Simplifying Backgrounds with the Perspective Ruler!


Introduction to Perspective

Hi everyone!! Mary here!
Be welcome. I’m going to explain to you about perspective with points, the horizon line and how it works in real life. I want to turn this more easy and simple for help you to improve your art and unleash your imagination.

First of all, I will teach you the basics of one, two and three point perspective, give some examples of backgrounds into different perspectives. Then, I’ll be showing you how it works in real life, explain about distortions, proportions, and to finish up, my step by step of a background with a 3 point perspective.

Sceneries are amazing, versatile and unique. You can explore combinations and improve a lot, and I want to make it more simple.

This is my first tutorial, so I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for your time. Let’s talk about bg step by step!

The horizon line

“So, what is the horizon line?”
It seems like your viewer of the scene, or the eye level, how high or low your eyes are in relation to the background.
Depending on the position of the horizon line, we have a different field of view. If it is centered, we will see objects head on, and some lines won’t be visible.

In a low horizon line we will see objects from below (frequently used in an urban perspective with a lot of buildings)

And, in a high horizon line, we will see objects from above. We are looking UP at something (pretty used in Spider Man comics!)

The horizon line doesn't have to be straight. Experiment different angles and make your backgrounds more interesting!
Pretty easy, right? So, we can go a little deeper.

Perspective ruler (ON CSP)

Creating a perspective ruler.
It’s easy at all. You just have to go in:
Layer > Ruler/Frame > Create Perspective Ruler

Then, you get to choose between 1, 2 or 3 point perspective and put the option to create a new layer for the ruler (I recommend it, or you can use a vector layer without selecting this option.)

After this, little dots will appear, you can move all of them:

1. The vanishing points
2. The horizon line
3 and 4. Just move the guideline, but not the points
5. Move the entire ruler

So you can adjust as you like. Just it, easy busy
Now, let’s talk about perspective in practice!

1 point perspective

In a one point perspective, except the vertical and horizontal lines, all lines go to a single point. It is often used in architecture drawings (like bedrooms, kitchens).

A practice exercise with cubes:

It’s good for dynamic compositions with only one focus, like a scene in the hallway. The example I did was of a train:

2 point perspective

Here you have edges vanishing in two different points. The vertical lines remain unchanged, but not the horizon lines anymore, they go to both vanishing points.

Another practice with cubes:

PS: anyone of the vanishing points have to lie on the canvas!
Like here, on this drawing I made. They’re out of the paper, so the perspective is less angular.

3 point perspective

All of these perspectives have the same principles, but now the vertical lines travel to a point too. So it adds a sense of scale and depending on the location of the third vanishing point, you can have a view from above or below.

Another cubes practice:

It looks more tridimentional, right?

Here we have a high view, like I explained on the first topic:

Again, anyone of these points have to be on the canvas!

(Bônus) 5 point perspective

Of course that’s crazy, and I will not delve into this topic, but i really like this kind of perspective and I wanted to bring you.

Here, we have an ultra wide-angle in a five point perspective, and basically all the lines are curved, like the fisheye lens that produces strong visual distortion and a hemispherical image.

I wanted to make a draw as an example:

The angle can vary, with a more spherical perspective or not. It depends, as well as at other times, on the distance of the points and their position on the scene.

How It works in real life

“How does it work? In photos we don’t often have angular distortions!”
Of course, because the points are far. I’ll show you.

With 1 vanishing point, it doesn't happen, because generally the point is on the canvas

But with 2 points, it can be different, like here:

or here (3 points):

Often the points are far from the canvas, so we don’t have strong angles.

- Eyes on distortions and proportions!

The closer to the vanishing point, the greater the distortion, don’t be scared if the angles look strange.
the further away, the less distortion, the more realism

My background process step

To finish up, I’ll show you my step by step of a background!

Brushes I used
(Here are the ones if you’re interested in)

the brush: 塗料普通 平 from this pack:

Okay, let's go
All the three vanishing points are out of the canvas, so the distortion is much less.

After defining the vanishing points, I did the sketch (sometimes don't using the ruler frame activated), because If you want to make it more free (or think it’s looking a bit stiff) you can just hide the layer with the ruler frame and after place the perspective ruler to match and correct the sketch.

Lineart (cleaning the sketch):

Basic colors and shadows and then, the final art:

I just wanted to bring this drawing here to show an example of what is possible to do with vanishing points and how it is possible to invent a lot (and I love this kind of theme ><)

Thanks for reading!💕

Woahh, you’re at the end of my first attempt to make a tutorial, and I really enjoyed the process! I love backgrounds so much!
Thank you for your attention and time. I hope you’ve found my explanation helpful even a bit! <3
You can check my work at @artofmaryg on Twitter and Insta.

Plus, sorry for any english mistakes, i’m still learning this language, i’m not fluent yet. c;

~ Mary


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