Author Topic: Plotting Points on a grounplan  (Read 4882 times)

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BackstageSM

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Plotting Points on a grounplan
« on: Apr 30, 2008, 11:31 am »
Hello!  I've just been hired at a professional company in Utah as an ASM, and was told that I'm going to be expected to 'plot points' on the groundplan for taping out.  I have taped out many times before, but I always seem to be a little slower than some in taping out because I'm too scared to make a mistake.  First of all, what does she mean by plotting points?  How do I know exactly which plots to point, and how can I be more efficient in taping out?  Any advice would be much appreciated!!! Thanks!

sievep

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Re: Plotting Points on a grounplan
« Reply #1 on: Apr 30, 2008, 12:38 pm »
Plotting points simply means measuring the points on the groundplan so you can tape them out on the rehearsal room floor.

You want to make sure you plot out the edge of the stage, the proscenium, everything permanent to the facility, and then start plotting the points for the set.  Every wall, every window, every step, every escape step, masking used for the production, everything you see on the groundplan that an actor could touch, run into, step on, look through, etc should be taped onto the floor. 

I use downstage center as my zero point, and start plotting (measuring points) downstage left, working my way around the set counterclockwise, labeling each point on the groundplan with a letter, and marking it's coordinates on a separate piece of paper.  When it's time to tape out, I use dots labeled with corresponding letters to set the points on the floor and then taping out becomes a big game of connect the dots.  It may seem like an extra step, but it actually makes taping go a lot faster if you put a little more effort into plotting.

Some undergrad programs swear by a method of taping out that uses triangulation, which I find to be an utter waste of time as it is not precise (for me). 

Hope this helps .  . . .and don't be afraid of messing up.  Worst case scenario is you have to re-measure a point, or use your best judgment to come up with a point that is close enough. 
"This lovely light, it lights not me" - Orson Welles

Britney

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Re: Plotting Points on a grounplan
« Reply #2 on: Apr 30, 2008, 12:51 pm »
I've never used triangulation and find the grid or "plotting" method most convenient and easy to use.

Here are some pointers:

- Base your center line and plaster line off of a point ON THE SET, not a point in the theatre.  Most groundplans are accurate to the set, but the theatre space is not always accurate.
- If you're having trouble locating the plaster line, ask your TD to help you out.
- If you have a fixed platform, for instance, try this:  Look at one of the corners of the table. On the GP, measure from the corner to the centerline. Then, measure from the corner to the plasterline.  This will tell you where to place it on the stage. 
- If I have ASMs, interns, or other assistants, I usually read off the coordinates and have two of them plot the points. It goes much faster.
- Keep track of all your coordinates! If you confuse them or mix them up, you may have difficulty connecting the dots later. Like Sievep said, writing them down on a different piece of paper usually helps to keep them organized.


Good luck!

Sarah

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Re: Plotting Points on a grounplan
« Reply #3 on: Apr 30, 2008, 01:06 pm »
I also use the plaster line and centerline relative to the set as reference for locating my points. This is something that will never change, no matter what your theatre looks like, unless you're in the round. Measure all the corners of the major platforms, step units, and level changes. If you have them on the set, make sure to denote which direction a door opens, on/off  or up or downstage. Arcs can be easily taped by finding the center point of the arc and, (I usually do this in the room) by placing a tape measure at the center point, have your taping buddy slowly rotate the tape while placing small pieces of tape every so often along the arc. Think of the way a clock hand rotates, to visualize this. Some folks use a piece of string the same way. I've never triangulated.

Some SMs have a grid made of 1/2" (usually standard) squares printed on a sheet of acetate and lay that over the groundplan. This helps you to measure more easily. Like Paul does, I use small pieces of tape and number them according to how I measure. I prefer to reserve the first ten or so points for those that fall on the centerline, and then I usually measure SL and then SR, so we can put the points down in order and we don't have to flop back and forth. Then, it's connect the dots. I've attached a point plot form, I hope it's useful to you.
« Last Edit: Apr 30, 2008, 01:17 pm by Sarah »

J

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Re: Plotting Points on a grounplan
« Reply #4 on: Apr 30, 2008, 02:45 pm »
Before I knew what plotting points was, it was confusing to me. I never understood what 'points' people were talking about. Here's what helped me.

Think of connect the dots.  Find all the corners of every set piece, wall, door, etc. etc. on the groundplan. Measure it from 0'/0' (centerstage at procenium) then go to the rehearsal room and put all those points down on the floor. Now you "connect the dots"

That explanation helped me understand it. Hopefully it helps you too.

Thomas A. Kelly

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Re: Plotting Points on a grounplan
« Reply #5 on: Apr 30, 2008, 03:35 pm »
All the above plus:

1. Furniture is sure to get changed 10 times, so don't go crazy measuring every point of a table... maybe just an x where the middle should be, same with chairs, couches, etc at first.

2. Having two lines, one down stage and one half way up that have 0/0 on center and then go out in 2' increments will make the measuring easier, and the downstage line can remain as a helpful "marker" for where an actir is to stand.

3. Walls with windows and doors will be more acurately measured if you lay a solid piece of tape the length of the wall, then go back and measure and cut out the windows and doors

Be sure, if you do not have a rehearsal rug/carpet bwhen there is one on the set, to mark its perimeter clearly.. this can be very important in terms of noise of walking, dropped props, etc.

On the groundplan.... always measure from the center line out to the point you need, then see if there is anything closer to measure to than the downstage line, as this may make taping more accurate. For instande, if you have a platform, once you have the marks (points for the platform, do any door, furniture etc points using the platform, not the whole stage to guide from. If you have a door that you will have to carefully plot points for, it may be more accurate to then get furniture or window or steps measure from the door. This will insure that ther is not "drift" in your plotting, which can really skew the blocking.

KNEEPADS for taping

BackstageSM

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Re: Plotting Points on a grounplan
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2008, 11:15 am »
Thanks everyone!  This has helped me a lot and now I feel a little more confident!  Thanks again!

ChaCha

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Re: Plotting Points on a grounplan
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2008, 10:41 am »
 
KNEEPADS for taping

chocolate frogs for taping too!
ChaCha

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