Designing a dedicated studio. Any advice greatly appreciated!

Hi guys, I've been given some land to build on, and over the next two years I want to build a dedicated stopmotion animation studio, in Taranaki, New Zealand.

The land I've been given restricts me to a build of 14m x 8.4 m. And my budget restricts me to a wooden pole shed (see design below), walls are plywood (note, there will be more horizontal studs, just haven't added them to the model yet):

I will change the position of the doors, I think, as having the most used door (the small one) smack bang in the middle kills a lot of useful wall space.

Because of the pole positions, it would allow me to add a mezzanine floor of 2.4m wide, and up to 14m long (in 4.6m increments). 

The studio needs to be 100% self contained, so it needs:

  • workshop space
  • Painting booth
  • Animation stages
  • edit/sound suite/dialoge recording room (thought maybe to make these all in one, then put the server rack outside of the room for sound reasons).
  • Office for my partner to do her photoshop work in (tiny office, like 140cm x 180cm or something)
  • Toilet
  • Anything I've missed?

I want to be able to work on multiple projects at once in the space, as I have a few personal projects I'd like to do that will take years, but also need to do music vids/ commercial work to pay the bills.

How big are those animation stages usually? The ones curtained off with black Duvetyne? I was thinking maybe one big stage on the far right side, and then a few small stages that are 2.4 x 2.4 meters. Theoretically, stages would be adaptable and changeable, but would prefer semi permanent at least, just for convenience sakes.

Other than lining the edit/sound suite, can I get away with not lining/ insulating the rest of the building? Or will the temperature variations mess too much with my animation stages and sets?

Here are some thoughts I had:

The design will develop a lot over the next few months, I'm sure, but would love some input to get the ball rolling. I've only ever used my own, very small, animation studio. So this is a HUGE step for me.

Thanks!

Harrie

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Your floor plan is looking great! Having a separate workshop and potentially mold making area is hugely beneficial. It'll get a lot of the mess and dust far away from your sets and puppets. I can remember soo many headaches when I had my stop-motion space in the same room as a metal and wood shop.. And with the stage area dedicated to solely animation stage(s) I don't think the size of the stage area should be too worrisome at all. Depending of course on how big your sets will be and if you have multiple stages setup at once.

My only concern would be the ceiling height. I have a 2.5m ceiling in my studio, and have found that it's quite difficult to hang film lights over a set (on a standard lighting grid) without compromising vertical height of the set. As a result, for larger sets I've had to use ~500cm high stages, which doesn't do much good for my back ... Most of my larger lighting is now on stands, with only small pinspots and par16 cans on the ceiling grid. So it is doable, but certainly a compromise to be made.

Thanks Ethan!

Yeah, ceiling height was a concern. However, it was a very calculated compromise. At the heigh end (the one adjoined to the workshop) it's 3m, and the slope to 2.4 is over a 5.5m span, so it should be OK I think.

I light primarily using par16 cans, and will be adding a few fresnels with a maximum wattage of 500w. Not sure if I'll go ceiling grid, may end up getting some scaffolding instead to make the space more modular. But even still, I think the sloped ceiling (painted black for reflection control) ought to help.

I've just finalized the design. I decided to have rolling storage, instead of fixed storage, again - for modularity. But yeah, I'mm 99.9% happy with the design now.

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