4 Tutorials that teach Elements in Context
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Elements in Context

Elements in Context

In this lesson, you will review the elements in context and learn how to pin-point its utilization in a visual design work.
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Visual Communications

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Hi everyone. My name is Mario. And I'd like to welcome you to today's lesson, Elements in Context. So we're going to take all the elements that we've learned and sort of take a virtual field trip to a gallery museum and just see how all these elements interact together in visual design. So feel free, as always, to stop, fast-forward, and rewind as you see fit. And when you're ready to go, let's get this field trip started.

OK, everybody. So we'll begin with just a quick overview of what the elements were again. And they were dot, line, form, shape, space, texture, value, and color.

So let's begin this virtual tour of our gallery here, our museum. And let's start off with this vector-looking image. Now the first thing I notice is the use of space and that figure-ground separation here. Quite obvious, I think, from the background. And the use of color creates some depth and separation between these two, and also actually between the face and the hair, this sort of area too. Even though the colors are flat it creates this separation.

There's also a good use of texture in the fabric. And it also creates this nice kind of pattern going on around here, and here up in her shoulder as well. That's one of the things that really caught my eye. And the image is framed in a way here where the figure is surrounded by negative space all around her, which sort of puts her in the spotlight in center frame.

Next we have this image that's a bit more abstract. But there's a lot of great use of line here, there's this wonderful sense of movement and energy, a lot of action going on. And there's also the use here of dot, both on their own and also arranged in clusters.

They're arranged in ways that give them tension with how close together they are. But it also provides a nice bit of energy to the piece. And this bottom region here also kind of provides this nice flow as well.

There's a good use a rectilinear shapes here, with some of the rectangular elements going on-- that was a horribly drawn line-- up and down the page, a lot of the lines here, although they're not really rectilinear, I suppose. But again, a lot of the shapes here just in the top and left portion of the screen. And of course, great use of curvilinear, with this dividing S-curve down the middle.

And there's a nice use of graduation in the values here from dark to light, which also again provides a sense of direction. And the light and dark against one another also creates this really nice separation here between the spaces.

So next we're going to move on to this image of the tiger. And I'm trying to touch on different styles here so that we can apply them to a variety of designs. But even though this tiger's a bit sketchier, like the first image, there's this very clear separation of space between figure and ground. And the image is also very dynamic. And there's a clear sense of action going on all around. It's quite nice.

The layered shapes and elements in the water create very nice texture. How everything is overlapping, it just creates this really nice texture. And the fur as well, a lot of overlapping elements and shapes creating this texture. And were we to zoom in, we might even see some patterns that start to develop as well.

Now, in this image, it's predominately blue hues that give this piece a nice cool feel. And in this region here, I also notice that there is a range of saturation here to provide maybe some visual interest or variety, the saturation in the blues.

Now this next photo here has a very clear use of saturation to create a focal point and areas of interest, as I'm sure you've noticed. Now here as well there's a lot of implied line to my eye. As we'll recall learning, there's no line in nature. But there are a lot of hills here that create that sense of line. And there's also shapes and line being created within the positive and negative spaces here or here, these cutouts in this section, area.

Now this image has pretty high contrasting values. And although it's not as dynamic as past examples in previous lessons, chiaroscuro does create a nice punch in this image, especially in these regions here, of high contrast with dark and light.

So on to the image of the peacock, there's a nice use of line here with varied weight all over, thick and thin, thick and thin. And it provides a good sense of motion and a more dynamic feel that sort of gets your eye moving in this direction where the feathers fan out. Mostly curvilinear elements going on here.

Now color and value also play an important role. And it creates space and separation once again between the background and the foreground elements, all this negative space, dark, lighter values. Framing here plays an important role and it enhances the design and allows you to follow the flow and direction again towards the peacock feathers.

There's a lot of texture going on here, both on the surface of the peacock and the background, which almost act like fish scales. But there's a pretty clear pattern that develops as a result of the proximity of the shapes. All these elements here in the peacock feathers also act as dots. They're kind of their own point of interest and focal point. And they're again placed in clusters, which provide tension between these, which create action in this area of the piece.

So here's an image of a more common video game nowadays in the mobile space. And again, we have these dots positioned in clusters. And they act as areas of tension and focus. I mean, look at their proximity here. There's all this tension going on between them where the action is happening.

And these small simple lines here, which sort of act as bullets, also provide direction and action, because although it's not obvious, it does have varied line weight. So it's looking more like this, kind of like a teardrop. But you get a sense of where it's going as a result again of that line weight or varied shape.

And these other elements in the top left corner are a great example of form. And you can see that multiple shapes are being used to create three-dimensional objects with depth and volume. Now like some of the other examples, here value plays a very important role, because the blue hues help separate these invaders here with their yellow-orange hues. Likewise, there's also a very clean separation of background and foreground space so that the player or the viewer focuses on the elements up front and not any of this stuff that's sort of just vast and empty back here.

In a similar fashion, this gradient of values are used to create a kind of vignette effect, which is another way to frame an image without using rectilinear elements. So if you notice the light value gradates towards a darker value in this corner. And it creates this oval and this kind of circular again oval frame, which keeps your eye here in center focus, where all the action is happening.

Now value and addition is used effectively here to separate elements of information from the area of game play. So a lot goes on here in the design with games both to direct the eye, to show areas of focus, and all of that without overwhelming the player and providing too many things for them to do or look at.

Well, that ends our lesson today on Elements in Context. I hope you've enjoyed this virtual walk through this virtual museum or gallery and see how all these elements work together in design. My name is Mario. And I'll see you next lesson.