Warning: Use of undefined constant THIS_SCRIPT - assumed 'THIS_SCRIPT' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/filmmakerforum/public_html/includes/vb5/template.php(369) : eval()'d code on line 25 Rule of Thirds - Filmmaker Forum


No announcement yet.

Rule of Thirds


  • Rule of Thirds defined for Composition in filmmaking and photography

    Some people say that having an eye for cinematography is something that a person is born with. Others will argue it can be learned. Personally, I think people are born with an eye for cinematography, and just like any other skill, it can be nurtured or deprived. That doesn't mean the skill can't be learned, but it's hard to argue that there are those gifted individuals who have a certain eye for making an image look amazing.

    Regardless of the gifts you may or may not have, there are certain rules and guidelines to help anyone get started creating effective imagery. Below are a list of the most common filmmaking rules, via the Online Film School Boot Camp.

    Rule of Thirds or Composition
    The Rule of Thirds applies when you are composing any and all visual images. From taking pictures with your smartphone to creating a cinematic movie, the rule states that an image should be divided into three equal thirds, horizontally and vertically. See Image Below

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Composition Rule of Thirds lines.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	85.8 KB
ID:	91650

    More so, the important composition elements should be placed along the lines or at their intersections. Aligning the subject or elements along these lines or at their intersections helps to create more interest, tension, and energy within your frame that will draw the attention of the viewer. This helps to align people or elements on screen along with landscapes or locations to allow features from the image to flow from one section to another.
    The main purpose of the Rule of Thirds is to discourage the placement of a subject or element at the center of screen or to prevent an horizon from appearing to divide your picture. Of course, once you know the rules, you can start to bend or manipulate them.

    After framing hundreds of shots over the course of my filmmaking career, I've decided there are two basic categories that can help to further define the Rule of Thirds. Point of Interest and Symmetrical.

    Point of Interest refers to the arrangement of elements or objects on screen to place an emphasis on a specific object or area by aligning it with the intersecting lines. See Image Below. The human eye is naturally drawn to these intersecting lines. By placing images or objects at their intersections, you will create a more natural composition that is pleasing to the viewer.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Point of Interest Composition rule of thirds filmmaking.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	95.9 KB
ID:	91651

    Symmetrical refers to the arrangement of elements on screen to create symmetry along the lines and throughout the shot. See Image Below. Often times you may find yourself in a situation where all the elements on screen are equal or balanced. If this is the case, aligning those elements on screen in a way that creates symmetrical composition, will also be pleasing to the viewer. This is what I mean by bending the rules once you've learned them. A symmetrical shot can look great without any images or elements arranged along the lines or at their intersections.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Symmetrical Rule of Thirds Composition photography.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	103.2 KB
ID:	91652

    The mood of a scene or the characters in the scene will also help you determine the proper composition. A good way to begin is by determining if you want a balanced scene or an unbalanced scene. As you begin to create your scene or frame your shot, consider these questions.

    - How much foreground or background do you want in your shot?

    - How much spacing do you want in or around your objects?

    - What kind of symmetry are you looking to accomplish?

    Here's another helpful cheat sheet that combines both elements of composition I previously discussed.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Rule of Thirds Film Composition photography.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	96.2 KB
ID:	91653

    By practicing and utilizing these simple composition techniques in your filmmaking or photography projects, you will begin to see a dramatic difference in the quality of your work. Below is a video that also helps to describe composition.

    If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or check out my blog at the Online Film School Boot Camp or on Facebook and Twitter for more helpful filmmaking tips.

    Good Filming!
    Trent Duncan
      Posting comments is disabled.



    Latest Articles


    • Services of Video Production to Boost the Businesses
      by thevisualhouse
      We are living in a technology based modern world and the use of video is one of the biggest changes that affect mass communication in today’s times. It has been estimated that more than 80% of the entire Internet traffic will be based on videos by the year 2020. As observed, there are an increasing number of customers that are engaging in products seen in videos. Viewers are more than ever attracted to a video which narrates a fascinating story and includes a long lasting series of imagery. Videos...
      02-22-2019, 05:21 AM
    • Explore The Multiple Benefits Of Corporate Films For Your Brand
      by skittlesproductions
      Companies and organizations across industries have finally realized the importance of corporate films. This is why they are not only leaning towards the idea but also heavily investing in corporate film production to get their message across to a wider customer base and tap in other benefits associated with it. A corporate film is anything that is made in the interest of the organization for non-commercial purposes. Whether you want to attract more customers to your business or create a beaming...
      02-13-2019, 09:36 PM
    • Recruiting video: Employee search in the digital age
      by tarunbuzzoka
      This is how recruiting works today! Markets have always been meeting places. If you have something to offer, you will meet with someone who needs something - and in the best case, everyone will do a good business. This also applies to the labor market. In the meantime, the change from the demand to the provider market is taking place in ever larger steps. While previously skilled workers were looking for a job, many employees are now looking for recruiting video for new employees, and they are also...
      10-25-2018, 12:46 AM
    • How to become a Corporate Film Makers in Delhi
      by skittlesproductions
      Do You Know How to become a Corporate Film Maker?

      A Corporate Film Maker is a person who makes introductory, promotional and recruiting videos or films for corporate world and government agencies. The task of corporate film makers is a very challenging one because in mere 2-10 mins videos, the story and the promotional message for the customer has to be compressed and included in a very lucid way.

      How to become a Corporate Film Maker? Corporate Film Making is a mixtur...
      10-08-2018, 09:02 PM
    • People of Her Own
      by AnnYan
      20-page drama-thriller script seeking interested producer for collaboration. See trailer in link

      08-26-2018, 05:56 PM
    • Short Films are Making Their Way in the Mainstream Space
      by skittlesproductions
      Gone are days when the television industry saw the ‘big as the new conqueror’. Well, today, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that ‘short has actually become the new long’. Thanks to the cut e-age cinema that has redefined its length and made small things count. Now, movies too are all set to make that shift considering short film makers in Delhi are minting more money in the mainstream segment.
      The impact short films are creating is such that few years down the line, you’ll find yourself watch...
      08-20-2018, 04:38 AM