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Basic Ideas In Perspective
Perspective = How things look form a particular point of view
• Ground Plane as the imaginary surface upon which an Observer stands
• Station Point as the location of Observer on the Ground Plane and Eye-Level as their height above it
• Point of View (POV) / Picture Plane as what the Observer sees - equivalent to the Format; think of the example of drawing on a window
• Parallax = movement changes view (this is shows the importance of a Fixed Eyehole, an unmoving hole that you look through to continuously keep the same view while drawing from life)
• On Earth, the "horizon" is where ground and sky seem to meet. However, in Perspective, there is always a Horizon, a horizontal line that divides your view. This is because the Observer is always on an imaginary Ground Plane even if they aren't standing on Earth.
• Correspondence between Eye-Level and Horizon (if the Observer is on the surface of the Earth and not looking straight up or down, then the Horizon is the same as Earth's Horizon)
+ Objects on our Eye-Level we face directly, objects below our Eye-Level we look down at, and objects above our Eye-Level we look up at.
+ If the Horizon is high on the Format, we are looking down (e.g.: more of the ground is visible). If the Horizon is low on the Format, we are looking up (e.g.: more of the sky is visible).
+ If the Observer is close to the Ground Plane it is a Worm's-Eye View, and if the Observer is high above the Ground Plane it is a Bird's-Eye View.
• Diminution (farther objects get smaller) and the idea of Convergence towards a Vanishing Point
+ All lines parallel to one another share the same Vanishing Point.
+ All lines level with the Ground Plane have a Vanishing Point on the Horizon, while all tilting lines have a Vanishing Point above or below where they would be if they were level.
• Overlap (closer objects cover farther ones) and the idea of Foreground-Midground-Background
• Foreshortening = Diminution + Overlap on a form pointed towards the Observer
• Atmospheric Perspective = a form of Diminution, in that clarity diminishes with distance because light travelling through an atmosphere (e.g.: far away objects seem fuzzy)
• Cone of Vision = The amount seen by the Observer (e.g.: a wider Cone of Vision encompasses more of a scene)
+ The human eye takes in a 60-degree angle with things becoming distorted outside of this range, while a wide angle camera lense (or "Fish-Eye Lense") can take in a larger view.
• Depth of Field = Which aspects of the Foreground-Midground-Background are in focus (e.g.: you can have a blurry background while focusing on something up close)
The ideas of 1-Point, 2-Point, and so on, have to do with how many Vanishing Points are used to draw an object. This is based on how many converging parallel lines that object seems to have in that space. In actuality, an object could have many Vanishing Points. The concepts of 1-Point, 2-Point, etc. are simplified examples as to how to handle parallel lines and their Vanishing Points in general.
• Linear Perspective = parallels are lines (e.g.: 1-Point, 2-Point, 3-Point)
• Curvilinear Perspective = parallels are curves (e.g.: 4-Point & 5-Point = "Fish Eye", 6-Point = "Omnidirectional"/"Panoramic")
Increasing the number of points can increase the amount of a scene you see, but the image also distorts more, especially when presented on a flat surface all at once.
• Paraline Drawing = No perspective (e.g.: lines stay parallel throughout and do not seem to converge)
• Plan (Top View = Width, x and Depth, y)
• Elevation (Front View = Width, x and Height, y)
• Section (Side View = Depth, x and Height, y)
Mechanical Perspective = 2-Point Perspective drawing made from a Plan and Elevation/Section
If an object is drawn with 2-Point Perspective and the Vanishing Points are too close together, it causes distortion ("Violent or Forced Perspective"). Spreading out the Vanishing Points is equivalent to opening up the Cone of Vision wider (to encompass more of a scene) and/or changing the Depth of Field (zooming out on the object so that what is in the Foreground is pushed farther into the Background). It is like changing the focal length of a camera lens (e.g.: 200-mm → 50-mm → 28-mm, etc.). Generally, the higher the focal length (in mm), the more zoomed in and the less of the scene encompassed.
Only so much of a scene can fit into our view without any curvature.