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This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    Themed Forum Index -> Imagination Forum - Theme Park Attraction Design & Imagineering
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Joined: 28 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 5:02 am    Post subject: Degree Reply with quote

I have been seriously pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering, but I'm beginning to wonder if I'm better suited to something else. I love theming, and getting into detail. I also love coming up with ideas for rides (who doesn't Very Happy ) What's the best way to get into the detailed design work?

Posts: 154
(4/30/07 4:37 pm)
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New Post Re: Degree
Theatrical design... except that, if you don't make it into the themed design industry full-time, it's a pretty rough career financially... I think there are also interior designers in the industry and architects as well...

If you're *really* good at detail and enjoy it, you might find some contentment on the business side as a project manager, or some business-oriented field. It probably depends on the company, but for a smaller company, I've heard of project managers involved in the brainstorming sessions, and going on-site...

According to one site (imagineering.themedattrac...ge1.html), here are some of the career options at imagineering:

Accountants, Advanced Technology Researchers, Architects, Architectural Designers, Audio/Video Specialists and Engineers, CAD Specialists, Carpenters, Civil Engineers, Colorists, Computer Software Designers and Programmers, Conceptual Designers, Construction Managers, Contract Administrators, Cost Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Electronic and Electromechanical Assemblers, Environmental Designers and Space Planners, Exhibit Designers, Facility Designers and Space Planners, Financial Analysts, General Services Support, Graphic Designers, Human Resource Specialists, Illustrators, Industrial Designers, Industrial Engineers, Interior Designers, Landscape Architects, Librarians and Information Specialists, Lighting Designers, Local Area Network Administrators, Machinists, Materials Applications Designers, Material Planners, Mechanical Engineers, Model Builders, Optics and Projection Systems Engineers, Plastics Fabricators, Producers, Production Artists, Production Coordinators, Project Estimators, Project Managers, Project Planners, Project Schedulers, Prototype Developers, Quality Assurance Engineers, Scenic Artists, Screen Printers, Sculptors, Secretaries, Show Technology Designers, Show Set Designers, Special Effects Designers, Story and Copy Writers, Storyboard and Sketch Artists, Strategic Planners, Systems Engineers, Telecommunications Specialists, Tool and Die Makers

I would recommend finding something that you think you would enjoy doing... even an imagineer can hate their job if it's not matched to their temperament and talents!

Edited by: Holly3216 at: 5/2/07 4:56 pm
Posts: 69
(5/2/07 5:59 am)
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New Post Re: Degree The set design sounds interesting, but I can't draw! I have a more mathematical mind. Who is it that sits down and decides little stuff, like the stuff pressed into the pavement around Aladin's Magic Carpets in WDW?

Posts: 157
(5/2/07 8:06 am)
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New Post Re: Degree Ummm... I dunno... My guess would be that, since it is a "finish" of sorts that it may have been the art department, or it may have been someone on the architectural side... the colors and textures that go onto buildings are well-planned out... Sometimes designers will choose finishes from books, patronize companies with libraries of finish samples or order samples from websites... but at a larger firm, there may be people in charge of choosing furniture, railings, finishes, etc who aren't the original conceptual artists... at least, that would be my guess...

If no one here knows, you may be able to ask an architectural firm... When a building goes up, they often have an "architectural finishes board" that shows samples of all the finishes that will go on the floor, and walls, photos of furniture, lighting, etc. I'm not sure who makes those choices... but I know someone puts a lot of effort into those choices and into making the board to show the client what all the finishes look like together (and someone also has to make sure those finishes are within the budget constraints)... If you look at the cover of "The Architecture of Reassurance", there is an architectural draft of a Disney castle, with numbers that look suspiciously like architectural call-outs for finishes... there was probably a finish board associated with that drafting, and some other documentation to make sure everything got done correctly.

Anyone know some mathematically-based career fields that still let you help make a lot of the creative choices? I am stumped for the moment... I just haven't been around for long enough...

Edited by: Holly3216 at: 5/2/07 5:18 pm
Posts: 66
(5/8/07 6:57 pm)
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New Post lighting
Lighting Design. Lots and lots of math.

As for the general flow of things..

In the work i've done for theater (in college) you have the designer who first cranks out the concept. It goes through various phases of approval, then goes into fabrication. A technical director then begins to figure out how the make the design reality.

They ask what can I make this out of? What's the msot cost effective way? How many platforms? Etc..

The idea to match a design. The designer actually changes "concept art" or into workable renderings (same sort of idea as concept art, but with realistic underpinnings) and also elevations.

You can do elevations for props, chairs, everything. In some Disney design books you can find a drawing for a table at the contemporary resort.

From the designer and technical director, solid decisions are made. The table should be this tall, this wide, etc.

Then fabrication really starts. Some people are sent out to hunt down specific items. Buyers. They exists for costume, lights, scenic, everything. Their job is to buy what can be purchased. Like on a costume design, if the swatch is just a pink bit of flanel, they go out and buy the needed amount of pink flanel. Matching the design is the goal.

The better designer you are, the easier it is to send your design off to someone and ahv it fabricated exactly as you want it. Designers provide the details. Anything not provided? That becomes the TD and other areas jobs to figure out.

Does it matter what door handle is used? If not, then they use whatever they want - but usually someone up the line chooses. Show Director usually has the final say, and often the designer will be consulte dif these issues come up.

Over in lighting, if you're any good the hanging positions should be defined and the focus areas clearly spelled out and even notes on the intended effect. All gels, gobos, and other stuff should be right there in the paperwork.

Posts: 15
(5/10/07 5:32 pm)
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New Post Detail Design Who does the detail design (picking the type of carpet, etc) often depends on the size of the design firm. If you are an architect or interior designer working on your own, you'll decide everything yourself. From my (limited!) experience, in larger practices, a design will go through the concept stage, where the general design is put together and artistic visualisations done so everyone can get an idea of the proposed solution. These sketches will then be passed on to technical/detail designers, who will draw up all the technical drawings and at this stage all the materials and finishes are specified on the drawings. There will be a lot of collaboration between the concept and detail designers, but I think the detail designers are often left to choose what carpet or door handle (eg) to use.

Often, the company has built up a relationship with various contractors and they will choose the materials from these suppliers who they are already familiar with. But part of the job is to keep researching new materials and suppliers to work with.

If you enjoy working with computers and drawing up details, rather than coming up with ideas at the brainstorming stage, you could look into being a detail designer/cad draughtsman - you would be translating the concept designs into technical drawings, making up the drawings that will be used by the contractors to build whatever you're making!
You could get into this by studying something such as architecture, interior design, spatial design, exhibition design....

You may feel that you have no drawing/art abilities, but you really can develop these by putting in the practice. If you'd really like to get into design, don't be put off by thinking you lack skills - all skills can be learnt and it's coming up with ideas that is the real challenge. You could be the world's best artist, but if you have no new ideas, you'll get nowhere. So don't give up on the art side!

And on the maths side, engineering would be a great subject to study. Concept designers may come up with amazing ideas - but it's often engineers who they turn to when they want these ideas to become reality! Personally, I think coming into a design studio with strong maths/engineeing experience will help make you employable as you'll be bringing in skills that not many others have.

I hope that helps! Good luck! Smile


Posts: 158
(5/10/07 10:29 pm)
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New Post drawing Yeah... I have a friend who was in the industry who says that the designer doesn't have to be the best artist in the world... they just have to draw well enough to communicate. And when a theatrical design gets to the CAD/drafting stage, I find it to be kindof mechanical. At that point the artwork to sell the idea is often already done, and you are in the process of thinking logically how it all fits together, how to accomodate entrances, exits, firecodes... how spaces fit together... if the lines of sight are working... exactly how big should everything be in proportion to everything else? I think it takes someone who can think in detail to get a really good drafting out that will work well for the project... and there is definitely some math involved with drafting something correctly.
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