How can Photoshop help me out with my perspective?
Joseph Benson, England
Understanding perspective is a crucial skill for all artists. Our job is to visualise threedimensional objects and environments on a two-dimensional screen or page, and perspective is the tool we use to create that illusion. I’m not going to go too deep into the fundamentals. Instead, I’ll focus on how to visualise perspective within Photoshop itself, creating guidelines from which to draw and paint.
At its most basic level, perspective can be broken down into the concept of lines emanating from a vanishing point that sits upon a horizon line. This is called onepoint perspective, and most of the lines in the scene go to the same point. You can add additional vanishing points on the horizon line to create different angles, but in this article I’ll stick with one. Simpler perspectives, while not as technically exciting to create, can be more visually interesting to a casual viewer because they require less thought to understand.
Photoshop doesn’t have a dedicated perspective tool, but it does offer a suite of useful features that, when combined, make the creation of perspective guidelines relatively easy. Here, I’ll show you how to take a loose sketch of a city street and create guides to follow, to generate a relatively clean piece of line art.
The scene is ready to turn into a painting. If I want to achieve a realistic look I can use the guidelines to align photo textures. By including a character for scale it’s easy to figure out the scale of other objects in the environment. If in doubt, just follow the lines.