How can Pho­to­shop help me out with my per­spec­tive?

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Imagine Nation | Artist Q & A -

Joseph Ben­son, England

Paul replies

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.

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