I started a thread a while back about the idea of using Visio to create lighting diagrams.
I want/wanted to do this because I like Visio and have used it for, geeze, 12+ years now. Still I kinda stink at creating graphics on my own. And in a very ugly way, so I was hunting pre-created stencil sets for photography. I found nothing at all. Bummer...still I was/am going to take a shot at it...
In that thread bsmotril mentioned using Google Sketchup. I have used GSU for designing furniture as well as when I built mt deck and added a pergola style top to it...I loved how easy it is to use and amazed at the power it offers. But without thinking about the suggestion I figured if I had to create shapes I would rather use visio since there are many features beyond just the diagrams. One being linking a diagram to a datasource would allow creating an equipment list for a given project with a mouse click. To me that would be really helpful to make sure nothing is left out.
But today I was just checking GSU to see if it was time for an update, it dawned on me that creating true 3-D lighting diagrams would be a GREAT application of GSU. You could get a birds eye view of what a setup should look like from pretty much any angle.
To that end I did a search and found this wonderful video on using your photos to actually create 3-D objects in a GSU drawing. How fun would it be to create a 3-D pano type shot just for a fun rainy day project. And do this with a free tool and your photos. Here is the video:
That video is LONG, about 1.5hrs. But he goes through the whole process of using your photos to create and use objects in a diagram as "faces" for each structure. It's really interesting to me. The guy is, well, kinda dry but he does get the info across and knows what he's doing well enough to get a person started.
My thought would be to simply take photos of the items you use in your shooting. You know, lenses, bodies, lights, flashes, backdrops, stands, poles, whatever...if you can create 3-D objects/projections of your 2-D photos...all using a completely free tool. I think that is about as cool as it gets.
BTW, about 1:15 into the video they talk about adding objects into a scene, so it will work. COOL!!
I would guess it's possible to create a series of 3-D objects of all your gear then add those to your model of a basic room or the area you will be working. A nice advantage here is it can be done to scale and retain most of the perspective. And it can be rotated as need be if you are not sure you have things positioned just right.
Anyway, I might not have time to play with the idea right now, but wanted to pass it along. If enough folks like the idea, it would be fun to create an open source style collection of objects for anyone to use.
At the least it might be fun to take your shots and make some 3-D models from them. I am sure there must be a PS plug-in for doing something similar, but since it has the names Adobe, Photoshop and photography it will likely be $1000+. Thus locking the hobbyist out as seems the standard operating mode. Google at least provides a very sophisticated, though a basic tool for it's class, application the hobbyist and pro alike can get some creative us out of...