Concentric Radial Patterns and Infographics with the Golden Ratio | Chris Heath | Skillshare

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Concentric Radial Patterns and Infographics with the Golden Ratio

teacher avatar Chris Heath, The Geometrical Design Guy

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Three Degrees of Separation

    • 3. I Like Donuts

    • 4. Easy as Pie

    • 5. Radiance

    • 6. Dressing Up

    • 7. Examples

    • 8. Outro & Project

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About This Class

This, the third class in this golden ratio series, starts with learning some simple tools in Affinity Designer to create a complex abstract pattern of concentric donuts and asymmetrically arranged groups of radial elements.


Once these tools are mastered, you will be able to apply them, for example, to the creation of some simple infographics.


As with the previous class, the same golden ratio grid will be used to determine the relative size of each element and its location.


Meet Your Teacher

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Chris Heath

The Geometrical Design Guy


Check out my profile page to discover more classes for artists and designers.

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Chris. Welcome to this being the third class, in this golden ratio series. Just like in class two, we're going to stick with working with concentric circles. But we're going to do something a little bit different, we're going to convert those concentric circles into donuts and pies, using Affinity Designer's donuts and pie tools. We will also play with some of the parametric shapes in Affinity Designer, and of course, we will use the golden ratio grid to snap our art work or the elements in our design to the golden ratio. Whereas in the previous class we worked on black and white, in this class, we will be working with a poly chromatic color scheme. What will we be creating today? We will be creating a more complex piece of artwork. It's actually quite simple to produce, and the aim behind coming up with something complex is really just to practice using the tools that I talked about earlier. Then, I'll show you what you can do with these tools. We will look at some simpler examples, and the examples that I've chosen are examples of info-graphics. Although it's not strictly a prerequisite, my recommendation is to have a look at the previous two classes. Each class builds on the one before, and you'll pick up a few skills which you can carry from one class to the next. Please join me in this class and give it a go. 2. Three Degrees of Separation: As you would have learnt at school, a circle is divided into 360 units called degrees. For practical purposes, one-degree units are a little small to work with. So we're going to work with three degree units. The choice of three degrees isn't arbitrary. Three degrees is a unit that usefully divides a circle into equal parts. For example, three equal parts, four equal parts, five equal parts, six equal parts, eight equal parts, and 10 equal parts. As you have just seen these parts line up perfectly with a range of polygons. Now normally, I sit my protractor with 0 on the vertical axis and work clockwise. Affinity Designer of the pie tool works anticlockwise with the 0 point on the horizontal axis. So for this class, I'll work this way as well and hopefully that will make the lessons easier for you to follow. 3. I Like Donuts: In the previous class, I showed you how to use the Affinity Designers Geometry Tools to create bands from concentric circles. All vector drawing tools should have this functionality. In this lesson, we will use affinity designers pie and donut functionality to do this faster and to give us greater control. Let's get started with creating some donuts. From the Your Project page, download and open this template. This is the Affinity Designer file. I have also saved another formats for those using Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. As you can see, there is an example that we will hide for now, and I'll look at that in the next lesson. Let's also hide the grids and protractor and just keep the background. It's up to you as to whether you want to keep or hide the race disk, I'll keep it for now. Let's start with a circle and give it a radius of 870 pixels, so it roughly lines up with the disk edge using the Move tool, ensure the circle is selected, then click convert to donut, and this will give us a parametric shape that we can easily adjust. With the outer radius set. Let's set the inner radius too, for example, 61.8 percent, that is the Golden Ratio. So if we change the outer radius, the inner radius will always relate to the outer radius by the Golden Ratio, thus proportional relationship between the outer and inner radii will be maintained when scaling the shape. Let's start over again and create some thin and thick bands using the grid to guide the radii of the donuts. Here we have our starting point, you can see two guides, one vertical and the other horizontal. If I display the guides manager, you can see the horizontal guide is set to the center at 540 pixels, and the vertical guide is set to the center at 960 pixels. That is because my canvas sizes hit to 1920 by 1080 pixels, which are the dimensions for [inaudible]. We will also use the grids, but we won't use all of them at this stage, so just turn off the blue sit for now. Our starting point is a circle, select the circle tool, hold down the command and shift keys while dragging the circle out from the center. I'm trying to snap it to the grid. Sometimes this doesn't work as planned, so if this happens for you, let go, zoom in and holding down the command and shift keys, which has control shift on Windows, resize the circle. Now it's time to turn the circle into a donuts. To do this with the circle selected using the move tool, click convert to donuts. With the inner radius set to 50 percent of the outer radius, we can see that already lines up nicely with the grid, so I will keep that one as it is. One thing I want is to see what I am drawing, so for now, I'll change the opacity of the donut to around 25 percent. I could draw more donuts from scratch, but in this case, I'll duplicate the doughnut using command j. Now, we have a copy that we can adjust. That's really just a matter of trying to get a feel for what you want to create. I'm going to go for a reasonably complex and abstract pattern on this exercise just to show you how easy it is to use the donut and pie tolls and Affinity Designer. If you follow along, you will have the skills required to create a range of simple and for graphics, and of course, doing all of this with the Golden Ratio grid to help you balance out your design. It's time to adjust the second donuts. I'm setting the inner radius to 61.8 percent of the outer radius. The outer radius in relation to the inner radius is 1.618, and the inner radius in relation to the outer radius is 0.0618. For this design, I don't want my circles lining up with each other, I want them overlapping, so let's resize this donut. This looks interesting enough to stop and look at for now. With the inner radii of both circles being the same, the Golden Ratio shows up again. This time the distance between the outer and inner circles of the large donut is 1.618 times bigger than the distance between the outer and inner circles of the smaller donut. As you can see, it lines up nicely with this progression of pentagons. But as mentioned earlier, I don't want to see everything lining up, I want my donuts to overlap. So I'm going to adjust the inner radius to line up with that point there. I'm just lying in this set but I am not upto something incredibly precise because realistically, if I was doing this on paper with a pair of compasses, that would not be this precise because there is no zoom when working on paper, so don't get too hooked up on precision. As an earlier classes, we are going for an asymmetric yet balanced distribution of elements in this design. I'm looking at this point here, so I might make use of that. Let's duplicate one of the donuts and reposition it using the grid. To provide more points to snap to, I'll unhide the blue grid. You should be getting the hang of this by now, so I'll speed up the rest of the video. What we are heading towards is an asymmetrical arrangement of concentric donuts, where the edges of the donuts sphere and distance from each other, yet still look balanced. Each time you go through this exercise, you will end up with something that looks different, but it will still be related thanks to using the same proportions. In this case, the proportion is the Golden Ratio. 4. Easy as Pie: We're back to our gray donuts. We have a nice asymmetric distribution of overlaid inner and outer circles. Thanks to the golden ratio grid that we are using. These donuts are parametric in the sense that we can enter values, or use sliders to set the values, or use the control points that control the radii of the inner and outer circles. In addition, the donuts also come with other variables that we can control. For example, if I drag this control point around, I can create a wedge or a pie slice out of the donut and have as bigger slice as I want. I would like to point out a few things about Affinity Designer's Default Values. To help with this, I'll display the Protractor. With the donut and node tool selected. We can say the whole radius of 50 percent that I set in the previous lesson. The start and end angles are at 45 degrees, and that gives us a complete circle of 360 degrees. Now it's time to start creating these overlaid segments of donuts. For example, if I was to drop this one down here and drag this one here. Then I can set that to 216 degrees. As mentioned previously, I'm going to set all my angles as multiples of three degrees. That gives me the segment there. If I was to pick this one. I want this to overlap the other segment. I can drag the control point here and set that to 324 degrees and maybe take that one around to 108 degrees. That works well. With the next donut. We can just play with the control points. Which is the easiest way to do it and pick an angle that looks about right. Basically, you can put it anywhere you think it looks best. Perhaps 300 degrees looks okay in this case. If I turn the Protractor off, we have the start of a design with its overlapping donut segments. Now we can work with other rings. Now we have started to break the donuts into segments. The design is looking a bit empty. So we can add more rings and donuts at any time. For now, I'll drag this ring out and make it as big as I want. Remember to display the Protractor to set the angles. I'm sure you've got the hang of it by now so I'll speed up the rest of the video. Before we move on to the next lesson, let's have a look at the Invert Angles Button. If you want to flip things around a bit simply select a pie, or a donut and invert the angles. Click it again to put it all back. 5. Radiance: One thing I've done is to group all of the pies until a group called pies and displayed the grids. Lets start with creating a set of radial lines. Using the pen tool, I'll draw a line from here to here and see how that looks. I'm happy with that, I can see that I need to give the lines some color and width. The next stage is to rotate this line but first we need to set the rotation center of the line. By selecting the line with the move tool, then clicking the rotations into pattern, the line's rotation center is displayed. I'll drag this to the point where the horizontal axis crosses the vertical axis. Sometimes you have to Zoom unto snipped to both axis. With the rotation center set, we can duplicate the line using command J, and rotate it three degrees. Entering the value is the most precise way of establishing an angle. Then it's just a matter of pressing command J as many times as you like to make as many copies as you want. It's good to keep the layers tidy, so I'll group these end call the group radial lines. It's time to add some more shapes, in this case some wedges to set the inner and outer radii of the wedges are later circle, and turn it into a doughnut. Then sit the inner radius. With both the inner and outer circles drawn, I'll hide the grid and turn on the protractor. Then with the pen tool, I'll place a point where the outer circle intersects the 60 degree radial line. A later point to where the inner circle of the doughnut intersects the same line. Then I'll take it to the center. My plan is to add points where it's easy to snap them. Then I can move them into position. With the wedge drawn, It's time to edit fill. I'll go with black for now. Then the doughnut can be deleted as I have no need for it any longer. As with the radial lines, I'll use the move tool to drag the rotation center of the wedge to where the horizontal and vertical axis intersect. And as before, we can duplicate the shape using command J and sit the rotation angle. The wedge is three degrees wide, so I'm sitting the angle to 60 degrees, so the wedges are separated and making a minus 60 degrees so the witches duplicate in a clock wise direction. As before, I'll group this to keep the layers tidy and call the group radial segments. We'll call it wedges if you prefer. Let's try adding more radial elements. With this space in here out fill it with circles. I'm drawing a circle and snapping it to the grid. To get the right size of circle or reduce it by the golden ratio fetters, I'll multiply it by 0.618. Using command J, I'll create smaller and smaller copies then pick the size that I want to use. Reducing the opacity of these circles makes them easier to see. Make a copy of one of the circles and drag it into position by aligning it to the grid. Just in case I need other circles, I'll group them and hide them for now. With the circle selected, set its rotation center to where the horizontal and vertical axis intersect. Remember to Zoom, right turn to ensure the center of rotation of snapping to the correct point. Because this golden ratio grid is built with pentagons fetters, five sided polygons, I'll work with multiples of five. In this case I'll go for 10 copies. Dividing 360 by 10 gives us 36 degrees. This will be my angle of rotation. On duplicating the circle, set the rotation angle to 36 degrees, then use command J to produce say more copies. I'm going to add another ring by duplicating this one and resizing it. And in the next lesson, let's start adding some color. 6. Dressing Up: Now it's time to twist things up a bit and to have a play with a few more tools to explore what else we can add to the design. We will also apply colors and gradients along the way, as well as add a few more elements. The coke tool is a coal parametric tool to play with. You can do quite a bit with this tool, let's have a play. I'll speed up parts of this lesson. We'll be covering similar skills to those covered already. I'll slow things down to explain anything that I haven't covered. As before, I want this code to exhibit the same proportions as the donuts. This involves sitting that how to end on a radii along with changing other parameters such as the number of teeth. Again, because I'm working with the grid built from five-sided polygons, that is pentagons. I'll adjust the number of teeth to 10. This ensures the code's teeth aligned perfectly with the grid. Let's play a bit more with various controls and see where we end up. With the colloquial shaped modified to the point where I'm happy with it. It's time to start adding some color to the existing elements. To make it a bit easier to see, I'll hide some of these elements. The colors I'm using here from the 2018 Pantene attitudes hit of colors. You can obtain the colors from the Pantene website or use your own set of colors. To see the colors in full, I'm upping the eye piece tee up the Shape layers. To achieve the desired effect, I'm going to experiment with the IPSP slider and the Blend Modes. After all of that, I'm vector the iPad class for now and I've decided to display the radio lines with my round, duplicate the group and hide some of them. When rotating elements ensure you're snapping them to the three degree units. I'm coming back to the colloquial because I'd like to make a few changes now that I've added some color. One thing I want to do is add a bit more complexity to the design. I'm going to start duplicating some of the elements and snapping them to other parts of the grid. It's a combination of moving or scaling the elements. In this case, I'm snapping it as best I can and doing some fun training. It's time to bring in the radial segments and play around with them initially trying to determine where the sum should be hidden and then applying color. There are a few gaps that I want to fill. As with all of my classes, I'm just making this up psycho and relying on the grid to help me place and size the elements. Some of these elements I'm adding will be deleted and I'll keep making adjustments until I'm happy with the final design. If you do get stuck have a break, then come back and finish off your design. Sometimes looking at the design of Frisch can take your design and a different direction. One thing I'd like to recommend is don't delete the elements you don't want. If they are in a good location and you still don't want them, just hide them for now. You can always bring them back later or incorporate them into a completely different design. Because we are using a proportional grid to guide the size and location of all of our elements. You will find that they can be easily incorporated into completely different designs that are based on the same grid. To give the design a bit more depth, I'm applying gradients to the shapes, and I'll also apply a few drop shadows to lift the elements off the Canvas. Both inner and outer drop shadows can be added using the effects and Spectre. With the layer selected, you can turn on and then a shadow, as I've done here and adjust the settings. Try not to make your shadows too dark. Subtle shadows are better, in my opinion. Adjusting the shadow involves not only adjusting the opacity, it also involves adjusting the shadows offset and radius. The bigger the offset, the further it appears from the layers beneath. This has to be tempered with the falloff of light, adjust the radius accordingly to cover reasonably realistic degree of softness. Also, ensure all of your shadows fall in the same direction. The raised disk background that I created using 3D software has this shadow set to 270 degrees. I'm sitting all of the shadows of my elements and Affinity Designer to the same. That is 270 degrees. 7. Examples: Here we are back at the beginning with the background and the grid. What I want to do here is show you what else you can do. Let's start looking at the pattern I've built up. This is pretty much where we left it. You can get more carried away just by using the grid to add more and more detail, and just stopping whenever you feel like stopping. For example, I added a few dots, which I've placed here, and also a ring of what looks like flowers to make it look pretty. That is the finished design, for now. Again, we're talking about an asymmetrical distribution of elements around a point. To be fair, on one scale, some elements are equally distributed. When grouped, the groups are asymmetrically distributed as intended. The golden ratio was used to establish the asymmetrical relationships and to balance the design. The other thing we used was this protractor to divide our space up into units of three degrees. Using the Pie and Donut tools, you saw how easy it was to create and layer the elements in this design. You also used gradients and drop shadows to add depth to the finished design. You can get creative with this simple set of tools creating a range of different patterns. Here is a similar design to the one covered in this class. It uses a similar array of shapes. When we are working with these patterns and using the same grid, what you will end up with is a number of interchangeable design elements. With all of the elements sharing the same proportions, you can swap elements that were created for one design with elements of another. For your project, grab the template which includes some of the examples shown in this lesson, and using Affinity Designer's Donut and Pie tools and the grid, create your own design elements. You can add them, or use them to replace my design elements, or start from scratch with your own design. Once you've had a play and you feel confident with using the Donut and Pie tools and the grid, it's time to apply what you've learned to something simpler. In this case, something simpler could be just something like an infographic. This as an example of what is included in the template. You may use this as a starting point if you want to. With the Doughnut selected, you can adjust the start and end angles, and the total angle, and a radius. Taking this example further, you can start creating your own examples of infographics. This is one I prepared for a job many years ago. Likewise, this one, I have a number of pies. Each segment represents a piece of data. As before, I can adjust the angles of each segment. The total angle of each segment is set as a percentage of 360 degrees. The photo of the glass of wine in the center was taken from above. I didn't have any wine when taking the photo, so I just used iced tea and soda water. Now, this particular graphic was developed for a recent job. Many variations of this can be found on the internet. I've used variations of this design over many years for representing a range of things from actual pressure gauges to presenting health-related concepts as I've done here. I've even used the pie to create the shadow effect that folds over the right side of the gauge, which means that too is editable. The layer was set to 25 percent opacity and the multiply blend mode was added to the layer. If you want to know how I wrap the text around a circle, check out my previous class. In this case, I converted the ticks to curves. If you want the text to remain editable, you can of course leave it as text on a path. Here is the hand that is essentially a triangle with its rotations intersect to the center of the gauge. Now, we're down to the donuts or pie slices. With the grid turned on, you can say that the angles and an outer radius and location of these elements are all aligned to the grid. The same thing applies with the other pies or donuts. Here is a simpler version of what we have just seen. As before, here is our first donut. This particular slide was developed for a PowerPoint presentation for charity. It's a slide from a recent job that I finished a few weeks ago. In fact, what I delivered was slightly different with the red pie pulled out. Now it's your turn to give it a go. It's up to you as to whether you produce your own abstract design or a simple infographic. If you do give it a go, remember to post your work in the project area of this class. I look forward to seeing what you come up with. 8. Outro & Project: Thanks for watching the class. We learned about Pi tool and affinity designer, the doughnut tool, and a parametric shape tool. We also learned how to snap to the same grid that we used in the previous class. To get you started, download the template file and the infographic file so that you can see how I put that together, and have a go, post your project in the project area, that could be your a piece of artwork or an infographic. If you have a question, drop that into the discussions area, and I will respond. If you follow me on Skillshare, I can keep you informed of up and coming classes on the golden ratio. Bye.