Best intuitive software for theater CAD planning? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-31-2010, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking to design my theater and have been doing tons of drawings on graph paper. I'd like to step it up and use a computer program to draw everything out, including stud locations etc. What are my options for a very easy-to-use program? 3D rendering is a plus, but not necessary.
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-31-2010, 08:12 PM
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Google Sketch-up: free and CAD compliant
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-01-2010, 07:03 AM
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I can't really argue with Sketch-Up because it's probably your only option. Any other CAD program is going to cost $$$. However, I will say it is far from intuitive. I've used several CAD programs for my job, and Sketch-Up sucks. I would like to ask, if you have a layout you like that is dimensioned, what do you have to gain from going into such detail as exact stud locations? I'd just start building.
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-01-2010, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crash11 View Post

I can't really argue with Sketch-Up because it's probably your only option. Any other CAD program is going to cost $$$. However, I will say it is far from intuitive. I've used several CAD programs for my job, and Sketch-Up sucks. I would like to ask, if you have a layout you like that is dimensioned, what do you have to gain from going into such detail as exact stud locations? I'd just start building.

While I agree that Sketchup would not be my first choice or even my second, "just start building" is a bad approach when it comes to theaters. Those stud locations can be extremely important. This is why we say quite often, that standard contractors or architects cannot do what a dedicated designer does due to a lack of understanding in the specific subject of acoustics. Designing a theater to perform is not something you learn from a book, a website or overnight. Best wishes!

Shawn Byrne
Erskine Group
HAA Design Certified -THX Certified Professional

Design-Video & Audio Calibration Information

The original Pro Theater Layout
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post #5 of 8 Old 11-01-2010, 11:19 AM
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This one is intuitive. Can design a room and see it in 3D in 10 minutes.

See an AVS example here.
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post #6 of 8 Old 11-01-2010, 12:42 PM
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In my opinion, 3D is completely unnecessary and much harder to work with when working out exactly placement of speakers, seats, etc. I would suggest Microsoft Visio. Whilst I mocked up a few designs with sketchup, all my plans were done in visio and as I added detail I would just add another layer to the design. The layers have proven to be an invaluable resource when I want to retrace the exact location of a stub or wiring.

Here's an example of my Visio plans

Cheers.

My "Old Vic" Theater Build
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-01-2010, 01:14 PM
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+1

As much as I love Sketchup (being free helps!) One thing I would say about it, is that it is not intuitive right off the bat. It has a pretty good learning curve.

I use Visio for most of my layouts. I did all the plans for my shed (ended up being a small house) in Visio and it helped out a lot. Based on the Visio diagrams I was able to figure out what I needed for lumber and see how it was going to be put together.

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post #8 of 8 Old 11-05-2010, 12:51 PM
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Visio is pretty easy to get started.

Available pretty cheaply, if you know someone at an academic institution.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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