Rule of Thirds
Important aspects will always be positioned between either a third or two thirds of the way through.


(permanent link) added: 2012-02-29 19:16:08 sponsor: ginsengaddict (last reply: 2012-10-08 05:02:40)

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Not to be confused with Rule of Three, though that does function on the same principle.

When composing a shot for film or television, or painting a landscape, or even writing a novel, creators of works will position stuff they want the audience to focus on on an invisible third of the screen or page or canvas.

Imagine a 3x3 grid on a frame of film. Now, looking at that grid, take not of what intersects with it on screen. Nineteen times out of twenty, the thing you're supposed to be looking at (a protagonist, the MacGuffin, etc) will intersect. This is the Rule Of Thirds.

Likewise, look at a landscape painting, and superimpose that same imaginary grid over it. The horizontal lines will almost always line up with the horizon. This is known as "more sky, less sky". If the horizon matches the top third, it's "less sky" and most of the paiting will be whats on the ground (rivers, forests, etc). If the horizon matches the bottom third, it's "more sky" and the focus will be what's above ground (clouds, mountains etc). The same is true of the vertical thirds. An object which is a centrepiece, such as a mountain, will never be placed in the centre; it will always line up between one third and two thirds of the frame.

This is not actually a trope, but a basic rule of media. As such it qualifies as an Omnipresent Trope.

Related to Rule of Three. No, it's not the same.
replies: 17

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