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Digital Foundations: Intro to Media Design with the Adobe Creative Suite by Michael Mandiberg, Xtine Burrough

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Chapter 3. Symmetry and Gestalt

Symmetry and Gestalt

Old Man in the Lehnstuhl and Portrait of Saskia (Saskia as a young woman), Harmensz van Rijn Rembrandt, 17th century, close-up views, oil on wood. These two paintings illustrate symmetry in the human face. Seen from straight on, our faces are symmetrical compositions – eyes evenly balanced, nose and mouth evenly centered in the middle. Seen in profile, the human face is asymmetrical – the sharp contour of nose, mouth, and chin contrast the smooth, hairy back of the head.

Symmetrical shapes are identical when flipped across a line of reflection. For example, the human face has intuitive symmetry across a meridian that ...

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