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  • cliffrod
    replied
    I had a call today about a pending stone project. The details discussed are relevant here.

    A composition or specific area of a composition will have an overall horizontal, vertical or neutral (horizontal & vertical are equal/equivalent) characteristic. Details included in the composition/area can be used to guide or direct the viewer. This is related to visual noise. The detail can facilitate, arrest or foil the act of viewing.

    For example relevant here, consider these three functions regarding the area of transition between a horizontal hood/cowl to windshield to roof on a custom car.

    Facilitate- the detail used is a rearward-angled windshield, sloping away from the hood to guide the viewer's eye to the roof quickly. The angle of the windshield is employed to help the windshield (or A pillars) disappear. It only prompts a quick look by the viewer with no need to stop and think. The detail is so obvious and logical, it disappears. No visual noise. In terms of the car, this is a streamlined look meant to make the car look faster, modern and more efficient.

    Arrest- the detail used is a vertical windshield, basically square to the hood and roof. This makes it an obvious transition as a direct change in height. The viewer sees and comprehends this detail instantaneously. No need to stop and think about it, but it is an obvious and definitive detail with a clear beginning and end. This is minor visual noise, but can be significant. Think of an early Ford Model T coupe, called a "phone booth" with the dominant large vertical detail in comparisons to a later Model A or 1932 Ford with still vertical but much shorter vertical windshield. Such a square transition windshield is a stoic detail, somewhat archaic or meant to show a disregard for some or all streamlining. Combined with a big (visible) engine in a hotrod, it conveys a sense of gross or excess power that can easily overcome such obstacles.

    Foil- the detail used is something like a windshield visor, added above the windshield to extend away from the windshield/roof intersection back over the hood. In a streamlined composition, like most cars are, this detail can confound a viewer. (This is strong visual noise). The viewer will see this detail and have to stop in some manner to evaluate the combination of the windshield/A pillar angle, the roof intersection, the visor shape and angle, etc. making the viewer stop, look and think about this detail or area of detail is a deliberate ploy. This detail is more appropriate to pleasure use than performance because a detail like that doesn't fit as well on a high performance race car.

    When designing a composition or composition detail, take into consideration how you want a viewer to interpret what you are producing. The use of a proper detail,especially at points of transition, can strengthen your result. Some people squint, especially in low light, to see which parts of a composition are dominant and which ones disappear or become fuzzy first. Once they're identified, it's easier to isolate and then fine tune them to direct the viewing experience.

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  • cliffrod
    replied
    Originally posted by ojh View Post
    Great thread, its good to know there are proper terms for concepts that we innately understand but have been unable to describe, like the 'Golden Rule', I knew there had to be one but this is the first time I've learned it had a proper name and ratio. thanks for that. It looks like I'll need to do some reading.
    Welcome to the forum.

    A good point to remember is that these "rules" have more to do with providing a consistent way to quantitatively describe or produce aspect ratios like height vs width than being an absolute standard for every situation. Nature is full of minor variations that make objects and organisms look appealing and unique while still being quickly and easily interpreted by the viewer. When the variations are averaged together, the resulting values and ratios provide the basis for the rules.

    Being successful as an artist or craftsman often means intentionally manipulating these "rules" in a subtle but obvious way without overdoing it to produce a specifc result. My goal here is to make others better aware of things they may already know but not understand or employ deliberately, simply because no one has ever told them. These rules and theories are just more tools in a toolbox.

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  • ojh
    replied
    Great thread, its good to know there are proper terms for concepts that we innately understand but have been unable to describe, like the 'Golden Rule', I knew there had to be one but this is the first time I've learned it had a proper name and ratio. thanks for that. It looks like I'll need to do some reading.

    Leave a comment:


  • cliffrod
    replied
    Below is content regarding development of a custom automotive grill. Thought I should include similar content in this thread.

    It's necessary to consider the context and lighting in which the composition will be viewed. When I cut a stone in studio, what it looks like in studio is largely irrelevant. This is a detail many sculptors who are not professionally trained will overlook. 16'-20' to the rafters seems huge compared to an 8' shop ceiling but means nothing compared to the sky outdoors. I have to produce work to demonstrate properly in supremely overwhelming natural light and the giant studio of the outdoors. Natural light is so invasive that it clarifies details (good and bad) that no electric light can. A huge job in studio is tiny outdoors. The big jobs always shrink as they go out the door and then shrink even more once they're installed... It's just another way God and the stone humbles the sculptor.

    Details can be 100% dimensionally accurate per specs but still look vastly different whether indoors or outdoors- especially actual penetrations and negative space between solid surfaces. Solid or continous mass is impacted differently, but is also perceived differently indoors vs outdoors.

    Everything I sculpt and carve is done with these things in mind. The work has to be successful in the context of the installation, not in the artificial and temporary manipulated context of the studio. I have to understand what I think looks right now and what will look right then to succeed.

    An item like a custom automotive grill will be primarily experienced outdoors, not the confines of a small (by comparison) shop. I would address many of these grill considerations with the vehicle outside. Both negative space between solids and illumination of components now hidden in darkness will be more readily perceived. You may find the things now concealed in shadow behind the grill are a bigger issue visually. Addressing such details often impact the more superficial components. Simply moving it outside will shrink details, probably even lightening the shadows between the grill bars. That could make the grill bars appear thicker and the holes between them look not quite as big.

    Natural light is a very powerful factor. It is different in color than much artificial light and is of much higher energy than artificial light. In translating a concept from 2D to 3D, you transition from drawing/defining a line to creating an edge to represent that drawn line. this can be the physical end of a object or the viewed end of a receding shape. Natural light bounces off surrounding objects all around, behind and beneath an object. This additional light can backlight an object and change the way that end or edge of shape is viewed. Detail and edges may be softened or even disappear. It's nice to manage and manipulate light very specifically in studio/shop but it's critical to incorporate significant outdoor study (ideally at different times with different light conditions) into the design process.

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  • cliffrod
    replied
    When developing a 3D composition, especially from 2D methods, it's important to understand the difference between drawing a line and creating an edge. Many people don't actively consider this fact preemptively. When the actual 3D form is made, it can be difficult to justify it with the 2D renderings. Drawing several views of the same object can help, but only if these drawings represent a shape with edges that can properly transition between the various representations.

    i have worked with many drawings of sculpture projects that lack complete information. Usually there will be areas that are just shaded. Big fail. I can't carve a shadow. I have to create shape that creates shadow while also carving something in that shadowed area. Drawing a curved or complex shape to be made from metal presents the same challenges. Adding a few scribbles isn't enough and Miscommunication is a very real risk. Sometimes a fanciful shape will be shown from one perspective that is completely impractical or impossible to justify with surrounding detail.

    make sure to consider how the proposed shape will create the edge that the line in a drawing describes. Make sure to properly address how shape can cause a line to change, as well as top vs bottom or inside vs outside of the shape. It's not hard to overlook little things, especially if you are working alone. If you're fielding drawing done by someone else, be prepared to address them in a professional manner. Most regular customers don't "see" in shapes- they can only comprehend a finished shape, not the means to achieve that shape. many 2D artists never have to produce or transition their concepts into 3D and will assume the 3D expert will automatically know what they mean, That's why I strive to do as much of not all of my own artwork in 2D and 3D. Compared to others I see as talented artists, I'm not a very good 2D artist or draftsman. But, if I draw it, I can address all the pitfalls I can recognize as soon as possible. I get better at every job. Practice is always good.

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  • cliffrod
    replied
    Originally posted by memphisrain View Post
    Thanks fellas, happy to be here.

    I used a lot of what you're talking about (although I was unaware of any of the technical terms) for a back half I did for a guy on a CB350. First, the rear swing arm has been stretched 2" to lengthen the wheelbase a bit, and give it a more "racey" feel and allow room for the monoshock. Second, you'll see the monoshock and upper swing arm brace are perpendicular to the angled tube supporting the seat hoop, which is also parallel to the vertical braces on the swing arm. The seat hoop maintains the same horizon line as the bottom of the tank, although slightly elevated (a seat pan will match the bottom tank line (I hope, I'm not making it). In addition, that horizon line is slightly inclined to the rear to give the bike an aggressive look., although it's a bit difficult to see in this picture as it's on uneven ground. Finally, the rear hoop ends in front of the rear axle centerline, and vertex of the tire, again to aid in the aggressive look.



    Click image for larger version Name:	Raleigh Motor Bike.jpg Views:	0 Size:	229.6 KB ID:	1984

    Stock bike for comparison's sake:

    {"alt":"Click image for larger version Name:\tStock CB350.jpg Views:\t0 Size:\t98.6 KB ID:\t1987","data-align":"none","data-":"1987","data-size":"full"}
    It's great to see what you're working on, Jake. I had to learn about most of this design theory & application along the way and after the fact. Being able to articulate the specifics has helped a lot when discussing projects with patrons. When I can easily explain the "why", it builds confidence in relationships and ultimately in your portfolio. That's the end goal. Hopefully discussing it here might help others do the same.

    Leave a comment:


  • memphisrain
    replied
    Thanks fellas, happy to be here.

    I used a lot of what you're talking about (although I was unaware of any of the technical terms) for a back half I did for a guy on a CB350. First, the rear swing arm has been stretched 2" to lengthen the wheelbase a bit, and give it a more "racey" feel and allow room for the monoshock. Second, you'll see the monoshock and upper swing arm brace are perpendicular to the angled tube supporting the seat hoop, which is also parallel to the vertical braces on the swing arm. The seat hoop maintains the same horizon line as the bottom of the tank, although slightly elevated (a seat pan will match the bottom tank line (I hope, I'm not making it). In addition, that horizon line is slightly inclined to the rear to give the bike an aggressive look., although it's a bit difficult to see in this picture as it's on uneven ground. Finally, the rear hoop ends in front of the rear axle centerline, and vertex of the tire, again to aid in the aggressive look.



    Click image for larger version  Name:	Raleigh Motor Bike.jpg Views:	0 Size:	229.6 KB ID:	1984

    Stock bike for comparison's sake:

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Stock CB350.jpg Views:	0 Size:	98.6 KB ID:	1987
    Last edited by memphisrain; 10-25-2019, 02:31 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Peter Tommasini
    replied
    Hi Jake welcome to the forum
    Peter T.

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  • cliffrod
    commented on 's reply
    Very cool- great to see you here, Jake. Welcome to the forum.

  • memphisrain
    replied
    I found a free .pdf of "The Five Orders of Architecture"

    Great write-ups!

    http://www.chenarch.com/images/arch-...ive-Orders.pdf

    Jake

    Leave a comment:


  • cliffrod
    replied
    I mentioned this book earlier & just found it. No idea what the dust jacket might look like, but all info is in the attached pics. The actual hardcover of my book is blue fabric with gold lettering and artwork as shown on cover. I lucked up and found this copy for $.50 at a thrift store.

    "Anatomy for Interior Designers" by Julius Panero is all about designing spaces in relationship to the human body. The focus is about architectural spaces, but the same principles are applicable to designing areas such as a vehicle cockpit, passenger compartment or any area that interacts specifically with the human body. It covers range of motion, general space requirements related to body posture, vision & line of sight and more. . If I was developing an original vehicle, I would use this information to create space around driver & passengers just as I would reference The Five Orders by Vignola to develop something like a dashboard in a traditional-themed touring car.

    if you're offended by now-inappropriate sexual bias & predijudiced stuff that editors apparently approved in 1948, you can skip this book. Many cartoons and comments may have been ok back in the day, but I expect it would need a serious revisit with revisions if it were to go to print again and put on the shelf for sale in 2019. I just opened it to a couple of pages to show the kind of information it covers like reach radius, various typical seated & reclining dimensions and more. It makes it fast and easy to get an idea of what fits, what doesn't and how much space to consider. It's also good for sculptors creating an interactive space.

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    You can buy The Five Orders very cheaply. I've seen used copies of "Anatomy for Interior Designers" on Amazon but it was around $50.00. Maybe it's available from a library near you? If it fits the type of work you do, it's a good book to consider referencing.
    Last edited by cliffrod; 10-20-2019, 12:36 AM. Reason: typos..

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  • cliffrod
    replied
    Originally posted by OldnEK View Post
    Nice interesting write up, Cliff.
    The thing I admire about Stonemasons and Sculptors is the attention to detail and the accurate perspective you guys posses. To produce design in 3D from flat, is not easy to do.
    Accuracy is paramount to producing something with intricate detail, metal work is much more forgiving if you grind off too much you can weld material back.
    That's one thing you cannot do with stone work.
    Not sure that we possess anything other than diligence to keep going & get it right so that this job is less of a failure than the last one. I've carved all my life, literally since my 6th birthday. It's my happy place & doesn't necessarily impress my oldest friends because "that's just what he does." But most was far more disposable than the stone work I do now. Metal is so forgiving and different. It's easy to bump up a low spot on a panel. In stone, you raise the low spot by (permanently) lowering everything around that spot. That's exactly what I'm doing now in studio- lowering everything to bring all the measured points to the surface.

    Working alone, keeping perspective is tough. It's easy to end a day with a gorgeous stone. Then you'll walk in the next morning and see that the Jesus or Mary or the angel you were carving went out drinking all night & they don't look so good anymore... You can't see what you're doing. When you have someone working beside you, they'll say "you aren't going to leave it like that, are you?" or "that's looking pretty good-I wouldn't mess with it anymore." That's why I'm trying to let this Guzzi sit and wait, so I can see it better as I focus on something completely different. Some people have a great eye. Mine are kinda blurry..

    As a carver, it's easy for me to see what fits within a volume of mass. It isn't just one thing, like some like to quip. There's so many possibilities, from the biggest possible to many different small things. The hard part is deciding what is the best use of the material vs the the item(s) carved. Seeing a sheet of metal to shape, it's still a little confounding for me to comprehend it as a surface alone in whole or in part & easily added to other similar pieces of metal. It's so versatile and cheap that economy of material & use are much different by comparison.

    Hopefully discussing some of my methods will help other craftsmen see the benefits of a deliberate process in general. However a composition evolves, knowing how and why to do it efficiently, at will & upon demand is good method.

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  • OldnEK
    replied
    Nice interesting write up, Cliff.
    The thing I admire about Stonemasons and Sculptors is the attention to detail and the accurate perspective you guys posses. To produce design in 3D from flat, is not easy to do.
    Accuracy is paramount to producing something with intricate detail, metal work is much more forgiving if you grind off too much you can weld material back.
    That's one thing you cannot do with stone work.

    Leave a comment:


  • cliffrod
    replied
    Division of large into small-

    To be successful in satisfying people other than yourself, you need to be aware of their experience and perspective. When a composition is all or effectively one piece with no strong landmarks when viewed- only an outside edge surrounding an interior body- it becomes difficult for a viewer to view and evaluate the composition from a single perspective. Three dimensional shape may be impossible to determine. By dividing the overall composition in some manner, including beading, attached trim, obvious seams, lines of rivets or changes in paint or surface finish, a viewer can more easily discern shape and dimension.

    Examples of this include a mid 1950's MV Augusta CSS 175 gas tank. These are affectionately nicknamed Disco Volante or Flying Saucer. They have a dramatic bulge on the front bottom corners. But they were generally painted monochromatic or two tone with no significant trim or detail. If two tone, the division was simply horizontal. That makes them deceptively plain, especially when viewed from the side in pictures. When viewed from the front, rear, top or bottom, the dramatic shape is easier to see.

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    in contrast, the late 50's and very early 60's Ducati 175 and 200 SS & Elite models has a very similar dynamically bulbous gas tank, nicknamed the Jelly Mold tank by Ducati fans. However, these tanks were finished in chrome or two tone paint with a distinctive paint scheme, pad mounting loops on top and attached badges (at least the early ones). The tank is still challenging to comprehend in pictures vs in person when viewed from the side, but the division of the larger composition into smaller sections benefit the viewer towards understanding what is happening with the shape.


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    The contrast when chrome is used with paint helps a lot, because the reflections are more diverse. Simple reflection in nice paint alone is not strongly indicative of shape. If tank is all polished, the information provided by the reflection is dependent upon what there is to be reflected. A busy surrounding might be good. Clear skies or a mon ochromatic studio setting isn't. ..

    Neither approach is right or wrong. However, it's very important to see what you create and produce through the eyes of your audience. Maintaining a viable perspective of your work while producing it is very difficult. You can easily become blind to what it in front of you because you are seeing it in your mind based upon your intent, not with unbiased eyes as a simple tangible shape or surface. In my stone world, that's how a "beautiful" carving of an angel can turn out to look like (in my favorite words from my cousin) a pickle headed monkey....

    More later.
    Last edited by cliffrod; 10-20-2019, 12:54 AM.

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  • cliffrod
    replied
    It's hard to deliberately produce a great 100% original design on purpose. Some do, whether by natural talent, luck or decades of skilled practice. Others refine an existing design. Many times, while refinements are made, the good look comes and goes. Understanding these things are a big deal in my work. In stone, when it looks good you need to seriously consider further changes because there is no turning back. Making that perfect result happen in the perfect location or time or market on demand every time is a bugger. vehicle designs are no different.

    The 32 Ford was a refinement that developed (at least) from modifications to the spindly Model T into the fuller bodied 28-29 Model A (still concave & skinny cowl) to 30-31 Model A (fuller cowl but still square chrome radiator shell) to 32 Ford (rounded radiator shell painted body color) to 33 (sloped radiator shell & grill) and more. This is not a complete list of changes. I think the 32 Ford was more incidental than deliberate, just a point along a continuum of design. Enduring fame came later for numerous reasons. RockHillWill is a serious Model A expert. He can probably add to this specific example, as well as about some of the design theory I've mentioned.

    to me, many Corvettes look great when a new model is introduced. The more the design is tweaked, the more it suffers. Then they release a new design that's usually pared down and tight. But subsequent models have stuff added & changed until they get wonky again.

    By contrast, Harley Davidson maintained an almost boring lack of design changes for decades. It was before specific nostalgia models were released. A big Harley or Sportster was just that. They looked one way and only began changing when markets wanted the convenience of popular custom modifications already in place on a showroom-new bike. That was the basis for the SuperGlide in 1971, the Low Rider a few years later and the endless variations we have now.

    I'm not a design expert or academically trained artist. During my apprenticeship, I was exposed to some of these things but I was a 40hr/wk employee following instruction. I couldn't stop & study- I just did. On my own, I need every tool I can use to do better work. These theories are just tools I'm trying to learn to use better, to make every job better.

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