news • 19 December 2023

The Rule of Thirds in Pre-Vis: Part One of Two

A head and shoulders picture of Sagar standing in front of the black and white Escape Studios walls

Written by Sagar Rathod

VFX Tutor

The Rule of Thirds is a technique used in photography and filmmaking. In this short video, I will explain the principles behind the “Rule of Thirds” in Previsualisation and Cinematography.  The Rule of Thirds – more a guideline than a rule – is a “rule of thumb” for composing visual images such as designs, films, paintings, and photographs.  The guideline proposes that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections. 

Imagine dividing your shot into a grid with evenly spaced lines both vertically and horizontally. The image above has the field grid overlaid. Now, place the important elements of your scene at the points where these lines intersect. 

 This method is believed to make your visuals more appealing to viewers by enhancing the overall composition. In part one of this video, we will first begin with creating a pleasing start frame and an end frame in Maya. In part two, I will show you my workflow to create camera animation in Maya quickly, using as few keys as possible.