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Getting things in perspective
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Tim Tylor
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Joined: 18 Aug 2003
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Location: Cornwall, Great Britain

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:53 am    Post subject: Getting things in perspective Reply with quote

I'm trying to get comfortable with perspective, and I was wondering how other folk handle it. Do you estimate lengths and shapes by eye, going by what looks right, or go the whole way with grids and diagonal vanishing points?
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depending on the image, I will do either one. Sometimes I feel I can eyeball it, but for some really comprehensive pictures (usually establishing a setting for the first time) I will use vanishing points and rule out the lines more precisely. In either case, I generally use a ruler to pencil in the straight lines, but don't use the ruler to ink. I prefer the look of a less-than-perfect ink line.
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Phlip
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Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greg Stephens wrote:
... I prefer the look of a less-than-perfect ink line.


Me too. Except I just upgraded to contact lenses, so I should be getting better there. ;-)

Two tricks for perspective:

- recognize that not everything has the same
vanishing points. A human places a box on a table,
and the box _won't_ have the same vanishing points
as the table. The points _will_ be on the same horizon,
because the box falls flat on the table. However, if a robot
places a box on a table, it _might_ have the same
vanishing points, because robots start at precision

- recognize the human frustum is not flat

Rennaisance-style perspective (such as Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper) makes all vanishing lines straight. The back of the human eyeball is curved, so we see in "curvilinear perspective". Think of how a fish-eye lens curves straight lines around, so both vanishing points of a straight line can appear within the same frustum.

After doing exercises with 3-point curvilinear perspective, come back to normal perspective in your panels, and put just a little curve into things. Don't "go the whole way with grids" and such because it will look too flat.

Also, scenes like Spiderman swinging between buildings call for 3-point, to get a sense of height!
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Tim Tylor
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Joined: 18 Aug 2003
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Location: Cornwall, Great Britain

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, guys. I'll certainly give the curvilinear perspective a good look.

The "full out" stuff I have in mind is the technical details for getting the perspective mathematically accurate, such as Kevin Hulsey's 2-point instructions.I imagine that's more accuracy than needed most of the time outside technical drawing.

I found Photoshop's distort tool a good short cut for some onscreen perspective work: I got some reasonable high-rise building views by laying out plans of the sides inside a square grid, fitting them into the vanishing lines using the distort tool, and inking and shading over them freehand.
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Surlyben
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I go all out with grids and diagonals and construction lines pointing to vanishing points and so on, but I eyeball all of that and generally draw them with no rulers (making corrections as needed). Then I base the drawing on the messed up hand-sketched guidelines. So my perspective drawings often curve weirdly, but I hope that those curves have a certain structure, and that it's obvious I meant to do it that way.
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