A recent post on zevendesign.com outlined 8 pain ways to establish depth it art, photography, and film.
- Linear Perspective
We've all read or watched something that teaches us about creating depth, but the examples they used in this post were so beautiful and unique I found it necessary to share.
The man stands holding an axe in front of the misty forrest that slowly fades off in to the distance. This form is depth is created by having the background less clear then where you want the focus to be.
Maybe I'm just a color kind of guy, but I find this form of depth to be the most interesting. The repetition in color palette reveals some of the science behind creating depth.
The opposite is also true with a white background.
3. Linear Perspective
Linear Perspective is probably an obvious one and usually one of the first ways we thing of creating depth. It's what your second grade art teacher called "the vanishing point". All of the material in your drawing is aimed at one focus point.
Obviously if you point your light on to what's in the foreground the attention is going to focus there. But in this post they used light to show that when something is lit in the background, you get a very interesting effect.
In the picture below I feel pulled in to the scene. That path is beckoning for some quality strolling down.
The Light here is used in a much more metaphorical way. The focus in this painting ties in to religious beliefs on where our focus should be in life. Although we may first look at the man, that is not where the attention is pulled in the painting.
One the flip side of the last one, attention can be brought to what is not in the light by using shadows.
Solidity refers to the level of detail in different parts of the image. Solidity differs from focus in that it is usually used in cartoons and paintings. With this technique, the foreground has more attention detail then what is in the background.
Focus is the most common way to achieve depth in film and photography. It can also be achieved in computer art and animation, as they show in a couple of these examples:
And hence forth the term "Bokehlicious" was created.
Movement is another common technique used in film in photography. When your subject is on the move, moving the camera with them can blur stationary elements and bring focus to the subject.
Which is also a synthetic effect I used in our promotional poster to give depth to the room:
The opposite of this (stationary subject with a moving background) is another way to achieve this effect. (Shout out to that time we made Cracked).
Of course, many of these examples are not limited to their exemplified use. Often times, it is the combination of several of these techniques that create depth in a scene. It's up to you to decide which ones will fit your image for the right effect.