Lesson 6: Applying Construction to Everyday Objects

3:11 PM, Sunday November 26th 2023

Lesson 6 - Album on Imgur

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Hey, sorry about the orthographic and 3D drawings being out of order, hate to make a mess, but I always make sure to use every inch of paper and some orthographic views where too big for some drawings to fit on the same page. The order in which I did them is: mouth wash demo, shelf, water bottle, smart phone, toaster, air fryer, electrical plug and VR headset.

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10:46 PM, Tuesday November 28th 2023

I get homework submissions throughout the week, but I do my critiques in batches, on Tuesday and Thursday, so as to be more efficient. In between though, I'll often check submissions to just see what I've got coming up and consider how to handle any trickier situations. So, I did look at your submission the day you sent it in, and noted to myself, "Ah we'll be talking a bit about form intersections, but damn the object constructions were super well done".

Well, I just finished another Lesson 6 critique which was very similar to yours, and so I quite literally said more or less the same thing when starting - "As you've done a pretty great job with the object constructions, this critique is going to focus primarily on your form intersections."

I've now realized that while I wasn't wrong (and of course my feedback was based on their results), I... definitely got the two submissions confused. While theirs was indeed very well done, and while they made excellent use of their orthographic plans... you really knocked that out of the park. And we'll talk about it of course, but as I noted to the other student, we're going to focus on the form intersections.

In a lot of ways, the form intersections represent the skill we're training throughout the entirety of this course. It's all about spatial reasoning - so like we force students to dive into the deep end of the pool with the organic perspective boxes, before actually teaching them to swim in the 250 box challenge, by introducing them to the form intersections in Lesson 2 before we actually get into the constructional drawing exercises that help develop our understanding of 3D space, we're equipping them to first understand the nature of the problem it is we're trying to address. Then we revisit it here, once the student's had some time to cook, so to speak, so that whatever advice is offered here has a better chance to be understood and applied effectively. Doing so earlier risks overwhelming the student instead.

Now, looking at your work, your first page was definitely... not great. A lot of mistakes there suggest that you weren't all that clear on how the forms were relating to one another in space. We'll look at those mistakes, but beforehand I do want to note that as you progress into the second and third pages, you start demonstrating a much stronger understanding of what's going on. While this does suggest to me that your spatial reasoning skills are indeed quite strong, it also suggests to me that maybe you weren't incorporating the form intersections into your regular warmup exercise rotation as you should be. So what may have happened is that the skills had been developed as intended through the use of the constructional drawing exercises from lessons 3-5, but that you were just super uncomfortable with the form intersections themselves, due to a lack of practice on that specific end. Not the end of the world, but if I'm right in my guess there, do be sure to pick from all the exercises we've introduced when doing your warmups, as explained here.

Here are my corrections of your first page. I marked in arrows denoting the curvature of the surfaces relevant to many of the intersection lines, as each intersection is essentially a combination between the interaction between pairs of intersections. These individual pieces are then stitched together based on how we transition from one to the other. The easier ones are where that transition is a hard edge (which results in a sharp corner where that trajectory changes suddenly). What's harder is where the transition is a smoother, more rounded one, which starts to blur the lines between being a "transition" and being just another surface of its own - the distinction is more contextual, really.

This diagram kind of illustrates this, by taking a hard edge and "rounding" it out, although the way we navigate it is exactly the way we'd navigate that sphere intersecting with a cylinder.

Now, I'm fairly confident that these are not concepts that are new to you, as you demonstrate an understanding of them as you progress through the exercise, with the third page being very well done. The only issue I noticed on that page was here, where you'd drawn a curving line for the intersection between the flat end of the cylinder, and the flat side of the box, which should instead result in a straight line.

Anyway, continuing onto your object constructions, you've done a phenomenal job here. I am thrilled to see your extensive use of orthographic plans here to really precisely work up to the final result by first making decisions, then applying them. That is at the core of what we're doing both here and in Lesson 7, where we move from working reactively (that is, in the sense that if we make a dog's cranial ball too big, we simply draw the rest of its facial elements bigger to match, resulting in a dog with a very big head - but one that still feels solid and three dimensional) to doing a lot more planning so as to maintain more overall control over the result. It is time consuming, and it is tedious, but you met that challenge head-on, and have demonstrated the patience and care that will (if applied as you've done so here) yield excellent results when you get to Lesson 7.

So! I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete. Keep up the fantastic work.

Next Steps:

Feel free to move onto the 25 wheel challenge, which is a prerequisite for Lesson 7.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
11:35 PM, Tuesday November 28th 2023

Hey, thanks a lot for the feedback! Never expected my work to be directly compared to another student here, but I must admit that it felt really good in this context :P. I will actually confess that you called me out on the warm-ups painfully accurately. I try to do the most confusing and challenging exercises too (even organic perspective is getting less and less scary, also, rotated boxes are my bitch at this point xD), but I really struggled with self assessing the quality of my form intersections, which made me feel like I wont get as much from repeating them as I do from other warm-ups, which I can see that I improve at (or still make obvious mistakes). Textures are another weakness of mine, which will probably bite me in the ass at the wheels challenge. That is of course entirely my fault, as I would probably start to notice mistakes I didn't before in my previous warm-ups, if I would do more than the few I did. So this is just my little therapy session, sorry bout that ;).

On a serious note, I will focus on textures now, before committing to the wheels full on, but I got an extra question regarding this lesson if you don't mind. I'm not too happy overall with the water bottle, but there is a specific point that bothered me the most and I was hoping you could explain. I see how I messed up the contour, by measuring it before projecting the cylinder down and then shifting it to the right spot with a few measurements, the bottom is also a little too accurate to the orthographic and kinda ignores the real life reference, but I sill cannot figure out why to cap at the top is so long. This really bothered me for like an hour and no matter how much I starred at it, no obvious mistake stuck out. I compared it with the orthographic view and the real life reference, and I can see that the length discrepancy is literally cartoonish, but all the measurements in the box look correct to me and perspective shift is way too subtle to cause that. So what is it? Please tell me, I'm going insane! :D

8:36 PM, Thursday November 30th 2023

So I think I figured out the answer, but... I'm not entirely sure. Looking at your orthographic/construction, I identified these two divisions, which don't appear to be the result of subdivision, but rather the reflection of one arbitrary measurement from one side to the other. That is entirely fine of course - we don't have to always aim to be as precise as possible, just the act of creating these relationships that measurements on either end are equal, increases precision.

What this does mean however, is that those were probably where you started breaking down your construction, as there are many subdivisions that seem to hinge on them. But, given this, if you defined the lower section in your 3D construction first, then mirrored it up to the top, that definitely can result in the end closer to the viewer (the bottle cap) ending up a lot bigger/longer than you intended, as eyeballed the farther measurement, then had it revealed to you just what that measurement would be when moved closer to the viewer.

This is still a guess - the orthographic's pretty complex so it could be that one of those reflected elements was based on something else, but I couldn't identify what that would be.

If it's correct, then to avoid this I'd recommend placing anything that is arbitrary on the closer end, and reflecting it to be farther away, as you'll be a better judge of the measurements closer to you.

8:53 PM, Thursday November 30th 2023

Oh my god yeah I think you nailed it! It was an arbitrary point I eye-bolled on one side and projected through the middle to the other and it looks right on the orthographic, but all the measurements in the 3D drawing added up to a big discrepancy. Thanks for a suggestion on how to counter that in similar cases - might be useful in lesson 7.

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