Here’s one common misconception about set design. Some people are content to just look at a set and say, “Ah, well, anyone can do that.” You see, most set or stage designers need to do a lot of the work themselves, and this is primarily because stage design is a work of vision. If you see something in your head, and you need others to see it, too, then you need to undertake certain plans of action to actually help or make them see it, if need be. As any tech blog will tell you, that’s the technical side of set design.
Some Technical or Construction Skills for Set Design
One of the top skills you need to learn is to get into computer-assisted drafting and design. You can check out free courses such as UDEMY and other drawing classes. At the same time, you can ask you fellow website visitors as to what online classes they attend. Another option would be to download applications that will enable to draft your stage plans better. While some might require your payment, you can think of it as an investment for the future, instead of just another expense.
Another thing you need to learn is a set of basic construction skills. This is the part where simply explaining yourself verbally just won’t cut it anymore. Imagine having a vision in your head for a stage set for, say, Hamlet in the contemporary period. Instead of just firing away with words and confusing your carpenter, try doing some carpentry yourself and show them what you plan for your set design. That way, you minimize the chances of confusing them and of muddling your own vision altogether.
Third, you are also going to need to learn how to make 3D models. You’ve probably read in previous articles that making your own scaled models is a big plus for any set designer, and it’s true. While you can try to simply explain yourself to a director, the truth is there are few directors who can immediately understand what you mean and deliver accordingly. What you need is a way to make them the bigger picture of your plans, and one good way to do this would be to create that scaled model in three dimensions.