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Thread: Learning to see in 3D

  1. #1
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    Learning to see in 3D

    I hope this is the right place for this, sorry if it's not.

    I read everywhere that it is key to learn to see everything around you in 3D in order to understand shapes and how to draw them, I see people drawing faces built from planes etc...

    But how do I go about teaching this to myself? I mean, I could go ahead and draw planes on a face to teach myself how the human face curves and stuff, but I doubt I would be doing it right...

    Thanks for every answer in advance!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cranberry View Post
    I could go ahead and draw planes on a face to teach myself how the human face curves and stuff, but I doubt I would be doing it right...
    You're wrong. That is a great place to start.
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    a great place to start would be to practice drawing basic shapes from as many views as possible. do pages of just cubes, cylinders, etc to get the feel of perspective and forshortening.

    i would also suggest taking an everyday object and doing studies of it from different views. place it in multiple angles and observe the forms, if you do it from life youll learn alot. then slowly work up to more complex forms like the human head and figure
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  7. #4
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    exactly what they say above. don't be afraid, just draw, and you'll start to understand soon enough. maybe take a book like the loomis, or bridgman one, that seems to be very helpful.
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    Thanks everyone for the replies!

    Very busy period for school atm and exams are coming up as well so I do NOT get to draw as much as I'd wish to but when all is done I'm getting back into it.
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    study perspective.
    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
    -John Huston, Director
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    structural drawings of objects and figures helped me tremendously. Draw from life, and focus on the 3D form rather than shading. I also found structural drawings help me see 3D in photos better.

    here's an example of a structural drawing of a human I found online. It's not the best example but it's the first one I could find. You should aim to have less shading than this. But the cut-through lines across the form are essential.

    Learning to see in 3D

    You could start from simple still life like an apple or a box, and go from there - TV, game controllers, hands, figure... It might be a bit weird to begin with, and forcing yourself to not focusing on surface textures and lighting might be difficult, but it's well worth the effort in the end.
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    Can't you see in 3D?

    Only have one eye?
    Last edited by George Abraham; January 13th, 2010 at 08:42 AM.
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    Scetchbook: View the exhibitionist's stuff.
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    What helped me a bit at the beginning was drawing simple still lifes as if they were made out of glass and I mean by that including the other edges that are not visible (full ellipses in jar/bottle, other sides of the box). Also cut-through lines across the form for more complex objects. Nightblue mentioned those already. In first stages the transparent/wireframe "mode" can be draw lightly and then you can put strong lines where the contours on form create external silhouette.

    This exercise is not about making nice drawing but showing the form by revealing to the viewer the process of how it's constructed.
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    Another way I've been told but have not yet tried is to start getting into sculpting and some say specifically the skeletal structure.
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    sculpting is by far the best way to start really seeing 3D. It worked for Michaelangelo.
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    Sculpting is great fun, everyone should make a lumpy clay copy of their pals head at least once.

    It's like 3D in that "not essential but kinda fun" way..
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    Definitely just constantly observing and doing studies of objects, will help with realizing form in a mentally tangible manner.

    Cross-contour drawing might help a bit with realizing form, which is essentially just drawing lines across objects, that follow the form. It's like painting everything in your room white and then painting thin black parallel lines over everything... and then drawing that room from life. The end result should look like something CG wireframe images. Cross-contour is a very physical way of drawing, in the sense that one skims the surface of the object being drawn, almost as one would if they drew on the object directly.
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