Box challenge construction question.

6:13 AM, Wednesday September 8th 2021

So I'm pretty sure this wasn't covered in the actual guidelines, I've double checked though maybe I missed it.

I'm 136 boxes into my 250 boxes (taking way longer than I expected!) and often I run into this situation when I put down a line and I've either miscalculated or my muscle accuracy isn't so great and I can see immediately that the line is wrong.

The point I'm not sure on though is, should I be constructing the box using the line I know to be incorrect to ensure all edges meet in corners or do I try to build the box using more correct lines meaning some edges do not meet the others at corners?

Is it more useful to commit to the mistake or try to make the rest of the box more correct?

Not sure if it even matters and my instinct is to go for the latter but I'm not sure if there is specific 'DAB' protocol for this situation and don't want to get to the end and find out I've been doing it wrong!

6 users agree
3:42 AM, Thursday September 9th 2021

Commit to the mistake. Ultimately mistakes are expected - but the mark is on the page, the decision has been made, even if unintentionally. Keep pushing forward with it as is.

5:40 AM, Thursday September 9th 2021

Hey comfy, thanks for the reply.

I realised my post was a little ambiguous.

I don't mean redrawing the line (I know that one is a big nono), I mean leaving the line I know to be wrong but ignoring it's placement while trying to make the lines that it should connect to more correct or just connecting the new lines to the line I know is incorrect compounding the boxes problems.

Sounds like you're saying just connect the lines to the line I know to be incorrect and move on, have I interpreted you correctly?

8:33 PM, Thursday September 9th 2021

Yup, that's correct. Our goal first and foremost is to end up with solid, three dimensional forms. Sure, a line might be incorrect, and may not converge consistently with the others in its set - but that doesn't mean it's impossible for a form to exist like that. It simply means that the resulting form won't be a perfect, rectilinear box. It can still however be a solid, plausible, three dimensional structure, as long as we continue building upon it as though it is what we had intended to draw.

1:15 AM, Friday September 10th 2021

Cool, thanks! I will adjust my approach for the last 100 boxes.

2 users agree
9:16 AM, Thursday September 9th 2021
edited at 9:19 AM, Sep 9th 2021

Mistakes are unavoidable and part of Drawabox is learning to work through them and create convincing images. In my view that means that the box still has to be a box, with lines meeting at corners. Don't write it off as a failure, think about which compromises will result in the most convincing box.

Here's a recent post showing that even with a ruler it's not possible to get the lines 100% accurate, but they're still very convincing boxes: . Don't think you're expected to create perfection when drawing freehand. Focus on being as accurate as possible when drawing your lines then do your best to work with whatever is on the page when planning subsequent lines. The better you do at the first part the easier the second will be.

edited at 9:19 AM, Sep 9th 2021
1:26 AM, Friday September 10th 2021

Oh! Absolutely! Mistakes are the best!

I'm happy to throw mistakes everywhere but then knowing what to do with those mistakes can be a tricky judgement call sometimes.

Thanks for your reply, glad I asked midway instead of getting to the end and finding out I'd been approaching the whole thing the wrong way!

0 users agree
12:32 PM, Wednesday September 8th 2021

I would say either scratch it ( which I did occasionally ) or make the best of it but don't try to correct lines you have already drawn. Let the perspective checking lines guide you to where you went wrong and learn from it. Move onto the next page of boxes.

5:46 AM, Thursday September 9th 2021

Oh! I don't mean redrawing the line! I know that ones a big no no.

I mean should the line I know is wrong dictate where the subsequent lines meet or should I ignore the line I know is wrong when it comes to trying to correctly place the subsequent lines.

So either force 3 lines to meet in a corner or try to draw the next 2 lines connecting in a corner with the original first line floating unconnected or crossing one of the other lines further up.

0 users agree
8:28 AM, Thursday September 9th 2021

First: good luck with 250 boxes challenge. It also took me more time that I expected. The worst thing you can do is trying to make the 250 boxes on a row under 2 days... The best way to tackle the challenge is to draw between 25 and 30 each day (or 2 or 3 days each a week) and putting concentration each time you're making a box.

You said that you miscalcul a line. It's not necessarly a bad thing, it means that you try to put a marks for a construction line.

You can some line weight to make a constrast between the body of the box and other part of the line.

If you feel your first line is incorrect the best thing to do is not to use it. To make your submission sheets clean, it may be even better to use another paper sheet and keep the one with the line (and or shitty boxes) for another use.

Just like when you write a kanji, the order of the strokes is important. I strongly recommed you to draw your box by always putting the marks on paper in the exact same order. When you "draw a box" in 3d/ with three vanishing points, you need to start with a Y shape. The upper part of the Y will be the top of your box and are linked to vanishing point 1 & 2.

Be sure that the left part and the right are not perfectly equal else you'll have only three line instead of one. After you drew your Y shape complete to get a flat square (the futur top of your box).

Finally choose a 3rd vanishing point. It will be linked to the bottom of the former Y shape. This VP need to be rather far away, else you box will be distored but not too far else it will pass on 2D mode.

Good luck with the challenge.

1:28 AM, Friday September 10th 2021

Thanks! Definitely pacing myself, it's taken me like 3 weeks to get to 150 boxes!

0 users agree
2:39 PM, Friday September 10th 2021

This is a great question & so glad you asked. I am just beginning the Challenge, and I think my question relates to this one so I'll add it here. Thank you to Eric Na for creating the tool that generates box corners to use as starting points. My question is: does the tool generate corners of actual, rectilinear boxes, and I don't have to add any length to any of the sides as presented? If I were able to copy each prompt exactly (not going to happen -- that's just in a perfect world), and I completed each prompt "correctly," would I end up with a perfect, rectilinear box? The reason why I ask is because, even using the prompts, my boxes are terrible. They are never rectangles with squared corners. Is it just that I need more practice, or is it that I might have to add length to some of the sides as presented? I'm only about 20 boxes in, so I suspect that I just need more practice. Thank you for listening!

1:41 AM, Tuesday September 14th 2021

I would drop using that tool. It is better to learn through your own efforts and that includes creating your own Ys. Better to think them up than copy (it's really not difficult, 4 dots in a Y shape). The tool may also limit what you do in terms of variation and understanding of box size and perspective.

You may feel the tool is helping you cause you have to think less, I think it may be hindering by taking away a significant cognitive step. IMO.

10:37 PM, Tuesday September 14th 2021

Cool, thank you. I will take your advice! So, it can be ANY Y?

11:58 PM, Tuesday September 14th 2021

Yes. But not having angles less than 90 degrees helps. Start simple and obvious until you get comfortable. Then bit by bit you can push the box parameters of size, foreshortening, angles etc.

From previous answers I have read it is OK to do some extreme foreshortening but it is best for the majority of boxes to have fairly distant vanishing points ie ones that aren't on the paper.

9:22 AM, Thursday September 16th 2021

Heya, welcome to the crunch!

Just building on what scoobs said, every variation the Y generator makes is capable of becoming an accurate representation of a rectilinear box.

When you are drawing the Y, you are drawing the corner that is closest to the viewer. That means that the angles in most circumstances must be greater than 90 degrees (because when a box is face on, it becomes a square and all corners are 90 degrees) and less than 180 degrees (because if the angle is greater than 180 degrees then one face has been pushed out of the viewers line of sight and it is no longer the internal corner closest to the viewer). This rule only breaks down with extreme foreshortening and only applies to the internal corner closest to the viewer.

It really helps to grab anything box shaped and spend a while just turning it around in your hands, point one corner directly at your eye so the 'Y' is equidistant (which is 120 degrees for each arm) and just slowly and subtly manipulate the position of the corner to watch how the angles change.

I also didn't use the generator, I think it's more useful at this stage to create them in your mind than to copy but thats just an opinion.

The recommendation below is an advertisement. Most of the links here are part of Amazon's affiliate program (unless otherwise stated), which helps support this website. It's also more than that - it's a hand-picked recommendation of something I've used myself. If you're interested, here is a full list.
Color and Light by James Gurney

Color and Light by James Gurney

Some of you may remember James Gurney's breathtaking work in the Dinotopia series. This is easily my favourite book on the topic of colour and light, and comes highly recommended by any artist worth their salt. While it speaks from the perspective of a traditional painter, the information in this book is invaluable for work in any medium.

This website uses cookies. You can read more about what we do with them, read our privacy policy.