Thursday, 22 August 2013

03.11 Vectors

The eye likes to follow a line, or even the hint of one.

Visual composition makes use of this by directing the viewer's gaze from an obvious point of interest to a less obvious one, through the use of a joining line (or lines) possessed of movement and momentum. These connecting linear graphical elements - they must have a strong sense of direction and movement - are called vectors.

Vectoring is achieved compositionally through:

  • Diagonals
    These are the most energetic of straight lines. It there are many of them, and if they converge, then the vector is stronger.
  • Curves
    These lines have flow, pace, and even acceleration if they have a decreasing radius.
  • Implied lines
    As created by the Gestalt joining of dots, edges of forms or shadows. These vectors are weaker, but may be the only possible alternative when real lines are unavailable.
  • Representations of movement
    A viewer's eye 'reads ahead' of an object in motion. Hence an image of: a person walking, a swooping falcon, a speeding car, or a falling apple, drives the gaze along the same direction.
  • Orientation
    Objects recognisably associated with movement: trains, cars, horses, and arrows can vector just by the direction they face.
(note: visual vectors, in this case, differ from the strict definition of vectors in physics which must have both magnitude and direction - curves are not vectors because of changing direction.)

No comments:

Post a Comment