## 100 Treasure Chest Challenge

##### 2:48 PM, Saturday June 19th 2021

I messed up many of my open treasure chests lids by missing the axis rotation by not having my ellipse hit the front corners of the treasure chests. I attempted to fix this error as soon as I noticed it.

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##### 6:59 PM, Saturday June 19th 2021

Alrighty! To start, congratulations on getting through this particularly gruelling challenge. When it comes to various aspects of your construction - specifically the heavy use of subdivision - you've shown a good deal of patience and care throughout the set.

Looking at how you approached establishing how your lids would open, I certainly agree that it is an area in which you struggled a great deal - though I'm not convinced you entirely understand the principles behind how we approach establishing where the front corner of the lid should be positioned. That said, you did remark upon noticing the errors yourself, so perhaps you do ultimately understand - but I think it's important for me to go over it again, just in case.

I can see that when it comes to what you said about missing your axis of rotation, you did indeed correct that mistake. For the first open chests, you weren't basing the ellipse's minor axis on the axis defined by the chest's hinge, it seemed more arbitrarily placed. As you got further in, for example on this page, this is something you did attempt to fix, somewhat.

What remainde incorrect, however, was the fact that you were drawing whole circles in 2D space - rather than ellipses that would represent circles in 3D space. When we look at an ellipse with a fully-wide degree (basically a circle), that tells us that the circle being represented in 3D space is facing the viewer head-on, that it's resting parallel to the picture plane.

Here, we want to be working with a circle in 3D space that is running parallel to the side of the chest, such that the circle rests flat against it. This means that with the chest being set at an angle, the ellipse needs to be of a narrower degree to accurately represent its orientation in space.

You did attempt to do this in some places, but obviously due to a lack of tools you were doing it entirely freehand. Note that this challenge does allow a lot of freedom in terms of the tools you're allowed to use. It's understandable that a full set of ellipse guides is likely to be way too expensive, so students are allowed to work digitally here, to avail themselves of whatever tools might make this kind of construction easier there.

If you're stuck freehanding your ellipses, further construction can help to establish a plane in which to draw your ellipse. I just threw together this quick demo of how you might take the side plane of a chest, extend it to double its original size, then with the minor axis' orientation defined, place an ellipse inside of it. The additional structure will give you much more to hinge off when freehanding your ellipses, whereas right now you've basically been placing it floating in the air, pinned up by nothing more than a hope and a dream - not even a minor axis line.

Above all, that is definitely the most significant issue I've seen throughout your work.

When it comes to the design of your various chests, I think you've done a pretty good job. You've clearly relied a great deal on a variety of references to help imbue your designs with more believable elements, and to push the nuance and complexity. I do have a couple things for you to keep in mind in regards to this as well, however.

Most importantly, remember that everything has thickness to it, and nothing is paper thin - except, perhaps, paper. If you take a look at the chest on the bottom right of this page, I noticed where you added vertical bands along the front, with circular elements (three each for the bottom section) aligned along them. Those bands would benefit from being given even the slightest of side faces, to help give them a greater sense of dimension. Remember that they are separate from the panel to which they're attached, but in the drawing, they look more like lines that were drawn on that existing surface.

On that same chest's lid, I noticed that you tried to add a good deal of edge variation with some jagged lines. I'm not entirely sure what you were after here, but I think this is a good opportunity to remind you that this kind of attempt at modifying a form's silhouette, when that form itself is not already flat, risks flattening it out. You can read more about that here.

The last point I wanted to call out pertains to a few cases where you've used areas of filled, solid black to colour things in. For example, the chest on the bottom left of this page. Here it appears that you were trying to distinguish the side plane from the top plane of those bands. While I am glad to see that you were defining side planes for these forms, and giving them thickness, remember that your areas of filled, solid black should be reserved only for cast shadow shapes. This helps keep the use of this particular tool more consistent, so the viewer isn't confused by what they're seeing.

You can see an example of this here. Notice how on the box on the left, it feels a little more flat, drawing all the focus to the top plane rather than making it seem line a single cohesive form with different sides to it. On the right, however, even though there are no lines distinguishing the planes, the silhouette's corners do that well enough on their own, and the cast shadow itself helps define the relationship between that form and the surface beneath it.

For this reason, the specific shape of our cast shadows are very important - it is those shapes, and the way they're designed, that conveys the relationship between the form casting the shadow, and the surface receiving it. When you instead simply fill a physical plane or space in with solid black, you lose that defined relationship, and instead leave the viewer trying to figure out how to interpret that filled area of black as a shadow - even though it isn't one.

Anyway! All in all, I think you have a number of things to consider, but you've definitely shown a great deal of patience, discipline and care throughout the challenge, and your results certainly show it. There are areas where they could have been improved - and in general, I think freehanding those ellipses without any additional structure held you back the most, but that is exactly why we get feedback on oour work - so we know how to adjust our approach moving forward.

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

One last thing though - I highly recommend you do your drawings for lesson 7 in ballpoint. It'll be a little more forgiving and it'll make it a touch easier to work with the forest of lines, which is why I have allowed its use for lesson 6 as well.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
##### 2:58 PM, Sunday June 20th 2021

Thanks for the critique! This is a lot to take in and I will be sure to add this to my head and notes!

Thanks again!

Lars

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### Ellipse Master Template

This recommendation is really just for those of you who've reached lesson 6 and onwards.

I haven't found the actual brand you buy to matter much, so you may want to shop around. This one is a "master" template, which will give you a broad range of ellipse degrees and sizes (this one ranges between 0.25 inches and 1.5 inches), and is a good place to start. You may end up finding that this range limits the kinds of ellipses you draw, forcing you to work within those bounds, but it may still be worth it as full sets of ellipse guides can run you quite a bit more, simply due to the sizes and degrees that need to be covered.

No matter which brand of ellipse guide you decide to pick up, make sure they have little markings for the minor axes.