Aquascaping: Natures art class.

Discussion in 'Planted Tanks' started by Vis, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. Vis

    Vis Gerhard

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    6,117
    Likes Received:
    125
    Location:
    Rustenburg
    Hi Guys

    Something I posted on another forum a year or more back. Thought I would share it with guys too.

    To some of you this will be general knowledge. For others a few things will now make sense and then to the left minded of you this might seem like jibberish.

    In either case these are things that can effectively be used to create a scape that is pleasing to look at and help a simple layout look great.
    These are mere fundamentals and at the end of the day you can use this to build from. Many other lines and objects will create flow.

    1. The rule of thirds.

    This "Rule"Â is actually a simplified version if the golden ratio. They create points that are visually pleasing to the eye.

    Your eyes are naturally drawn to these points and these make for great places to put features that you want to highlight.

    How do I get these spots?
    Well you simply take your rectangle and divide it into 3 equal spaces horizontally and vertically.

    [​IMG]

    The green dots would be your power points. These points fall just within the eyes of a rectangle. I will explain that now.

    [​IMG]

    The golden rule is something that is found everywhere in life. It describes a certain ratio of
    1 : 1.618 It determines many things that you would not even imagine, the spaces between leaves on a branch, how a flower blooms and grows its pettles and so many more things.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is a triangle divided into the golden ratio.

    [​IMG]

    It has been used since ancient times.

    [​IMG]

    Any squire or rectangle especially the ones based on the golden ratio has certain spots that are pleasing to the eye.

    You find these by drawing a cross on the rectangle corner to corner. Halfway between the corner of the page and where the lines intercept you will find the eye of a rectangle.

    [​IMG]

    Now if you remember correctly I mentioned before that power points of the thirds rule falls just within the eyes of a rectangle.

    [​IMG]

    These are the ways to find visually pleasing points and lines in a scape that will let the flow and composition look better.

    Few examples might be in order.

    A good example on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thirds
    Then have a look at your tv.... Where are the people standing that is talking or you need to focus on? Where is the house they show from a distance? Where are the main things that they want you too look at?

    Next time you walk past a painting divide it in thirds and see what you find on those lines and points.

    In this foto you will see how it all focus your attention on the boat only and the rest is kind of lost

    [​IMG]

    Positioned in the third the whole picture gives a better balance

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Guest




  3. OP
    Vis

    Vis Gerhard

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    6,117
    Likes Received:
    125
    Location:
    Rustenburg
    2. Depth and the horizon.

    Like most painters or artist who has a 2d space in which you need to create a 3d scape you do not have that much space to work with. Do it wrong and you tank looks like a flat 2d art piece and you can’t figure out why it looks wrong.

    A small little secret, the horizon line.

    What if we had no horizon line(The height of the red line)

    [​IMG]

    You get the effect that everything is right at the glass.

    Add the horizon line and things move backwards and instantly create depth.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    On a flat 2d surface this means the line simply moves up or down.
    In your tank you cant fill the front of the tank with more gravel as you would still get a flat although thick gravel look.

    Freshwater scapes have the luxury of sloping their gravel from the back forward instantly adding that higher horizon line and creating depth.
    We can also use a little camera trickery.

    You will still scape your tank with some space at the front that you will use as your horizon line. Taking a picture 100% in line with your tank will only show you how thick your substrate is but increasing that angle will open the space at the front and add your horizon line

    You can see this affect done in marine tanks as they can not slope substrate. Notice that none of these were take from straight on but rather from a higher angle.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    You will see it in this simple drawing. I just added a horizon line and another box higher on the paper. It gives the illusion that the other box is at the back because its placed higher and due to a few other things but we will get to that.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. dash

    dash

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    3,194
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Durban
    This is really good thanks for this.
     
  5. Swagasaurus

    Swagasaurus

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    1,708
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Centurion
    Nice guide I have tried it before and sloping sand is downright annoying.

    Sent from my GT-S7500 using Tapatalk 2
     
  6. GavinD

    GavinD

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    346
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Sasolburg
    Nice thread... and something to keep in mind.
     
  7. OP
    Vis

    Vis Gerhard

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    6,117
    Likes Received:
    125
    Location:
    Rustenburg
    3. Size

    This is the place where your mind usually get the best of you when drawing  Objects further away appears smaller then objects close by. For instance park your car away from your house and go stand behind it with the house in the distance.
    Your car will look bigger than your house but your mind tells you this is not true.

    If you look at this picture again you will see that the box in the back except for being placed higher is also smaller then the front box thus reinforcing the idea that the smaller one is in the distance.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. OP
    Vis

    Vis Gerhard

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    6,117
    Likes Received:
    125
    Location:
    Rustenburg
    4. Perspective or Single Vanishing Point Perspective.

    This is another technique used to create depth. What does it mean?

    Simply that the lines of an object will converge on or behind the horizon.

    [​IMG]

    You will have this effect on all sides of the rectangle, top, bottom and sides.

    [​IMG]

    In real life

    [​IMG]

    Added to our example

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. OP
    Vis

    Vis Gerhard

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    6,117
    Likes Received:
    125
    Location:
    Rustenburg
    5. Colour

    The use of colour can be difficult to use in the aquarium but worth remembering.
    Darker more intense colour will bring things forward while lighter faded colours will push things backwards.

    Now a lot of this color to create depth is actually in the hue. So the front will have a darker hue then the back. If you want to see this clearer close your eyes almost completely so you are looking through your eyelashes. This way you will be able to see the tone better.

    [​IMG]

    These are best viewed in paintings. And in pictures of mountains.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. OP
    Vis

    Vis Gerhard

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    6,117
    Likes Received:
    125
    Location:
    Rustenburg
    6. Detail

    This will make a lot of sense to most. Things that are closer shows a lot more detail than things in the distance.

    You know when you use rocks for your scape the front ones will have more detail and the rocks at the back will appear smoother.

    Or use rotalla in the front and a finer moss at the back.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. OP
    Vis

    Vis Gerhard

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    6,117
    Likes Received:
    125
    Location:
    Rustenburg
    7. Overlapping

    Overlapping certain things will force other things to the back of it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. OP
    Vis

    Vis Gerhard

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    6,117
    Likes Received:
    125
    Location:
    Rustenburg
    3. The Golden triangle
    One of my favourites to use as it gives a natural flow to a scape and leaves a lot of open space.
    Remember the rectangle divided into golden ratios?


    [​IMG]

    Also take note of the triangle running through the key points in this division B to D and C to E.

    [​IMG]


    These are golden triangles and a lot of people simply call it a sloped scape without really knowing why they make such appealing scapes.


    [​IMG]
     
    butcherman likes this.
  13. OP
    Vis

    Vis Gerhard

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    6,117
    Likes Received:
    125
    Location:
    Rustenburg
    Space

    The world and nature exist of vast open space and that is why we love it so much and do it in our tanks………..NOT.

    We easily tend to jam as much possible into our tanks filling it from top to bottom.

    We need open space to create vastness and scale. It also give the fish some space to swim in :)

    Look at the following and you will agree that space makes a difference as it does on a painters canvas. He does not fill the entire painting with a house or mountain, no he opens up space to create scale and a vast open landscape on what is essentially a flat piece of paper.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    When will a painter cover the entire area of a painting with a subject?
    When it is a close up study of that subject, a face, fruit bowl or a dog.

    [​IMG]

    So by filling an entire aquarium with rocks and plants to the brim creates the idea in your mind that it is a close up of a small rock pile and not an entire mountain.
     
  14. OP
    Vis

    Vis Gerhard

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    6,117
    Likes Received:
    125
    Location:
    Rustenburg
    Now let us apply some of these techniques to some good looking tanks.

    [​IMG]

    Thirds, notice the top two rocks and the line of the plants top and bottom.

    [​IMG]

    Horizon line

    [​IMG]

    Vanishing point, I picked only the main one but there will be a lot of smaller ones around.

    [​IMG]

    Detail, a lot less detail at the back

    [​IMG]

    Size, the size of the rocks get smaller towards the back

    [​IMG]

    Color(hue) darker in the front

    [​IMG]

    Some other tanks with same principals.

    [​IMG]

    Thirds and golden ratio

    [​IMG]

    Detail

    [​IMG]

    Horizon

    [​IMG]


    Another good one

    [​IMG]

    Thirds

    [​IMG]

    Horizon

    You will notice that the horizon is on the bottom third line.

    [​IMG]

    Triangle

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Overlapping

    [​IMG]

    Thirds

    [​IMG]

    Size and detail

    [​IMG]

    Now you should be able to spot them yourself

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hope this helped some of you guys and now see how much of this you can see around.
     
    WarLordGT5 likes this.
  15. OP
    Vis

    Vis Gerhard

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    6,117
    Likes Received:
    125
    Location:
    Rustenburg
    Nice open space on the top part of the tank give you the idea it is an mountain range and not a closeup of a few rocks

    [​IMG]
     
  16. OP
    Vis

    Vis Gerhard

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    6,117
    Likes Received:
    125
    Location:
    Rustenburg
    All of these are merely guidelines and not set in stone to create a good looking tank.
     
  17. dash

    dash

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    3,194
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Durban
    This is really good. I have read this information before but, never in such detail.
     
  18. DCWarHound

    DCWarHound

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,059
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Pretoria,Sinoville
  19. Coldcat

    Coldcat

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Table View, Cape Town
    Thanks Vis. I've been reading up a lot on this. But your guide is simple and an easy read. Made the most sense. Will be applying this on my first scape.


    Sent from Table mountain using Smoke signals.
     
  20. butcherman

    butcherman Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,583
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Kempton Park
    great read thanks for this
     
  21. WarLordGT5

    WarLordGT5

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2014
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pretoria
    This is really an amazing guide @Vis so simpe yet soooo effective, im definitely going to try and use this knolidge that youve shared
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2016

Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - Aquascaping Natures class Forum Date
Shrimp & AquaScaping Workshop (Pta 2 Feb) General Discussions Jan 30, 2020
Aquascaping inspiration from the internet Planted Tanks Sep 28, 2019
Perfect tank height for aquascaping Planted Tanks Aug 31, 2018
Port Elizabeth Aquarium and Aquascaping Club General Discussions Jul 28, 2018
Hallo I am a newbie Shrimp Captain and Aquascaping artist wannabe New members Jan 14, 2018
RSS Feed A basic guide to aquascaping RSS Feeds Jul 30, 2017
The hardest part of Aquascaping? Planted Tanks Jul 14, 2017

Share This Page