Perspective -some notes and links
disclaimer...I am not an expert or pro in perspective, i feel i have some grasp of it and here are some links and notes on it

Linear Perspective:

Perspective is one tool that is used all the time in environments, even simple comic images will have some sort of perspective to it. If you no nothing about perspective please go check these tutorials: (curvilinear perspective) (super technical)

O.k. now that we all know about perspective, we are going to learn to think about applying it to an image so we can get our desired effect, be it an action hero shot or a still meadow. Perspective is a powerful tool that people sometimes forget to use to their advantage. With perspective you control the viewers viewpoint. You can make them feel small and ant like from staring up at a massive fortress or have them fly over a magical city like a bird. Any crazy angle you can come up with will be aided by perspective in sucking the viewer in. So make sure you have a good grasp of it and don't neglect it when planning an image. That extra bit of time spent setting up a perspective grid will be worth it.Also by spending some time getting familiar with one, two and three - point perspective you can learn to eyeball things pretty well so it is worth it spending some time on studies of it too. I will show you how I set-up a basic perspective grid in photoshop using guides and the line tool. It's good to work out a simple system for yourself to set-up a perspective grid .

Viewing angles:

A viewing angle can be thought off as the viewers eyeball level or their line of sight. They might be looking up or down, straight ahead or tilting their heads. So to be able to then re-produce this vieing angle you have to decide the height of the horizon and the type of perspective you are going to use, be it one, two or three - point perspective. Observing from life is a pretty quick and easy way of checking this out:

Grab a digital camera or use your cell. (this is to help you see a framed image, back in the good old days you would be cutting a rectangle into a piece of cardboard round about now)

Now go down on your knees and check stuff out on the screen
Notice how the horizon line is low down and you are looking up at things. Staring up at things can make them big and impressive, so a low horizon line with one point perspective is a good viewpoint for showing off a big building or entrance.

Standing up straight and things look pretty normal. The horizon line is slap bang in the middle. Might seem a bit boring and I'm sure you've heard about things in the middle being not so good composition wise but it can still be used. Need a mundane setting? Have some characters cropped off below the shoulder? The middle is your answer.

Stand on a chair next and now have a look. The horizon line is pretty high up and your eye can see further into the distance. This is a great angle for showing off a large piece of land or environment. Things like cities and open planes are good at this angle.

Still on the chair now point the camera almost straight down. This is a bird's eye viewpoint and three point perspective will come into play. Good angle for super hero / villian to look down on a city at.

Lastly stand back on the ground and tilt backwards with the camera looking up as far as you can go. This is an almost ant like view. Like looking up at a skyscraper or tower. Here three point perspective also comes into play.

When you start thinking about your environment and what viewing angleyou want to bring across to the viewer, thinking like a hollywood camera man is what you want to go for in most situations. You want to might want to grab the viewers attention with a low shot or show a big city with a higher one. The idea is to think about it and then plan from there. Remember you are showing a moment from a story, so take time to think about that story. The richer the story, the more detail you have to add to your image.

don't feel....think!

Here are some images of setting up perspective guides in photoshop:

One point:

Very easy this one just make a horizontal guide line for the the height of your horizon line and then make a vertical guide line in the center of your image. Where they cross is where your vanishing point will be. Simply grab the line tool and start drawing lines that radiate from the vanishing point.

[Image: perspectivetutguuidep1.jpg]

Two point:

For two point you are going to potentially use your eyeballing skills. Once again make a horizontal guide line for the the height of your horizon line. Now you can take 2 vertical guide lines and place them where you want the 2 vanishing points to be. You'll have to use your perspective knowledge here, to know how far apart they should be and where they are placed along the horizon line. These 2 guides will be outside of your image in the gray area. Once again grab the line tool and start drawing lines that radiate from the vanishing points into your image. As seen in the example you'l have a bunch of anguler lines to use. You might want to make differant coloured lines for each vanishing point to make it less confusing.

[Image: perspectivetutguuide2p.jpg]

Three point:

With 3 point perspective you want to start off by adding in your two vanishings point on the horizon line like you did above. For the third point you'll have to decide where the center of the groundplane is. This you can do by using the same setup as one point perspective but keep in mind that like the two point perspective your 3rd vanishing point will be off the canvas in the grey area.

[Image: perspectivetutguuide3p.jpg]

some notes:

Generally when perspective is shown to people it's divided up into bits on one, two, three etc perspective. This tends to make you think that they are separate things and happen apart from each other when really they all happen at once. Its just the angle you view things from that changes the horizon line and vanishing points you would use and in the case of 4, 5 and 6 point the type of "lens" distortion you apply to make the lines curve.

Think about it this way a cube, lined up parallel to you, will be in one point perspective:

[Image: vanishingtracescopy1.jpg]

[Image: vanishingtraces21.jpg]

now turn that cube at an angle an it becomes two point perspective:

[Image: vanishingtracescopy2.jpg]

[Image: vanishingtraces22.jpg]

or at another angle:

[Image: vanishingtracescopy3.jpg]

[Image: vanishingtraces23.jpg]

So from this we can see that each object at a differant angle has it's own set of vanishing points:

[Image: vanishingtracescopy4.jpg]

[Image: vanishingtraces24.jpg]

With this knowledge you can now draw cubes, or say city blocks, at various angles and still have the perspective be correct. All you need to know is that the vaninshing points will be on the horizon. That's the easy bit!

Awesome tutorial, thanks a lot, is really helpful!!! *saved*


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