Saturday, February 21, 2015

Illustrator: 2 Point Linear Perspective (without perspective grid tool)

Before beginning: Remember to hold down the shift key as you draw to keep your lines straight. Make sure "snap to point" is turned on (View > Snap To Point) and that "smart guides" are turned on (View > Smart Guides)

1) Determine your line of sight (horizon line or eye level) and your two vanishing points (often one or both will be outside of your composition). Draw the corner of the object you wish to draw using the line tool (not the pen tool) somewhere in relation to the line of sight. Here it is drawn so that we will see the bottom of the object (our eye level is lower then the object). 

2) Use the line tool to draw connecting lines from the bottom and top of the corner line to one of the vanishing points (do not use the pen tool). The lines should snap to the vanishing points (the vanishing points here are just red shapes that I have drawn with the ellipse tool)

3) Connect the other side of the corner to the other vanishing point. Now you have two of the sides to your perspectival object. 

4) Draw 2 vertical lines (all with the line segment tool) to determine how long the outer "walls" of your perspectival form will be. Since this is from imagination the length of the walls is completely arbitrary or up to your on imagination.

5) Draw two connecting lines that cross back over to the opposite vanishing points from the lines you drew in the previous step. Now you have created the bottom of your form. 

6) For all lines use the white arrow, select the end point of the line and drag the anchor point back to the edge of the form (disguising how the form was drawn and just leaving the form). The anchor point should snap back to the proper location. Here the top right line has been adjusted and the highlighted line is now being altered (note green "anchor" text)

7) The 2 point perspective object without any shading or perspectival guide lines.

8) To draw a transparent box you need 3 more lines all connecting from previously drawn line segments. Two of these lines go to the vanishing points and one is vertical (creating the far back corner of the form. 

9) The 2 point transparent perspective object as seen without shading or perspectival guide lines. The guide lines were retracted as they were in step 6 above.

10) To create even more complex forms we can carve away pieces from the original form. Here I have used two criss crossing blue lines to find the absolute center of my form.

11) After retracting my guide lines I am left with a form that has a wedge shape extracted from it (from the exact center out to either edge). 

12) To fill the shape with value, first select the entire thing (use the black arrow to click and drag over the shapes you have drawn or select each line segment individually using the black arrow). If you have a more complex composition I recommend locking background layers/objects to avoid accidentally selecting them during this phase.

13) With the object selected click the Live Paint Bucket Tool. Hover the cursor over the object (make sure all of the object is selected before proceeding or you will have issues later), select a grayscale swatch to use from your swatches panel and then click anywhere in your object.

14) The object is now grouped and filled with value. Note: While on the Live Paint Bucket tool you should be able to use the left and right arrow keys to choose which swatch you would like to fill each shape with. 

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