Composition is the placement or arrangement of visual elements or ingredients in a work of art, as distinct from the subject of a work. It can also be thought of as the organization of the elements of art according to the principles of art. This article will cover the mostly used terms in general manner so this applies on photography and 3d rendering both.
The Rule of Thirds
There are times when you need to place your subject in the centre of the frame, you can create more interesting, balanced and powerful compositions by placing the subject off-centre in your photograph. A technique that can help you visualize your shots is the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds means to view your shot through a grid made up of three equal parts, both vertically and horizontally.
This immediately cause the viewer’s eye to move around the image – centrally placed subjects tend to focus attention in the middle of the image and leave it there, making pictures feel flat as a result. If you’re trying to create an abstract or graphic representation of reality, this might be exactly the technique you’re looking for. This rule is a basic principal often used in photography, video and film.
One of the most frequently used ways of directing the viewer’s eye to the centre of interest in a picture is by following the rule of thirds. Infact, there are lenses you can buy for cameras that makes this rule visible through viewfinder and allows you to visualize where to place your characters and subjects.
Visualizing your shots in thirds is like adding graph paper over your camera lens, allowing you to align and balance subjects. In order to know if you are using the rule of thirds properly, think of sight lines or readings. When you are presented with a new image, for example, the eye goes to the most prominent shape in the frame, which is called the first read. Then the eye wanders to a secondary shape, the second read, and so on. Keep practicing it, and the rule of thirds will start to work itself into each of your shots.
Depth of Field
One complaint in many 3D animations is that they look “too clean”. So, what do you do? You can add more detailed textures, better lighting, softer shadows, and even radiosity. But watch any movie, and you’ll see something not often put into 3d animations: depth of field.
When a lens focuses on a subject at a distance, all subjects at that distance are sharply focused. Subjects that are not at the same distance are out of focus and theoretically are not sharp. However, since human eyes cannot distinguish very small degree of unsharpness, some subjects that are in front of and behind the sharply focused subjects can still appear sharp. The zone of acceptable sharpness is referred to as the depth of field. Depth of field, often called DOF in animation software.
You can use depth of field in a number of shots:
1) Over the shoulder shots
2) Close-up shots
3) Product Shots
4) Landscape Shots
5) Crowd Shots
Depth of field can also be animated. For example, many shots in movies and television use rack-focus shots. These are shots that changes focus over time, perhaps from one person talking to another. The cinematographer needs to manually adjust the focus, aperture and other settings on the fly while shooting the scene. In the digital world, it’s much easier. You can assign a focus point to your 3d camera, set an appropriate f-stop, and then simply keyframe that focus point at any desired time.
So, add more depth in your image or animations through Depth of Field.