Perspective Floor Grid and Designer's Sketch
The designer's sketch has two basic functions. First, it is the primary means of thinking and creating three-dimensional scenic forms in two dimensions before going into the three-dimensionality of a scaled model. Second, as a finished drawing, the sketch is a convenient and informative method of communicating a scenographic concept or dramatic moment in the theatre. With this mind, the young designer is interested in being able to present his or her ideas as accurately as possible in sketch form.
Some designers who are accomplished visual artists do not rely on the graphics of perspective. Their natural skill and sense of scale provide a personal technique or way of thinking and creating. For the developing designer, however, the perspective grid is one method of thinking and working with the three-dimensional forms in space, yet within the two dimensions of the drawing paper.
The many odd angles found in the floor plan of the average stage setting do not lend themselves to the mechanics of formal drop-point perspective with an observation point and numerous vanishing points. The perspective grid method, although an approximation, is simple and accurate enough for a design presentation.
The advantages of using a perspective floor grid for a two-dimensional perspective drawing are fourfold. 1) After the initial usage of the observation point to construct the perspective grid, it is no longer needed to complete the perspective view. 2) A perspective floor grid can be developed for a specific audience-stage relationship to be saved for reuse, over and over. 3) The perspective can be drawn at a reduced scale to save drafting space and then proportionally enlarged to a desirable sketch size. 4) Finally, a designer's sketch started in this manner provides a framework for calculating the three- dimensional perspective of foreshortened scenery for either a scenic illusion or a design concept.
The basic steps for the use of the perspective grid are illustrated on page 113. The development of a perspective sketch of a simple unit of scenery begins with its floor plan (a), which is located on the stage by means of a scaled grid. The grid of 2' squares are numbered for clarity. A