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In Illustrator CS5, Adobe introduced one of the coolest features that has ever been added to Illustrator. It was the Drawing in Perspective tool. And basically what this allowed you to do is draw completely in perspective, inside of Illustrator. Now you may be thinking, well, gosh man, Photoshop has been able to do that for awhile with the Vanishing Point filter, and that's absolutely true, but in Illustrator, you don't have to use a filter, or even exit the regular drawing board in order to make this perspective change. Let's first start off by showing you the Perspective Grid tool, and how it works, and along the way, we'll see how to define a good perspective grid.
Then later on in this chapter, we will go through drawing artwork in perspective, and also how to map static artwork to your new grid. So the first thing you need to do when you go into create a perspective grid inside of Illustrator is you need to find the Perspective Grid tool in the Tools panel. You can do that by clicking on this little icon here, or by hitting Shift+P on your keyboard. Once you do that, the perspective grid will appear on your screen. In order to see the entire perspective grid, you're going to need to zoom out a little bit. Once you do that, you will be able to see the entire grid.
The perspective grid has several different things that you need to be aware of. Let's start at the top. The top portion here controls the height, or the top of the grid. When I drag this up or down, it determines the height of the grid; pretty simple. On the right-hand side, as well as the left-hand side, you have something called the horizon line. This horizon line controls, as it sounds, the horizon line in your document. You can also refer to this as the view line as well, because it's how you're viewing this particular object in perspective.
Towards the bottom, you have the ability to move the grid, like this, anywhere you want onscreen. And you also have the ability to control what's called the floor as well. The floor refers to this area here. So you can control the floor, or ground level, of your grid. If you want to control the independent grids on the left, or on the right, you can use these controls here.
Using this small circle on the left controls the grid on the right. So if you were to click this, you could actually swing this as open like a door, controlling the amount of perspective. Same thing holds true here; if you want to control the grid on the left, use this small circle on the right, and then click to swing open and closed. Illustrator has many different options for controlling perspective. Let's take a look at a few of those now.
If I go up to the View menu, and go down to Perspective Grid, I can choose One Point Perspective, Two Point Perspective, or Three Point Perspective. Picking One Point Perspective, and choosing 1P-Normal View, looks like this. You get one Perspective plane, and one floor to control. If I go back up, choose Perspective Grid, and select Three Point Perspective, and then choose 3P-Normal View, I get the Three Point Perspective, where I can control 1, 2, and 3 points of perspective.
The default, of course, is the Two Point Perspective, which looks like this. Once you have your perspective grid set up, it's basically defined, and you can continue working. But there are a few other key things that you need to be aware of before you start working with the perspective grid. First of all, this little object up here; this thing refers to what portion of the grid you are currently working on. For instance, right now I'm working on the left grid. You'll notice that it's highlighted in blue, and also, when I hover over it, it tells me. When I hover over this, it tells me it's the right grid.
If I click on it, that becomes active. I can also click on the Horizontal Grid, or the floor, to make it the active part that I'm working on. This will be very important as you start to apply artwork to your grid. You can also cycle through these, using your keyboard. For instance, if I press the number 1, it jumps to the left grid; if I press the number 2, it jumps to the bottom grid it; if I press the number 3, it jumps to the right grid. So commit those to memory, and use those to easily switch between planes when you're working in perspective.
Now that we have a better idea of how we can define a perspective grid, we are ready to go ahead and start using this in a real world scenario.
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