo). The colour scheme is a neutral cream and green to contrast with my characters wardrobe (red) with elements in red and black. This is to subtly project my characters personality into the set. The black would be used sparingly, mainly to accent furniture and design elements so these changes will not go unnoticed.

My next step is to create a design plan that will inform the viewer of how I plan to transform the location, taking into consideration the locations unmovable features.

 

[i] https://archiscapes.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/japanese-traditional-engawa-space/

[ii] http://www.dictionary.com/browse/shoji

[iii] http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/UsefulNotes/JapaneseArchitecture

[iv] https://www.japan-talk.com/jt/new/fusuma

[v] http://www.tokyojinja.com/2012/05/06/transformed-transoms-decorating-with-ranma-and-other-fretwork-screens/

[vi] http://japanese-tea-ceremony.net/tatami.html

[vii] http://japanese-tea-ceremony.net/chashitsu.html

 

 

Transforming Location Part Six: Character Inspiration

Character design is not usually the set designers role, but as part of our unit we were to include a character. As mentioned in part one, the set design follows the characters personality and background.

As part of our transforming location project, we are to create a character, story and plot as part of our set. This is to assist with the mise-en-scène. If I was to design as set for a lazy teenager I would have to give evidence within the set of their personality. With this example, I could design a bedroom with an unmade bed, empty takeaway boxes, an overfilled ashtray and possibly some wall posters to indicate their age and lifestyle (a stereotypical, exaggerated example).

In regards to inventing my own character, I often find that inspiration strikes at the most unexpected moments. I have recently had a night in with the girls and naturally the board games made an appearance after we were a bottle down. As we played Cluedo I couldn’t help but wonder what everyone’s fascination with Miss Scarlet was. As a child I always wanted to choose Miss Scarlet as my piece and I think this is because out of all the characters she was the most age relatable. I decided to investigate further.

Miss Scarlet has dramatically changed over the years; the original board game was created in 1949[i] and from then until 1963[ii] she was portrayed as a young, blond woman.  In 1972[iii] however, she changed ethnicity altogether and was portrayed as a young Asian woman for two decades before being redesigned in 1999[iv] as a dark haired Italian woman.

It was fascinating to observe the transformation throughout time. Upon researching, I found there was a film that was based off this board games aptly named: Clue (1985) directed by Jonathan Lynn. Miss Scarlet has a background running an illegal escort business and I think in discovering this interpretation and finding out she was once portrayed as Asian, my mind drifted to one of my favorite books, Memoirs of a Geisha.

 Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden is set in 1920’s Japan. As Miss Scarlet is portrayed as a flirtatious, entertaining character in Clue (1985), I felt she suited the role of a Geisha.

A Geisha is a traditional Japanese entertainer who attends events and dinner parties. The name can be translated to artist or performance artist, and they spend years in training before graduating to full Geisha status. The most recognised image of Geisha portrays the artists with coloured kimonos, ornate jewellery and painted faces, however this is a misconception. A fully qualified Geisha is usually dressed in plainer kimonos, as she has charm and wit to entertain her guests. A Maiko relies on colourful clothing and flamboyant looks to entertain her guests as she continues to train[i]. In Memoirs of a Geisha, Golden suggests they extend this role to “entertain” wealthy gentlemen. I cannot confirm if this holds any truth as the book itself is a work of fiction and all accounts in my research explain the training process and purpose of Geisha to be for pure performance art entertainment only.

To assist with visualising our character, we were assigned the task of creating a mood board on Photoshop that would convey enough information that the viewer could fully understand the direction we were taking. This is my response:

Miss Scarlet Maiko Moodboard

In this example, it is clear that my character is a Maiko with flirtatious tendencies. She surrounds herself with scarlet and is hinted to be a killer or assassin. I have included a suggestion of her motivations but have left this to interpretation should I wish to adjust this at a later date.

With a clearer understanding of your character, you can now begin designing a suitable set that would compliment their personality, history and time period.

[i] https://www.insidejapantours.com/japanese-culture/geisha/

[i] http://allaboutfunandgames.com/clue-board-game-solve-a-mystery

[ii] https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/385480049334669236/

[iii] http://www.theartofmurder.com/table/link/suspectyears/index.html

[iv] http://www.theartofmurder.com/table/link/suspectyears/index.html

 

 

Transforming Location Part Five: White Card Model Making

What is it?

The purpose of a white card model is to clearly display a scale version of your chosen location in a 3 Dimensional format. This assists with demonstrating where the camera and actors can be placed within the set to capture the most cinematic shots. This also allows you to experiment with lighting and is essentially a blank canvas for you to transform into a variation of the original room.

After you have photocopied your technical drawing, you spray mount the copy on mount board. There are a number of card types that could also be suitable but I prefer mount board because it is matt finish with a little foam support in-between the thin, white card displayed. This means I can easily cut through with minimal friction (less friction = less sanding) and if necessary, easily sand. The matt finish means this can easily adhere to another section without repeating the process.

Tools

To begin, you will need:

  • Mount board (A1)
  • Photocopied technical drawing
  • Spray mount (NOT extra strong hairspray, as some have recommended).
  • Sharpened scalpel
  • Safety ruler
  • Various grades of sandpaper
  • Nail file
  • Model making glue (I adore UHU all purpose adhesive, it’s fast drying and has a thicker consistency than some other glues).
  • Tweezers

Cutting

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After you have spray mounted your technical drawing to your mount board, you simply cut this out using you scalpel and safety ruler. I recommend a safety ruler because you will have to be quite firm with pressure in order to get an even, quick cut and as the scalpel is extremely sharp – you will not want any accidents!

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Once this has been cut, I find it best to cut and stick the inbuilt features as well as it can be fiddly to glue these on once the four walls are put together. If you have in build features such as beading or battening that are the same width or length, you can save time if you trace a pre cut section and cut a fraction of a millimeter inside the lines.

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Sometimes, even with the additional pressure you can get messy cuts as seen in the example. This can be easily fixed by working through various grades of sandpaper. I prefer to wrap this sandpaper around a nail file as the sides must be straight to replicate the wooden beading. I work through various grades of sandpaper because I want the finished product to be as smooth as possible, but not waste hours grating this away with fine grit sandpaper. A nail file wrapped in  sandpaper eliminates these potential problems. In this example, I have only used the nail file as it is quite old and the harsher grit has come away.

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Sticking

When all of your pieces are cut, begin sticking. I like to have a cotton bud to hand in case of any spillages but I would imagine a pencil with twisted tissue around the tip would have the same effect.

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The UHU all purpose adhesive has the same consistently as hot glue, and sets within a similar time range. This means you must be fast and accurate or you will be left with a half set glue welt that you will then have to sand off. I prefer to work with one generous blob and use the nib of the glue to smooth this along the remaining edge, adding more blobs along the way. UHU has a tendency to produce annoying spider webs when it is pulled away from the material, so try to pull the glue away from your work to prevent further sanding.

ex8

 

Assembling

Once you have finished cutting and sticking all of the fiddly parts, it is time to turn your work into a 3 Dimensional piece.

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On the technical drawings, I have included actual measurements of the wall thickness and have decided to include these in my 3D model to show an accurate likeness of my build. This means that windows must be carried through to the either edge, so that the viewer can see the potential for concealing light boxes or some other accessory within this ready built cutaway.

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The most challenging part about assembling the four walls together was having to glue both the height of a walls edge and the base. This is because the glue dries fast and you don’t always have enough time to glue both. However, it not gluing both, you risk not being able to sandwich one wall to the other and this would allow any unwanted light to shine through.

I found the best course of action was to glue two bases of the walls down at opposite ends and only take on the challenge of gluing both base and sides for the remaining two. If it halves your workload – I consider it a triumph.

 

Transforming Location Part Four: Creating a Technical Drawing

Creating A Technical Drawing

Technical drawing, although also used to product design, architectural studies or engineering is also used in film and theatre. The purpose of a technical drawing in film or theatre is to communicate clear dimensions and space of a designated room or set proposal. Using examples from my current unit project: Transforming Location, I will demonstrate how to transfer visual room features into a technically comprehensible drawing that will then be used to create a 1:25 white card model.

Continuing from the survey sketch with accurate measurements, you will not be able to replicate the real, life sized measurements onto standard tracing paper. The tracing paper used in technical drawing in A1 size. This allows you to present your work in landscape when used in conjunction with a drawing board which is also A1 size. Often, draftsmen will scale down these measurements. In this instance, I will work in a 1:25 scale as this is what my project brief requires.

The first step is to produce a preliminary drawing onto standard, A4 tracing paper. This must be entirely accurate as you will position this behind the A1 tracing paper. The reason for this is simple: It allows you to prepare the position of your drawings so that the final product will be clear, easy to follow and presentable to the viewer.

To scale down your measurements, simply divide them by the amount you wish to work in. I want to work in 1:25, so I will divide any measurements I have by 25 to get the result.

There are a number of factors to consider when producing your drawing. The first being line work.

Lines

There is certain etiquette to the line work seen in technical drawing, the lines have varying thickness and are sometimes dashed. This is because there is often a lot of information to take in, and varying line thickness establishes a certain hierarchy that the eye can naturally follow. The lines also communicate depth and clarity to a drawing, which tells the viewer this is actually a 3 Dimensional space that has been converted to a 2 Dimensional drawing. Another reason is that when the drawing is photocopied, the lighter line work is actually erased due to the brightness of the scan. Draftsmen use this to their advantage however, as they will tend to produce a preliminary of the preliminary in a lighter pencil, allowing for error before committing to a final heavier mark.

Thick, heavyweight lines are created using a 2H pencil. Typically, the thicker the line, the more foreword and important the detail it marks.

Medium weight lines are used for other features, such as beading. This is also used for Titles and Elevation Labels.

Extremely light lines are used to show something is further away or is relatively unimportant.

The finest lines are used to produce general workings out. An example would be to work out a right angle using the 345 method, which I will explain further on.  Working out lines look untidy, and so are created in a fine line to be deliberately erased and as we all know, the lighter the line – the easier this is to do.

Dashed lines are used to show an “invisible” or hidden area of an object or room. An example would be a built in wardrobe.  In my technical drawing I have used a dashed line to show the direction of elevation indications, because I did not want the viewer to consider these an actual line and because there were no hidden features to my chosen location (so as not to confuse the viewer).

Making marks

I met up with a family friend, Steve Eastgate who worked as a draftsman for the best part of twenty years and he was extremely kind to show me a few tips into creating a technical drawing. The first being the 345 method:

345 Method

The 345 method is used when you do not have a protractor or your protractor is too bulky for intricate details but you wish to create an accurate right angle.

The first step is to mark a straight line using a T square.345 step1

The second, to make a mark on this straight line from the left measuring 4cms. I find a compass works best as the arc it creates gives you a clear idea of where the preceding marks should sit.345 step2

From this new mark, adjust your compass to 5 cms and create a second arc roughly 90 degrees from the left starting point of your straight line.345 step3

From the left of your straight line, measure out 3cms to your last created arc and this new point will mark out where you need to place your ruler in order to create a sharp, straight accurate right angle.

345 step4

Whilst chatting with Steve, he suggested a handy tip to create equal pressured marks. He recommended constantly twisting the pencil on point along the ruler. This keeps the pencil sharper, the line crisper and reduces the risk of producing uneven “wavy” lines.  I have used this method and I can confirm that it works!

 

 

Transforming Location Part Three: Technical Drawing Terminology

Technical Drawing Overview

The second step in our transforming location project was to produce a technical drawing of our chosen location and to do this we worked under the instruction of expert model maker, David Neat. David specialises in model making and to do this, has to be very informed of technical drawing and has produced some outstanding works to support this. He keeps an intensely instructive blog on WordPress where he frequently records methods of technical drawing and methods of model making. His lectures were beyond fascinating and it was shame there were only a few hours in the day to hear his information! His WordPress site can be found here: https://davidneat.wordpress.com/

David simplified and explained each step so thoroughly that as a class, we were confident to produce our own technical drawings.

Technical Drawing – What is it?

A technical drawing is simply a means to communicate a building or construct (such as a set) that allows viewers to easily read plans and dimensions. This is used in film and theatre so that set builders and dressers can realize said plans and work new designs that the given space can accommodate.  Often, this is used in conjunction with a white card model of said location, which also acts a great way to triple check any measurements!

Terminology

There are a number of words you will encounter when undertaking a technical drawing and this can also be quite intimidating as it is similar to learning a new language.  I have made a list of key words I have encountered during these lectures:

Breaking the Line – This refers to a wavy line that breaks a drawing in two. This is used to explain to the viewer that there is more to the drawing than displayed because the drawing may be too large to accommodate all of its components.

Coding – Coding relates to the letters and numerals seen in technical drawing. Often you will see each elevation labelled “Elevation A” or “Elevation A- A”. “Elevation A-A” is an example of coding. On the ground plans, there will be dashed lines across and labelled at the end with A, B,C … which indicates its relating elevation. Coding is used to match the ground plan indications to its relative elevation drawing should a secondary part of a technical drawing be on another sheet.

Drafting or ‘draughting’ – This is an alternative word for drawing. If you hear of someone being a “draftsperson” or “draughtsman”, this means they specialise in technical drawing. This could cover architectural drawing, engineering or product design.

ElevationsElevations are simply the front view of each wall, interior and exterior.  They are referred to as elevations because this indicates that the drawing is of a risen or “upright” subject.

Ground Plans (or Floorplans) – As the name would indicate, this is simply a technical drawing that specifies a ground plan. This is achieved by drawing the floor space from an eye level aerial perspective (or bird’s eye view) and is used to give a clearer understanding of wall density and location of built in features such as doors and windows. When used in conjunction with elevation drawings, this gives the viewer a very clear, accurate impression of a proposed space to transform.

Layouta layout refers to the way in which the drawing in presented as a whole.  This must be well thought out prior to drawing because this saves a lot of rubbing out and redrafting! The drawing should be clear, with the ground plans centre bottom and divided with directional arrows indicating which accommodating elevation drawing the directional arrows refer to. The elevation drawings should be positioned so that upon observing the ground plans, the viewer can naturally follow the direction of each indication and observe its matching counterpart.

Scale Scale is the term used to describe size. If something is “in scale” or “scale” this means it is drawn exactly to its original size. However, if you are trying to draw a large building or room onto A0 paper, this would be impractical. Practitioners often work to a scale that allows them to present their drawings on a single sheet, which means they would have to reduce the measurements. In this instance, we are to work to a 1:25 scale. To “scale up” you simply take measurements from the technical drawing and times this by the amount indicated. For example, if my technical drawing stated the length of a room was 10 cms, I would times this by 25 and discover that the true length of the room is 250cms. Another term you may encounter is “scaling down” which is the exact opposite of “scaling up” in that you take the true measurements and divide them by the stated amount.

Section A section is a cut through. It simplifies the drawing by exposing the interior but projecting the exterior shape. For example, if I wanted to draw a sink; I would cut through half way so I could include measurements of the plumbing inside and the shape of the sink outside, giving a simplistic but informative diagram.

Please view Transforming Location: Part Four to follow and example of technical drawing and tips that assisted with my work.

Transforming Location Part Two: Choice and Measurements

Choosing a Location

It is important to think very clearly about your chosen location, because you will inevitably have to justify why you have chosen to transform a ready built room as opposed to creating a wooden constructed set. There are certain aspects to consider when deciding upon a location:

  • What camera shots and angles are included in this scene?
  • Will the camera(s) be able to operate and capture everything required in the space provided?
  • Will in-built features benefit the set or will they be a hindrance and cost more to disguise?
  •  Does this suit the set’s time period?
  • Will the chosen space have lighting that benefits the set or are there means to add lighting should it’s original lighting prove problematic?

With these thoughts in mind, I returned to my brief.

The first step upon finding your chosen location, is to record all measurements accurately. I prefer to use millimeters so when scaling up or down, I have an accurate option to round the excess numerals.

Originally I chose a beautiful building that had shimmers of it’s original Victorian build. I was drawn to this location because I had researched Wimbledon College of Arts and discovered it was built in 1890 to accommodate an all boy’s art school[1]. I have a strong preference for buildings with history as I find it incredibly inspiring that intricate builds can last a lifetime and all the effort and energies of those that contributed to its construction have not been wasted. Wimbledon has since then been expanded upon by works of others but I adore the fact that there are still traces of its original core.

Unfortunately, someone had moved/ thrown away my measurements which meant I had to quickly find another location that I could quickly produce a technical drawing.

In my original survey, I simply took a photograph of the interior and exterior and pre marked where I needed to measure so when it came to getting out in the cold and taking said measurements, I would know what measurements to take without repetitive visits. As time was extremely tight I had to do my best with what little time I had and produced a very rough sketch of my new chosen location, being careful to note every measurement I could. This includes the height of where in-built features such as pipes are in relation to the ground as this is necessary when transferring measurements to a technical drawing and eliminates the need to re visit your chosen location.

My new chosen location was a rather uninteresting old storeroom that is used as an office in our production arts room. I chose this because it was essentially a blank canvas for my imagination to work with. The storeroom was rather postmodern and had little indication of time. The inbuilt features such as beading and pipes were not prominent and could be easily disguised if necessary. The space was wide enough to allow a smooth camera movement and allowed me to have the option of continuing the measurements to include a section of exterior set.

Location Survey Sketch
A very quick example of location surveying

Taking the measurements

It is important to take photographs of all walls, doors and details that may be unnoticed as this tends to prompt your mind of the measurements required. When looking at detailed shots such as the underside of a sink, train you mind to think “how could I replicate this?” and this will assist you in realising which measurements are necessary. I prefer to take a methodical approach when measuring, beginning at one wall and measuring the other side if necessary. I tend to work from left to right, top to bottom but then again, I do have a background in Fine Art and am right handed.The measurements should include height as well as width. You must also include measurements of seemingly unimportant details such as window beading as this contributes to the overall width and height of a feature.

What happens next?

These measurements are then used to produce a technical drawing of your location that will allow you the option to produce a white card model or a colour model of your location. My next post will feature an explanation of terminology used in technical drawing, and then an example of tips and techniques I found benefited my drawing.

 

[1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/0/wimbledon-college-of-art-guide/