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  1. #1
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    When people refer to line of construction or composition ?!?! What are ?

    I admit to have asked this already on other 2 forums by mean of a friend, but i got few success in getting feedback.

    In the image below you can see there are these red lines, someone refers to these, as lines of costruction ( or lines of composition ? ) to ceck if the composition structure of the scene was correct. My question could sound pretty stupid, but what about these, how can i menage and use them ... how should they be traced and considered in building a good composition ? Do you use them ?

    http://pedrotoledo.com.br/imagemforu...ull%5b2%5d.jpg

    The image if taken from one of the last amazing works by Antropus on CgTalk.


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  3. #2
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    I'm not all that sure, since I haven't used them much, but I'll give explaining a try

    If you look at the lines in red, at some point every one of them intersects with a line in the picture, either along an object (an arm maybe) or from one object to another related object (eg the right foot to the left knee). If you have a look at the points where large numbers of them cross you'll notice the main crossings are the head, the middle of the torso and between the feet. This usually brings focus to that point, and since the figure is supposed to be good is quite a good composition.

    I'm not sure, but it might be that several large crossings causes a lack of focus because the focus becomes split between these points. Then again, it might be that the crossing points bring focus to the figure and some other factor focuses it on a particular part of the figure which is importang (eg the face)

    I've not been drawing for that long, so I could be wrong. maybe someone else could correct any mistakes I've made? (I've been curious about this too, but havent worked it out yet)

    EDIT: Oh, and it could also be referring to the technique of using lines from one object to another in order to draw more accurately. It helps you position elements of the drawing which aren't directly connected better. Also helps get angles accurate (I doubt it's this though, their's a few too many lines for it)
    Last edited by Big-Dave; April 19th, 2004 at 11:58 AM.

  4. #3
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    From my understanding, the lines actually refer to how the image is split up into sections.

    Any drawing, sketch, painting, 3d image, etc. can be devided by these lines of composition/construction.

    First, you draw an "X" that goes from corner to corner of the image, this will define your centerpoint.

    Second, you split the screen into thirds, this will separate the upper, middle and lower sections.

    Then you find the center point in each third, draw an "X" from each section's corner, you should have 3 even "X"'s across your screen, and one big "X" sharing the centerpoint with the middle section.

    Now you "X" off the top two thirds, and the bottom two thirds. This will help define the body and head spaces.

    Then you find the "head point" and place a dot there. Then you join the lower two corners with intercecting lines that cross only at that point... And you have the lines on that picture...

    Personally, I'm not in favour of using this method to "strictly" lay out an image, as it centers everything like an unprofessional "Friends 4 eva" Highschool Girl Photo. But it's good for determining where to place everything and balance it out...

    -=(v)=-
    Art calls for complete mastery of techniques, developed by reflection within the soul. - Bruce Lee

  5. #4
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    I thank you boeth for your feedback, i was really losing the hope, the last doubt left after the first reply were then solved by the second .
    Big-Dave i dont know which technique you exactly refer about drawing objs more accurately, in particular your reference to angles, but i dont think it was done for drawing purposes, those lines were a sort of plus added by an user to the work of this artist, just to ceck if the artist composition's structure was ok.
    Firewalker, your X splittings are clear , but what about if i want to achieve a different pose not so conventional, all the lines would be off then ... in the plumber case the one on the head is already a bit off, but rendering a whole different pose all the elements would be off balance. About determining balance in compositions, which method do you use ?

  6. #5
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    I actually like this little thing I learned...

    Almost everything in art is divisible by 3... Colours that are separated by 30 degrees will always work. Proportions that are separated by thirds will always fit, and other such neat quirks. These techniques have been used for almost the entire life of art...

    My suggestion is one that many comic artists use to lay out their character designs and other such things of comic-esque nature.

    The following quote is taken from this page:

    http://www.methart.com/tutorials/thirds.html

    RULE OF THIRDS:
    The Method Way


    The rule of thirds is a method when used to frame a composition properly.

    Everything you see in a frame needs to be composed along the lines of the rule of thirds. The 4 intersection points are the areas where the eye should be drawn, but not all at one time mind you. These intersection points are where you place your point of interest for optimal composition.

    The lines themselves can be used in the rule as well. The horizon line can seem boring and static if it runs directly through the middle of the frame. By adjusting the horizon line to one of the 2 horizontal lines, you can create a more visually appealing frame.
    This is the most basic run down of the concept I could find... It can get more complex and in-depth, but I'm no technical writer, so It's probably best if you research "Rule of Thirds" on google... You'd probably find some really in-depth articles/tutorials on this...

    I hope this helps...

    EDIT: I know it's a photography page, but you might want to check this page out as it refers to composition and how to balance an image using the rule of thirds' primary applications:

    http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQueri...q-locale=en_US

    You might also want to take a look at the Golden Mean/Fabonacci's numbers for help with your compositional issues... I managed to find this site about such things...

    http://www.mcs.surrey.ac.uk/Personal.../fibInArt.html

    I hope this stuff helps as well!

    -=(v)=-
    Last edited by Firewalker; April 20th, 2004 at 02:09 AM.
    Art calls for complete mastery of techniques, developed by reflection within the soul. - Bruce Lee

  7. #6
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    I had a painting teacher who was fond of the rule of thirds. It's definately worth looking up (in fact I should probably read up more on it myself :p)

    hard_pillow: I didn't think that'd be what you meant, but I thought I'd throw it in just in case. Trying to clarify, its measuring the angle of a line drawn from one point on the object being drawn to the next and using that to copy it onto paper. It's like a less rigid form of measured drawing

  8. #7
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    Wow thank you again for your rich feedback guys, at first sight i haven't so clear the rule of the thirds, i mean, i understand your words, but in this case the whole rule seems a little too much fixed ... not suitable for many of the situations which come to my mind, althought i will give a deep look at the urls you provided because i am sure to haven't understood exactly what you meant thanks. About the Fibonacci, i dont know if is the same, i remember a little about this, although i heard that many people had strong criticisms against this method, i don't mean to spread stupid crticism here, but is this Fibonacci, really, the method that you would use in you everyday works ?

    @ Big-Dave ... well i dont know much about measure drawing, i haven't an artistic background, althought your reference remember me about straight perspective drawing .

  9. #8
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    They're both to be used when you feel they would help...

    Honestly, the method I use to layout my artwork is the tried and true 12 square grid... it follows the rule of thirds, and it's a lot more efficient and adaptable to your needs.

    You just layout a grid of 12 even squares on your drawing area, and then sketch your base image... It works really well.

    And if you're worried about keeping things proportionate, this method also works well with the head measure system for character design (8 heads for ideal human males, etc.).

    This method hasn't failed me yet, not for anything... Web Design Layouts, Sketches, Paintings, Photography, Film... it all works...

    -=(v)=-
    Art calls for complete mastery of techniques, developed by reflection within the soul. - Bruce Lee

  10. #9
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    Originally posted by Firewalker


    This method hasn't failed me yet, not for anything... Web Design Layouts, Sketches, Paintings, Photography, Film... it all works...

    -=(v)=-
    I would definitively like to get something so universal and efficient ... although, how do you report the rule of the 3, to this of the grids of 12 units, how do you menage to spread the various elements over these 12 squares ? You were doing talking about 8 heads for a male figure ... please forgive my artistic ignorance, but i don't understand what you are referencing to ?

  11. #10
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    Sorry for the late reply, I've had a lot of work dumped on me...

    Anyway, what you want to do is lay out a grid over your image of 12 squares, 3 rows of 4. This allows you to place your image's elements in an even place and keeps the balance of the whole image even and fluid.

    When people refer to line of construction or composition ?!?! What are ?

    This is a bad example of balance done by yours truely...

    Sure my main focal point is off center, but in my zeal to keep the character off center, I neglected how the rest of his proportions would fit on the page. As you can see, part of his wing on the right is cut off, and there's really not much I can do about that...

    What you would do with this is move the character left a bit so that the entirety of his form would fit on the page without throwing off the wing proportions.

    At least that's what I was told what to do, and after doing so, it looked a hell of a lot better, despite the fact that I cant seem to find the completed version of the picture in my huge pile of work...

    The 12 square (rectangle) grid is usually used to determine how to evenly fit a figure into a scene, and since I didn't follow that example, my character did not fit into the background I had made using vanishing points and measured creation...

    I hope this clears things up, if it doesn't then I'll try to clarify things.

    -=(v)=-
    Art calls for complete mastery of techniques, developed by reflection within the soul. - Bruce Lee

  12. #11
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    Thank for your last post, it definitively clear my doubts , excuse me for the delay but i have been a little off due to some recent rush and disappointment . I was really curious to get your point about the 12 units grid and really curious also to try its application with photograpies and videos too ! It works the same for example if i have to design a character in more kind of strange position, let's say he is climbing a wall or turning toward the camera in a very forced perspective ?!

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