100 Treasure Chest Challenge

4:46 PM, Sunday October 31st 2021

100 Box Challenge - Album on Imgur

Direct Link: https://i.imgur.com/H57zAWB.jpg

Post with 27 views. 100 Box Challenge

Hello there, hope all is well and stay safe.

First of all, I didn't realize I'm supposed to split construction boxes and detailed ones among 5 parts so I made them in order of 25 closed, 25 open, 50 detailed. Second, it pained me a lot doing detailed boxes lol.

Alright, here is my submission. Thanks for the challenge!

1 users agree
8:14 PM, Wednesday November 3rd 2021

Well, it looks like you already called out the first thing I was going to jump in on - the fact that you ended up doing each section one at a time, rather than mixing them together as noted in the instructions. It is admittedly a little late for me to push you to read the instructions more closely in the future (at least as far as this course is concerned), but do always be sure to be completely aware of what any course asks of you in the future, to make sure that when you do invest such a significant amount of time, you do so in the most effective way possible.

Now, it is clear that you've done a good job across the board, and when it comes to the main focus of this challenge - which is more design than construction - you've explored a great many variations, different kinds of details, and elements. I can however find a handful of things to suggest to keep you moving in the right direction on this front.

Before that, however, I do want to point out the fact that when it comes to drawing your open chests - specifically determining the positioning of the lid - you definitely made a conscious choice here to deviate from the instructions. The instructions demonstrate the use of a full ellipse here, using the characteristics demonstrated back in Lesson 7 and in the cylinder challenge, though you ended up trying to eyeball the curve itself, without the rest of the ellipse.

While there's going to be an element of estimation regardless (drawing the right ellipse here either means having a large set of ellipse guides, which are expensive, working digitally, or simply freehanding the ellipses to the best of one's ability), drawing a full ellipse (even if estimated) brings you a lot closer to the appropriate curvature than simply drawing a partial curve. Back to my earlier point - make sure you follow any exercise or course's instructions to the letter to the best of your ability. Sometimes some instructions are simply inconvenient.

Now, jumping back to your designs, I had a few things to suggest:

  • This one's something that you did correctly in a number of places, but missed in some others, so I felt it was simply worth mentioning as a reminder. When you've got something thin - say a metal bracket, or a leather strap - many students will end up drawing them as a paper-thin element with no actual thickness to its sides. It's absolutely understandable why they'd do that, but it does still seriously diminish the believability of the object being drawn. If we look at cases like 77, the straps across the top and down the sides of the trunk do have those side planes defined, and they clearly define those straps as being solid and three dimensional. Conversely, if we look at the metal strips bracketing together the boards for number 99, here they lack the same believability simply because they feel unreasonably thin. Fortunately, as I mentioned, you've got many more cases that were handled as well as 77.

  • Another point I noticed was that you've kind of given yourself a bit of a handicap working on these designs, specifically in that you've given each one a fairly limited plot of land. You split each page into quadrants, giving each chest no more than 25% of the space, and then drew most of them fairly small even within the space that was allotted to them. There are two things that we must give each of our drawings throughout this course in order to get the most out of them. Those two things are space and time. By artificially limiting how much space you give a given drawing, you're limiting your brain's capacity for spatial reasoning, while also making it harder to engage your whole arm while drawing. The best approach to use here is to ensure that the first drawing on a given page is given as much room as it requires. Only when that drawing is done should we assess whether there is enough room for another. If there is, we should certainly add it, and reassess once again. If there isn't, it's perfectly okay to have just one drawing on a given page as long as it is making full use of the space available to it. This of course isn't to say that your drawings weren't well done despite this - just that you didn't need to hinder yourself, and didn't need to force yourself to cram all of these tiny details into an already small space.

  • This one is really more specific to Drawabox - or rather, how we approach our drawings here given the specific limitations of our tools. Basically, since we're stuck drawing in strictly black and white, there are certain things we have to skip over capturing, in order to ensure that what we do capture is conveyed as strongly and as clearly as possible. For this reason, we tend to reserve filled areas of solid black for cast shadows only. When working in this manner, the viewer will tend to try to interpret any filled shapes they see first as cast shadows, and they'll only figure out what else it could be once that possibility is ruled out - by which point we've already somewhat undermined their suspension of disbelief. By reserving our filled shapes for cast shadows only, we lean into the expectation, thus reinforcing the illusion of solidity and believability. This also means that we leave out capturing any local colours (like in 68 where your chest seemed to be covered in some kind of stripes), in favour of ensuring that our spatial and form components are more easily parsed by the viewer.

  • This one gets more into the meat of design. As shown here in some notes directly on a couple of your chests, I found a couple places where that whole issue about the thickness or side faces of a form can take on a bit more importance. One of the best ways to create successful designs is to ask yourself lots of questions about the object - going down into questions about how it all fits together, how it was made, who made it, and for what purpose. Thinking about the way in which the planks themselves are joined can give us a lot of insight into smaller design choices that may otherwise go overlooked. For chest 79 at the top of those notes, this one is technically okay, but I did write down some things to think about in terms of how the top and the side (and their respective planks) fit together. For 72 along the bottom however, I did feel like this one did not provide enough visual information for the viewer to properly interpret the structure. There are three main ways this could be interpreted, though each has some small changes that would push the viewer more firmly in that given direction.

As a whole, I definitely think your design sense is progressing very nicely, and while there are at times some pieces that are missing (for example, 86 doesn't appear to have any hinges), you're doing a great job with a variety of ornamentation and decoration. Continuing to ask yourself questions about how these objects work, and how they're held together, will help you continue to collect a variety of different problems to solve, to keep spurring your designs forward.

So! I'll go ahead and mark this challenge as complete.

2:19 AM, Thursday November 4th 2021

Thank you very much for your guidance!

First, I will admit that I often miss those instructions placed in middle of the lesson, especially when I'm drawn toward instructional videos and homework instruction placed in the end. So yeah, sorry for this.

Second, about the full ellipse, I was thinking that because some boxes doesn't have symmetrical shapes (some boxes are longer and also shorter than the most), then it will make awkward, narrow ellipses. That's why I mostly ghost my full ellipses and draw partial part of them instead. However, I'll take note of this in the future. It seems I haven't fully grasped the core concept of this one, lol.

Third, I admit this has become a habit when I'm doing a challenge that requires 100/250 objects where I try to cram a number of shapes in one paper. Drawing big shapes still feel difficult to me due to the lingering fear of messing the bigger picture. I'll try to take this advice to heart though.

Finally, it's sad that I won't be seeing your critique anymore after finishing this challenge. I've grown to like those instructional videos and your critiques so far, lol. Anyway, it's time to move on. Thank you very much again!

2:48 AM, Thursday November 4th 2021

Just one quick note about your second point - the shape of the chest itself doesn't actually factor into the ellipse we use for figuring out how the lid opens. The reason it's an ellipse is actually completely independent of the box/chest itself.

Rather, it has to do with the fact that we're rotating something around an axis. What is being rotated is the edge of the lid, along the axis defined by the hinges. Those are the only parts that matter - the rest of the chest could be as long or as tall as you'd like, but all we care about is the fact that we're rotating a distance (the edge of the lid) is what creates a circle in 3D space, with the length of that edge as its radius. Here's what I mean (though excuse the sloppy drawing and accidental swastika). No matter how far the lid opens, the tip of that edge will always fall on the given circle.

4:40 AM, Thursday November 4th 2021
edited at 10:38 AM, Nov 4th 2021

I see, there's one thing still bugging me, how do you illustrate the length of the lid when it's being rotated along the axis if the box is longer than its height? Is there a tool for this?

edited at 10:38 AM, Nov 4th 2021
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