Products and perspective (1)

Class 4/6 – May 16th 2012 –

During the reflection of your work from last week we first talked about the scenario’s. My general observation was that most sketches could benefit from bumping the contrast a little more. Also the characters that are not directly part of the actual idea that you have highlighted are part of the context of that idea. To be able to tell the whole story you should make sure that it is visible. On that same note: give your scenario a descriptive title that explains to your audience what they are looking at.

reflection 120516_01

reflection 120516_02

The sketches of the product-ideas where a good indicator for me to see where you stand at this point. One big observation is that regardless the (expected) trouble with perspective drawing these sketches still communicated your ideas pretty good. Only when we try to evaluate different styling options we run into difficulties because we then need to read the form as a more realistic representation.

As discussed, see where these (and other) general comments apply to your own work and include it in your personal reflections.

In this class we investigated the basic principles of perspective by analyzing a 3D model of a cube. We discovered that in most cases you can’t actually use the geometric rules of construction directly since the three vanishing points are most likely not visible on your page. Therefor you have to take a guess at where they are and aim your lines in the appropriate direction. A good way to practice this is by sketching cubes from multiple angles.


We also looked at two pictures of a whiteboard wiper taken with a different focal length. In reality we see very little perspective in smaller products like this one, however when sketching products a slightly exaggerated use of perspective makes the product a little more dynamic and attractive because it literally draws the audience closer to the object. Be careful not to use too much perspective because it also makes the objects appear larger then they are.

focal lenght

Next we used images of simple square products (such as hard disks) to analyze the perspective and use their framework of angles and proportions to construct sketches of these products. First by using the same perspective as in the photograph and than by mentally rotating the objects and constructing our own perspectives.


dvd-players_imagesObservation is key in understanding perspective. The better you understand it, the easier it becomes to reproduce it in your sketches. A major part of learning to make good sketches is training yourself to see what is wrong in your sketch and than correct it. That is why we use the blue pencil and sketch as light as possible. Sketching is an explorative process of working towards a result. By training your skills extensively you will gradually be able to put down your lines in the right place at the first attempt and speed up the process step by step.


dvd-players_bluedvd-players_markerIn the last demo I showed you how to communicate a selection of your sketches by adding contrast and some details like radii, parting lines, buttons and graphics.

To do for next week:

A lot of practice! Take a good 4 hours to focus on this exercise. Collect plenty of reference material or create your own and repeat the above exercise. See how much you can explore and produce in this time frame, but save the last hour to switch to the communication mode and highlight a couple of sketches per page. Include a title and some descriptive text about the products.


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