Assignment #2



This week, you will return to your still life.  You will perform an analysis of the forms of your still life objects.  Please make sure your still life still has three different objects.

From Francis Ching’s Design Drawing:

“Unlike contour drawing, in which we proceed from part to part, analytical drawing proceeds from the whole to the subordinate parts and finally the details. Subordinating parts and details to the structure of the overall form prevents a piecemeal approach that can result in faulty proportional relationships and a lack of unity.”

1.  Using light, freely drawn lines, block out a transparent volumetric framework for your forms.  Imagine a transparent box whose sides touch the front, back, top, bottom, and both sides of an object, establishing the objects boundaries.  These lines are also called regulating lines.  We can use these lines to locate points on surfaces, find centers, express perpendicular and tangential relationships, and establish offsets.  These lines do not only map the exterior boundaries of the objects, but as they are imaginary, they can cut through forms and extend through spaces as they link, organize, and give measure to the various parts of an object or composition.  Since these lines are very very light, they can be confirmed or adjusted as you continue with the drawing.  Do not erase these lines.  They are the trace of your eye’s investigation.  They reveal the constructive process.

From Ching's Design Drawing. Showing two stages of bottles drawn with regulating lines.

2.  Begin to draw the contours of your objects, using the volumetric blocks as guides to proportion and placement, and gauges for angles.  Through this method you should be able to convey a convincing sense of volume occupied by the form.  Working in this way prevents the appareance of flatness that can result from concentrating too much on surface rather than volume. Now, if you’d like and know how, (but this is not necessary, as we will look at tone in future classes) you may add some shading to further render the appearance of volume.

3.  Rotate your still life as you did last week, creating 12 drawings, using steps 1&2 above.  Make sure the center of your still life is also the center of rotation.  Mark on the drawing where the center of your still life’s rotation hits on the table, and transfer that mark to each drawing. Create oval guides touching the corners of your construction boxes.  From one drawing to the next, the edges of your still life will follow these oval paths.   Be sure to register your drawings, making sure the proportions of the objects are consistent from drawing to drawing, and the still life’s position on the page does not drift.  Make sure the drawings complete a full rotation, and the position of the first drawing matches the position of the last.  When looped, we should not be able to detect which drawing you made first.  In other words, it should create a seamless loop.

4.  Scan your drawings and export a quicktime.  Make sure you scan them in a consistent way so you do not unintentionally create drift.  When you make your quicktime, you will be either be exporting your drawings at 720×540 pixels (a 4×3 format), or 1280×720 pixels (a 16×9 format), so be sure your drawings fit within one of those dimensions.  You can bring them into Photoshop and size them there, again making sure you do it consistently.  (In Photoshop, you can even color-correct or tweak minor drifting if you so choose.)  Make sure your images are labeled chronologically.  Using Quicktime Pro 7, open an image sequence, select your first image, and open at 15fps.  Finally, export a .mov of your still life:

File > Export > Movie to Quicktime Movie
Options:  Settings:  Compression: H.264
Frame Rate:  15fps
Size: 1280×720 or 720×540
Uncheck sound and prepare for internet streaming

Please label your .mov and put it in your folder.

Also, please get a sketchbook for class if you do not have one yet.


DON HERTZFELDT at the Coolidge, April 2

I HIGHLY recommend you go see the man and his films at the Coolidge Corner Theater, this coming April 2nd.  Buy your tickets now, as he one of the coolest animators alive, and I am sure it will sell out.

Billy's Balloon, 1998, student film

Go to the bottom of the page and link to tickets for Boston. or

And go ahead and watch his films online.  They are all shot on film, and will be even better in person!!!!


Miyazaki Screening at the MFA, Feb 1-19, 2012

This is a great opportunity to see the masters of Studio Ghibli on the big screen.  These movies are delightful and exquisitely drawn.

Spirited Away, Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli

And, since we don’t have class next Wednesday the 1st, if instead you go see one of the films,  (and show me your ticket stub), you’ll get extra credit!!



Assignments are due at 5pm next Wednesday, submitted in the class folder. We will begin the next class by watching your homework assignments.  Create your own folder within the class folder labeled with your first and last name ( folder/yourfolder)
You should have 3 things in your folder for next week:
1. Chair Rotation QT
2. a photo of your still life
3. Still Life Rotation QT

Also, please bring a sketchbook to class from now on, to do your in-class work in.

For next week:

1. Scan your in-class chair rotation drawings.  Be consistent in how you register your drawings on the scanner bed. Rotate the drawings if necessary to achieve the correct orientation. Be sure the image file names are numbered in proper chronological order. Using Quicktime Player 7 > File > Open Image Sequence, select the first number in your image sequence, at 15fps.  Export your sequence using the following settings:

File > Export > Movie to Quicktime Movie
Options:  Settings:  Compression: H.264
Frame Rate:  current (or 15fps)
Size: current
Uncheck sound and prepare for internet streaming

Please name your file  Please create a folder with your first and last name in the class Assignments_In folder on the Emerson course server, and put the assignment in there.

2. Assignment:  Still life Rotation.

Create a small table-top still life out of three objects.  At least one object must have curves, and one object must be boxy with sharp edges. Cut a perfect circle out of paper or cardboard large enough for your still-life to sit upon. Mark 12 equidistant marks around the circumference of the circle (like the numbers on a clock).  Place your circle on the table with your still-life on top of it.  Using small pieces of tape, at 12,3,6,and 9 o’clock, create guide markers for your circle. (As you rotate your circle, the markers will enable you to keep your circle steady.) Take a photo of your still life, and put it in your folder on the sever. Rotate your still life in a complete circle, drawing your still life 12 times, maintaining a consistent POV.  You do not move, your still life moves in a 360 circle.

Note:  Please do not create a CGI virtual still life, and use frame grabs to make your drawings.  Frame grabs are already flattened to 2D space – the point of the exercise is for YOUR EYES to do the work flattening the 3D objects into a 2D image.

Scan your 12 drawings, sequence them in the correct order, and Export a Quicktime Movie following the same parameters as in Part 1.  Name it and put it in your folder on the server.

GRADING:  for a total of 5 points

Chair Rotation Animation – full circular loop, drawings in order, orientation correct: .5pt
Chair Rotation Animation – .mov file at parameters listed above: .5pt
Sketchbook in class: .5pt
Photo of still life: .5pt
Three objects, One curved object, one sharp object: .5pt
12 drawings of still life: volumes accurate rendered, relationships proportional: 1pt
12 drawings of still life: ground plane and POV is consistent in all drawings: 1pt
Still Life Rotation Animation – .mov file at parameters listed above: .5pt