Cornell University Deparatment of Performing and Media Arts

PMA 3626: CAD Studio for Theatre Design -- FALL 2016

updated 9/15/2016

Tutorial - Introduction to Vectorworks 2015 in drafting, modeling and rendering scenery

Time: TTH 12:20-2:15 pm
Classroom : B20 - Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts
Instructor: Kent Goetz
Office: Rm B20a
Phone: 254-2707
Email --

Course Materials: Acquisition of Vectorworks 2016 Academic Version @ (free to students) and installation of VW2016 on your personal laptop which you will bring to all classes. Course readings, tutorials, projects and resources will be available via the course website. or via the Cornell Box PMA 3626 folder.

Required texts: A RAISIN IN THE SUN by Lorraine Hansberr & ANTIGONE by Sophocles

Recommnended text: Designer Drafting and Visualizing for the Entertainment World by Patricia Woodbridge and Hal Tine

Course Objective: upon successful completion of the course the student will demonstrate, through the presentation of finished projects, advanced skills using the commercial CAD application "Vectorworks", and other graphics software such as Photoshop, in the creation and clear communication of scenic environments for theatrical events.

Course assignments and assessment:
10% - Introduction to Vectorworks Tutorial -- a step by step, self-paced introduction to drafting a simple 2d elevation, along with modeling, texturing, and lighting 3d space.
20% - A RAISIN IN THE SUN Project-- replication of a former design for A RAISIN IN THE SUN by Lorraine Hansberry in a Schwartz Center Kiplinger Theater, including floorpan, front elevations and 3d model, textured and lighted.
20% - Living Room Project -- utilization of more complex texturing, lighting and rendering tools to present an interior setting of your creation in a theatrical context.
20% - ANTIGONE Project - adaptation of a Cornell doorway into a 3d model, fully textured, that would serve the dramatic action for the play ANTIGONE by Sophocles on the Kiplinger Stage, lighted for three different scenes.
25% - Replicating a Master Project- adaptation of an existing professional design of your choosing into an existing performance space on the Cornell campus. The design can be for a live television reality show, film setting, industrial product showcase, convention exhibition or unit set for a Shakespeare play.
5% In-class Final Project
100% total

Late projects receive minus one grade penalty (example: A down to B)
Attendance policy - Every two unexcused absence = -5%. Every two late arrivals = one absence.
Grade point equivalents

Project Resources

General VW Resources

Course structure: Generally, during the first half of each class the instructor will introduce new techniques using the CAD applications that apply to the current or forthcoming assignment. The remainder of the class will used as a lab during which the student will practice those techniques or work on the current assignment. The instructor will be present to answer questions, help trouble-shoot issues, and provide overall guidance toward successful completion of the assignments.

All course information will be presented through instructor demonstrations, class discussions, and student presentations. Therefore, regular attendance and active class participation is essential. Even if you do not have your own work to present, please come to class, so you can benefit and learn from the challenges and discoveries of your classmates.

Course Schedule:
Typically the first part of Tuesday classes will be dedicated to student presentations of completed assignments or work in progress. The remainder of class will be instructor demonstration and supervised lab time.

Students are also strongly encouraged to attend the two PMA theatrical productions listed below in order to more fully understand how theatre design contributes to the dramatic action of a realized play.

week 1- 8/23 & 25: Introductory Tutorial (due 8/30)

week 2 - 8/30 & 9/1: A RAISIN IN THE SUN Project Floorpan (due 9/6)

week 3 - 9/6 & 8: A RAISIN IN THE SUN Project Elevations (due 9/13)

week 4 - 9/13 & 15: A RAISIN IN THE SUN Project 3d textured model (due 9/20)

week 5 - 9/20 & 22: Living Room Project Floorplan (due 9/27) (DESERT OF LIGHT Sept 22, 23 & 24)

week 6 -9/27 & 29: Living Room Project Furniture (due 10/4)

week 7 - 10/4 & 6: Living Room Project 3d textured and lighted model (due 10/13)

week 8 - 10/11 & 13: Fall Break & ANTIGONE Project (Research due 10/18)

week 9 - 10/18 & 20: ANTIGONE Project Floorplan (due 10/25)

week 10 - 10/25 & 27: ANTIGONE Project Wall model (due 11/1)

week 11 - 11/1 & 3: ANTIGONE Project Rendering and lighting (due 11/8)

week 12 - 11/8 & 10: Replicating a Master Project (due TBD exam period) (EURYDICE Nov 11 &12)

week 13 - 11/15 & 17 Replicating a Master Project (EURYDICE Nov 18 & 19)

week 14 - 11/22: Replicating a Master Project

Thanksgiving Break

week 15 - 11/29 & 12/1: Replicating a Master Project & In-class final exam