# Thread: [Archived Class 1] Week One - Linear Perspective

1. ## [Archived Class 1] Week One - Linear Perspective

Week One Focus: Linear Perspective

This first week’s study task focuses on one of the easier, but often overcomplicated elements of painting environments. Linear perspective is a definite and calculable part of the process, and can be easily measured and refined. However it is also plays an important part in establishing the illusion of depth, and minor mistakes in perspective can have a very detrimental effect on the success of your image.
Using linear perspective as a starting point for our lessons allows us to begin with an area that is easy to develop and critique, and also one which will improve naturally along the way once it is firmly planted in our minds and we are aware of it.
The study task this week will comprise of two parts.

Study Task A): Constructing cubes in space. 1.5 hours

In task A) we will introduce the 3 perspective setups you will use most – 1, 2 and 3 point perspective. In fact, humans see in 3 point perspective. 1 and 2 point are introduced for the sake of simplicity, by placing the 2nd and 3rd vanishing points at ‘infinite’ distances. Take half an hour to work with each setup. First, draw a horizon line straight across your drawing space. Choose any point on this line and place a dot. This is your VP1, or first vanishing point. In one point perspective, this is your only vanishing point. From here, draw out radiating lines in all directions. Between two of these lines, draw 2 direct verticals. This forms the ‘receding’ face of your cube. From the front vertical, draw out a square. This is now the front plane. Continue in this fashion, and construct some basic scenes using different sizes and shapes of cubes.
For 2 point perspective, your ‘front’ face now conforms to a vanishing point also. Place 2 VP’s on your horizon line. Draw out your radii, and drop your two verticals as before. Then, from each end of your front vertical, draw a line back to the second unused VP. Drop your third vertical somewhere along here, and you now have a cube in two point perspective. Continue as above, and create 2-3 abstract scenes without detail in 2 point perspective.
Finally, 3 point introduces a 3rd vanishing point which simulates the vertical movement of our eyes. VP3 determines (in abstract space) whether we are looking up or down. After placing your two horizontal VP’s, place a 3rd vanishing point between these two, but far above or below the horizon line. Proceed as with 2 point, except now all of your verticals follow back to the VP3. Again, construct 2-3 abstract scenes.

Study Task B) Observing perspective 1.5 hours
Collect a series of 5 photo references or screen grabs from movies. These must be of some sort of urban environment. Using Photoshop, trace perspective lines over the major objects/buildings. Do this on several objects, and then connect the dots where your tracing lines intersect. This should form a horizon line. Finally, using the same horizon line, construct a simple cube that fits the perspective of the photo.
Note: Whether you are working digitally or traditionally, it helps to place your VP’s as far off the ‘frame’ of your drawing as possible. Placing vanishing points too close will result in extreme distortion and you will break the conviction of your illusion. This may take some time to get used to, but eventually your eye will learn to ‘fake’ perspective without needing to draw in your points far off the canvas.

Week One Portfolio Artwork: Focus on Perspective. ‘Nuclear Silo’

You must come up with a concept/back-story for your nuclear silo. It MUST be futuristic/science fiction based. The focus here is on using as much as you know about perspective to produce a scene with complicated geometry – push your limits, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Use 3 point if you can, or 2 point if it feels more comfortable. It may be helpful to start with an abstract ‘cube’ scene like you did in study task part A. Impress your classmates with how many complicated shapes you can integrate – but make sure they all confirm to their vanishing points.

We will be keeping everything consolidated in one thread this week, so feel free to post work in progress shots, ask questions, throw feedback around etc. Dont worry if you are faster or slower than someone else in posting - we all have different schedules. Critique will be given to anything that is posted. I will also be running through all the study tasks myself and will post up my results alongside as we go through each topic. Furthermore, I will try to dig up good references and further reading to go along with it all.

the Fail/Pass/Professional gradings will be given out at week's end. Please have ALL of your study work and your portfolio piece submitted 7 days from the time this was posted. (5pm Sunday GMT+10 is my time).

I look forward to seeing what you all can do - and do know im around the thread a fair bit to help out. Also, you guys can feel free to add me to MSN for any off topic questions, but please keep all the relevant stuff in the thread for all to learn from.

form_n_focus----at----hotmail.com

NOW GIT TO DRAWRIN, MONKEYS!!

Marking Sheet

If you are wondering whether you have passed each task - this is how you will know
Last edited by Form; February 28th, 2008 at 04:02 AM.

2. Sounds interesting

Do you prefere us to post work in progress and everything in this thread? Or should we start a thread each called like "Gundersen Week 1 Assignment" or maybe have one thread we use the entire course like "Gundersen" ..

3. no no, keep everything to do with this week's topic in this thread.

It will make for an easier workflow when it comes to us all critiquing each other's work. You will create a thread for your portfolio at the end of the course, but until then just post in the weekly threads or any special ones i create!

4. Ok so here we go, I havent scanned in my drawings of 1 2 & 3 point perspective. But I was working on some screenshoots from movies and found it a bit hard, so thought it show it and hear if someone got the same problems or got sollutions

The first one here i think i managed quite ok, choosed to do a simple object of a bridge in the Transformers movie.

The second one turned out to be a 1 point perspective, but is that correctly or are my eyes blind?

The third one is where my problem arrive. Since its a 3 point perspective and there are some "organic" shapes i find it a bit hard. Am i on the correct track or does it look horrible?

5. Hey bro, thanks for being the first to post up! You get a 5 minute early mark!!

OK lets get the critique happening...

#1. Nice choice of object, but the darkness makes some of the edges a little confusing. Nevertheless they are mostly readable. Firstly, its important to be as accurate as you can when drawing out the lines, as small changes at one end can mean big changes by the time the line gets to the VP.

You are indeed right, that the horizon line is sloping. But perhaps not so much as you have indicated in yours - there is a big indicator that your left VP is off and that is the left support column of the bridge. Try tracing out some of those lines and see what you come up with. Remember, if you are looking up, the horizon line may not appear in your image. Just like if you look up into the sky in real life, you cant see the horizon!

2. For this one, I would like you to do some more searching on whether it is really a one point perspective. In fact, the answer is already in this thread
Again, look at some major lines to trace through.

3. This is a really hard one because, as you say, all the shapes are organic. However the advantage is that the horizon line is already there So you can trace one line back, and as long as its accurate, you have your vanishing point. One thing to remember (big tip alert) is that every object in a scene will have different vanishing points. Uh oh! did this topic just get super complicated??? Dont worry for now - we will follow this up at some point with a perspective masterclass. But for now its enough to remember that separate objects will sometimes not have the same VP's, whereas a lot of urban environs will all share the same VP - like a city block which is all lined up on the same grid. Perhaps, for now, choose a less crazy image!! At least until i get some material up on constructing ellipses in perspective

6. Thanks for quick reply Adam. Will sort out the mistakes and give you some stunning work tomorow evening hopefully!

Here are my line drawings for Study Task 1.
(I see the quality was not superb when i took pictures instead of scanning, do you want me to scan them in and update the thread??)

1.Point perspective: Tried some diffrent versions to see how the objects changed depending on where you placed them, and also to see how you could use this perspective to archive what you want. Started out as random placeing of objects .. but the mind tricked me and started creating less abstract images

2.Point perspective: Again same as last, tried diffrent options to see how it turned out. Tried to be as abstract in the placeing and size as i could..

3.Point perspective: This was a bit diffrent then the others, The first image i realized i totaly failed on you might say. But i found out to make a good 3.point perspective I needed to move away the 3rd point out of my A4 paper and farther up. The last one turned out better. Tried also here to use diffrent object size and placement to see how it turned out.

Cheers

BTW Come on guys!!! post up your work.. lets work togheter and learn from each other aswell! And feel free to give critts to me and suggestions!

7. ok prof, here is study B. i've found most of my problems trying to determine if horizon line is askew or not. could use some help
also, in the b/w city shot, is that a fish lens kind of thing? or i'm terribly confused.
i'll have my abstract compositions up asap.
thanks for your time.
Last edited by Agustin Poratti; October 23rd, 2007 at 10:55 AM.

8. ## WEEK 1 by MIO aka the lying prophet

Hi! These are my work for this week's topic. Form, again thanks for having this class! For my silo, i want to do something that is futuristic, but at the same time the scene would be old and gritty. i mean, i would like to emphasize that the nuclear silo wasnt ever used by those who made it. so i imaging to put like rusts or some plantation growing on the side... just an idea... it could still change but for now, here's my work:
Work A

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[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

Work B

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

9. ## Movie Shot Perspective A

Ok, I spent a bit of time doing three of the movie shot perspectives after I got home from dodge ball. I had problems with nearly all of them but I figured get in early and I take a further stab at correcting them. I'll also post shapes and two final images (hopefully tomorrow). I should preface this by saying that perspective has always been my bane. Hopefully not by the end of these three months.

Image A:

Didn't have to much trouble with this one. I'm assuming that the lines going off to the right would eventually end in some far away v.p. I do wonder about the boats however (around the question mark). What should I make of the them not quite lining up?

Image B:

More trouble with this image. Again two VP, with one going off the page to the right (probably should take that into account and move the image over). However, the windows on the building in the background, which I assumed would line up with VP1...don't. (they're the red lines). Any help?

Image C:

Well I thought I was doing alright with this image until I noticed the near set of tiles was doing something screwy. Basically the way I've marked this image is that most of the objects (escalator, back tiles etc.) are leading away to 1point (shown in red). The tiles in front, however, seem to be in 2p but with two completly different v.p. Am I right?

Thanks again Form for setting this up!

10. Well, i spent an hour writing out replies and then CA bugged out and i lost it - so excuse my brevity on the second pass

Gunderson:

Your 1 point looks fine, some of your lines seem a little heavy - its important to keep a gentle touch with your linework when you are blocking in perspective - keep it soft and accurate, to provide a good foundation to work over later.

Your two point shows good variation in how you have arranged your shapes. There is a problem in number 2 I would like you to work on. It has to do with the twin buildings in the centre. Something is wrong at the base of these buildings.... unless you were going for an escher illusion sort of look Figure out what is wrong at the bottom!

As for your 3 point - im glad you figured out the VP3 thing! In fact, it applies to ALL the VP's. Its frustrating to begin with when you are not used to placing VP's off the canvas, but it is something you will get used to over time. The further off your canvas the VP's are, the less distortion or 'fish eye' effect will occur. However all 3 of your 3 point drawings are technically correct. Good job
Last edited by Form; October 22nd, 2007 at 03:04 AM.

11. The Lying Prophet

That idea for your production piece sounds fine to me - look forward to the result!

As for your perspective constructs, these are all fantastic... the 3rd one especially shows you have put a lot of effort in...

But there are a few misalignments in the 3rd one, around the very bottom cube. They really stood out to me - it is a good example of how tiny errors in perspective can make the whole image look off! A lesson worth learning early. Also note that the further your mistakes are from the horizon line, the more they will stand out...

your photo paintovers seem good, but they are very small and hard to see.
Im going to drop a big tip here and it applies to everyone.

Everything we see is in at least 3 point perspective!
That also applies to every screengrab posted so far!! Even if it is very subtle, and one VP dominates the composition, there will still be 3 point perspective in anything shot from a human perspective...

Take the shot of spidey swinging through the city street. Clearly it is a composition dominated by one VP which you have correctly identified. But what about the building under his bent leg? where is that converging to? How about the vertical edges of the skyscrapers - dont they seem to be on some sort of angle? Everyone should look back oevr their images and try to establish these multiple vanishing points. And look around your own environment in real life - notice where lines converge and move your head around and see what happens!

Good work Mio

12. Nathan House:

Cool man. Image one is nicely figured out. The explanation for the boats is most likely to do with the construction of the ship - maybe the hull is curved, or the boats are hung at different angles or distances from the edge. The solidity of the rest of the shapes indicates that the basic shape of the ship you have blocked in is correct, and the boats are probably just at weird angles or different heights.

Image B - you have identified an important issue. Yes - objects can (and most often do) have different vanishing points! Since the concrete sleepers and the big building are not part of the same construction (ie the sleepers arent ON the building), its perfectly logical for them to have different VP's. As an extreme example, take the far off building on the left. It has drastically different VP's, but its still logically in correct perspective (it has to be, its a photo!). Thanks for highlighting that point!

As for image C, you have chosen a very complicated picture! The problem is that you have complicated plane changes - the floor actually dips down then up again, and you have escalators on weird angles. The roof is also at a strange angle, and the lines of the tiles on the roof and floor are misleading you! When you have angled planes, your converging lines will actually fall OFF the horizon line (confused yet? we will come to this in masterclass). for the time being, i would choose a less confusing image for the sake of getting the basics solidly imprinted... hehe!

good work all round!

13. Haha saw the mistake at ONCE on the 2point perspective... forgotten to draw the bottome line. Will fix it today and uppload again

Cheers mate

Originally Posted by Form
Well, i spent an hour writing out replies and then CA bugged out and i lost it - so excuse my brevity on the second pass

Gunderson:

Your 1 point looks fine, some of your lines seem a little heavy - its important to keep a gentle touch with your linework when you are blocking in perspective - keep it soft and accurate, to provide a good foundation to work over later.

Your two point shows good variation in how you have arranged your shapes. There is a problem in number 2 I would like you to work on. It has to do with the twin buildings in the centre. Something is wrong at the base of these buildings.... unless you were going for an escher illusion sort of look Figure out what is wrong at the bottom!

As for your 3 point - im glad you figured out the VP3 thing! In fact, it applies to ALL the VP's. Its frustrating to begin with when you are not used to placing VP's off the canvas, but it is something you will get used to over time. The further off your canvas the VP's are, the less distortion or 'fish eye' effect will occur. However all 3 of your 3 point drawings are technically correct. Good job

14. the lying prophet Hey dude, the shot you have with the skyscrapers there would be a third point up in the sky as far as i can see...
I need to find some of these city shots aswell, makes it easier to find the VPs

15. Thanks for the comment Form. Yeah i think your right about my 3point perspective. the lower part is a bit off. maybe i was starting to feel dizzy when i did this. lol also, sorry about the pictures. i dont want to take too much space so i made a smaller version. ill do better next time. lol. thanks! and to everyone, nice work! cant wait to see the paintings.

16. gunderson:

you will find that you will need to bring the left building out of its 'grid' since that is how it is at the top - make sure you upload the fixed version!

17. Ok have made 3 new Screenshot perspectives. As soon as you gave us the hint that there always is 3 perspective points it was easier to work them out. Hope they are more correct this time at least hehehe

(Changed the contrast a bit on this to be able to see it)

Is this one more correct this time?

And a new one ..

will btw upload the new 2 point perspective tomorow when i get it scaned in ... Maybe also a sketch for the Nuclear Silo

18. Hello everyone
Here is the first part of my studies. They're all a bit simple. Hope that's not a problem. Also I tried to not to use a ruler and that's why the lines are a bit wobbly. Well... except for one page, but you can easily tell which one it is.

Gundersen: I think (I could be wrong of course...) this one still isn't quite right. VP3 shold be a mile above. Draw a line from the building on the left and one from the building on the right, they'll cross somewhere above the horizon line.

Although all those objects with separate vanishing points are a bit confusing to me. Is what I'm suggesting even right? I mean crossing lines from different objects.

Also, a big thanks to Form for doing all this! Thanks And a question for Form - are we allowed to use 3D models as a base for the creative assignment? I mean something like what Pene Menn does here. The models are still simple enough to require knowledge of perspective to be taken to the stage of a finished painting.
Or maybe use them just as a guide without painting over them? Or should it all be strictly 2D?

I'll post my photo studies and maybe some preliminary sketches for the nuclear silo tomorrow.

Thanks again!

19. Windmaker yeah i can see it, you are correctly

20. ## Waffles

Gundersen: I'm glad I could help

Here is the second part of my studies.

The perspective in those isn't as complicated as it can be, but complicated perspective scares me easily... So there. These are the results of my struggle with my archnemesis - Perspective!

Now on to the creative tasks!

21. Windmaker i cannot seem to be able to see what movies those shots there are from hehehe

22. Neither can I...
They're all photos from www.photosig.com.
Erm... if we're supposed to use movie screenshots only I'll do the studies again. Just let me know.

23. hehe i dont think it mathers ... depends how strict Form is It says movie grabs in the study information. but who knows ..

Anyone getting along with their Nuclear Silo? I think i have found the perspective I am gonna use, might uppload the perspective drawing tomorow .. Need to start paint soon since I am not experienced in Photoshop painting.

Originally Posted by Windmaker
Neither can I...
They're all photos from www.photosig.com.
Erm... if we're supposed to use movie screenshots only I'll do the studies again. Just let me know.

24. prof, i've edited my post up above with study b.

----
windmaker: your last photo study is amazing man. as i scrolled up i thought it was form's imagery.

----
FORM: "use photo references or screen grabs from movies"
Last edited by Agustin Poratti; October 23rd, 2007 at 11:00 AM.

25. Agustin Poratti: Thanks!
About your black and white city study - I think it really is a case of four-point perspective. I read somewhere that humans really see in four point perspective. And every other kind of perspective is just a variation of four-point.
And now I've spent half an hour searching for this article... and couldn't find it. I'll search for it again when I get home from work.

gundersen: I'm currently drawing screwed-up little thumbnails. The perspective is mostly wrong but they serve their purpose. I'm hoping to refine the composition and perspective with a rough 3D model (which can easily be done in SketchUp) and then either paint over the render or use the render as reference as I try to transfer the main perspective elements. Or watch helplessly and do nothing in case Form decides not to allow the use of 3D Also, I'm writing down a list of all the elements my painting will include (rockets, computers... whatnot...) each one of which I'll draw or model separately to gain a better understanding of how to place it in the painting.

26. Agustin Poratti:

Good work, ticks on all.

Yes, the B+W one is taken with a distorted lens so it is creating extra VP's. Note also that the lines going to the left and right VP actually have a long curve around the lens. WIthout this, they would look like they were all out of alignment - good to remember!

And yep, that photo has a tilted horizon. Another good thing to remember when it comes to creating compositions that dont look stale and contrived!

Good job

27. Gunderson:

Good revisions man. Just the wrong VP3 on the middle image, as mentioned

28. Windmaker:

Part One - Good work, points for having a go at doing it by hand. However your lines arent straight enough to judge accuracy - and they dont look solid. There is nothing wrong with using a ruler or working digitally to get straight lines. Personally, it took me AGES to get used to working with straights, but it becomes part of your process. Also a lot of your lines dont seem to line up to VP's - i did a paintover of one image to demonstrate.

Id like you to do a few more pieces using straight edges, and making sure all those lines line up to the same vp's on the same horizon!

Part Two - Perfecto. Nice images. Photoref is fine. Good work!

29. Using 3D model Underlays

Not allowed for the production piece for this week, the whole point is to learn perspective peoples!!! You dont want to rely on a crutch as fickle as a 3D application. It is just a tool - you need to demonstrate your knowledge before you start using shortcuts. Later on in the more complicated pieces we can use 3d underlays. But try not to get used to it - someday you may want to work traditionally!

30. rvdtor, daldbaatar, blinkythemouse, Jorge Gecov, D.Labruyere

Where are you guys?

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