Creative Scotland

Production Design and Visualisation is a research project managed by Stageport with support from Creative Scotland. The project ran from April 2019 to December 2019.

Project Partners included Soluis, Spectrum Heritage, Tramway Theatre and National Theatre of Scotland.

The project had two main objectives.

Digitally survey and model Tramway Theatre and investigate how the resulting digital models and virtual tours could improve production design & planning and provide enhanced access information to audiences.

Develop a 3D digital environment that reflected the design of a new production by National Theatre of Scotland and investigate how this content could be published to provide new audience engagement opportunities.

Key Questions Included

What are the costs and benefits of capturing and modelling venues using digital surveying technology?

What are the costs and benefits of digitising production design content?

What are the benefits and drawbacks of publishing preview content and performance archives?

What are the foreseeable IP and licensing implications for producers and designers when digital archives are published?

Main Motivations for the project 

Remove Barriers
Performing arts organisations face significant barriers to digital innovation such as cost, time, knowledge and finance. This project aimed to break down these barriers through high quality collaborative work.

Build New Connections
Like every other sector, the arts must adapt to rapidly evolving digital technology and learn to exploit the opportunities presented by increased connectivity.

Increase Return On Investment
Staging performances is an expensive business with ever increasing up-front costs.
The project aimed to understand how producers can create additional value and extend audience engagement from digital archives linked to their live shows.


The project involved three main technology strands:

Digital Design
Develop 3D digital environments from design references provided by production designer Nick Millar and create content that NTS could use for audience engagement.

Capture a digital copy of the model box, and incorporate the model into the digital design and make a version available to the producer for online audience engagement.

Digital Surveying
Capture Tramway using Lidar scanning technology and develop accurate models, CAD and Visualizations that can be accessed by venue staff, visiting companies, suppliers and audiences. 


Key Observations

Digital Surveying

 Digitally surveying venues provides valuable data that can be used to create accurate 3D CAD models that provide a range of downstream benefits for venues, visiting companies, designers and suppliers. 

 3D models created from the survey data were compatible with a range of industry standard CAD software, such as Vectorworks, Sketch Up and Autocad and 3DS Max. 


Designers and Artists who use traditional design methods such as physical  models, could use photogrammetry to create digital archives of their work

Digitally archiving design content, such as model boxes, set and costumes,  creates valuable opportunities for education and research as well as for audience engagement.  

Digital Design

Designers and creative teams are concerned that digitising their work risks devaluing the artistic process and makes plagiarism more likely.

Publishing digital preview content to drive sales, needs to be balanced with maintaining the integrity of the artistic process, and protecting the relationship between artists and producers.

Digitally archiving productions is an easier point of entry for the sector compared to publishing preview content.

In the event that digital archives are widely adopted in future, IP and Licensing agreements between publishers, designers and producers will need revised

Full Report Available here: