Inserting Vanishing points

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For those unfamiliar with the concept of perspective lines, the short definition is it's a means to create three-dimensional objects easily and accurately. I could go into great detail about the various types of perspective lines you can create, but you can find many wonderful books on drawing that explain the technique far better than I can in this book. Be sure to check out Chapter 16 for one of my personal favorite books on drawing comics.

If you've done work with perspective lines before, you know that setting up the perspective grid can be tedious, especially when you're making sure that each line matches up with the vanishing points correctly. Even worse, if a vanishing point is well off the page, it becomes that much more difficult to match up the line.

What the Vanishing Points filter does is take the tedious part out of the equation. All you need to do is place the vanishing points on the image layer, and the filter draws in all the perspective lines for you. Placement isn't even limited to the page — you can place vanishing points anywhere on or off the canvas, giving you more freedom to quickly generate the lines you need to make sure your work looks as accurate as possible in three-dimensional space.

To use the Vanishing Points filter, follow these steps:

1. From the main menu, choose Layers New Layer.

To keep the Vanishing points separate from your artwork, it's a good idea to keep the perspective lines on a separate layer. It beats having to erase the lines later on.

2. On the New Layer dialog box, enter an easily identifiable name in the Name text box and select the Sketch Output Attribute.

The other default options for the layer will work just fine.

Unlike wrhen you use the Focus or Speed Line filters, the Vanishing Point filter creates perspective lines that take up the entire page, regardless of whether you make a selection — so don't bother trying to constrain the lines. You can always erase them later.

When laying down vanishing points, it's good to have a basic idea where the horizon will be (For those curious, the horizon is the imaginary line that separates the ground from the sky in your drawing and resides at eye level — see Figure 14-19).When working with one or two-point perspective, the horizon is the line on which you set your vanishing points. So before you start working with the Vanishing Points filter, be sure to know where the horizon is in the panel.

Figure 14-19:

It helps to know where the horizon is in the panel before you start placing any vanishing points.

4. Open the Layer Properties dialog box by choosing the appropriate commands from the main menu:

• Debut version: Filter ^Vanishing Points

• EX version: Filter: RenderCVanishing Points

The Vanishing Points tab of the Layer Properties dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 14-20.

Figure 14-20:

The Vanishing Points tab.

Layer Properties

Properties Vanshhg Parts

1000 ► Degrees A-« 0 Apply »o al the Vanstwig Points Width 0.1 mm ►

| Delete Al | I! Clear Layer 0 Show Pago I mage

5. Click the Arrange Vanishing Points button. (It s a black arrow, as shown in the margin.)

6. Click the canvas where you'd like to place the vanishing point.

The default perspective lines automatically generate around the vanishing point. You can add as many vanishing points as you want.


Figure 14-19:

It helps to know where the horizon is in the panel before you start placing any vanishing points.

Figures Vanishing Point


You can adjust the position of the vanishing point by clicking the focal point (designated by the blue X in the middle) and dragging it to the new position.

To remove a vanishing point, select the one you want to delete and click the Trash button, located at the top of the dialog box.

7. In the Degrees/line text box, enter a value between 0.05 and 30 to change the number of perspective lines generated.

The value you enter is the angle at which a line is generated, so a smaller number results in more lines, and vice versa.

8. Select the Apply to All the Vanishing Points check box before you adjust the value if you'd like the Degrees/Line value reflected in all the vanishing points created.

If you want the value to affect only the current vanishing point, deselect the check box.

9. In the Width text box, enter a value between 0.1 mm and 1.0 mm to adjust the line thickness of all the perspective lines.

10. If you aren't happy with how things are looking and just want to start fresh, you can click the Delete All button, and all the vanishing points (and their respective lines) are removed from the page.

11. Select the Clear Layer check box if you want to remove any other art from the image layer.

This option is useful if you happened to draw on the layer before you started the filter, for example.

12. Click OK when you're done.

To make things easier to read while working, you can adjust the color of the perspective lines. Simply open the Layer Properties dialog box by pressing F3 on your keyboard and change the Display Color from Grayscale to Color. Click the Color box to change the value to a different color.

If you're working in two- or three-point perspective, try creating each vanishing point on a separate layer. That way, you can make each set of perspective lines a different layer. When you're working with many different perspective lines, this can help reduce confusion when staring at a jumble of lines.

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