# Thread: any tips for measuring depth in perspective?

1. ## any tips for measuring depth in perspective?

i think thats one of my last major problems.

i dont have a good system for determining far in the picture goes vs how big and small everything should be because of that.

my scale always looks dumb and no matter how i approach. i usually start every thumbnail by picking my vanishing points and making tons of lines so i dont have to later, so i have a picture with like 30 lines coming from the right and 30 from the left (2 point) and its like... i want to draw a road, a fence, a field, then a house... how do i set up so i can make sure they are all realistic distance apart and that the things further away are actually the correct amount of scaled down?

2. Registered User Level 2 Gladiator: Ordinarii
Join Date
Nov 2009
Posts
58
if you scroll down on the first page there's a nice diagram explaining how to project a simple square from top view to perspective.

also check handprint:
http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/pers...#measurepoints
http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/pers...tml#distmethod
I'm sure there are some more simple diagrams but don't have the time to google now. Hope you make some sense out of this =]

3. Jester Level 7 Gladiator: Samnite
Join Date
Jun 2007
Location
Toronto, Ontario
Posts
800
Start by projecting a horizontal grid, dividing the ground plane into rectangles of equal size, and use this to place and measure things in space.

4. It doesn't sound like you quite understand perspecive yet...because perspective is exactly what you use for determining how things recede in the distance. It isn't just 30 lines from RVP, 30 lines from LVP...you have to think about it and understand what is happening. You could try posting some examples so we understand what you might be missing.

Pick up the newly reprinted "Successful Drawing" by Loomis...that will take you far.

5. this is what it keeps coming back to and why i hate this shit so much now... its like it just never stops. never.
ive been studying guides and forums and tutorials and videos and dvds and books for years now and all it keeps coming back to is you dont know what youre doing.

i mean... to jeff specifically i literally have a copy of successful drawing and perspective for the comic book artist in front of me and this is the 3rd night in a row ive read them both completely while doing exercises in the books.

its like....i get these concepts.
-vanishing point, horizon line, distant vanishing points off the page.
-depth cues.. size, overlaying, atmospheric conditions, sharpness vs blur, thin vs thick lines, distance appears shorter the further things are away.
-picture plane, eye level
-cubes in space, looking right or left or up or down till show you the vanishing points required to truly render a cube in space, all things fit in a cube.
-measuring exact distance with diagonals.

ive been doing this for so damn long, i cant even sketch a 2x2 inch thumbnail without 100 hours of setting up perfect architecture lines? at what point can i draw a single picture that doesnt make me want to take all my art shit and burn it.

i keep going BACK to the beginning to learn the fundamentals over, because as you get older youre able to understand things more easily and i keep thinking ill catch something new this time.

this shit is so frustrating and im sick of sucking at this.

i appreciate everybodies advise. i will look at all of it seriously because at this point i really have nothing else to lose. except more of my sanity.

6. Take a breath.
Post some of your work here so we can better see what you're struggling with, please.

I have to say, though, that I don't think you'd want to set up a perspective grid for a thumbnail sketch. Thumbnails are ideas, loose and probably inaccurate but a starting place.
Even for more finished sketches, I'd argue you still don't want to choose vanishing points--I say, just go on instinct. Do what you want to do and what looks right to you. Wait until the final rendering to place your vp's based on what you wanted with your sketch, and make corrections then. Of course, this might compromise accuracy in the earlier stages of the work, and if you don't feel comfortable freehanding perspective, maybe it isn't the approach for you. But if you need to get more comfortable with perspective and feel like it has a more practical use, maybe this is just what the doctor ordered.

Also, don't forget. Artists aren't interested in scientific accuracy. Artists use perspective as a tool. If science isn't doing what you want, fuck science. This is YOUR picture.

To quote Ernest W. Watson--
"How to violate perspective (profitably) is fully as important for a practicing artists as the the rules of perspective."

7. Jester Level 7 Gladiator: Samnite
Join Date
Jun 2007
Location
Toronto, Ontario
Posts
800
Originally Posted by battlebattle
i mean... to jeff specifically i literally have a copy of successful drawing and perspective for the comic book artist in front of me and this is the 3rd night in a row ive read them both completely while doing exercises in the books.
Slow down. These books contain a lot of useful knowledge, personally I would not be able to read them both completely in one night. Three nights of study is nothing.

I had 24 weeks of perspective classes, each class taking 3 hours and about 3 hours of homework. Most of the homework was maybe 50% of drawing and 50% of perspective, and I think the whole course could have been organized more efficiently, but it all boils down to practice. Start simple, learn 1 point perspective, apply it to some simple objects, a simple environment, both from the real world and from imagination, don't rush it, keep working it until it looks right, get others involved, and then move on to 2 point perspective, etc...

8. If you blow an artery at every obstacle you come across... well, you'll be a messy puddle of gore by the time you've 'learned art'.

I've been drawing for a number of years and I still don't understand perspective.

There are set methods for drawing correct receding dimensions, the instructions can easily be found on the web, it is tedious and you aren't going to find it of any real use outside of architecture.
Not to say you should disregard it, but it would be far more beneficial to observe from life and reference as to how this phenomena works.

9. Put away the books.
Draw stuff. Not the stiff you think you know how to draw (isolated figures without context), but the things that give you trouble. Draw the corner of your room. Draw the view out your window. Draw the inside of your closet. Draw your bathroom. Draw what's in your kitchen cabinets. Again and again, from different angles, different distances, no rulers, no straightedges, no perspective construction, but as accurately as you can from observation, sighting angles and proportions. Pay attention to what your viewing angle is, how far you are from the subject, and how that effects things. Do that A LOT A LOT A LOT.
Then, go back to the books.

And no, it never stops, never. If you can't learn to enjoy the process, to enjoy the journey, as much as or more than the results, then you'll always be miserable and frustrated.

10. Originally Posted by battlebattle
i mean... to jeff specifically i literally have a copy of successful drawing and perspective for the comic book artist in front of me and this is the 3rd night in a row ive read them both completely while doing exercises in the books.

its like....i get these concepts.
-vanishing point, horizon line, distant vanishing points off the page.
-depth cues.. size, overlaying, atmospheric conditions, sharpness vs blur, thin vs thick lines, distance appears shorter the further things are away.
-picture plane, eye level
-cubes in space, looking right or left or up or down till show you the vanishing points required to truly render a cube in space, all things fit in a cube.
-measuring exact distance with diagonals.
Hmmm...don't know what to tell you. Can't possibly help much without seeing examples of where you're having trouble.

TBH it sounds like you're completely caught up in information/tutorial overload. As others have said the real answers lie in doing and enjoying. Is it frustrating and you feel like you suck 80% of the time? Yes. Sometimes 100% of the time. So what?

No one picks up a guitar the first time and goes on tour the next week. They suck at it for a long, long time. But they either love and stick with it or they do something else. Sound slike maybe some quality time with Art and Fear is in order.

As far as practical advice I agree with Elwell...just let all that crap go and do some drawing and painting from life...the beauty of working from life is there aren't any rules...just you and what you want to say about the subject.

Hope that helps some.

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