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3D Pictures

By Mark Warner
Age Range: 5 to 11

This activity highlights a very easy method of making pictures and text which look three-dimensional. First of all, start with a few shapes dotted around the page:

Shapes

Next, draw a dot anywhere on the page (it doesn't always have to be in the middle). This dot is called the "vanishing point". When you have drawn your vanishing point, start drawing STRAIGHT lines from it to the corners of one of the shapes:

Shapes

Now, repeat this for all of the shapes (on shapes with curved edges, draw lines to the sides - see the picture)

Shapes

Subtle shading of the parts "furthest away" helps to increase the sense of perspective:

Shapes

The following two pictures illustrate the effect of moving the vanishing point around the page. As you can see, the placing of the VP has an immense effect on the outcome of the drawing.

Hello
Hello

Make a 3D Name Display...

When the children are familiar with this technique, they can help to make a display in their classroom. Here is one which I created in a classroom...

Welcome Display

To make your name display, the teacher should first make a name page for each child in the class. This page can be created using WordArt. Make sure that you use first names only (which should fill most of an A4 page), and change the text colouring to white and add a thin black border to the text.

When you have your name pages, ask the children to use the above technique to make them look 3D. When this is done, they can colour their names (using random colours, or using a pattern if desired). These should then be cut out (by the teacher, as the names can be tricky to cut) and stuck on to your display.

You could also make a "Welcome to..." sign to indicate the name of the class as in the above photo. This can be done by making 2 A4 name pages (with "Welcome to" on one page and the name of the class on the other). The pages should then be enlarged onto A3 paper and stuck together. Then, draw a vanishing point in the middle, and make your picture look 3 dimensional!


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