Vectorworks Spotlight Training at Pitlochry

2013 Federation of Scottish Theatre Winter School

Pitlochry_Logos.pngKate here! Last week (February 6th & 7th 2013), while the rest of the team were also in far flung places, I was lucky enough to be involved in a three day schedule of technical training and professional development know as the Federation of Scottish Theatre (FST) ‘Winter School.’ The event is aimed at providing Lighting Designers, Lighting Technicians, Production Managers, Set and Costume Designers, and Event Production Teams with technical skills and information, as well as maintaining their health and safety certificates. This year truly was a Winter School as snow fell over the beautiful location of the Pitlochry Festival Theatre, where the event is held each year. A few inches of snow fell on the first evening, providing interesting driving conditions for all as we drove up the hill to the theatre. We couldn’t fail to admire the snow capped mountains and forests in the distance.

The Federation of Scottish Theatre is a membership and development body which promotes the interests of professional Scottish theatre and dance both in the UK and abroad. With over 120 members ranging from small scale theatre and dance companies through to major venues, touring networks and national performing companies, FST brings the sector together to speak with a collective voice, to share resources and expertise, and to promote collaborative working.

This is the third year that we, Design Software Solutions, have delivered Vectorworks training for the FST Winter school, beside other key organisations providing a varied and interesting agenda. Black Light deliver a course on Working and Rigging at Height as well as working with ETC to provide advanced training with Ion Lighting desks. JustFX deliver an explosive course on Pyrotechnics while Euan Turner works his charm and manages to make the dullest, (but most important) of Health and Safety issues fascinating.

Design Software Solutions provides two days of Vectorworks training. On the first foundation day we train the students to setup template files, providing a valuable resource for future drawings that the students can take away with them and develop further. We then go on to look at how to create 2D plans and construction details. Exploring the 2D attributes enables designers to develop their own signature 2D rendering style to convey their drawings in the best possible way. Introducing students to the Resource Browser is always the best part of the day where I show off all the resources to which designers have access. These include extra hatches through to ETC and Martin Lamp symbols. Creating symbols and learning how to store and reuse them shows the students just how powerful Vectorworks can be and how hard it can work for them. Day two is an industry specific day looking at the functionality of Vectorworks Spotlight with Renderworks.

Designers learn how to the import third party files, and resolve any scale and measure issues. Next, we look at the invaluable Event Planning suite that enables designers to quickly mock up a room or venue in both 2D and 3D with just a few clicks. Seeing the model come to life in 3D really wakes everyone up! After lunch the real excitement starts when we look at how to draw and build up the lighting plot, add data to lamps, focus them and switch them on! Adding gobos to the lamps results in huge excitement! We finish the day putting together presentation layouts using sheet layers and viewports, before exporting them to PDF as finished presentation documents. There were lots of great questions about what else Vectorworks Spotlight can do. As usual, we were the last session to finish up for the day! Everyone went home enthusing about how Vectorworks will help them with their day to day design tasks. See you again next year Pitlochry!

This entry was posted in Vectorworks Software and Training and tagged:
, course, ETC, Federation of Scottish Theatre, Lighting Design, Martin, Pitlochry, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Spotlight, Theatre, training, Training for Design, Vectorworks


Posted by tamsin on
Well done Kate! Sounds like you all had a fantastic time! You can see more of Kate's Pitlochry photos on our Facebook page.
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