There are two main types of flats, the traditional type covered with a soft material such as muslin or canvas, and an alternate type that has a hard plywood covering. The two different approaches are called soft, and hardcovered flats respectively. Hardcovered flats are often called TV or Hollywood flats because they are used in those industries. In either case, any kind of flat is constructed around a framework that delineates the outside profile and that provides enough internal support to maintain the structural integrity of the flat. This structure, usually unseen by the audience, is called the framing.

The basic rationale behind building flats is to provide a lightweight structure with a surface that represents ...

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