Magazine article Stage Directions

Letters

Magazine article Stage Directions

Letters

Article excerpt

FREE CAD PROGRAMS?

I'm looking for a free CAD program that students can download for set/lighting design. I have used Google SketchUp but it was not as user friendly as I would like and does not really conform to theatrical design very well. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Lonnie Royal

I realize this isn't the answer you're looking for but... I'd still throw my vote in for SketchUp. Of course, it depends on the features you're interested in; SketchUp certainly isn't a pre-viztool but it's great for modeling a set, calculating throw distances and angles. I've also used it to generate 2-D plots to give to my lighting techs with all the info they need to hang, aim, add accessories, program DMX channels, etc. All for free.

Since we use it to model sets (which is a great communication tool between directors, producers, designers), I can take the set model and add a lighting grid at the correct height and distance and build my plot. …

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