Looking at a Face Using a Scientific Approach

Technological advances in the military have given pilots the ability to look at an imaginary computerized "windshield" and to know the exact location and position of their targets. Special helmets and eyeglasses can measure exactly where a pilot looks. Similar technology can be used in determining where we look when looking at a beautiful face. Visually, we perceive light highlights and dark shadows as shapes. This perception allows us to assess the position, volume, and shape of objects. We are able to visualize distance and depth perception through binocular vision. Owing to the number and the physical structure of the optic muscles that move the eyeball, the cerebral cortex evaluates an image more easily when the eyes move from side to side on a horizontal plane rather than up and down on a vertical plane. Graceful flowing curves are more satisfying to the eye

Mentocervical Angle

Fig. 11.2. A normal f ace. A Forehead angle: the slope of forehead off the vertical is approximately 10°. B Nasofrontal angle: ranges from 115 to 130°. C Nasofacial angle: ranges from 30 to 40°. D Nasomental angle: ranges from 120 to 132°. E Nasolabial angle: ranges from 95 to 100°. F Mentocervical angle: ranges from 80 to 95°. g The distance from the mandibular angle to the chin is half the distance from the chin to the hairline. h The half point, where the upper-ear helix connects to the sideburn. i Anterior hairline. j The distance from the occipital to the chin is twice the distance from the glabella to the chin horizontal. k The distance from central nasal base to the ear is equal to the distance from the pupil to the chin horizontal. L An anterior vertical line, from the glabella to the chin, defines a normal. 1 Ear and nasal bridge are positioned at parallel angles. 2 The angle of the line from the pupil to the glabella is parallel to the line from lower lip to the nasal tip, which is parallel to the angle of the neck. 3 A line from the base of the ala to the pupil will pass through the brow arch peak and cause less muscle movement than straight or irregular lines. Following an irregular, jumpy line or viewing vast changes in contrast may result in excessive eye muscle movement and unnecessary cerebral activity and fatigue.

Anatomically and physiologically, the eye, like a camera, is stimulated by the quantity and quality of light that is reflected off the face. In viewing an image, the eye focuses on areas that are highlighted with pleasing shapes. As light stimulates the eye, these highlights are perceived as gentle, rhythmic, and flowing curves. This pleasing visual stimulus may be genetically wired into our brain. In viewing a beautiful face, the eye will be drawn to the smooth "egg"-shaped volumetric soft tissue areas (fat pads) with uniformly bright highlights and pleasing, rhythmic flowing curves.

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