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The Principles of Three-Dimensional Design

  • Composition: The placement or arrangement of visual elements or ingredients in a work of art. To arrange the piece and it’s objects to make the view they want. Defined as the combination of multiple parts into a unified or harmonious whole.



  • Grouping: Initial mental process whereby the viewer tries to create order and make connections when presented with a collection of separate visual units. 



  • Containment: Containment is a unifying force created by the outer edge of a composition or by a boundary withing a composition. 



  • Proximity: It is the distance between units. 



  • Continuity: Defined as a fluid connection among compositional parts. 




  • Repetition: Occurs when we use the same visual element of effect any number of times withing a composition. 



  • Closure: The mind’s inclination to connect fragmentary information to produce a completed form. 



  • Increasing variety: Difference in any aspect of design increases variety. (Line Variation, Variation in texture, Variation in Pattern).



  • Balance: Refers to the distribution of weight or force among visual units.  



  • Scale: Refers to a size relationship between two separate objects. Scale commonly refers to the size of a form when compared to human size. 




  • Proportion: Refers to the relative size of the visual elements within an image. 



  • Emphasis: It gives particular prominence to a part of a design. A focal point is a compositional device used to create emphasis. 



  • Contrast: Created when two or more forces operate in opposition. 



  • Rhythm: Defined as the organization of multiple elements or effects into a deliberate pattern. 


  •  Unity and Variety: Both are completely opposite. Unity means things that match or come together with similarities and alikeness. Variety is difference in things that are compare and show opposite of other things upon them. 




unity variety



  • Balance: It can be shown through patterns, repetition, structure, and symmetry. 

images art-of-balance2

  • Scale: It can be shown be comparing two things and it shows the sizes beside each other. 



  • Line: It can consist of straight, curved, round, or rapid markings of lines. It can be done upon a flat surface, or in any other medium that can be thought up.


  • Plane: A specific surface or placement that continues in a constant position and does not change, or can but in another specific way in an art work. 


  • Volume: Giving a flat object that is normally straight and flat, and then making it something other than flat, and you make it three-dimensional, and that is what volume is to art work with objects that start off as flat. 



  • Mass: This element is very similar to volume, almost exact. So refer to the above element, volume. 


  • Space: It can be expressed in the background, and can be expressed through negative space use, and empty areas within an piece of art work. 


  • Texture: This element is used to make an object in an art piece to look like it feels a certain way or is built a certain way. 



  • Light: It can be realistic, or actual light used in an art piece, or the illusion of light, or the use of techniques to make light in an art piece. 


  • Color: In art, color is the eye being met with light coming off of a piece of art work. Rainbow colors, and neutral colors, or monotone color. 



  • Time: This elements is closely related to the element movement in any art pice that shows objects in a particular way.


  • Form: This element can be show through shapes and sizes that can be objects or places upon a human beings body, and ect. 



  • Content: The subject matter of a work of art including emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and symbolic implication. 



  • Context: The space in which an image or object is placed which can influence meaning. 



  • Hight/Width/Depth: The three dimensions in 3D Design. An orthographic projection helps us to depict these three dimensional in a two-dimensional rendering. 

Funky Abstract Background


  • Relief: Refers to an artwork that uses a flat backing as a base for three dimensional form.



  • A Three-Quarter Work: It can be examined from those front and two sides, adding more dimensionality but still being bound by the wall.


  • Free Standing Works: It is designed to be seen from all sides and allows the viewer to move freely around the object.



  • Installation: An ensemble of images and objects that are presented within a 3 dimensional environment- such as gallery.


  • Earthwork: A large-scale outdoor installation.


  • Site specific artwork: Specifically designed and installed in a particular place.



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