The image on the cover is a preview of some of the elements that will grace the Department of Theatre and Drama's production of Dancing at Lughnasa, which opens at the University Theatre on October 7, 1994. The image was created to demonstrate how the production might appear under lights and was shown to the director and the other designers involved in the production during the spring semester. It is one of a series of pictures produced by the lighting designer of the production, Rob Ward, under the supervision of lighting designer Robert Shakespeare.

Robert Shakespeare (right), Associate Professor of Theatre and Drama and Director of the Theatre Computer Visualization Center, Indiana University Bloomington, and Rob Ward, M.F.A. Lighting Design Student and TCVC Research Assistant.

Shakespeare and Ward are shown working on the data set that produced the image at the Theatre Computer Visualization Center (TCVC). The measured photometry of stage lighting luminaires are simulated in their locations in the University Theatre. Their lighting distribution, colors, and intensities were then applied to a three-dimensional computer model of the actors and set using Lytplot, which was created by Shakespeare. This data was then rendered in the raytracer Radiance, developed by Greg Ward from Lawrence Berkeley Labs. The TCVC Silicon Graphic Indigo 4000 provided the computing power to render the 32-bit color image. The use of light-accurate computer visualizations to explore the ideas of the theatre production team, months in advance of realization, has proved to be an exciting concept development tool. Under the direction of Shakespeare, TCVC is a leading influence in the field of merging research software with real-world design applications in the lighting design and entertainment areas. In the near future TCVC will be exploring the capabilities of lighting simulation software created under the guidance of Peter Shirley, assistant professor of computer science, Indiana University Bloomington. Shakespeare is currently developing software tools that will link the lighting data previewed in simulated imagery directly to the technology of the theatre.

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