Session 1A | Oct 26, 2016

Session 1A | Oct 26, 2016

The Science Of Beauty

Today we’re going to talk about why we find some things beatiful. We’ll try to make a "scientific" explanation of what makes something pleasing to the eye. Then we will prescribe several "recipes" for making beautiful visuals.
Visual principles are based on how our brains work:  a still from ‘Annie Hall’ (Woody Allen, 1976)

In Class


Lecture: Principles Of Visual Composition

The same way that musicians arrange notes according to the principles such as harmony or rhythm to make music, visual artists manipulate visual elements to create works of visual beauty. Like musicians, we have our own set of principles that evolved through millennia of artistic practice and that help us consistently create great work. These principles are based on the way our minds perceive reality. Therefore they work because they are based on how our brains work.

Download Lecture (15Mb .pdf)



Lecture: Visual Effects

Sometimes certain visual content can trick our brain into perceiving things that are not actually there. These visual effects can affect the way our visual compositions are perceived and can work either for or against our intention.

Download Lecture (8Mb .pdf)

‘Phi-grid’ applied to a still from ‘Mr. Robot’ (Sam Esmail for USA Network, 2016)

Lecture: Practical Guide to Visual Composition

Knowing all these principles and effects are all nice and important – but how do you actually get to use them when you have an actual job to do? Where do you start, what do you do next? This lecture addresses the good professional workflow that relies on the principles of visual compositions, as well as offer a couple of useful tricks you can use to  consistently produce solid results.

Download Lecture (5.1Mb .pdf)


Left: Rule of thirds + contrast.  Right: Radial symmetry + dramatic. Student work from DCC2016.

TASK : Practice Visual Compositions

In class, you have done a couple of exercises to practice certain principles of visual compositions. First, make sure you upload the work you’ve done in class.

Then you will need to create at least 5 new compositions at home, using the same kind of materials you used in class. Here’s how to do it:

Keywords For You Image Titles

For each composition you make, first choose which keywords you want to address with the image you create. Please take a look at these keywords:

peaceclosuresymmetrydepthasymmetrycontinuityrule of 1/3groupingdominant by sizedominant by differencecontrastedge alignmentmovementcenter alignmentstabilitychangegolden ratiorhythm

For each image you create, first select two of the keywords from the table, then make a composition that relates to these keywords. Choose different keyword combination every time! Best would be to just choose keywords randomly (throw a dice?). For example:

Always write down keywords below each image you post!



Bring To Class Next Time

To be able to follow the next class, please make sure that you bring the following:


Cool & Useful

Photoshop Tutorials

Image Cropping And ResizingUnderstanding the concept of image sizes, as well as adjusting the size and cropping of your images is a most basic skill any designer must master and control at any times.

Adjusting Image Brightness And ContrastThis quick tutorial will show you a couple of ways to enhace your images by adjusting the brightness and contrast.

The following is a last year’s tutorial where I outlined the importance of preparing the photos before posting them here (and before sharing any photos in any manner actually):

Preparing Images To PostThis post is a quick tutorial how to prepare images for posting this website, and in general. Images of bad quality (rotated, blurred...) will no longer be considered submitted.

Students' Work

Session 1B – flatspace
Elements and Principles of Design (Class 2)
Visual Composition
The Science of Beauty
N# 2 The Beauty of Science
lesson 2
The science of beauty
The Science of Beauty
Session 01
Session 2
The Science of Beauty
Class Work
Session 01
Visual Composition
Session 1
session 1
Session #2
The science of beauty
Session 1
Session 1
Session 01
Session 2
Session 2