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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Hudson River valley, NY
    Thanked 16,683 Times in 5,021 Posts

    Rendering Discussion: "Edges" Tips and Tricks

    I wrote this up as part of a reply to this thread, but I thought it was worth reposting here.

    Edge basics 101:
    There is a scale of edges, just as there is a scale of values. It goes from hard>firm>soft>lost. Just as with value, you can use the whole scale in one picture or just a piece of it. The careful manipulation of edges is one of the most overlooked, but most important, tools an artist can use to create form, atmosphere, and believability.

    In general, edges are:
    Harder in the light, softer in the shadow
    Harder in bright light, softer in dim light
    Harder in focused light, softer in diffused light
    Harder in the foreground, softer in the background
    Harder on smooth forms, softer on textured forms
    Harder on hard forms, softer on soft forms (Duh, but really)
    Harder on flat forms, softer on rounded forms
    Harder on thin forms, softer on thick forms
    Harder on still forms, softer on forms in motion (on moving forms they are harder on the leading edge and softer on the trailing edge)
    Harder at the center of interest, softer as you move away

    The above are additive. So a kitten, far away, in the dark, would be really soft.

    Of course, any of these guidelines can be ignored/modified for pictorial effect.
    Last edited by Sepulverture; November 25th, 2009 at 03:42 AM. Reason: Cleanup and re-organizing - Sepulverture

    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron

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