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ctaulbee
post Oct 19 2015, 05:12 PM
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The Rule of Thirds, sometimes referred to as the Golden Mean or Golden Ratio is a design "rule of thumb" or guideline which applies to the process of composing visual images such as graphics, paintings, and photographs. This is not to say that this is 'the end all way' to create composition it is simply 'one' possible way to compose a scene.

Proponents of the technique claim that aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the main subject matter would.

It may be that humans are genetically programmed to recognize the ratio in the Golden mean as being pleasing to look at. One common example is: studies of top fashion models revealed that their faces have an abundance of the 1.618 ratio which is the mathematical equivalent for the Golden Mean.

Application of the guideline dictates that the canvas should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines and that important compositional elements IE the key characters, text elements or the main focal points should be placed along these lines or their intersections, also placing the horizon on the top or bottom line, or allowing linear features in the image to flow from section to section.

The main reason for observing the Rule of Thirds is to discourage placement of the subject at the center, or prevent a horizon from appearing to divide the picture in half.

This photograph demonstrates a typical center aligned image:
Attached File  ROT_Sample1.jpg ( 352.57K ) Number of downloads: 0


The same image aligned using the Rule of Thirds:
Attached File  ROT_Sample2.jpg ( 355.22K ) Number of downloads: 0


Notice that now the horizon sits at the horizontal line dividing the lower third of the photo from the upper two-thirds. The tree now sits at the intersection of two lines, sometimes called a power point or a crash point.

Minor items & points of interest in the composition do not have to actually touch one of the lines or align to a power point to take advantage of the rule of thirds.

When positioning people not directly facing the camera, the common Rule of Thirds application is to line the body up with a vertical line running through their perceived center of mass and the person's eyes aligned to a horizontal line while keeping the majority of the extra room in front of the person, use with a close-up face would be to place the subjects eyes on a horizontal line.

Now lets take a look at some cover fronts that have won contests and see how they take advantage of the Rule of Thirds in their compositions.

Kernie's Scream HRC contest winner.
His main character placement in centered on the upper right quadrants power point all his secondary characters run along quadrant lines and the title treatment is nicely positioned in the lower quadrant, oh did I mention it's a badass awesome title treatment as well...
Attached File  ScreamROT.jpg ( 661.54K ) Number of downloads: 2



Cirus's Psycho HRC Contest winner.
His three main items are all on power points, the house in centered in the bottom left quadrant, the TT centered in the upper left quadrant, and the main characters eye's on the top horizontal line.
Attached File  PsychoROT.jpg ( 425.94K ) Number of downloads: 1



xshoty's Lone Survivor showdown winner.
His main character placement in centered on the lower right quadrants power point.
Attached File  LoneSurvivorROT.jpg ( 454.09K ) Number of downloads: 0



Kylumi's Nurse 3D contest winner.
His title treatment plaque, quite a cool little layout idea for this I might add, is centered in the upper left quadrants power point and his main char is aligned on the right vertical.
Attached File  NurseROT.jpg ( 575.06K ) Number of downloads: 0



Here is a PNG of the grid layout for the Rule of Thirds I made sometime ago, it can be added to any template as a guide layer for the front, it was setup for a 3118 cover size but it will work fine centered on a 3173 front too.
Attached File  RuleOfThirds3118Front.png ( 21.3K ) Number of downloads: 7


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Bazzah
post Oct 19 2015, 05:59 PM
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Great tip C. Something new I have learned today 8834.gif


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easylife
post Oct 19 2015, 07:13 PM
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gonna try this out, cheers for the guide


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sauron
post Oct 19 2015, 07:42 PM
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Nice guide C! Knew about the rules of thirds but haven't thought about it in cover design.
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kylumi
post Oct 20 2015, 09:20 AM
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QUOTE (sauron @ Oct 19 2015, 08:42 PM) *
Nice guide C! Knew about the rules of thirds but haven't thought about it in cover design.



Especially in cover making Sauron m8 icon_smile.gif
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