GETTING STARTED WITH STAGEWRITE:
To add a production, just hit the 'add' button on the Production list. Enter the name of the production and hit 'add'. This will take you to Production Details menu.
Here you can enter or edit the name of the production, list the names of the creators of the show, enter the production date, import the show logo, and choose your cover page style.
To import the show logo, simply hit 'select image' and then scroll through the images from your photo gallery or from your itunes shared file. This logo will appear at the bottom of each chart in your production.
In order to begin editing charts, you MUST first set the dimensions of your stage/playing space. Choose either feet or metres for your project, then enter the width of the stage, depth of the stage, and enter the offstage depth, too. I recommend creating some 'offstage space' so you can line up the performers before they enter, show positions for costume changes, etc.
*Note: Stage dimensions and units cannot be changed after the permanent layer has been set up and scenes have been created.
Edit Permanent Stage:
Once you have set the dimensions of your stage, you can now draw any permanent elements of your stage. You can draw any structural elements that never move during your production - and will show up on every chart. For example, you can draw the proscenium arch, wings, and any other permanent elements that you want displayed on every chart in your production.
Now you can draw any set pieces, or palettes, that you will use in your show. You can also choose to import the drawings from the designer if you prefer. These pieces will hold in the 'wings' until you want them onstage.
Draw New Set Piece:
To draw a new set piece, hit the 'new' button. This will bring up the 'set piece lab' in which you can draw your set piece. Enter the name of the piece (i.e. bedroom pallate), and the dimension of the palette.
You can draw shapes and add text by hitting the 'add shape/text' button, which will allow you to draw squares, rectangles, circles, ovals, triangles, arcs, lines, arrows, curtains, and customized lines and curved lines and arrows. Choose the item you want to add to the set piece and it will appear in the lab and you can re-size the item by dragging the upper right corner of the object. Then you can move the object into the right position and the correct scale.
You can also use some of the pre-set set pieces in the StageWrite catalogue of chairs, benches, couches, stairs, instruments, tables, or use pieces that you have previously imported.
Note: Once the set piece has been placed onto a chart, the dimensions cannot be changed. If you wish to change the dimensions, you can simply delete it from the charts and re-edit the piece.
Import set piece:
You can easily import any design into the set piece list by selecting 'import', which will bring up the 'Import Set Piece' menu. Here you can select the image you want to import by tapping 'Select Image'. Then choose the image you want to import from 'ITunes Share' or 'Photo Gallery'. Then be sure to give the image a name and enter the dimensions of the piece. That way the imported image will remain the same on every page. Once you have selected the image, named it and entered the dimensions, tap 'Save' to add it to the saved list of set pieces.
Easily create unique performer icons by tapping the '+' button, which will bring up the 'New Performer' menu. On this menu, you can enter the Performer Name.
Enter the text you want to appear inside the icon. Note: It's useful to keep this text short or abbreviated so that you will be able to read the text when you enter the information on the chart.
Re-size the Text: Using the slider, easily adjust how you want the icon label to fill the shape.
Choose the Shape: Choose square, circle, or diamond shape for actor icons.
Choose Shape/Border/Text Color: Select color for shape, border, and text.
Edit the Icon: Once you have entered the information, you can tap 'save' which will save the actor icon and add them to the 'green room' for when you need them on stage. If you decide you want to adjust the icon later, you can always change the icon. For example, if you ever replace an actor in the show, you can easily re-name the icon and the new icon will appear on every chart in the show.
In order to create any charts, you must have at least ONE scene. By tapping the '+' button, you can enter the name of the scene or number. You can also re-order or delete the scenes by pressing 'edit' button.
You can select how you'd like your charts to appear by choosing to turn 'on' or 'off' the number line, the center line, the vertical grid lines, the horizontal grid lines, and actor placement indicator.
You can also choose to have 'automatic' chart numbering (i.e. 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.1, 2.2, etc.) or 'manual' chart numbering if you prefer to have another numbering system.
You can also choose to view the charts from the point of view of the audience/director or from the point of view of the performers.
START CREATING CHARTS:
Once you've created your stage, scene list, and actor icons, you're ready to begin making your charts. Press 'Done' and get started!
On the left side of the screen, you'll see a ‘drawer’, which features the name of the production at the top, and under it you will see the scene list. To begin creating/editing charts for any scene, tap on the scene and thumbnails of any created charts will show up. You can scroll up/down this list of chart thumbnails to begin editing. If you are creating your first chart, you will see a thumbnail that says 'No Charts'. Note: This drawer can be easily hidden by tapping on the "<" button in the center of the drawer. To bring it back out, tap again.
Add Blank Chart:
To begin editing a chart, press the "+" button at the top menu bar. Then, select 'Add Blank Chart'. You will see the chart thumbnail show up on the drawer with the default chart number (i.e. 1.1). On the actual chart, which fills the entire screen, you will see the chart number in the lower right corner. Above that is the 'cue line'. Tap in the box to enter the cue line or the name of that particular moment which that chart will represent. For example, it could be a line in quotes ("Where are you going?") or the name of the section (Start of the Grand Waltz). At the center is the logo you have imported into the show. At the lower left corner is the name of the scene (from the scene list you created earlier.
Now that you've added a chart, you can begin to edit the chart.
Every chart has three layers. 1) A Permanent Layer. 2) Scenic Layer and 3) Actor layer. In order to begin editing, you MUST select one of the layers.
Permanent Layer: (bottom layer)
The permanent layer appears on every chart. To edit this layer, you go to the 'Stage Dimensions' menu.
Scenic Layer: (middle layer)
Activate the 'scenic layer' by pressing the 'double layer' icon (looks like two sheets of paper). On this layer you can:
Draw shapes, lines or add set pieces from the StageWrite catalogue, saved or imported set pieces. You can also insert text boxes.
Actor Layer: (top layer)
Activate the 'actor layer' by pressing the 'triple layer' icon (looks like three sheets of stacked papers). On this layer you can:
Add Performer Icons to the Stage:
Tap the drawer on the right of the screen or the 'performer' icon at the top to reveal the 'Green Room drawer' into view. To add a performer to the stage, tap the icon of the performer you want ot stage and they will appear center stage. A 'shadow' of the performer will appear in the greenroom. Then, drag the actor into their position on stage. You will notice that the floating actor placement number above the icon appears on top of the icon and automatically adjusts according to the position (stage right or left).
Draw shapes, lines, arrows, add set pieces:
You can add shapes, set pieces, arrows, and lines to this layer.
Note: Even though you CAN add set pieces to this layer, it is recommended to keep the set pieces and actors on separate layers. This will prevent you from inadvertently dragging a set piece as you try to drag an actor to a new position.
Add Text Box/Notes:
Tap the 'Text Box' Button to add a text box, in which you can enter details about the production, then re-size and drag the box to any place on the chart. You can also choose to record 'notes' which will appear at the top of the chart. You can hide or show the notes.
CREATE DUPLICATE CHARTS:
Once you've created your first chart and you want to create the next chart, touch the '+' button on the top menu. This time select add 'Duplicate Chart', which will add an exact duplicate of the last chart, except that it will have a unique chart number. Because most things won't move drastically from one chart to the next, this will free you up from re-creating the scenery and re-adding all of the actors, and will save you a lot of time. Continue to drag the actors to their new positions, draw the actor pathways and traffic, enter notes, add text boxes, etc. for the rest of the show. You can create as many charts as you want.
SCROLLING THROUGH PROJECT:
Press the 'lock' icon at the menu bar to lock the project from being edited. In this mode, you can swipe with one finger forward and backward through the entire show without having to worry about inadvertently editing any of the charts.
By tapping the 'magnifying glass' icon, you can use the slider, which appears to zoom into or away from the stage. This is ideal for larger stages like football stadium playing spaces. In order to be able to edit the actors, which remain in 'scale' it's recommended to 'zoom in' so you can edit the icons more accurately. Once you have 'zoomed in' you can then drag yourself around the playing space by using TWO FINGERS until you get to the element you want to edit. Then, you can easily zoom out to see the edit.
Square, Circle, Triangle, Arc:
By tapping the shape icon, the shape appears center stage. You can re-size the shape by dragging the upper right corner of the icon, or move the entire shape by dragging from the center of the object.
Add a jointed line or arrow by tapping the jointed line (or arrow) icon. A triple jointed line will appear center stage. The joints are each indicated by a circle around the joint. To add a new joint to the line, simply tap-hold anywhere on the stage to add a new point. You can also drag any of the joints to any place on the stage. Once you are happy with the jointed line, tap 'Done' and the line/arrow will be saved as an individual shape. You can rotate it now as an object or re-edit the joints by tapping the 'triple joint' icon at the top menu bar.
Same as jointed lines/arrows.
Rotate any object by tapping the 'rotate icon' in the top menu. The rotate tool will appear on the stage. You can press any of the rotation keys (0, +1, +10, +90, -90, -10, -1) to rotate the object by the according degrees. To return it to the original, press 0.
SEND TO BACK:
Sometimes you have many objects layered on top of each other. In order to select an object that might be underneath a more recently added object, press the 'send to back' icon until you can access the object you want to select.
To delete any object, press the 'X' button in the main menu. Whatever object you have selected will be deleted. If it is an actor icon that is selected, the actor icon will return to the green room until you need them again.
Your charts are automatically saved as you go - no need to continually save. It is recommended to back up your charts by syncing your ipad to your laptop. Each time you sync, the most current production is saved in a back-up file.
You can save a production as a 'save as' in order to create a duplicate project with a different name. This is ideal for the 'First National Tour' where the show mostly remains the same, but you want to re-name all of the performers, or make other adjustments. This will add a duplicate of the project under a different name so you can begin to edit the new production without having to re-create the project from scratch.
If you want to share your charts with others, you can press the 'share' icon from which you will create a PDF file of either the 'entire production', 'current scene', or the 'current chart'. Then, select whether you want to 'print' directly from your ipad, or send the file via email. From there, you can print the charts, insert them into your script, etc.
Pressing the 'settings' icon will allow you to go back and adjust any of the production details for your production at any time.