Instructor: Heath Hansum


This course is an introduction to concepts in computer aided design and specifically how they can be applied to the world of Theatre and entertainment. The course will move quickly from rudimentary graphic layout to advanced 2d and 3d world creation. A basic understanding of the Power Macintosh computer system is required.

Expected Results of the Course

Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate design concepts using the computers and software covered in class
  2. Create symbol and shape libraries
  3. Create 2 and 3d models using Vectorworks Spotlight and Strata Studio Pro
  4. Create color 2 and 3d color rendering utilizing color lighting and textures

Methods of Instruction

  1. Classroom discussion / lecture followed by hands-on demonstration / usage of current subject matter.
  2. There will be several exercises which are required but you will not receive a letter grade for.

Assignments / Grading

  1. Several brief quizzes on recent topics discussed in class.
  2. Several projects demonstrating design approaches and concepts and an understanding of the procedures, methods and equipment presented in class.
  3. The grading breaks down as follows:
    • Quiz 1 10%
    • Quiz 2 10%
    • Quiz 3 10%
    • Work projects 55%
    • Final Project 15%
  4. Three (3) unexcused absences will result in a lower grade by one letter.

Projects - subject to change

Project #1

Use Vectorworks to create a world of your own design. This need not be theatrical in origin or even use recognizable objects. The goal is to create a complete environment with 3d objects and boundaries as well as light and shadow. The final presentation should include a total of four views. One view will be plan and the remaining three will be perspective 3d views of your choice. Remember, part of your purpose is to demonstrate your proficiency with the program, so create an environment that allows you to do so.

Project #2

A detailed ground plan of the Powers Theatre Stage. Include wings, proscenium, apron, doors and as much architectural detail as possible. Also include important dimensions and sightline points.

Project #3

Use Studio Pro to create a world of your own design. Follow the instructions for project #1 instead using Studio Pro. Try to utilize the different possibilities that Studio Pro offers.

Project #4

A detailed perspective view of the Powers Theatre stage. Include everything that is seen. Make the picture as visually interesting as possible. Resist the urge to "fudge dimensions."

Course Meetings

  1. Forty two (42) class meetings + one (1) final exam period.
  2. Topics covered in class will be followed by practical discussion and procedural demonstration by instructor and students.
  3. Field trips and professional visitors will augment classroom discussion whenever available and appropriate.
  4. Everyone is required to attend the mainstage Theatre and Dance performances during the semester.