Last update: Sept. 19, 2003
``The first object of the painter
Leonardo da Vinci (b. 1452,
is to make a flat plane appear
as a body in relief and
projecting from that plane.''
Vinci, Republic of Florence
[now in Italy]
-d. May 2, 1519, Cloux, Fr.)
Annunciation - 1472-75 circa - Uffizi Gallery
Publications on (technical) Drawing in Perspective :
Some web links of interest:
The Art Studio Chalkboard - Drawing
Focuses on the technical fundamentals of (linear) perspective.
The Art of Renaissance Science: Galileo and Perspective
Theory, History and Practice of Perspective directed by Tomás
by Willy A. Bärtschi
Francis D.K. Ching
Anthony W. Griffin & Victor Alvarez-Brunicardi
Prentice Hall, 1998. 326 pages.
Ch.6 Two-Point Perspectives
Picture Plane (image plane)
Imaginary transparent plane onto which the object is being projected.
Any part of an object that "touches" the picture plane will
be to scale; hence:
It is always to one's advantage to locate the picture plane such that
is passes through a corner of the object being drawn.
Gives you a true height-line, from which all vertical heights can be
Direct Line of Vision (principal line)
Imaginary line from the Station Point to the Picture plane
It should be located so as to intersect with some point of interest on
Station Point (Camera Station)
If the station point is too close to the picture plane, the perspective
view becomes overly "distorted"; to prevent this, use the
"cone of vision".
Cone of Vision
Station Point as vertex. Opening angle usually varies between 30 and 60
Most of the object of interest should be within the cone to avoid
3D cone: not only width and depth, but also height of the object of
interest should fall within this cone.
Used to project points from the plan to the picture plane and then down
to the perspective.
They must always originate from the Station Point.
Plan View (Floor Plane)
This is a floor plane drawn to scale, viewed from above (aerial
viewpoint), upon which are plotted points.
It can be plotted above or below the actual perspective view.
Plan Angle (azimuth)
Angle between the floor plan and picture plan.
This angle determines the emphasis put on each primary sides of the
Intersection of the Ground Plane and the Picture Plane.
All vertical measurements are taken from the Ground Line.
Line formed by the intersection of the Horizon Plane and the Picture
The height of the horizon line corresponds to the eye-level height of
The location of the horizon line determines whether you will be looking
down or up to the object being drawn.
Occurs whenever a part of the object touches the picture plane.
True-Height Lines can be located at any point in the perspective view
simply by projecting a point from the plan to the picture plane
(central projection w/r to the Station Point). A perpendicular is then
projected from the picture plane down to the Ground Line.
Ch.7 One-Point Perspectives
Plan Angle is always parallel to the picture plane.
Objects that touches and are parallel to the picture plane are drawn in
a simple orthographic view.
Ch.8 Alternate Perspective-Plotting Methods
Use a pre-defined perspective grid and a vertical unit scale (that
scale can always be re-adjusted through multiples).
Each chart is identified with an angle value representing the plan
position of the object in relation to the picture plane.
Most commercially available charts come in:
3 plan angle configurations: 30°/60°, 45° & 0°
(the latter corresponds to a 1PtP).
3 view types:
normal (distance of 5 to 6 feet between the Horizon and Ground Lines)
intermediate (taken from a height of 10 to 15 feet for producing
bird's eye view (large height)
Uses photos or videos of existing buildings.
Additions and/or renovations can be drawn using VPs within the
Use a measuring device (tape, rope, ...) to provide accurate scale
info. in the photo.
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