VectorWorks Designer used for set design in ‘Casino Royale’

To set the stage for all the high-stakes action and drama in the new James Bond film, “Casino Royale,” the film’s art director used VectorWorks Designer, produced by Nemetschek North America, to assist in the set design process.

Art director Steven Lawrence used the software to produce 2D drawings and site plans to help the production designer and director design the action that would take place in specific areas. Lawrence also used VectorWorks Designer to create 3D models of sets so the production team would have an idea of the set before arriving on location.

“Most art departments in the UK still draw with pencil and T-square and are skeptical of such a radical change,” Lawrence says. “But when they start to use a few of the tools within VectorWorks Designer and see how much more they can do and how much faster they can work, they’re blown away.”

Lawrence says using VectorWorks to design sets allowed him more speed and flexibility than drawing by hand. “VectorWorks has given me quite an edge in terms of production output,” Lawrence says. “Now I can spend a lot more time on the design than on figuring out the geometry or specifics, or redrawing requested changes.”

The set for the final sequence of “Casino Royale,” which takes place in a Venetian palace and was built on the biggest film stage in Europe, required high production output and interoperability during the design phase. Designed to move on all axes, the structure for the Venetian palace resembled a large, moving house with a collapsible lift shaft. To create the set, Lawrence incorporated some pencil drawings into VectorWorks and imported drawings from AutoCAD from outside contractors and AutoDesk Inventor from the special effects team.

“We had to create a very technical version of a sinking Venetian palace, and there was absolutely no way we could have pulled it off in such a short amount of time without VectorWorks,” Lawrence says.

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