90 degree rotation of an 2D image


Using a plasticine model to rotate a photo 90 degrees

This was an illustration exercise in mentally rotating a 2D image. I used a reference photo of a figure in a complex position and completed a sketch of the same photograph as if the camera was rotated 90ยบ around the figure. This was much more difficult than I thought!

The photo I used was taken by cycling photographer Cor Vos. It shows cyclist Marco Velo’s crash at the 2007 Gent-Wevelgem race in Belgium.

I realized that this was too complex a pose to mentally rotate with accuracy, so I set out to make a plasticine maquette (a 3D sketch). In the summer of 2012 I attended a talk by illustrator James Gurney at the Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI) conference, where he talked about his use of maquettes to make accurate illustrations.

Inspired by Gurney, I decided to make a rough plasticine maquette that lined up with the photograph. I then drew from the maquette rotated 90 degrees. The maquette solved a lot of the problems that would have been tough and time-consuming without it, especially with the foreshortening on the left leg.