Over the past twenty years FDA has developed exceptionally sophisticated proprietary software tools to speed the development process and facilitate collaboration with Architects, Acousticians and Owners. We call this software Extreme Sightlines©, because it considers views from the most extreme seats off to the side as well as from the center of the room. Extreme Sightlines© uses the powerful numerical engine of Excel and couples it directly into the drafting tools of AutoCAD. Based on detailed sightline criteria, acoustical considerations, and code parameters, the software outputs 2D drawings or 3D models in real time allowing dozens of alternatives to be considered during the course of a meeting with our collaborators.
We can manipulate various parameters, such as:
- adding or subtracting rows
- changing the row depth
- changing the number of balconies
- changing the radius of any balcony
- moving those balconies in relation to the stage and to each other
- changing the depth of the orchestra pit
- changing the room width
- raising or lowering the proscenium height or changing the width
- altering acoustical requirements, such as balcony overhang and aperture
- as well as many other variables
These manipulations can be made easily, with the software maintaining applicable code compliance. This tool -- unique in the industry -- has greatly increased the speed at which an initial room concept and shape can be agreed upon and further developed by a design team.
Three Dimensional Modeling
FDA also uses 3D models to evaluate sightlines and manipulate room geometry. The powerful software tools we have developed allow us to transform a few basic sightline parameters directly into a 3D AutoCAD model with just a few clicks of the mouse. Additional software tools then allow us to "sit" in the virtual seats we have created and look around the room. This technique allows us to identify and fix potential problems as well as giving the design team a firsthand look inside the new theatre.
Multiple iterations of the model with different parameters can be generated quickly and efficiently. These models allow the design team to present easy to evaluate illustrative renderings to stakeholders and make informed decisions quickly.Some clients have used our 3D model as a basis for fund-raising, marketing, and ticket sales systems allowing patrons or donors to see the views from their seat well before the first shovelful of dirt has been overturned.