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AU Class
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The Show Must Go On: The Art and Technology of Virtual Set Design

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    The pandemic may have shut down live theater for now, but planning for future shows continues. A set for a live theater production is often a building that just happens to be built inside another building. After designing sets for numerous theater productions using 2D and 3D tools in AutoCAD software, the speaker switched almost exclusively to Revit software. In this class, we will discuss and explore the techniques the speaker used to design stage sets, why they switched to Revit, why they still use AutoCAD for some tasks, and why they have now added VR (virtual reality) to the technology mix. This class will cover workflows learned from this somewhat unconventional use of familiar software tools, as well as how to use phasing and design options to handle scene changes, and why directors love to don a set of VR goggles. We will also look at using other tools to create animated backdrops and special effects. Virtual set design is a lot like virtual building design, and many of the same skills and workflows can be applied to both.

    Key Learnings

    • Learn how to use familiar tools to design unconventional objects
    • Learn how to model the audience seating to validate sight lines
    • Discover best practices for set pieces that move
    • Learn how to incorporate animation for animated backdrops and special effects