How to Draw a 3-Point-Perspective

Point Prespective - 3 Point

Step by step demonstrating how to draw a Real 3-point perspective.

As you work through the slides below on how to draw a Real 3 point perspective you may come across a link to an associated footnote. You can either follow the links and return to the related slide, or read the footnotes at the bottom of the page after you have completed the demonstration.

The primary difference between a three point perspective (Referred to as 3PP) and a 2PP is the addition of a third vanishing point glossary-tag that is either above or below the horizon. glossary-tag

The multi point perspective is used to draw an object that has more or less faces than the conventional cube. For example, shapes such as a pyramid, cylinder or the like. The MPP is also used to draw mutable objects using the either a 2PP or the three point perspective method

In all types of perspective the horizon is always at eye level. But where they differ is the position of the focal point. glossary-tag In 2PP it is on the horizon whereas in 3PP it is usually above or below the horizon. As a result the three point perspective deals with rotation of the object and the pitch of the line of vision, glossary-tag whereas the 2PP only deals with the rotating of the object.

The term 'bird's eye view' refers to a three point perspective where horizon is above the object and the focal point is below the horizon. Conversely, a 'worm's eye view' is a 3PP where the horizon is below the object and the focal point is above the horizon

In the demonstration that follows you will be shown how to set-up the 3 different vanishing points (VP's), and how the 3 VP's can be manipulated to shape a 3-point perspective. An important aspect of the 3-point perspective is the variations available to you to change and mould the 'shape' of the final result. Consequently, depending on the set-up an object or building can be drawn to emphasis a particular aspect of its design. Conversely, a different set-up can produce a result that is not very complementary.

Before we move on 'How to draw' each of the three point perspective, you will require a plan, elevation and in some cases a section of the 'Object' you wish to draw perspective of. All must be the same scale.

perspective-object-plan-elevation

Object - Plan - Elevation

In this example the elevations are comparatively simple so they may not be necessary. Providing you know the dimensions it may be easier just to use a scale. However, it is not recommended on more complex objects, but it is possible to do an accurate perspective without the elevation views.

To draw perspective you will require a larger worktop to position the plan, and elevations on. Once these have been setup they must to be taped down. Next you will need a longer straightedge, a scale to match and the trusty pencil. In more complex jobs it may be advisable to use a range of coloured pencils. Then for the axonometric projections a adjustable set-square would be useful.

Point by Point Demonstration

  • 1: To start the 3-point perspective a plan and elevation of the object has been selected. Both must be the same scale.

  • 2: The layout of the worktop should be as follows: Place the plan above the working drawing. Rotate to the desired position and tape it down. Add the Focal Point to a selected building point and add the Line of Vision. Then perpendicular to the Line of Vision add the Picture Plane. At a selected distance add the Viewing Point and perpendicular to that add the Horizon. To one side of the working drawing place the elevation equidistant to the Focal Point. Thereafter, move it up or down to determine its viewing height and tape it in position.

  • 3: Next the Horizontal Vanishing Points must be set-up. From the Viewing Point add a Construction Line parallel to each front face and extend it to the Picture Plane. From the Intersection drop a Perpendicular Line to the Horizon. The left and right Vanishing Points are at these intersections.

  • 4: Next the vertical vanishing point must be set-up. A Target Point was selected approximately 2 floors down. From the Viewing Point draw a line to the Target Point. Then perpendicular to that from the elevation's Focal Point draw a line to the Line of Vision. This line is referred to as the Elevation Plane and where it intersections the Line of Vision is the Vertical Vanishing Point. Do the same from the other corner.

  • 5: Now the vertical lines must be mapped. This will be done in stages. Draw a Construction Line from the Viewing Point to each Building Point on the front face.

  • 6: Where each Construction Line Intersects the Picture Plane draw a perpendicular Vertical Line on to the working drawing.

  • 7: Next the column heights must be mapped. Draw a Construction Line from the Viewing Point to the 3 different Building Heights. Where those line Intersect the Elevation Plane will be their heights in perspective at the Line of Vision. Project those heights to the Line of Vision. Thereafter, draw the Regression Lines from the Line of Vision to the left VP.

  • 8: Next the regression of the vertical lines must be mapped. Where each of the Vertical Lines Intersect the Horizon draw a Regression Line to the Vertical VP and extent them to the lower Regression Line. Note the recessed face Vertical Lines are a different colour.

  • 9: With the Vertical and Horizontal regression lines in place the front face of the columns can be drawn.

  • 10. Before moving on with mapping the side faces of the columns, let's clean up the unwanted regression line.

  • 11. Now we need to map the vertical regression lines to the side face of the columns. Where the remaining Vertical Lines Intersect the Horizon draw a Regression Line to the Vertical VP.

  • 12. Next the regression on the side face must be mapped. From the base and top of each column draw a Regression Line to the right VP.

  • 13. With the Vertical and Side regression lines in place the side face of the columns can be drawn.

  • 14. Next the vertical line to the columns on the side of the building must be mapped. From the Viewing Point add a Construction Line to each Building Point. Note the recessed face is 'out of view' so those building points are not required. Where they Intersects the Picture Plane add the Vertical Lines.

  • 15. Now for the regression lines. Where the Vertical Line Intersect the Horizon add the Regression Lines to the Vertical VP. Then from the base and top of the corner column add the Regression Line to the right VP.

  • 16. With the vertical regression lines now in place, draw in the outer face on the side columns.

  • 17. The from the base and top of each column add the Regression Lines to the left VP and draw the other face of the side columns.

  • 18. Next the vertical lines to the upper columns must be mapped in much the same way as previously. From the Viewing Point add a Construction Line to each Building Point. Where they Intersects the Picture Plane add the Vertical Lines.

  • 19. Where the Vertical Lines Intersect the Horizon add the vertical Regression Lines to the Vertical VP.

  • 20. Then from the top of the corner column add the Regression Line to the right VP. With the regression line in place draw the outer face of the columns.

  • 21. Thereafter, from the top of each column add a Regression Line to the left VP and draw the other face of the columns. Note: The base of the column will have to be updated when the portion below has been drawn.

  • 22. Next the perspective heights must be mapped. From the Viewing Point draw a Construction Line to each structural level on the outer face. Where these Construction Line Intersect the Elevation Plane draw a Construction Line the Live of Vision. The Perspective Heights are where these Construction Lines Intersect the Line of Vision.

  • 23. Next the regression of these building levels must be mapped. From each Perspective Height on the Line of Vision draw a Regression Line to the left VP. However, these levels apply to the outer face of the columns. To map the regression of the recessed face do as follows to each level. Where the lower Regression Line Intersect the column corner draw a Regression Line to the right VP. Then where that Intersect the line of the inner face of the column draw a new Regression Line to the left VP.

  • 24. Do the same to all the outer Regression Lines and map the Regression Line of the recessed face.

  • 25. Regression Lines in place draw the structural faces can be drawn between the columns.

  • 26. Thereafter, add the glass faces. Next the far corner of the column must be mapped so the recessed Regression Lines can be applied to the side elevation. From the Viewing Point draw a Construction Line to the Building Point at the far end of the column. Where it Intersects the Picture Plane drop a Vertical Line to the Horizon. Then from that Intersection draw a Regression Line to the Vertical VP.

  • 27. Where the heights Intersect this new vertical Regression Line draw a Regression Line from each level to the right VP.

  • 28. With the regression lines in place draw in the structural and glass faces of the recessed side elevation.

  • 29. Next the levels of lower portion of the building must be mapped. Draw a Construction Line from the Viewing Point to each building level and where need be, extend the Construction Line to the Elevation Plane. At the Intersection of the Construction Line and the Elevation Plane draw a Projection Line to the Line of Vision.

  • 30. Where those Projection Lines Intersect the Line of Vision draw the Regression Lines to the left VP.

  • 31. Next the 2 different recessed faces must be mapped. Let's start with the outer 2 faces where the Regression Lines Intersect the corner of the outer face of the far column. These 'outer face' Regression Lines will be used the map both recessed faces.

  • 32. From those 'outer face' Intersections draw the Regression Lines to the right VP. Thereafter, where those Regression Lines Intersect the recessed line of the column draw a new Regression Line to the left VP.

  • 33. With the Regression Lines in place draw the structural and glass faces of the 2 outer recessed faces.

  • 34. Next the other recessed face heights must be mapped using the pervious 'outer face' Regression Lines. Again, map the Intersections where the Regression Line intersects the outer face of the column and draw the Regression Lines to the right VP.

  • 35. Where the right Regression Lines Intersect the inner corner of the column draw new Regression Lines to the left VP.

  • 36. With the regression lines in place the remaining structural and glass faces can be drawn.

  • 37. This is a typical example of a 3-point perspective where the selected building was view from the third floor of an adjacent building.

Footnotes

  1. The way we see 'things'. The different methods use to draw perspective are the nearest simulation of how we see things. I say simulation because it excludes that fact that we have two eyes with lenses and a brain that computes what is seen by each eye and converts it into to a single 3D image. If we had to take a photograph the example would probably match, but in reality the coordinates of the image we see are continually changing the brain 'recalculates' the parameters.
  2. Moving the picture plane . In a 3-point perspective the picture plane is usually positioned relative to a particular feature. But this is not a rule of thumb. If you require a larger three point perspective the picture plane can be move closer to the eye. Conversely, if you require a smaller three point perspective the picture plane can be moved to position beyond the object. In both cases the vanishing lines will be the same.
  3. Construction lines. In the demonstration above on how to draw a three point perspective the construction lines are shown as a complete line from point to point. Though this is necessary to illustrate the point, in reality the working drawing will get dirty from the straightedge been moved over the existing construction lines. To reduce that possibility, only draw that part of the line that is relevant. For example, only at the intersections. Another method that could be employed is to insert a mapping pin at the 3 vanishing points and at the 'eye' to support the straightedge at that point.


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