Cornell University Deparatment of Performing and Media Arts

PMA 3626: CAD Studio for Theatre Design -- FALL 2015

updated 8/19/2015

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 2015 Academic Version @ (free to students) and installation of VW2015 on your personal laptop which you will bring to all classes.

All course readings, tutorials, projects and resources will be available via the course website.

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.

10% - Floorplan Project -- replication of a sample floorplan in a Schwartz Center performance space.

10% - 2d Front Elevation Project - replication of a sample elevation using USITT Graphic Standards.

10% - 3d Modeling Project - building a piece of complex furniture using advanced modeling tools.

10% - Advanced Texturing, Lighting and Rendering Project -- utilization of more complex texturing, lighting and rendering tools to present an interior setting in a theatrical context.

20% - Doorway Project - adaptation of a Cornell doorway into a 3d model, fully textured, positioned theatrically on the Kiplinger Stage, and 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 interior, 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.

week 1- 8/25 & 27 Introductory VectorWorks Tutorial (due 9/1)

week 2 - 9/1 & 3 Floorplan Project - (due 9/8)

week 3 - 9/8 & 10 Front Elevations Project (due 9/22)

week 4 - 9/15 & 17 Front Elevations Project

week 5 - 9/22 & 24 3d Modeling Project (due 10/6)

week 6 -9/29 & 10/1 3d Modeling Project

week 7 - 10/6 & 8 Advanced Texturing, Lighting and Rendering Project (due 10/15)

week 8 - Fall Break & 10/15 CU Doorway Project (due 11/3)

week 9 - 10/20 & 22 CU Doorway Project

week 10 - 10/27 & 29 CU Doorway Project

week 11 -11/3 & 5 Replicating a Master Project (due designated exam period TBA)

week 12 - 11/10 & 12 Replicating a Master Project

week 13 -11/17 & 19 Replicating a Master Project

week 14 - 11/24 & Thanskgiving break Replicating a Master Project

week 15 - 12/1 & 3 Replicating a Master Project & In class final project