Before learning drawing perspective in Photoshop & illustrator. I assume you are familiar with drawing in perspective in general. For a great introduction about drawing perspective and perspective in general. Read my All About Drawing In Perspective post.
- Drawing Perspective in Photoshop CS6 or later
- Drawing perspective in Illustrator
If you want to learn more about Photoshop, check out my book, Learn Photoshop CC with pictures, which is an easy way to learn Photoshop. Use the code MiniTutorial to get 20% off the PDF version full price. The book is also available for Kindle.
Drawing Perspective Using Computers
Drawing in perspective produces wonderful results and all, But it is kind of a headache to produce, specially for students or artists who don’t have much time. I am kind of sure you thought by the time you leaned it:- “This is so good and all, but isn’t it too much work just to draw in perspective”. Because this is what I thought when I learned all that for the first time. As far as I know. There is no help following these steps every time you draw on paper to get the most accurate results.
The great things about drawing using the computer is that you can do the same thing much easier using graphics software. In this tutorial. I will show you how to go about drawing perspective in Photoshop & Illustrator. As these two are the programs I am most familiar with.
Drawing Perspective in Photoshop CS6 or later
Drawing vanishing points and the lines emanating from them using photoshop
(These steps requires Photoshop CS6 or later)
Here is a simple trick I found on the web on drawing perspective in Photoshop. Which use the polygon tool to create vanishing point. While that tool was not originally meant for drawing things like that. it can save you a lot of time you can use to do some real drawing:-
- First, select the polygon tool
- Click on the gear on the options bar
- Set the options like that:-
- Check the check box besides “Star”
- Set Indent Sides to 99%
- Now click on the canvas and drag. And Photoshop will create a very nice Vanishing point for you.
- Also, if you like:-
- You can draw the vanishing point. Duplicate the layer and then rotate it to get more lines coming out of the vanishing point.
- Holding the shift key while drawing the vanishing point will ensure one of the lines coming out of the point is horizontal.
- Now feel free to draw using the guidelines. (As you can see in the picture. I made the guidelines more transparent so they won’t get in my way of my drawing. But to do that. you must rasterise the layer(click anywhere on the canvas using the brush tool to do that))
- You can use this trick to create as many vanishing points as you want. Here is a two point perspective for you :D
Drawing perspective in Photoshop CS3 or later using the Vanishing Point Filter
Even if you don’t have CS6 version of Photoshop. You could still use the vanishing point filter method using an earlier version of the program (this method requires Photoshop CS3 or later). And take advantage of lovely feature called Vanishing point filter. Which allows you draw part of grid and align objects on it. While I admit that this tool is fairly limited if you are drawing from scratch. Tt is still worth it to take a look at it:-
- Open the picture you want to modify. I chose the picture of this building for this part. I am going to use the vanishing point filter in two ways to add things on the right side of the building:-
- Create a new layer by choosing Layer>New>Layer from the main menu. This is to make sure the perspective grid we are creating is in its own layer.
- If you want to add something to the final image inside of the Vanishing Point filter. Make sure you do that now. I copied the following picture of a window so I could add to the building in the main picture:-
- Choose Filter > Vanishing Point from the main menu. the vanishing point filter Window appear~
- Make sure the Create Plate tool is selected
- Draw the perspective grid rectangular boundaries one the building, street, or whatever part you want to modify or project your objects by clicking where you want the rectangle to be. Make sure the rectangle is big enough to achieve correct results. If you made a mistake while drawing the rectangle. You can remove the last point you inserted using the Create Plate tool. Press the Backspace key.
- The perspective grid appear where you draw the boundaries. Feel free to adjust and extend the boundaries using the handles of the grid.
- If the perspective grid didn’t appear after you created the boundaries. And the rectangle you grew is red. try to play around with the handles of it by dragging them until you create a grid in the correct perspectives
- Make sure the “Render Grid To Photoshop” is selected from the filter menu. This will add the grid to current layer after we exit the filter by pressing OK. Which is why we created a new layer in the first step.
- From inside the filter. You could use the brush and the stamp tools from the tools panel at the left to draw on the grid you created.
- Now it is time to add the window on the building. We can do this by simply pressing Control + V (Or Command + V in Mac). After that. You will see the window appear on the corner of the filter window
- Now drag the window toward the grid,. You will notice that Photoshop automatically transform the window to the correct perspective of the grid you created. If the object is too long or skewed It means you haven’t crated the perspective grid correctly. So try adjusting the grid to the correct perspective.
- You can duplicate the object you pasted by holding alt/option and dragging inside the rectangle you of the pasted object. Here, I created a copy of the two Windows. Make sure you only do that after placing the first window where you want it to be. Because you won’t be able to select it correctly again. This is one of the reasons I don’t fully depend on the Vanishing Point filter to do all my perspective work.
- Click ok after you are done perspective grid. Now we are back to Photoshop. With the perspective grid we created in the current layer. Ready to be used in your transformations. I personally prefer to work with the grid in this way. Because as you may have seen by now. The Vanishing Point Filter is still lacking in more than a way. (I have removed the Window I used in the last few steps). And now I am going to use the grid to add things to the building manually.
- You can use that grid to manipulate the image however you want if you like, I added the word “Love” above the WDR in the building using the grid I created.
Here is a nice video about the vanishing point filter:-
Drawing perspective in Illustrator
Drawing perspective in Illustrator is much easier than Photoshop. Actually. You don’t even need to draw any grids at all. As there’s a tool that allows you to create whether grid you want with one click of your mouse.
- Create a new document in illustrator, by selecting File > New
- Select view>Perspective Grid>One Point Perspective>[1-P-NormalView].
- You get to the following grid which can be adjusted in numerous of ways using the handles as indicated in the figure:-
- Draw the shape you want. Ff needed, make sure that View>Snap To Grid is selected so that the points you draw get snapped or “attached” to the grid as you draw.
The One-Point Perspective Grid In Illustrator, click on the picture to view it in full size
- I easily drew a box as seen in the picture below~As you most likely have noticed
- There are two and three point perspective grids as well I included diagrams that explain how to adjust the grid in each one~
Two-Point Perspective Grid in illustrator (Click on the picture to view it in full size)
Three-Point Perspective Grid in illustrator (Click on the picture to view it in full size)
For more information about perspective grid. Visit this page of Adobe’s website