Pixel Playground
Illustration by John Hersey

Magazine cover: Using perspective to draw a room


Pixel Playground

with Bert Monroy

Video: Magazine cover: Using perspective to draw a room

This week and the next couple of weeks, what we're going to look at is, a really old piece I did quite some time ago for a magazine cover. Now, this is what was given to me, what you're seeing on the screen. Not much, just a little area where I needed to create the illustration. Now what they told me, was what they wanted was to show a home theater. They didn't give me any idea of how I should make a home theater, but that's what the assignment was. A home theater to fit into this little area here.
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  1. 9m 15s
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  2. 34m 31s
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    2. Creating a Valentine's Day card
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    5. Theater curtain: Creating the curtain
      11m 40s
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      6m 56s
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      6m 15s
    3. Oyster Bar: Creating asphalt and concrete textures
      5m 3s
    4. Oyster Bar: Creating a manhole cover
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    1. Magazine cover: Creating a lamp
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      13m 29s
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      5m 26s
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      7m 5s
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      6m 18s
    5. Magazine cover: Using perspective to draw a room
      7m 52s
  19. 31m 44s
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      15m 33s
    2. Changing photo contents with Auto-Align Layers
      6m 36s
    3. Creating a metal grill
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      10m 49s
    2. Charms and medallions in Photoshop: Adding a third dimension
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      14m 11s
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    1. Recreating magazine clippings
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Watch the Online Video Course Pixel Playground
14h 53m Intermediate Jun 07, 2013 Updated May 29, 2015

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Take a 10-minute recess every week and join Bert Monroy in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, the playgrounds of digital artists. Every Friday Bert walks through a fun, self-contained project that tests your skills and challenges the imagination. These programs aren't just image editors; they are sandboxes for creativity and experimentation. Take a spin through a carousel of tools and get reinspired, each and every week.

Design Photography
Illustrator Photoshop
Bert Monroy

Magazine cover: Using perspective to draw a room

This week and the next couple of weeks, what we're going to look at is, a really old piece I did quite some time ago for a magazine cover. Now, this is what was given to me, what you're seeing on the screen. Not much, just a little area where I needed to create the illustration. Now what they told me, was what they wanted was to show a home theater. They didn't give me any idea of how I should make a home theater, but that's what the assignment was. A home theater to fit into this little area here. So what I thought of was to create a little a little doorway with a marquee and basically what I sent them was this as the idea.

This is a comp. This is just a rough idea of what I was going to create for them. They made a couple of changes here and there but, they went ahead with this idea and then you'll see the finished piece when we're at the end of this show today. So I'm going to show you basically how this was created. First thing that had to be done, based on this here, was to establish the room itself. Now I didn't depend on Photoshop, I went into Illustrator for that. And you can see that this is a really old Illustrator file because you can see the icon up there is a really early version of Illustrator. But, it's going to still work.

It still opens up no problem. But what I need to do is to establish a perspective. So that I can put all of the elements in the room, and inside the room, which will be the theater, to put them all in proper perspective so they're going to look real. So what I did,is I created some basic shapes. Right there, you see some basic shapes. I figured this is going to be the top of marquee. This is going to be the floor line. And this is going to be the wall inside, which is kind of perpendicular to this line here.

So, this allowed me to kind of get a visual effect of how I wanted the angles to appear. So now what I need to do is to establish the proper perspective here. So what I did is I pulled back. I pulled back quite a bit, and based on what I had here, I went ahead with my pen tool and I clicked on this point up here, and I came down here and I clicked, and I clicked on this point down here. Now you can see right now that they don't quite match up. So what I need to do is take this point here. This is going to be my vanishing point.

So this is going to determine where the horizon is and where those lines meet. So it's going to be way out here somewhere and we can see that right now we've just about passed, so let's come in just a little bit and we can start to see where these guys is going to start to match. I got the top going, that's fine. And there we go. Just about right. Just move it up just a little bit. Come in just a little bit like that. And there we can see that we're starting to get that nice little match going in there. We'll just move this out just a little more, and we're just about there. See? Once I have that, that establishes my horizon line.

So now I can go from here and start a whole new point. So I start right at this edge, come out to here and click. That becomes my horizon line. So now I can take this line here, this is the one that's going to now determine this vanishing point on this side. So just as I did before I'm going to go ahead and create a little line right there, and bring it up to here and then just click. So now, as I did before, let's get a little closer on this one. I'm going to just move this. Let's put this right on that edge and then I'm going to move this right along that horizon line until we get right there.

See, that's in line. I now have the lines that are going to give me my perspective. Now we see here that this is just a little bit further out, this one here needs to be just a tiny bit out. There we go. That, that's closer. So what, all I can do is just move this guy up. No problem. In fact these, at this point, are no longer needed. These little lines here, they're no longer needed because they're going to be just, they were just there before to give me my basic idea of where the room was. Now I have my perspective lines, which I can move around in any direction.

Dump that one, move them around in any direction that I want. See? Now, we'll go over here and look at our layers and we see that I do have a perspective lines. Let's turn off the shapes and there we see that we have perspective lines. I've put them in different colors just so I can differentiate them. And there we could see that as I move them around that they are in fact, meeting at the same horizon on both sides, way down here, there it meets. And, I have my little vanishing lines that I can use as guides.

Now from these I started to build the other elements in the room. So here you can see that there is a little table. Table at the left. The inside of the room inside there, and the barricades, and the theater, the doorway, and the the room itself. Now, we're getting close. It's getting much closer so you can see how this works. You can see that as I move my little perspective lines that they are in fact meeting with every angle, the bottom of the marquee, the top of the marquee. Every different part going in that direction is being seen out.

All the elements in this side. We'll grab this point and you see that the top right there matches, as does the bottom, does the walls inside the room, and the theater inside the room. Everything matches. The sides of the tables, the side of this table. But now I have all these individual elements, each in its own set of layers. Now once I had all these paths, I can turn this off and we can see actual path. We can turn off the perspective. We don't need to see that. And, there's the basic elements that made up the room. With these, I was able to then go into my Photoshop file and create the comp, very basic comp of what it was going to look like.

They made a couple of changes and then I went ahead and created the final piece, which looks like this. Now there's a lot of details going on in here, you see that the marquee was changed a little bit. They changed the name. They changed the poster that was in there. They didn't like the poster I had put. The poster I used for my comp was just one that was public domain. They decided they would get the rights to this particular poster, and that's the one I put in there. I made the plant a little better and the, the little theater inside. And you can see that there's texture fabrics on the chair, wood on the floor, a little rug, some books on the table, the lamp, and the theater inside with the marquee above it.

Now what we're going to do next week Let's pull back. We're going to do next week is we're going to go in there and start to look at some of these individual elements, how they were created. So right now what we see is how the basic shapes were rendered. How I determine where things were going to be placed in the three-dimensional space, created entirely in a two-dimensional space by establishing horizon and vanishing points and vanishing lines which were my guides for all the elements inside.

Those were all created here in Illustrator. There's the perspective lines. There's the individual paths that would make up all the different parts of the image. And then in Photoshop, those individual paths which we can see are still here. All the paths are here. All the paths that were generated from within Illustrator. All those paths were brought into here and then used to select and fill and stroke and whatever was necessary to create the final product.

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