HOR:RATIO viewfinder

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mdmattin
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HOR:RATIO viewfinder

Post by mdmattin » Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:16 pm

I've been musing for some time about to convert HOR:RATIO, my handy pocket proportional protractor, into a viewfinder, so I could look at a scene through a frame of a specific aspect ratio of my choice. I ended up taking a standard printout and slicing it up to allow each edge to act as a scale along one side of a rectangular opening in a piece of cardboard. Actually, I had to use two HOR:RATII because the design of the title square didn't work as an end piece. Another piece of cardboard acts as a sliding shutter to reveal the desired rectangular opening.

The scale on the bottom is the active one - here it is set to the "Golden Rectangle"
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The "Armature of the Rectangle" scale, set to the 3:4 or Diatessaron ratio.

The red lanyard and ruler attached here are part of my Stare-I/O, which holds a ruler or other measuring tool at a set distance from the viewer's eye, and enables scaling up or down by switching between a proximal and distal ruler. This idea was based on an original concept of Rebecca's.
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The 7th scale, at 7:8
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The 9th scale, at 9:16, or Double Diatessaron, a standard ratio for movie screens and video.
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A selfie with the whole rig hanging off of me.
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Re: HOR:RATIO viewfinder

Post by Andre Jute » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:56 pm

You should turn your scale into an app and recover a fortune for your dedication, Matthew.
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Re: HOR:RATIO viewfinder

Post by Rebecca » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:58 pm

mdmattin wrote:I've been musing for some time about to convert HOR:RATIO, my handy pocket proportional protractor, into a viewfinder, so I could look at a scene through a frame of a specific aspect ratio of my choice...
I'm sure my first reaction is unfair -- This organizes your work?
As a fundamentally lazy artist, my brain hurts from looking at this. So much to juggle... Could this be tackled from another direction? For example:
Consider the basic elements in your scene, make small thumbnails that organize the elements with abstracted line and tone, choose your favorite, and then force-fit the elements to that exact same plan on your canvas. Nature doesn't divide up a scene like your devices can, but you can get believable results by force-fitting the elements you want to keep in the scene. Use your preferred set of classical/mathematically derived divisions to make the thumbnails. Then use the lanyard: Trace your thumbnail to a plastic window, next, stabilize the window with the lanyard as you project and trace the thumbnail to your canvas. Fit the elements to the design.

Another matter: I see you have a gray scale reference. It may be your photos, but it looks like your grays don't go step by step from black to white in there. It looks like several swatches in a row are nearly black, and there is no white. If these are a printout, and if I am seeing this right, may I suggest mixing your scale from paint, instead of printing? Maybe I don't understand what those grays are for. That must be it.
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Re: HOR:RATIO viewfinder

Post by mdmattin » Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:30 am

Hey Rebecca,
I was thinking along somewhat similar lines after I made that prototype. I thought it was too large and loaded with more information than I would ever need in the field. I made a new version, based on a square opening to be subtracted from instead of added to, and simplified the scales. It uses an old CD cover as a holder, with the frame and the slider both held in place by the tabs that held the CD insert. It has the added advantage that you can draw on the CD cover with a Micron pen or the like to trace or add guidelines.
viewfinder front.jpg
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viewfinder back.jpg
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I haven't finalized the design, but the basic idea is to have a scale on each edge, so you can choose one of two or rotate the frame to get another two.


I haven't tried it out in practice yet.

I like your idea for using a plastic window to trace a thumbnail onto the canvas. I had tried this as a way to work with the Stare I/O, but the emphasis was on accurate measuring and scaling rather than on imposing a design. I have been working on achieving better accuracy for the last few years, but lately have been thinking more in terms of imposing a design, so it fits right in.
As to the grays, I originally threw them in pretty arbitrarily, as way to make it easier to see the main sections instead of a forest of lines and numbers. I had it in mind to make them a true grayscale, but, lazy artist that I am, I haven't gotten around to it.

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Re: HOR:RATIO viewfinder

Post by Rebecca » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:29 am

Thank goodness you're a lazy artist too!
If you decide to trace a thumbnail and project it to your canvas, try a water soluble overhead projector pen for the tracing. It's designed to write on plastic, and easily wipes off with a wet cloth.
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