Perspective question for everyone

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  1. #1
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    Perspective question for everyone

    How does everyone feel about perspective? I'd like a professional view point on this.

    I'm learning about perspective and I notice that when I come across some fantastic eye candy landscape art on this forum it feels like the perspective is not dead on. I mean, it looks great but when you really start finding the vanishing point and finding where this line goes and that line goes...it's not perfect. Can you treat perspective like you treat anatomy? I mean know the basics, know what needs to be there and then kind of throw your own twist to it... Just Curious.

    Thanks!

    John

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  3. #2
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    Sometimes. Maybe.

    Scott Robertson has a popular DVD that deals with freehand perspective.A lot of people claim being able to BS perspective helps them work quickly. More advanced form of perspective take more effort and thus, more time. Robertson does concepts for vehicles.

    I read an academic article about how great masters never applied perspective to sphere (yes, spheres do deform quite a bit if your willing to do math, but it's most noticable outside the cone of vision, and almost no one does) and really took the mike when applying it to people.

    Plus, a lot of illustrators don't even try with more organic landscapes.

    Knowledge of perspective can be very, very, useful, but depending on the specifics of your job, you might be able to BS it, or do without it. I would recommend learning it, but there are professionals who are getting by with very little knowledge about it or absolutely hate grids and try to work around it.

    All this feeds back into generalized, kung fu advice: If it looks wrong, it's wrong. If it looks great, is there anything really wrong with it?

    Do you Mentler?

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  5. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JThao View Post
    fantastic eye candy landscape art on this forum it feels like the perspective is not dead on. I mean, it looks great but when you really start finding the vanishing point and finding where this line goes and that line goes...it's not perfect.
    If it already looks great then why scrutinize it?

    Quote Originally Posted by JThao View Post
    Can you treat perspective like you treat anatomy?
    Perspective is more important than anatomy.

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    When I took my "Background & Props" class the prof said something that rang true with me: "It just has to be BELIEVABLE." Now, it was a comics class, and part of the idea is it takes someone about 5 seconds to read a panel, but the concept is the same elsewhere.

    I was also taught that you make your environments less stiff and un-natural by thumbnailing your rough idea out and THEN busting out the rulers and tightening up the perspective.

    Have you tried to draw a cityscape in perfect perspective before? I have. It won't happen. Life is not a perfect grid. Everything is not a cube. Things do not all move to the same point. It makes your environments more interesting and real when you add in a touch of organic and imperfection.

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    Thanks for the replys. Cool, I definately share your beliefs. I also believe if it looks right...it looks right. I plan to sketch out the landscape then apply the perspective to make things more accurate and go from there. Sweet. Time to get drawing! By the way, are perspective grids really worth using once you get the hang of perspective? I've never used one before.

    Hunterkiller, I was definately not scrutinizing it. The drawing actually took my breath away but of course as an artist, after you catch your breath you start to look for crits... And being new to perspective I noticed that the drawing wasn't dead on. I had always though great artist always used perspective to the T. I'm glad to hear that is not the case.

    I don't believe perspective is more important than anatomy. I think it depends on what your central point is. If it's the landscape and you draw in tiny people to fill up the environment, anatomy would still be imporant but you'd be able to get away with a few more things. If your central vew point is the character, the anatomy would be just as important if not more. My .02

    Last edited by JThao; September 26th, 2008 at 09:29 AM.
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  9. #6
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    Look at photographs, and pull out the ruler. Those won't match up either, because camera lenses distort the image. People accept them as accurrate anyways, because they're photos, they have to be right. Right?

    We're kind of conditioned to accept the image as long as it's close. Perspective is vitally important to understand, but it's not too important to be 100% accurrate.

    Also, are you sure you're lining things up right when you look at these images? Most paintings will actually have multiple vanishing points. Only objects perfectly lined up and square will share a vanishing point. Anything at even a slightly different angle will have it's own vanishing points. One image could have literally hundreds of vanishing points and even different "horizon" lines (although there will be only one true horizon line), and still be correct.

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  11. #7
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    J Wilson maybe your right. I'm probably such a noob to perspective that maybe I just looked at it the wrong way. When you say multiple horizon lines I assume you are talking about drawing a landscape uphill or downhill?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JThao View Post
    I don't believe perspective is more important than anatomy. I think it depends on what your central point is. If it's the landscape and you draw in tiny people to fill up the environment, anatomy would still be imporant but you'd be able to get away with a few more things. If your central vew point is the character, the anatomy would be just as important if not more. My .02
    Hunterkiller's point was that perspective applies to anything you want to depict in three-dimensional space, including the human body.

    You might want to check out Watson's Creative Perspective. It's full of examples of artists using distortions and non-standard perspective for pictorial effect.


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  14. #9
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    Sweet. I'll check that book out. I agree with you, perspective is important for everything we draw.

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  15. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JThao View Post
    When you say multiple horizon lines I assume you are talking about drawing a landscape uphill or downhill?
    Yep. The ground plane can change, or objects can change relative to it. For example if a building was falling over, or sinking, you'd maybe see the top of the building, and that plane would have a different functional horizon line. The real horizon line would be the same (the viewers eye line), but you'd have to draw that building as if it had a different horizon line.

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  16. #11
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    There gets to be a point where perspective followed too closely is a negative.

    It seems people tend to lay out perspective so that stuff that would normally be outside a human's field of view is included, which results in distortion and weird elongations of things and sudden drops that looks really stiff and contrived. And also perspective becomes impractical if the vanishing points have to be really far from each other in order to make it look nondistorted (as in drawing small stuff).

    Last edited by Zirngibism; September 26th, 2008 at 09:12 PM.
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  17. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zirngibism View Post
    And also perspective becomes impractical if the vanishing points have to be really far from each other in order to make it look nondistorted (as in drawing small stuff).
    If you are doing an environ with any sort of realistic perspective, your major points will be faaaaar away from each other. That's why you thumbnail small.

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  18. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirana View Post
    If you are doing an environ with any sort of realistic perspective, your major points will be faaaaar away from each other. That's why you thumbnail small.
    Oh yeah, that makes sense.
    I used to think they were just small for speed...

    What I had meant by drawing small stuff was related to subject matter. Like if you were to draw a book on a table, the book can't look like it's going 100 feet back in space. That wasn't a very well-worded post on my part :-\

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  19. #14
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    Well, hopefully stuff like that you can make believable enough that you don't have to bust out the perfect prespective...and if it still looks off, draw it small and work it out.

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