Florim<code>é</code>ne:</I> How the Drawings were Made

Florimène at the Court of Charles I


Florimène: How the drawings were developed

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Digitizers, Scanners and Old-fashioned Dividers

In 1988, when the Florimène project began, scanners were something of a novelty. Moreover, digitizers lacked the necessary precision for the work which needed doing.

Since it was important that students be able to manipulate drawings with ease it was clear that the drawings for the project had to be developed as vector rather than bit-mapped images.

Initially, we attempted to digitize drawings from copies of the originals. Since this could not yield the necessary precision the dimensions of Whitehall and the theatre built by Inigo Jones were transferred via manual entry, using dividers, from copies of the drawings directly into Generic Cadd, a 2D drafting program. From these a scale was created to enable researchers to develop additional dimensions.

In this manner, computer drawings of the Great Hall in Whitehall and the plan and section of Jones' theatre were created.

"3D" from Two-Dimensional Drawings

In 1988-89 there were very few 3D Cadd programs available, and none that we could afford. Student Betsy Byng hit upon the idea of duplicating the section of the stage and positioning the duplicate above and to the left of the original to create a "faux three-dimensional" drawing. Working from her redrawing of the section, Ms Byng developed a faux-3D view of the stage looking from stage left. This, and other instances in which this technique was employed, enabled students working through the tutorial better to understand the drawings at which they were looking.

Combining Views

Yet another technique developed in this project was the combining of plan and elevation to help students conceptualize from the drawings. The idea came from one of the Florimène drawings itself: John Webb's drawing of the plan and elevation of Serlian wings used in the production.

In a new drawing, Betsy Byng's redrawing of the theatre section is combined with Webb's plan of the Serlian wings to illustrate the placement of the wings, backshutters and relief scenes on the stage platform.

Jack Wolcott

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