Unit of competency details

CUESCE07B - Create special effects for scenic art (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 11/Nov/2010

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUASCE401 - Create special effects for scenic artUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. 20/Nov/2013
Supersedes and is equivalent to CUESCE07A - Create special effects for scenic artUpdated and equivalent 13/Nov/2010

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100103 Drama And Theatre Studies  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100103 Drama And Theatre Studies  28/Apr/2009 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to use a range of advanced techniques to create special effects for scenic art.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

Scenic artists, painters and set making staff apply the skills and knowledge outlined in this unit. Generally they work as members of set construction crews under the supervision of a workshop manager.

They are responsible for painting a range of visual effects such as specific textures and trompe l'oeil. They require a good understanding of scenic art processes, as well as an appreciation of artistic criteria.

This unit has linkages to a range of other scenic art units and combined assessment and/or training with those units may be appropriate.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Assess the need for the creation of special effects

1.1. Liaise with relevant colleagues to confirm the need for special effects  scenic art

1.2. Read and correctly interpret production schedules, specifications, lists and scale drawings when available

1.3. Assess the need for the use of various special effects based on review of requirements and in consultation with relevant colleagues 

1.4. Correctly identify any budgetary or other constraints

2. Test techniques to create special effects

2.1. Identify possible approaches to achieve the effect required and establish criteria for the selection of the final approach

2.2. Conduct appropriate research  on different approaches and techniques

2.3. Select appropriate tools and equipment  for the testing of approaches and techniques

2.4. Test and experiment with a range of techniques and materials which might achieve the effect

2.5. Evaluate testing processes against selection criteria and select the preferred approach based on production requirements

2.6. Communicate and consult with relevant production personnel on special effects options

2.7. Accurately document the selected process, including records of required materials and equipment

3. Produce special effects scenic art

3.1. Select correct tools, equipment and materials in accordance with size/scale requirements

3.2. Calculate correct quantities of materials, avoiding wastage where possible

3.3. Use the selected techniques to produce scenic art 

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • communication skills required to liaise with other production personnel on scenic art requirements
  • literacy skills sufficient to interpret production documentation and conduct research into special effects
  • numeracy skills sufficient to calculate quantities

Required knowledge 

  • broad knowledge of the range of special effects which can be achieved in scenic art
  • techniques for the achievement of different types of special effect, including relevant tools, materials and equipment
  • safety and environmental issues and legislation associated with materials and equipment used to create effects

Evidence Guide


The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

The following evidence is critical to the judgement of competence in this unit:

  • knowledge of a range of techniques which can be used to create different effects
  • ability to apply techniques to achieve the desired special effect.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

The assessment context must provide for:

  • practical demonstration of skills through the production of scenic art which requires the achievement of a special effect
  • interaction with others to reflect the collaborative nature of the process.

Method of assessment 

Assessment may incorporate a range of methods to assess performance and the application of essential underpinning knowledge, and might include:

  • direct observation of the candidate using techniques to achieve special effects
  • evaluation of scenic art pieces created by the candidate
  • oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of techniques, materials and equipment
  • review of portfolios of evidence and third party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate.

Guidance information for assessment 

Assessment of this unit requires access to:

  • painting materials, tools and equipment commonly used to create special effects for scenic art
  • a workspace in which scenic art can be produced.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Special effects  may include:

  • particular textures
  • trompe l'oeil

Relevant colleagues  may include:

  • designers
  • other scenic artists
  • stage carpenters
  • technicians

Appropriate research  sources may include:

  • historical data
  • Internet
  • previous productions
  • references and texts
  • work of other artists

Scenic art equipment  may include:

  • brushes
  • charcoal sticks
  • conversion tables
  • cutting boards and tables
  • dyeing facilities
  • glue guns
  • graining combs
  • hammers
  • hopper gun
  • measuring tapes
  • rollers
  • scissors and cutters
  • sponges
  • spray guns
  • stamps
  • tacks
  • tools, e.g. wire cutters, hammers, pliers

Scenic art  may include:

  • back drops
  • cycloramas
  • drops
  • flats
  • flooring and floor cladding
  • flown pieces
  • large props, e.g.: furniture
  • rakes
  • rostra
  • scaffolding
  • soft drapes
  • stairs
  • treads

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Competency field

Competency field 

Visual communication - scenic art

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

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