250 Cylinder Challenge

4:23 AM, Wednesday August 4th 2021

250 Cylinders - Google Drive

250 Cylinders - Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1yfEyg-tIRQIfGC4SoKg3ioiaz86HFTm6?usp=sharing

This was a very hard challenge to tackle! The most difficult part I had is trying to fit the ellipses inside the planes of the last 100 boxes.

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8:40 PM, Wednesday August 4th 2021

Starting with the cylinders around arbitrary minor axes, here you've done a pretty good job. You've executed each ellipse with confidence, have included a variety of different rates of foreshortening, and consistently applied the error checking techniques to each ellipse to find its "true" alignment, so you could identify what needed to be improved on the next page.

One thing I often look out for with this exercise is whether students are maintaining a reasonable relationship between the two ends of the cylinders. There are two ways in which these ends can change, from one to the other. There's a shift in scale that we naturally see due to the convergence of the side edges, where the far end is smaller in scale than the end closer to the viewer. Then there's also the shift in degree, where the far end is generally drawn to be wider in proportion than the end closer to the viewer.

These two shifts are both aspects of foreshortening, and should happen in tandem - meaning that as the far end gets smaller in scale, it should also get wider in equal measure. Unfortunately, looking at yours it seems that you focused primarily on the shift in scale, and didn't really incorporate much - if any - intentional shift in degree.

This shift in degree is explained in the cylinder challenge notes, but it's also more thoroughly explained in the lesson 1 ellipses video with the use of props to demonstrate the phenomenon in the real world. It's also something that was called out to you in the critique of your organic forms with contour lines in Lesson 2.

Moving onto your cylinders in boxes, while you've certainly done part of the exercise fairly well (that is, drawing the boxes and placing cylinders inside of them), I get the feeling you may not have read through the instructions as carefully as you should have - because you left out an entire, extremely important part of the exercise. Just as the first section of this exercise featured an approach for checking how "correct" a given attempt was, or more accurately, how far off it was.

I mention in the video that this exercise is all about developing students' instincts when it comes to judging proportion in 3D space. Specifically, it trains them to construct boxes which feature two opposite faces which are proportionally square in the 3D world. We do this by, just like in the box challenge, extending our lines. We extend the lines of the boxes, just as in the box challenge, to test their convergences towards their shared vanishing points. Then we extend three lines for each ellipse - the minor axis, and the two contact point lines. The closer these are to aligning to the box's vanishing points, the closer the ellipse is to representing a circle in 3D space, and therefore the closer the plane enclosing it is to representing a square in 3D space. Through iteration, and through checking each time, we're able to hone our judgment and instincts in this regard to better determine how wide a box should be, given its orientation in space, to still get close to representing a square.

Unfortunately, you didn't do any of that - though it was demonstrated in the video, and in the notes, I can only assume that you forgot. Perhaps you only reviewed that material towards the beginning, and by the time you reached the second part of the challenge, perhaps you didn't go back and review those instructions.

I'll give you an opportunity to correct this through some revisions, which you'll find assigned below.

Next Steps:

Please submit the following:

  • 25 cylinders around arbitrary minor axes, focusing on maintaining an equal shift in both scale and degree rather than just the scale.

  • 60 cylinders in boxes. Upon the completion of each page, apply the line extensions to analyze your work, so you can adjust your approach for the next page.

And of course, watch the video and read the notes before each section of the revisions.

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
4:44 AM, Thursday August 5th 2021

Thank you, Uncomfortable! I'll go back and review the notes and video before I redo the challenge.

3:37 AM, Wednesday September 8th 2021

Hello, Uncomfortable! I've finished working on the cylinders and followed your advice. Let me know what you think. Thanks!


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