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Moving flat art onto the perspective grid

From: Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

Video: Moving flat art onto the perspective grid

The Perspective Grid feature inside of Illustrator CS5 is fantastic for defining grids and for drawing artwork directly in Perspective. But perhaps one of the most powerful aspects of this Perspective Grid is your ability to take two-dimensional artwork, or artwork that is not attached to any specific plane, and manually attach that artwork to a plane, in other words, create art as you normally would and then snap it into the right perspective when required. In addition, you'll find this tremendous amount of functionality built-in into Illustrator's Perspective Grid for editing artwork that already exists inside of a Perspective.

Moving flat art onto the perspective grid

The Perspective Grid feature inside of Illustrator CS5 is fantastic for defining grids and for drawing artwork directly in Perspective. But perhaps one of the most powerful aspects of this Perspective Grid is your ability to take two-dimensional artwork, or artwork that is not attached to any specific plane, and manually attach that artwork to a plane, in other words, create art as you normally would and then snap it into the right perspective when required. In addition, you'll find this tremendous amount of functionality built-in into Illustrator's Perspective Grid for editing artwork that already exists inside of a Perspective.

Let's take a look. In this case, I already have a file that has a Perspective Grid defined and some artwork already drawn. But let's say I want to put some text along the side of this building, maybe like a sign, for example. Well, let's start on a very basic level by just creating some text inside of Illustrator. I use my Type tool to simply click on the artboard here and notice, by the way, that when you are using the Type tool inside of Illustrator, it does not put that type in Perspective. The actual live-type editing mode inside of Illustrator does not work inside of a Perspective mode. This is true, even though you can see over here that I currently have the right plane active.

But I will type in the word, for example, like FLOWERS. Let me choose a typeface that may be little bit more floral than Myriad. I will choose Papyrus for this example. I'll change the point size something more significant like maybe 60 point. Now say I want the word FLOWERS to appear across the top part of the building over here in Perspective. Rather than using Drawing tools to actually create artwork in Perspective already, I can take regular plane 2D art like I have right here and place it on to a grid, where we call that attaching this artwork to a Perspective Grid.

To do so, I will need to perform two steps. First, I will come over to the Tools panel and underneath the Perspective Grid tool, if I click and hold my mouse button down, you will see another tool called the Perspective Selection tool. We are going to spend a lot of time in this movie using this tool because it allows us to work in Perspective with any kind of object. Next, I want to make sure that I am telling Illustrator which plane I want to attach this artwork to. Currently, if you take a look at my active plane widget, I have the right grid selected, which is really where I want this to go. But keep in mind the keyboard shortcuts.

Tapping the 1, 2 or 3 key on my keyboard will allow me to toggle between those different planes. Now that I have the right plane chosen, all I need to do is simply click and drag on the artwork, and Illustrator automatically snaps it to the active plane. While it appears that Illustrator converted this text to outlines, it does so purely to put this onto the grid, but the text is still editable. In order for me to change the type, all I need to do is simply double-click on it, and I go into Isolation mode. This allows me to change the text as I need to, and then when I am ready to exit Isolation mode, simply tap twice on the Escape key to get me back to my regular Editing mode.

It is important to realize that there's a difference between the regular Selection tool inside of Illustrator and the Perspective Selection tool. If you want to work in Perspective, you will always have to use the Perspective Selection tool. Otherwise, you may be moving your artwork without being tied to the grid. Let me give you an example of what I mean. If I take the regular Selection tool and I click on this rectangle right here, which is currently attached to this right grid, I'll see that moving this artwork does not do so in any perspective. Let me Undo that, and I will now switch to the Perspective Selection tool.

Now when I move the shape, I can see that it does move in Perspective. So you just want to make sure that when you are working inside of Illustrator and you're dealing with perspective that you're using the Perspective Selection tool. When you are using the Perspective Selection tool, you can also click on the handles of any shape that's attached to grid and resize them according to the Perspective. Let's say you want to take a piece of artwork that is currently attached to one perspective plane and move it onto another perspective plane. You can do that using the Perspective Selection tool in tandem with the active plane widget.

Let's see how that works. When I use my Perspective Selection tool to click and drag on this rectangle, because it is attached to this grid right now, it is actually moving in perspective as I move it around. If I'd like to attach this object to a different plane, what I can do is I can use the keyboard shortcuts to toggle between different planes in my document. For example, if I tap the 1 key while still clicking and dragging with the mouse, you can see that right now that shape has been changed to be attached to the left grid of my document. In this way, I was able to move a piece of artwork from one plane directly onto a different plane and automatically adjust its perspective.

For example, let me show you that again with the word FLOWERS. I am using the Perspective Selection tool. I will click on the word FLOWERS to select it. I will start dragging. I'll type in the 1 key on my keyboard to toggle to the left plane and put the word FLOWERS right in this part of the building. Now that we understand these techniques, let's actually complete this building. Let's add some more artwork and make it more detailed. I am going to start by going to the File menu here and just choosing Revert to go back to the original version of this document. You'll notice that there is a window here, and this window has a kind of a rounded top, and it has got some lines that run through it.

Well, I could possibly sit down and start drawing in some perspective, it is a lot easy for me to actually draw this head on and then map it or attach it to the Perspective Grid. I will go to my Symbols panel, and I've already created a symbol with the art that I need. I am going to drag that out onto my artboard. I now want to attach this symbol to my Perspective Grid. I'll make sure I have my Perspective Selection tool selected, I will make the right grid active, and then I will simply move this piece of artwork into position. While I am still using the Perspective Selection tool, I can hold down the Shift key and scale this just as if I would scale any other piece of artwork.

Working with Symbols is actually a great way to work with Perspective as well, because I can always double-click on the Symbol to edit its appearance. Tapping Escape to exit returns me back to my document and automatically updates that art in Perspective. I have two other elements I want to work on over here, one is this sign in this part of the building, and the other one is this sign that appears in this part of the building. Let's start with the sign. I am actually going to zoom in just a little bit closer here so we could focus on this one area of the building. Next I will drag out a symbol here called the Seeds Sign. Rather than have the word FLOWERS here, my client decided they wanted to actually advertise that this place sells a certain type of seed.

So I need to attach this artwork to the Perspective Grid, but here is the thing. The sign kind of sticks out from this side of the building. So it really needs to be mapped to this grid over here. So let's see how I will do that. I am going to start by selecting the Perspective Selection tool. I will choose the right grid that I want this artwork to be attached to, which in this case is the left grid, and then I will click and drag to add that symbol or to attach that symbol to that grid. Again, because I am using the Perspective Selection tool, as I move this, this piece of artwork adjusts its perspective.

Now I can move the artwork completely way off the grid over here. Remember, that the grid itself is just a way for me to visualize where that is. But the grid, in theory, exists throughout my entire document. It does extend even beyond the visible areas. But there is something a little bit different about this one element that I want to talk about. If move this shape to about right over here, this would mean that the actual sign itself would be sticking out on the corner of the building. But the sign really sticks out a little bit further into the building. So what I need to do is I need to take this piece of art and move it in a perpendicular direction, meaning that it stays right now where it is, but kind of moves further back so that it now looks like it is actually sticking out of this side of the building.

To do so, I am going to click and start dragging this element right now. You'll notice that right now this piece of artwork is being sent back perpendicular, but it is still being attached to the left grid plane. You can see that a line right now appears indicating that. I will move it to right about over here and in this case here, I can see that the sign does appear where it needs to go. One thing I want to point out, many times when working with a Perspective Grid, it may be easier to turn off the Snap to Grid option. To do so, go to the View menu, choose Perspective Grid and make sure that Snap to Grid is turned off.

This way your artwork won't automatically try to snap to these elements here and you get the position just as you need it. Now to complete the true appearance of this sign, I have to give it some kind of thickness. I actually want to create some depth here, so I will need to create some new shapes. I will choose the Rectangle tool, and I will also go ahead and use the keyboard shortcuts so I can draw these elements on the planes where they need to go. For example, if I start drawing right now, because the left grid is currently my active grid, my artwork is not going to appear correct. I want this particular shape to be drawn on this grid here, on the right grid.

So I am going to tap the 3 on my keyboard. Now when I click and drag, you can see that Smart Guides automatically indicate to me where these anchors are, so I can get it to snap just the place that I needed. Let me give some thickness to it, now I will go ahead, and I will bring it just about over there. Next I will hit the 2 key on my keyboard. That will now highlight the ground grid or the horizontal grid, and now I can simply move over here, click and drag and then again connect the anchor point that way. Now with my regular Selection tool, I can select these two elements here and apply a color to them.

As you can see, if I zoom out a little bit, I was now able to create a sign that looks like it is actually protruding out from the building with the right perspective. So there you have it: a nice way to actually work in Perspective inside of Illustrator, but more importantly, the ability to combine both the two dimensional worlds and also the perspective worlds and getting your artwork to look exactly that you want it to without having to work too hard to get it.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS5 Essential Training
Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

126 video lessons · 81838 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. What is Illustrator CS5?
      1m 46s
    3. Using the exercise files
      31s
  2. 12m 37s
    1. What are vector graphics?
      6m 3s
    2. Path and appearance
      3m 42s
    3. Stacking
      2m 52s
  3. 32m 6s
    1. The Welcome screen
      2m 23s
    2. Creating files for print
      6m 7s
    3. Creating files for the screen
      2m 55s
    4. Using prebuilt templates
      2m 40s
    5. Adding XMP metadata
      4m 18s
    6. Exploring the panels
      6m 33s
    7. Using the Control panel
      3m 11s
    8. Using workspaces
      3m 59s
  4. 43m 44s
    1. Navigating within a document
      9m 15s
    2. Using rulers and guides
      7m 26s
    3. Using grids
      3m 6s
    4. Using the bounding box
      3m 37s
    5. Using Smart Guides
      5m 56s
    6. The Hide Edges command
      3m 22s
    7. Various preview modes
      3m 47s
    8. Creating custom views
      4m 3s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 12s
  5. 28m 46s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      8m 50s
    2. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 22s
    3. Using the Lasso tool
      2m 28s
    4. Selecting objects by attribute or type
      3m 37s
    5. Saving and reusing selections
      2m 15s
    6. Selecting artwork beneath other objects
      2m 13s
    7. Exploring selection preferences
      4m 1s
  6. 1h 16m
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 52s
    2. Drawing closed path primitives
      11m 38s
    3. Drawing open path primitives
      5m 47s
    4. Understanding anchor points
      3m 43s
    5. Drawing straight paths with the Pen tool
      7m 37s
    6. Drawing curved paths with the Pen tool
      9m 47s
    7. Drawing freeform paths with the Pencil tool
      5m 33s
    8. Smoothing and erasing paths
      3m 8s
    9. Editing anchor points
      7m 21s
    10. Joining and averaging paths
      10m 9s
    11. Simplifying paths
      4m 55s
    12. Using Offset Path
      2m 17s
    13. Cleaning up errant paths
      2m 32s
  7. 48m 26s
    1. The Draw Inside and Draw Behind modes
      7m 34s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 56s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      8m 0s
    4. Using the Shape Builder tool
      10m 28s
    5. Using Pathfinder functions
      8m 6s
    6. Splitting an object into a grid
      1m 16s
    7. Using the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      7m 6s
  8. 49m 5s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 2s
    2. Creating area text
      8m 13s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      7m 44s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 28s
    5. Creating text threads
      8m 25s
    6. Setting text along an open path
      6m 29s
    7. Setting text along a closed path
      6m 24s
    8. Converting text into paths
      3m 20s
  9. 18m 55s
    1. Create a logo mark
      11m 26s
    2. Add type to your logo
      7m 29s
  10. 42m 42s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      8m 21s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      4m 42s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      4m 25s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      5m 18s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 42s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      4m 33s
    7. Copying appearances
      4m 51s
    8. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      5m 50s
  11. 34m 0s
    1. Applying color to artwork
      5m 57s
    2. Creating process and global process swatches
      8m 54s
    3. Creating spot color swatches
      3m 19s
    4. Loading PANTONE and other custom color libraries
      4m 49s
    5. Organizing colors with Swatch Groups
      3m 31s
    6. Finding color suggestions with the Color Guide panel
      4m 24s
    7. Loading the Color Guide with user-defined colors
      3m 6s
  12. 50m 23s
    1. Creating gradients with the Gradient panel
      8m 12s
    2. Modifying gradients with the Gradient Annotator
      4m 37s
    3. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      5m 33s
    4. Defining your own custom pattern fills
      9m 13s
    5. Applying basic stroke settings
      5m 22s
    6. Creating strokes with dashed lines
      3m 41s
    7. Adding arrowheads to strokes
      2m 45s
    8. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 35s
    9. Working with width profiles
      2m 36s
    10. Turning strokes into filled paths
      3m 49s
  13. 32m 46s
    1. Creating and editing groups
      8m 18s
    2. Adding attributes to groups
      12m 17s
    3. The importance of using layers
      5m 9s
    4. Using and "reading" the Layers panel
      7m 2s
  14. 12m 13s
    1. Creating and using multiple artboards
      7m 52s
    2. Modifying artboards with the Artboards panel
      2m 2s
    3. Copy and paste options with Artboards
      2m 19s
  15. 31m 10s
    1. Moving and copying artwork
      3m 55s
    2. Scaling or resizing artwork
      6m 47s
    3. Rotating artwork
      2m 44s
    4. Reflecting and skewing artwork
      2m 34s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 15s
    6. Repeating transformations
      3m 39s
    7. Performing individual transforms across multiple objects
      2m 10s
    8. Aligning objects and groups precisely
      4m 27s
    9. Distributing objects and spaces between objects
      2m 39s
  16. 35m 40s
    1. Placing pixel-based content into Illustrator
      5m 14s
    2. Managing images with the Links panel
      4m 49s
    3. Converting pixels to paths with Live Trace
      8m 44s
    4. Making Live Trace adjustments
      6m 9s
    5. Controlling colors in Live Trace
      6m 4s
    6. Using Photoshop and Live Trace together
      4m 40s
  17. 14m 42s
    1. Managing repeating artwork with symbols
      4m 38s
    2. Modifying and replacing symbol instances
      3m 8s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      6m 56s
  18. 16m 57s
    1. Cropping photographs
      1m 59s
    2. Clipping artwork with masks
      3m 22s
    3. Clipping the contents of a layer
      3m 31s
    4. Defining masks with soft edges
      8m 5s
  19. 26m 2s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      7m 48s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      8m 46s
    3. Moving flat art onto the perspective grid
      9m 28s
  20. 25m 8s
    1. Printing your Illustrator document
      3m 26s
    2. Saving your Illustrator document
      6m 39s
    3. Creating PDF files for clients and printers
      7m 30s
    4. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Microsoft Office
      1m 4s
    5. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Photoshop
      2m 31s
    6. Exporting artwork for use on the web
      3m 3s
    7. Exporting high-resolution raster files
      55s
  21. 2m 18s
    1. Additional Illustrator learning resources
      1m 36s
    2. Goodbye
      42s

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