Lesson 7: Applying Construction to Vehicles

4:56 PM, Friday November 10th 2023

Capsnuf - Drawabox Lesson 7 - Vehicles - Album on Imgur

Imgur: https://imgur.io/gallery/RRE5wN2

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Whew! Well, I finally got there. Felt pretty good to finish off that last drawing, oh boy. Just wanted to make sure that I had definitely let at least 14 days pass since my last submission… Ok!

I had quite a big break between completing the demo section of this lesson to actually getting around to doing the assigned pages (including intersections + cylinders), which you might notice from the dates... I was drawing in the interim, but I maybe felt daunted slightly by the challenge and over-thinking things led to the path of procrastination!

Anyway, I did come around to really enjoy the drawings though when I wasn't going cross-eyed and I'm really glad I stuck with it. But, I won't keep making excuses -- here's the homework!

(reference photos here: https://imgur.com/a/JkfKWbx )

It feels like a whoooole lotta time has passed since starting out on those ghosted lines and I'm really grateful for all of this material that you've made available through the Drawabox course - and to you & all your TAs for the dedication they put into providing feedback throughout. It's been fun! I won't go on and on, but I really did want to thank you for your work.



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7:46 PM, Tuesday November 14th 2023

Starting in with your form intersections, overall you're doing pretty well here, and your intersections demonstrate a well developed grasp of how these forms relate to one another in 3D space, but there are a few things I wanted to call out:

  • For this cylinder/box intersection, the top intersection line is fine (although on either end it could stand to curve a little more dramatically to wrap around the cylinder more convincingly), but the lower intersection doesn't actually make sense. I get what you were going for with this one, which appears to be more a case of the cylinder coming towards the viewer, and piercing through the box in the process, but the way in which that cylinder was drawn has it oriented downwards. So, you wouldn't get a visible second curve, and where it would exit the box would be further towards the back-left corner of the box. Always pay attention to what the forms in question are actually doing, and don't allow your desire to achieve a particular kind of intersection to distract you from that.

  • For this intersection, there are a couple things to note. Firstly, depending on which direction we're analyzing the lengthwise surface of the cylinder, it may be curved, or it may be entirely straight, as shown in red on top of your work. This means that the bulk of that intersection is going to be a straight line, cutting along the length of the cylinder, and it would curve only when we hit the underside of the box, which is oriented in a different direction. Secondly, you tackled this intersection with a single line, even though its visible portion covers two planes of the box - meaning that it has to cross the edge between them and dramatically change its trajectory there, resulting in a sharp corner.

  • Lastly, when it comes to line weight in this course, don't simply go back over the entire silhouette of the forms. Instead, focus on a more limited use of line weight to emphasize the specific localized overlaps as explained here. I will also have a new video coming out as part of the Lesson 1 boxes section's update that delves into this further - it's currently being edited, and should be out late this month or into the next, so keep an eye out for that if you're at all uncertain about this concept.

Continuing onto your cylinders in boxes, your work here is generally solid, although be sure to draw separate line extensions for each ellipse's minor axis line. There are cases where you only extend one line (like the topmost box, where you appear to have extended the "guide" minor axis line drawn in black - it's rare that you'll nail that alignment with your ellipses so perfectly, so it's important to keep an eye out for even small deviations to avoid plateauing in this area), and in others you appear to have skipped over it entirely.

Moving onto the meat of this lesson, as a whole you've done a really good job. Your form intersection vehicles are kept focused on the problem at hand by simply defining individual primitive volumes and creating a vehicle-like structure. This is intended to help students avoid simply viewing their more complex vehicle constructions as a collection of floating edges that finally come together in the end, and helps them remember that they still need to be thinking in terms of blocking out their major volumes in the same manner, just inside of the confines of a bounding box and whilst applying subdivision/orthographic plans to keep proportions in order.

This concern - that is, thinking in terms of volumes rather than floating edges - is still something that you didn't quite hold to as well as you could have here, and I believe the larger reason for that is that you were somewhat more focused on creating a distinct, easily understandable and visually pleasing end result, which resulted in you using different kinds of pens for the different stages of your construction - a much fainter ballpoint for the construction, and then a fineliner to go back over things and separate them out with a "clean-up pass".

Problem is, that was specifically addressed in the instructions as something to avoid, in the section that allows students to use ballpoint pens. Furthermore, this is an issue that arose in your Lesson 6 work, and I did point it out there as well. While I understand that was a long, long time ago, it does still fall entirely to you to review past feedback, to read the instructions carefully, and to review them as well periodically to ensure you're not missing important points.

While this does not interfere with my ability to see your demonstrated understanding of spatial reasoning, your ability to leverage construction effectively, and so forth, it does impact what you get out of this exercise. By splitting your attention between the actual learning/growth aspect of the exercise, and the desire to create a clean, attractive drawing at the end, you take resources away from the former, which is a considerably more important part of what we're doing here. So, keep that in mind when practicing these exercises for yourself in the future - or when practicing anything you've learned here in this course.

The last thing I wanted to note is that reviewing this section from Lesson 6 in particular would be well worth it. While your use of the orthographic plans does improve a fair bit over the course of the set, they don't quite pin down all of the major landmarks they're meant to. In essence - and this is explained in the section I linked - the purpose of the orthographic plans is to make all of your decisions up-front. By pinning down all the proportional relationships between different elements of the structure, and doing so using subdivisional techniques, we can basically do all the hard thinking two dimensions at a time, and then transfer all of those decisions in exactly the same way by reproducing the steps in three dimensions.

Mind you, that section may not have been there when you were tackling Lesson 6, so think of this as additional information to help you continue applying these concepts effectively going forward, rather than a chastisement of having missed something.

And with that, I'll go ahead and mark this lesson, and the course as a whole, as complete. There were definitely some shortcomings, but at the end of the day they did not meaningfully impact what was a clear demonstration of a solid understanding of 3D space, but be sure to apply them going forward to ensure that you're getting the most out of these kinds of exercises.


This critique marks this lesson as complete.
9:36 AM, Wednesday November 15th 2023
edited at 9:38 AM, Nov 15th 2023

Hey - thanks for your feedback!

I just wanted to clarify a few things, to make sure I can get the most out of your feedback, if that's okay? I did only use a biro for all the drawings submitted here (plus brush pen for cast shadows) as per instructions. I did add much more weight when drawing 'final' (or 'visible') lines whilst trying to be as light as possible with the biro for subdividing and construction lines early on - so that the constructions didn't become too visually cluttered/difficult to understand. I thought that was why we were told to use ballpoint pens, to take advantage of the range of value you can get from them, but apologies if I was mistaken.

For example: here where a line runs from the front corner of the vehicle to the back of the cab, through the wheel, to lay down the general length - I added line weight to the line either side of the wheel with biro, thinking of this as adding line weight in order to clarify the position of the line.

I remembered the feedback from lesson 6, after I tried using different coloured fine liners for different 'phases' of the drawing, so I did think I was trying to approach this lesson more in the right direction. I wanted to make this clear as it seemed like an important point in your critique, and I can understand why it would be if it looked like I had ignored specific instructions or previous feedback. Anyway, I just want to be able to properly take your feedback on board and make sure I am addressing the right thing, so that I can work on improving.

With the orthographic plans, it would be really helpful for me if you could be more specific in terms of which landmarks I am missing during this phase. With the 8 orthographic plans (not including the ones I made following the demos), I can't see much of a change in my approach between my first and my last so it would be good for me to know exactly what I should be focusing on here more to improve.

Sorry! If any of this is nitpicky or anything, I apologise. I just wanted to make sure I can get the most out of the last feedback! :sweat:

Thanks again for your time, I appreciate it!

edited at 9:38 AM, Nov 15th 2023
7:03 PM, Thursday November 16th 2023

In terms of the pen usage, while it definitely looked like the clean-up pass was done with a fineliner, there are definitely situations where the results can be hard to distinguish. That said, the bigger issue was less the switching of the pen, and more the clean-up pass itself. When we change pens, it pretty much requires us to trace back over the entirety of the drawing because of how when mixed, fineliners and ballpoint pens tend to stand out, so it'd look strange to just touch up a few areas with what would be a much thicker pen.

We advise students against clean-up passes because they tend to put us in a "tracing" mode - meaning, we're focusing on following the lines on the flat page, rather than remembering that our strokes are meant to exist in three dimensions, and be drawn with confidence. While I didn't strictly notice that issue in your work, it's still something I wanted to bring to your attention both as something to avoid when applying the exercises from this course, and in terms of making sure you keep a close eye on the instructions.

As to the orthographic plans, by landmarks I basically mean any sort of corner or feature that you would need to make a decision on at that phase. I marked out a few here - each of those, working from that orthographic plan, would still have to be guessed at or estimated when moving to 3D space. As explained here, those are the things you already want to have decided upon before moving to the 3D construction - or in the situation where you missed some, it's probably best to go back to the orthographic plan, make the decision there, then continue (instead of trying to eyeball it).

1:42 PM, Saturday November 18th 2023

Thanks for getting back to me!

Yeah, I definitely do have a tendency to go over lines a bit too much when I am drawing. Anyway, note taken! I will work on it going forward. :)

And thanks for the extra notes on the orthographics - makes more sense to me now what you were getting at - I definitely could have been more precise. Must subdivide more!

Thankyou again & all the best


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