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I would very much appreciate your advice on how to handle 3+ point perspective in Painter, especially when the vanishing points are way off the canvas. Could you maybe suggest some kind of more automatic ways of quickly building perspective lines to the vanishing points?
When I first saw the perspective grid option in Painter I was in looooove. So happy. I thought it was exactly what I wanted: the supporting help that I can easily hide/show without creating another layer to my image. Turns out I can't find any way to use it. I just don't get it. What I expected was an easy way to select a couple of vanishing points and see the vanishing lines... what I got was a grid of squares in perspectives that for the life of me I can't get an intuitive feel on. I tried to use their lines for help but I got just more confused. Plus most of the time instead of being overlayed on my picture they're standing somewhere outside it so to use them i'd have to zoom out... so for me they're useless.
So then I figured I'd just quickly create my grid. I hate having to worry about an extra layer and not being able to flatten everything constantly but I thought I'd try that. But then I can't find an easy way to to draw straight lines. I'm still in a transition from photoshop habits to Painter so I was kinda hoping for that feature where I just click on a point, hold shift and get a straight line to the second point but I can't find anything like that. Sure, I can use the polygonal/straight line brush... but that's just helpful for the first line. Is there maybe some hidden way of drawing radiating lines? Even if I keep resetting it I have to hit that original point, which is really tough if the vanishing point is way outside the image. I did try hugely increasing the canvas, drawing the perspective and then cropping back but especially for high resolutions that becomes quite a problem too on my system.
It would be so awesome if there was a solution similar to the perspective grid that would be more or less automatic and easy to hide/show whenever needed... I'm asking thinking that somehow Painter has this and it's just eluding me.
Hi, I can't answer all your problems fully, but here are a couple of tips that might ease your pain a little bit...
Regarding the perspective grid, I too find it a bit cumbersome, but I've found that by setting up a few arrangements I like and then saving them, it's a bit easier to chop & change between them especially when zoomed in. It's still not ideal, but it helps a bit.
I sometimes make my own vector radiating lines quick and easy by doing this: I draw one straight line with the pen tool (P) and then copy it to the clipboard (ctrl + c), then go up to Shapes>Set Duplicate Transform and in the pop up box set H. Offset: and V. Offset: both to zero, then set Rotation to something like 1 or 2 degrees. Click OK. Then the fun bit, duplicate your line that you copied to the clipboard by pressing ctrl + ]...weeeee! Group the lot and resize as needed. Serves two.
Drawing straight lines is best done the quick way by toggling the key V and going back to freehand drawing with the key B. I have built a special pencil for drawing with the straight lines enabled so that it draws a really fine line as I find a regular pencil makes a cumbersome and thick line, but that's just something that floats my boat.
An honourable mention must go to the Align To Path technique, but I hardly use it as it's a bit impractical for me. You start with a line drawn with the pen tool, curved or straight, it doesn't matter. Set the line's thickness to half-a-fart next to zero and it's colour to something subtle to the canvas like light grey (against a white canvas) so you can just about see it as a 'guide line'. Then select your weapon of choice, pen, brush, flamethrower, whatever, and then click the little icon on your property bar that looks like a brush inside a circle. It's next to an icon that looks like a brush drawing straight line zig-zags, which is next to a brush icon, which is next to my little teddy bear stuck to my monitor, aww, he's cute. But anyway, that's the Align To Path setting and now you can only draw on a layer or the canvas underneath the vector line. It's actually really handy for nice pressure-sensitive quality lines, but as you can imagine it's a bugger to faff with if you've got a lot of lines to draw.
Two stupid little tricks to finish with: When drawing a perspective image, try a small thumbnail image with freehanded lines. Then, when you're happy with the rough, resize and up-rez the canvas. Although it's not a mathematical approach (if you want one of those try 3D Studio Max) but it does get quick results.
And lastly, really simply, try actually using a real ruler on your drawing tablet. Sounds daft, it is weird, but it does actually work!
thank you so very much! You have been very helpful! (and funny ) "next to cute teddy bear.." ). I especially like the shape duplication trick.
I thought it was just me that couldn't find the way to use it and vanishing points were somewhere in there... it's a shame IMHO because I keep trying to understand perspective book after perspective book but always when i see the super complicated constructions involving compasses and rulers I keep wondering to myself why this isn't done by the computer somehow. You'd just pick some vanishing points, distance to picture plane, some vanishing points... aaa, it would be so sweet. Especially the part with vanishing points falling way outside the image. I just can't seem to guess them right without actually seeing the vanishing points, while for a computer it would be so easy (and not memory consuming with image resize) to draw perspective lines even to a vanishing point waaay off the image. (I do convergent lines but I wonder if they're falling on the horizon line or not ). Also with choosing the minor axis for ellipses the computer could aid (I just read that even the rule of them heading towards the other vanishing point isn't actually true)...
Not that I'm a nut for precision: actually I just prefer the "if it looks acceptable it's perfect" approach, just that I'm at my first baby steps and have yet to develop the intuition of what looks right so that I can do "try until i hit it right".
Thank you so much for your help!
Use the Pen tool to create your perspective grid and set the Stroke color to cyan, an easy to see color when doing the drawing with black or grey.
One big advantage of using the Pen tool is the perspective grid can be created relatively small, the file saved in RIFF format, then used on multiple images again and again, and scaled up or down to use over whatever image size you need.
Another advantage is the line widths and other Shape Attributes can be adjusted as needed.
If you find the Pen tool (Shapes) perspective grid cumbersome to use above your working image while drawing (there will be many Shape Layers), once you scale it to whatever size is needed above the appropriate size white Canvas, you can save it in GIF format. Then you can copy and paste the GIF image on a Layer set to Composite Method Gel so the white background is transparent allowing you to see through it while working on underlying Layers or the Canvas to do your drawing.
By using it again I assume you mean with the same vanishing points or would this be somehow editable? My big question is how do the vanishing points when they go off the page. I assume you mean make them inside the page and then scale? Ideally I would have liked to first do a rough sketch without them and then make them. Thank you!
If you create your perspective grid using the Pen tool, you can scale the whole grid up or down, or scale the horizontal and vertical dimensions independently. In other words, for instance, you can stretch the width to make the vanishing points for two point perspective as far apart as you want, or stretch it vertically to make a 3 point perspective grid as tall as you want.. or both.
You might need to do the scaling above a larger white Canvas so you can see where the vanishing points are, then crop the Canvas to the working size.
If you think about it for a while, I'm sure you'll figure out how to do it. It's not really that complicated if you're at all familiar with doing perspective drawing using a grid.