Simply Rubik
A solution for beginners and much more

3x3x3 Top Down Solution, Bottom Layer for Picture Cubes

REMEMBER: Before starting any algorithm, make sure that the front (dark grey) face is facing you and the top layer is on the top.

The aim of this section is to take you from this to this completing Rubik's Cube.

This final layer solution is the one to use if you are solving a cube with arrows, pictures, letters or numbers on the faces.  I assume that you have taken the care to make sure that the up and side face centres were correctly oriented when you solved the cross on the first layer.

Important: To successfully solve the top layer each step must be completed in the order it appears on this page.


Step 1. Making The Cross/Orienting The Edges

Fig.1 First we want to make the cross seen here on the left in Fig. 1 the other possible configurations can be seen on the right with the front face represented in the darker grey.

You can use just the one algorithm. You must check which is the front face then repeat until you achieve the cross.

Fig.2
Fig.3
Fig.4
  Remember to check which face is the front face each time. # of algorithm sets:   3 2 1
 
Front face dark grey
R D F D' F' R'
Right face
Clockwise
Down face
Clockwise
Front face
Clockwise
Down face
Anti-clock
Front face
Anti-clock
Right face
Anti-clock

The algorithm below solves Fig.3 to Fig.1, or takes fig.2 to fig.4, skipping the need for an extra set.  The front face depending on the configuration is the same as displayed above.

R F D F' D' R

Step 2. Positioning The Edges

If all four edges are correctly positioned go to step 3. If not find an edge that has its down face correctly matching the bottom centre's orientation then rotate the bottom face until that edge is in the right position.

If none match the centres orientation simply perform the algorithm using any face as the front face and check again.

(If you are solving a standard cube rotate the bottom layer til you find only one edge is in the correct position.  If there are two edges in the correct positions, keep rotating til there is only one, unless they are on opposite faces in which case you will need to perform the algorithm and then look for just the one edge in the correct position).

If all four edges are positioned correctly but centre is out 180 degrees then perform the algorithm and turn the up face 180 degrees and find the edge with its side face in the correct position, using that face as the front face, perform the algorithm again.

Again you can use just one algorithm, which may have to be performed twice.

This algorithm moves the red edges in a clockwise direction.

Front face dark grey
R' D' R D' R' D'2 R
Right face
Anti-clock
Down face
Anti-clock
Right face
Clockwise
Down face
Anti-clock
Right face
Anti-clock
Down face
Anti-clock
Down face
Anti-clock
Right face
Clockwise

The algorithm below move the red edges in an anti-clockwise direction if you only want to use one set when the edges need to be moved in an anti-clockwise direction.  The front face is the same as displayed above.

L D L' D L D2 L'

Step 3. Positioning The Corners

If the corners are in the correct position then go to step 4. If not then the front face has the correctly positioned corner on the left as represented in the diagram on the left. This may be difficult to detect because the corners will most likely be disoriented. Imagine the corner correctly oriented this will demonstrate wether or not it is in the correct position.

If you have a problem imagining the orientation then establish which of the corner's faces belongs on the down face.  Now observe, the position of that face correctly oriented (yellow/pink/blue/green) and know it belongs in that position on the down face using the crosses orientation. I am assuming if it is already on the down face you can nut it out the principle is the same.
Some cubes such as Shepherd's you cannot establish which is the down face, face, sorry about that, you are back to using your imagination.

eg.   Side face orientations   Down face positions
       =

Again you can use just one algorithm, which may have to be performed twice to correctly position all four corners.  The algorithm below moves the red corners in an anti-clockwise direction.

Front face dark grey
D L D' R' D L' D' R
Down face
Clockwise
Left face
Clockwise
Down face
Anti-clock
Right face
Anti-clock
Down face
Clockwise
Left face
Anti-clock
Down Face
Anti-clock
Right face
Clockwise

You can use this algorithm to rotate the red corners in a clockwise direction.  Note the front face has changed.

D' R' D L D' R D L'

Step 4. Orienting The Corners

If none are correctly oriented then it doesn't matter which face you use as the front face for the algorithm, however, once you have chosen one you must keep it until all the corners have been correctly oriented.

If there are two or three incorrectly oriented corners then the first incorrect corner red in an anti-clockwise direction from a correct corner yellow as in the image to the left determines the front face.

You will mess up the top two layers when orienting the bottom layer corners, however, when the final corner is correctly oriented the top two layers reset. The most common mistake with this algorithm, causing the top two layers to be messed up once the corners are oriented correctly, is not making the last move of the algorithm because you can see the corner is correctly oriented on the second last rotation. So it doesn't hurt to count them off 1 t0 8 before checking.

Complete the sequence then check to see if the corner is correctly oriented (hint concentrate on the bottom row only) if not repeat the complete sequence, when a corner is correct keeping the original front face rotate the down face anti-clockwise so that the next disoriented corner has taken the place of the one you have just corrected. Continue this process until all of the bottom layer corners are correctly oriented then rotate the down face to complete the solution.

Front face dark grey
R U R' U' R U R' U'
Right face
Clockwise
Up face
Clockwise
Right face
Anti-clock
Up face
Anti-clock
Right face
Clockwise
Up face
Clockwise
Right face
Anti-clock
Up face
Anti-clock

This algorithm rotates each corner in a clockwise direction.  You need perform the algorithm three times for the first two layers to reset.  Consequently, if you have two disoriented corners one will need the algorithm to be performed twice.  Generally when there are four corners to be oriented two of them will require the algorithm to be performed twice.

When there are three corners to be oriented you will either perform the algorithm once for each corner or twice for each corner.  To overcome the need to perform the algorithm twice for each corner if the corners need to be rotated anti-clockwise to be oriented correctly you can use the following algorithm.  Note the front face has changed and you now rotate the down face clockwise to the next disoriented corner.

L' U' L U L' U' L U

That's it, you have solved a picture cube, happy cubing.

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