The Indomitable (Winter 2022)

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rabuuhs's Sketchbook

  • The Indomitable (Winter 2022)
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  • Basics Brawler
    9:17 AM, Wednesday September 20th 2023

    It depends on how precise you want to be, I would personally just add a few more subdivisions to make a chain of small straight lines to make it look like a curve. This is also what the lesson recommends, but if you want to wing it, it isn't a huge deal. You're just sacrificing precision in favor of it looking good.

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    8:43 AM, Friday September 8th 2023

    For now I have a written guide for how to do lesson 7 which is here https://drawabox.com/community/submission/EKYD69DA

    I'll be adding a video of me doing a construction by the end of tomorrow which will just be showing me following the steps I've outlined to make it more clear if there is some confusion.

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    7:59 AM, Friday August 11th 2023

    You wait until it's reviewed to move on to the next lesson.

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    10:32 AM, Wednesday June 14th 2023

    Lessons 6 and 7 tackle things in a different manner to 3 - 5 because they focus on precision and planning compared to the earlier lessons which are more reactive in nature. E.g. If you drew the head a bit too big in lesson 5 that isn't an issue because you can adjust the rest of the drawing. In 6 and 7 however it's much more methodical and requires more planning. In terms of how long it takes to do 1 object construction vs 1 animal construction, I'd say that an animal could range from 1 - 4 hours roughly as it will vary from person to person. A lesson 6 object (orthographic studies + construction) could take up to 2 - 12 hours depending on the complexity of the object + how precise you want to be. One lesson 7 vehicle (orthographic studies + construction) takes around 4 - 24+, again depending on the complexity of the vehicle and how precise you want to be. These are just rough estimates and everyone will take differing amounts of time so take them with a grain of salt.

    I would say the difficulty spike isn't that large if you take your time and read through the lesson material thoroughly. I've also recently written a guide for both lessons (which you can find here) which should make the lesson easier if you didn't quite understand the material on the website. Most students are intimated when they see a million lines but when you start the lesson and go through the demos it isn't as bad as it seems.

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    12:13 AM, Saturday June 3rd 2023

    For each question I'll answer in terms of lesson 7 instead of 6.

    1) For vehicle references you can take a screenshot of a side / front view and draw over it in any digital drawing software for your orthographic plan. Here is an example of how you would do that https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1NeE_AiE7szr_vJEicrHbQBe43dcu96kr (focus on ref study 1 and 2). You can also just eyeball how many wheels wide / tall it is to train your observation skills.

    2) You decide proportions through your own observation and judgment and by drawing orthographic plans of vehicles based on their wheel lengths. Once you've drawn the plane of the orthographic using the wheel lengths you can just use subdivision + your observation + judgment to place everything.

    3) Through observing the object and making your own decisions about how much space it should take up. Uncomfortable came to the conclusion that it was less than 1/3 but more than 1/4 through just looking at it. You could also have a different judgment about how much space it should take up and that would be equally valid because it's based on your observation.

    4) This is again based on your own judgment and how precise you want to be.

    5) Orthographic plans are only drawn in 2d. The final vehicle should be drawn in 3d and based on the orthographic plans.

    6) No, that is just observational drawing (drawing what you see) drawabox uses a construction method which involves observing a subject, understanding how it sits in 3d space, and drawing your understanding of the object in 3d space.

    7:31 PM, Friday May 26th 2023

    So there are many ways to get good reference

    • to use search engines, first you need to think about which vehicle you want to find, for example Boeing 747, then you need to google 'Boeing 747' and add 'side view', 'top view', 'blueprint' and so on

    • to use online 3d model galleries/shops for example sketchfab, turbosquid, etc

    • to use 3d games

    • to use real life toys, or relevant magazines/books

    • to use online car re-sellers like facebook marketplace, usually people post a lot of pictures of their car when they are selling it so it can be good reference to use.

    The easiest method is to find a vehicle you want to draw first and then get an image of it and use google image search to find similar pictures. If it's a popular vehicle then there will be loads of images.

    Good luck with lesson 7!

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    5:04 AM, Thursday May 25th 2023

    So from what I understand you find lesson 7 difficult due to the lack of reference angles available for the vehicles / available tutorials. Before I answer your concerns I would recommend to skip drawing the demo's as they involve outdated approaches which uncomfortable will probably update in the future. I would still recommend you watch them to learn how to utilize the techniques introduced into the lesson (like repeating measurements and drawing a circle in perspective). Reading the text and the lesson 6 demo on orthographics will help you more.

    The critical aspect about lesson 7 is orthographic studies of the vehicle, both front and side views are pretty much essential if you want to construct the vehicles precisely. Usually with lesson 7 this involves a bit more guesswork when making the orthographic plans (due to the limited amount of references) but that is completely fine for 2 reasons. The first reason being that the orthographic plans are merely to set our intentions of what we're going to draw and where we will draw it so that when we are constructing the vehicle we don't get distracted and can focus on the hard part of the exercise which is thinking in 3d space. This means that it doesn't really matter if the wheel of a car is either 21/50ths or 23/50ths because as long as it looks like a car and the proportions are roughly correct then the measurements don't really matter, its all about setting the intention of where you will draw something and sticking to it. This also ties into the second reason being that it's okay if the vehicles don't look like the reference or they look out of proportion because at the end of the day these drawings are just exercises to get us thinking in 3d space so it doesn't really matter if they look bad.

    With that being said the lesson does get easier if you get more/better references but it is entirely possible to do a construction with just one photo (I did it here) which just goes to show that the orthographic views are what is most important.

    It also seems like you want a step by step approach to the lesson, so here's what I think the general procedure for each vehicle should look like.

    1. Gather references of the vehicle so that you can at least see the front and side of it.

    2. Draw orthographic views either starting with the side or the front and make sure the details line up on both and making sure you measure the car in wheels as that is the only accurate/precise measurement you can do (usually this means getting a circle template and using a circle as "1" wheel. An example of this is on the double decker bus I posted earlier where you can see that I measure it as 4 wheels wide and 4 wheels tall using circles, from observation.). An important note about drawing the front view is that you want to account for distortion as it can seem like the car gets wider the further back it goes which isn't the case. The views can be done digitally if you find that it's easier although I recommend doing it on paper as it can train your observational skills.

    3. After you've drawn your front and side views you should draw a horizon line on a new piece of paper first and then either draw a bounding box for which the vehicle will be drawn in or draw a box for the front and then draw a box for each separate piece of the vehicle like uncomfortable did in the cab over truck demo I personally only ever did a bounding box for the whole vehicle so I'm not sure how the other method would work. For the bounding box to be accurately measured to your vehicle you need to use an ellipse template to replicate how many wheels wide / long / high you drew it on in your orthographic plans and instead of circles they are now ellipses as we are drawing in perspective.

    4. After you've drawn the bounding box specific to your vehicle you can now replicate your orthographic side and front views and if you've lined up the details on both views it should look like half a vehicle. After this point you have to extend the lines in 3d space and figure out how it would look like which is the hardest part of the exercise.

    • Important notes

    • This "step-by-step" assumes you are going to use a bounding box to fit the vehicle inside

    • This method is extremely time consuming (constructions can take up to 20+ hours depending on how far you take it) so make sure you take it at your own pace and not rush them.

    • look at other lesson 7 submissions who construct accurately (here are some including mine | https://imgur.com/a/8Fxz7Y2 | https://imgur.com/a/HbYG4k4 | https://imgur.com/a/oO6707p ) and try to figure out how they constructed the plans and vehicles with subdivisions and try to reconstruct it in your head. These submissions go through pretty much the method that I described above (as far as I can tell). If you are really stuck you can try use one of their plans and try to construct the vehicle yourself from it as practice for drawing the construction.

    • always use subdivisions and make sure you can replicate every line you make, if you want some tips on subdivision I made a reply to another question which gives tips on how to subdivide effectively here

    • even if you follow the step-by-step method and look and understand other constructions you might be confused which is perfectly fine, this lesson is the hardest and might take a while for you to fully understand how to do it. I only understood how to do it well after my 5/6th vehicle so as long as you keep at it you will understand eventually.

    • always break down curves into a chain of straight lines, most students forget / miss this instruction so it's worth repeating especially for lesson 7. The reasoning for this can be found here

    • I probably missed something given I've wrote it all from my memory of doing lesson 7 so if anything is confusing or you have any questions don't hesitate to ask

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    4:21 PM, Friday April 28th 2023

    Congrats on completing lesson 6! I'll do my best to give you useful feedback so that you can improve.

    Starting with your form intersections, you've done a great job! Normally students still struggle at this stage with complex intersections like round-on-round/flat but your work demonstrates an understanding in all types of intersections. However, there are a few instances of intersections involving spheres which could be done better. To help your understanding I'll share this diagram along with this intersection pack made by optimus on discord and this guide I made on how to use paint 3D to make your own intersections in 3D space to increase your understanding.

    Moving onto your object constructions, you've also done a great job here as well by demonstrating a great a mount of patience and care in each construction. This lesson is the first point at which we really focus on the concept of precision in our constructions. Up until this point, going through Lessons 3-5, we're primarily working in a reactive fashion. We'll put down masses, and where the next masses go depends on how large or small we ended up drawing the previous ones. There's no specific right and wrong, just directions in which we're moving which impact just how closely we matched the reference. You can think of it as a manner of constructing that works from inside out. Conversely, what we're doing here works outside in - everything is determined ahead of time, and as we build out the various aspects of our construction, we either do so correctly based on our intentions, or we miss the mark.

    Precision is often conflated with accuracy, but they're actually two different things (at least insofar as I use the terms here). Where accuracy speaks to how close you were to executing the mark you intended to, precision actually has nothing to do with putting the mark down on the page. It's about the steps you take beforehand to declare those intentions.

    So for example, if we look at the ghosting method, when going through the planning phase of a straight line, we can place a start/end point down. This increases the precision of our drawing, by declaring what we intend to do. From there the mark may miss those points, or it may nail them, it may overshoot, or whatever else - but prior to any of that, we have declared our intent, explaining our thought process, and in so doing, ensuring that we ourselves are acting on that clearly defined intent, rather than just putting marks down and then figuring things out as we go.

    In our constructions here, we build up precision primarily through the use of the subdivisions. These allow us to meaningfully study the proportions of our intended object in two dimensions with an orthographic study, then apply those same proportions to the object in three dimensions. You have used subdivions and orthographic studies effectively so I won't go over how to use them. Instead I'll point out areas which you can improve on.

    • First I noticed you constructed a lot of curved objects which is great, but failed to make them into a chain of small straight lines first before curving them. The reason we should turn them into a chain of straight lines first is so that we can get more precision on the exact position of the curve in 3D space which therefore allows us to construct it accurately. This is especially important in lesson 7 where we deal with cars which are incredibly vague and curvy.

    • Actually that's pretty much the only thing I can find for you to improve on. Pretty much all of your errors got fixed by the time you got to the last object so there isn't a reason to point them out. You've kept the plans nice and simple and have replicated them perfectly onto the construction.

    Overall this is a very good submission that shows a very good understanding the lesson. If you have any questions or are unsure about anything feel free to ask.

    Good luck in the wheel challenge when/if you return!

    Next Steps:

    Wheel challenge

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    1:50 AM, Thursday April 27th 2023

    Congrats on completing the wheel challenge! I'll do my best to give you feedback so that you can improve.

    Before I start on the challenge itself it's important to note that even if the ellipse template you have is bad it's still better to use it then to not. Because by using it you eliminate the need to think about doing clean lines and aligning ellipses to the minor axis and instead focus more on the wheels themselves.

    Starting with the structural aspect of your wheels, you've done quite well. While freehanding certainly put you at a disadvantage (and I will always stress that the allowance of using an ellipse guide is not a kindness - it's to specifically help students focus all of their mental energy on the core focus of the exercise, without committing some of it to executing their ellipses as desired) you've largely handled it quite well. I'm pleased to see that you're mindful of achieving a curving profile to your wheels, which helps to capture the sense that the tire is inflated, rather than solid all the way through, and that it would land with a bounce rather than a solid heavy thunk. Though this is more so for the freehanded wheels as I can guess that the template limited you a lot which prevented you from achieving the inflated effect of the wheels. While this is unfortunate just be sure to draw your wheels more like 23 and 11 where the middle of the wheel is larger than the sides.

    You've also handled the spokes of your rims quite well in most cases, establishing not only the outward face of the spokes but also their side planes, so as to establish them as solid forms. The only circumstance where I felt you fell a little short on there was with wheels like number 21 and 19. The rims are drawn flat because you failed to add a side face like you have on other wheels.

    Continuing with the textural aspect of the challenge, you have fallen into the same trap that most students do at this stage, and it is largely by design. We are far enough removed from Lesson 2 that most students forget the principles of implicit and explicit mark-making, the use of cast shadows, and so on. This challenge serves as a good reminder that it is important to review that material before finishing up the course.

    You use explicit mark-making to construct the protruding tire tread "chunks" in order to establish how they sit in space. You then go on to incorporate filled areas of solid black, but the opportunity to merely imply those textural forms has already passed once those forms have already been drawn. In addition, you usually fill in the side planes of those forms, which is more akin to form shading.

    Explicit mark-making is not always an effective tool for every task because it locks us into a very dense amount of visual detail. This can be fine if we're looking at wheels floating in the void, but when we use them as part of a larger vehicle, they become focal points, drawing the viewer's eye to them whether we want them to or not. This severely limits our ability to guide the viewer's eyes through a piece.

    Conversely, implicit mark-making allows us to alter how we convey the texture (in terms of how densely we pack in that information) without changing the nature of the texture itself, which we can see here on this example of bush viper scales.

    Another point to consider, however, is that this can be pretty easily detected with very chunky textures, but when we're dealing with much shallower grooves, the distinction between doing it correctly and incorrectly can be pretty slight. Hell, the actual visual result can be the exact same, but the manner we think about it can make the difference.

    When dealing with tires with shallow grooves - or any texture with holes in it - students can be prone to viewing the groove itself as being the "textural form" in question. So, they focus on drawing it, filling in the groove with black and moving on. But of course, the groove isn't a form - it's an absence of form. Instead, the forms in question are the walls along the sides of the groove, casting shadows upon one another, and upon the floor of the groove itself. This diagram demonstrates this concept visually, to make it somewhat easier to understand.

    Lastly, here are a couple of additional diagrams - more focused on how we think through the texture analysis exercise in Lesson 2 - but still applicable here since it's all about understanding how to approach identifying our forms without drawing them, so we can imply them with cast shadows alone.

    • Firstly, this diagram (or alternatively this one which is essentially the same, just framed a little differently in case it makes more sense) demonstrates how texture requires us to think about the relationship between the light source and each individual form.

    • And secondly,this diagram shows, using a texture of melted wax, how we can think about first identifying the forms themselves, and then designing the shadows they'll cast.

    • Additionally this diagram helps to differentiate between a cast shadow and form shadow which can help make the cast shadow notes make more sense

    Anyway, I'll still be marking this challenge as complete. Just be sure to review the texture material, especially these notes. If you have any questions or are unsure about anything feel free to ask.

    Good luck in lesson 7!

    Next Steps:

    Lesson 7

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    1:24 AM, Thursday April 27th 2023

    Congrats on completing the cylinder challenge! I'll do my best to give you feedback so that you can improve.

    Starting with your cylinders around an arbitrary axis, the first thing that stands out to me is that all the cylinders look the same which means you haven't varied the rate of foreshortening on them. For cylinders, 71 and 68, you appear to have your side edges running basically parallel to one another on the page. This challenge has us rotating cylinders freely and randomly in space (as we did for the box challenge), and unfortunately a vanishing point would only go to infinity (resulting in lines parallel on the page) if the set of edges they represent are running perfectly perpendicular to the angle at which the viewer is looking out into the world. In other words, we only draw them with parallel lines on the page if the edges themselves aren't slanting towards or away from the viewer through the depth of the scene, but rather running straight across their field of view. Given the random rotations we use in this challenge, this perfect of an alignment is not something that would happen often, if at all, and so forcing those vanishing points to infinity would be incorrect. You do fortunately have many cylinders that don't have parallel side edges like that although are very close to parallel. Everything else you are doing correctly so just by varying the rate of foreshortening can help you get more out of the exercise.

    Continuing onto your cylinders in boxes, overall you've done pretty decently here, although there are some points to pay closer attention to. This exercise is really all about helping develop students' understanding of how to construct boxes which feature two opposite faces which are proportionally square, regardless of how the form is oriented in space. We do this not by memorizing every possible configuration, but rather by continuing to develop your subconscious understanding of space through repetition, and through analysis (by way of the line extensions).

    Where the box challenge's line extensions helped to develop a stronger sense of how to achieve more consistent convergences in our lines, here we add three more lines for each ellipse: the minor axis, and the two contact point lines. In checking how far off these are from converging towards the box's own vanishing points, we can see how far off we were from having the ellipse represent a circle in 3D space, and in turn how far off we were from having the plane that encloses it from representing a square.

    In being as fastidious as you have been in applying the line extensions as instructed, I can see that you've been giving yourself ample opportunity to assess where your approach could be adjusted to bring those convergences together from one page to the next. As a result, your awareness of those proportions have improved, and while there is of course still plenty of room for improvement, you should be well equipped to tackle the related issues that arise as we tackle Lesson 6.

    That's pretty much it! I won't be assigning revisions but just make sure that you work on varying the rate of foreshortening on your cylinders. If you are unsure about anything or have any questions feel free to reply with them!

    Good luck in lesson 6!

    Next Steps:

    Lesson 6

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