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Augmented Reality Pre-visualization for Theatrical Design

This project aims to explore the use of AR (augmented reality) systems to create a pre- visualization system for theatrical set, lighting, and projection designs. In our current practice these designs are completed using Computer Assisted Drafting (CAD) software, specifically the application Vectorworks. This allows the creative team to plan, create, and iterate on the design before construction begins.

CAD is also used to show the design to directors and choreographers, however typically only in a 2-dimensional representation, or a 3-dimensional rendering on a screen. To better showcase the design in relation to the environment, sometimes scale models are built. Both of these approaches do not fully communicate the end result well, as they do not consider or communicate the actual scale and environment of the performance venue.

Through this project, we propose another approach: to utilize the existing workflow that designers are already using, and develop an AR (augmented reality) experience for a director or choreographer to better visualize the potential design in the actual space that it will be performed in.

Mock-up of the TheatrAR app in a theatre
Demo of the TheatAR app on an iPad