TCC Guest Writer & Sr. Illustrator
Here are some of the most commonly used perspective types in illustrations in general:
All parallel lines remain parallel.
2 point perspective
All horizontal parallel Lines recede to Vanishing Points. Vertical parallel lines remain vertical and parallel to each other.
2 point perspective
In this example, the vanishing points are much further apart, creating a less forced appearance.
3 point perspective
All parallel and vertical lines recede to 3 separate vanishing points. The closer the vanishing points are to the object, the more forced the distortion will appear.
How to Build a Perspective
When building a perspective in Illustrator, draw a basic isometric box first.
Then, draw a horizontal line to create the horizon line. The horizon line can be above, behind or below the basic box depending on the angle of view that you are after.
With the horizon line selected, add a left and right vanishing point using the pen tool. Make sure that ‘Snap to point’ is active by opening ‘Preferences’ (Control-K keyboard shortcut), then pull-down to ‘Selection and anchor display’ and make sure the ‘Snap to point’ check-box is checked. The default for ‘Snap to point’ is ‘on’, so unless it had been unchecked, selections points should snap together automatically, like a magnet. As long as the direct-selection tool (the hollow arrow) is exactly on the selection point that you are pulling, you can be sure that the point will ‘snap’ exactly on the point that you drag it to.
So… draw a simple, arbitrary line with the pen tool.
Click on one of the points and ‘snap’ it to one of the selection points on the horizon line.
Then select the other end and drag/snap it to the top front corner of the isometric box.
Copy the line, ‘Paste in front’, select the endpoint on the box corner and drag/snap that point to the bottom front corner of the box.
Continue the process to add guide lines from both vanishing points to the 6 FRONT corners of the basic box.
Select all of the perspective lines that you just created and LOCK them.
Now, one corner at a time, marquis-select the specific points of the corners of the isometric box and move them up/down and left/right to line up with the perspective guide lines.
After the wireframe lines of the box are in position, unlock the perspective lines and delete them, along with the horizon line.
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