drawing circles

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Old 07 July 2006   #1
drawing circles

Hi,

Maybe a silly question, is there a trick to draw nice round circles? I always try to draw circles in one sweeping stroke, is this the right approach? I am just wondering, when I see tutorials of great artists it looks always so clean. Is this just a practise thing, I wonder because I have been drawing for years now and still don't get it so clean, especially with the stylus tablet.

cheers,
Bob
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Old 07 July 2006   #2
I'm glad I'm not the only one with this problem. My circles and elipses are just horrible! Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 
Old 07 July 2006   #3
It's just practice, kinda like piano scales.

You can probably get away doing it freehand if accuracy isn't important (for fast sketches, rough concept works..etc), but if accuracy is important (blueprints, schematic diagrams, technical illustration, detailed concept art..etc), people usually just use templates and curves. In my case, I haven't touched them since my comic book days, and if I need accurate elipses and circles, I just use the marquee tool and make a solid first, then duplicate that and make it slightly smaller, select the smaller shape, and delete the shape from the original larger one--which leaves me just the outline. It's very fast for me that way. I've tried dealing with paths in the past and hated it. I can wing it pretty ok freehand most of the time, but for tech-oriented detailed pieces, I wouldn't do it freehand.

Last edited by Lunatique : 07 July 2006 at 11:09 PM.
 
Old 07 July 2006   #4
if you mean pencil and paper drawing without using a protractor or what ever they are called.. then i find using the heel of my palm as the centre of the circle and sweeping round in stages keeping my fingers pretty stiff and drawing from the wrist and moving the paper around as i go produces a fairly accurate free hand circle...

...Compass thats the damned circle making apparatus i was talking about not a protractor... yes im stupid i know... *grumbles * i hated maths *mumble*
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Old 07 July 2006   #5
thanks Robert and Shane, well I will keep practising then.

cheers,
Bob
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Old 07 July 2006   #6
Thumbs up

The best thing you can do is tracing over perfect circles, very slowly, and keep your speed steady, it would also be good if you make a box, then the diagonals, and then the circle inside so you can train your eye, and then trace the circle inside it.
 
Old 07 July 2006   #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunatique
I just use the marquee tool and make a solid first, then duplicate that and make it slightly smaller, select the smaller shape, and delete the shape from the original larger one--which leaves me just the outline.


Any reason you do it that way rather than just stroking the selection?
 
Old 07 July 2006   #8
an easier way to get a perfect circle in photoshop is use the marquee with shift held down, then go to edit stroke pick the width and color location mode and opacity and click okay, bamp, circle.
 
Old 07 July 2006   #9
Grumbledook - Because I hate guessing how many pixels I need to set the width to. It's much easier to duplicate a sold circle and adjust by eye with the transformation tool how thick I want the line to be. Also, the edit stroke way doesn't give you a perfect circle--you get slightly straight tops and sides. Maybe it's a setting problem--can someone confirm that?
 
Old 07 July 2006   #10
These are basic techniques I use for circles:



^ Drawing a square is a lot easier than drawing a circle, let's face it. Sketch a square and mark halfway points on each side. Draw an even curve from one halfway point to the next, then do the same for each quarter until the circle joins up. Trace over as many times as you need to refine, then erase square guide lines. This technique can be used with all media.




^ This is the same technique as the face-on one above, and is great for getting perspective circles right. In photoshop you can manipulate a regular circle with the transform tools to get the perspective right, but this degrades line quality and is... well, cheating Manual practice can only make you better.




Another method i've used (digital only) is to make a circular selection, and sketch around the edge of the selection. This puts the lines inside the selection edge. Then invert the selection and draw over the selection edge again, this puts the lines on the outside of the selection edge. Deselect and refine by chiseling away with the eraser to the line thickness / quality you want.
 
Old 07 July 2006   #11
here you go let me know what you think. Can you tell which circle was done by filling in the circle then going to select control 5 pixels delet? Only one circle is done this way, the rest are done with the stroke.

I drew it at 300 dpi, that always helps

 
Old 07 July 2006   #12
architectus - That's strange. How come your Edit Stroke ones don't show any slight flattening on the four sides? Is there a setting in Photoshop for that?
 
Old 07 July 2006   #13
To warm up for most sketches I take a sheet of scrap paper and do a page of circles quickly to work the muscle memory back into gear, then I also do a page of studied lines running parallel. It helps to get your eye lined up with your hand.
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Old 07 July 2006   #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunatique
architectus - That's strange. How come your Edit Stroke ones don't show any slight flattening on the four sides? Is there a setting in Photoshop for that?


Do you press shift and release mouse key to constrain to a true circle (as opposed to an ellipse)?
 
Old 07 July 2006   #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunatique
architectus - That's strange. How come your Edit Stroke ones don't show any slight flattening on the four sides? Is there a setting in Photoshop for that?



Seems the thicker the line the more pronounced the flattening, and centering on the selection tends to flatten less than inside / outside.
 
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