Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
Illustration by John Hersey

One-point, two-point, and three-point perspective


Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

with Deke McClelland

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Video: One-point, two-point, and three-point perspective

I've saved the results of the previous exercise as The glass and in this exercise, I am going to give you a sense of what's meant by the 1-point, 2-point or 3-point perspective grid. Now this is not Illustrator's nomenclature by the way. This is standard perspective drawing. You can have one vanishing point, or two vanishing points, or three vanishing points. Now that doesn't necessarily mean that a perspective drawing created with one vanishing point is somehow not going to look as good as one rendered with three vanishing point.
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  1. 37m 22s
    1. Welcome
    2. Linking AI and EPS files to Illustrator
      6m 34s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      7m 43s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      6m 56s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 56s
    6. The color settings explained
      7m 4s
    7. Preserve Numbers vs. embedded profiles
      3m 24s
  2. 1h 35m
    1. My favorite features in all of Illustrator
      1m 21s
    2. Introducing the Transform effect
      5m 30s
    3. Repeating the last effect you applied
      4m 52s
    4. Applying multiple passes of a single effect
      5m 21s
    5. The wonders of editing dynamic artwork
      7m 13s
    6. Applying effects inside effects
      5m 11s
    7. Assigning an effect to an entire layer
      5m 42s
    8. Building a complex bevel effect
      5m 44s
    9. Placing artwork as a Photoshop Smart Object
      4m 55s
    10. Editing that Smart Object in Illustrator
      4m 21s
    11. Rotating continuously overlapping objects
      5m 34s
    12. Adjusting a dynamic transformation origin
      6m 22s
    13. Vector vs. raster effects
      5m 46s
    14. Introducing the Scribble effect
      5m 23s
    15. Copying effects between layers
      4m 20s
    16. Introducing Graphic Styles
      6m 50s
    17. Controlling the Filter Gallery preview
      2m 28s
    18. Document Raster Effects Settings
      4m 31s
    19. Combining and saving styles
      4m 32s
  3. 1h 25m
    1. Airbrushing with points and handles
      1m 45s
    2. Introducing the gradient mesh
      6m 10s
    3. Working with the Mesh tool
      6m 12s
    4. Lifting colors from a tracing template
      5m 47s
    5. Finessing the colors of mesh points
      4m 17s
    6. Creating a mesh with the Mesh tool
      7m 19s
    7. Adding a gradient mesh to a circle
      4m 37s
    8. Adding a gradient mesh to a slender shape
      8m 7s
    9. Creating soft and sharp transitions
      6m 56s
    10. Converting a linear gradient to a mesh
      7m 29s
    11. Editing a linear gradient mesh
      5m 6s
    12. Converting a radial gradient to a mesh
      8m 19s
    13. Editing a radial gradient mesh
      8m 15s
    14. Creating credible cast shadows
      5m 32s
  4. 1h 15m
    1. The best of static and dynamic adjustments
    2. Adding wings to a horse in Photoshop
      6m 52s
    3. Introducing the Warp tool
      6m 29s
    4. Brush size, Detail, and Simplify
      8m 24s
    5. The Twirl, Pucker, and Bloat tools
      6m 13s
    6. The Scallop, Crystallize, and Wrinkle tools
      5m 55s
    7. Creating a mind-blowing custom starburst
      4m 29s
    8. Introducing Envelope Distort
      5m 21s
    9. Editing the contents of an envelope
      5m 20s
    10. Warping an envelope mesh
      5m 20s
    11. Liquifying the contents of an envelope
      7m 7s
    12. Creating and editing an envelope mesh
      7m 59s
    13. Blending an envelope into a background
      4m 35s
  5. 2h 1m
    1. Outlines along a path
      1m 13s
    2. Weaving a pattern throughout an illustration
      6m 24s
    3. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 21s
    4. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      8m 28s
    5. Applying and scaling art brushes
      6m 6s
    6. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 29s
    7. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 40s
    8. Editing the path outlines of an art brush
      6m 2s
    9. Replacing an existing art brush
      6m 46s
    10. Creating and refining an art brush
      8m 3s
    11. Tiling pattern vs. pattern brushes
      5m 12s
    12. Creating a pattern brush
      8m 20s
    13. Designing the perfect side pattern
      7m 1s
    14. Start, end, and corner tiles
      8m 58s
    15. Expanding and filling brush outlines
      6m 49s
    16. Text brushes vs. type on a path
      6m 55s
    17. Combining a text brush with the Width tool
      8m 43s
    18. Introducing the bristle brushes
      5m 43s
    19. Adjusting the hairs in a bristle brush
      5m 24s
  6. 1h 32m
    1. Charts can be beautiful
      1m 17s
    2. Adding a gradient mesh to a complex path
      8m 9s
    3. Importing and graphing data
      5m 22s
    4. Switching between the kinds of graphs
      6m 8s
    5. Changing the Graph Type settings
      8m 7s
    6. Correcting and editing data
      6m 51s
    7. Selecting and coloring graph elements
      6m 29s
    8. Making nuanced changes to a graph
      8m 6s
    9. The pitfalls of manual adjustments
      8m 45s
    10. Creating and applying graph designs
      6m 28s
    11. Making a basic pictograph
      6m 47s
    12. Assembling sliding graph designs
      8m 33s
    13. Making last-minute tweaks and edits
      5m 37s
    14. Composing and customizing a graph
      5m 44s
  7. 2h 6m
    1. Perspective is all about real life
      1m 44s
    2. Assembling an isometric projection
      8m 5s
    3. Introducing Illustrator's Perspective Grid
      6m 8s
    4. Drawing a basic perspective cube
      8m 1s
    5. One-point, two-point, and three-point perspective
      8m 25s
    6. Creating automatically scaling box labels
      4m 41s
    7. Setting up a Perspective Grid
      6m 45s
    8. Perspective Grid tips and tricks
      6m 39s
    9. Drawing and editing a perspective shape
      5m 20s
    10. Shifting between planes on the fly
      5m 24s
    11. Creating a freeform shape in perspective
      7m 8s
    12. Working with perspective symbols
      8m 57s
    13. Matching perspective with the Shear tool
      2m 50s
    14. Rendering an off-plane path in perspective
      5m 7s
    15. Replicating symbols in perspective
      8m 12s
    16. Mass-modifying perspective instances
      2m 56s
    17. Adding and editing perspective text
      5m 37s
    18. Duplicating perpendicular shapes
      7m 17s
    19. Adjusting multiple shapes on a single plane
      4m 48s
    20. Creating a perspective column
      9m 23s
    21. Duplicating a series of perspective paths
      3m 20s
  8. 1h 25m
    1. Just another dynamic effect
      1m 10s
    2. Introducing the 3D Revolve effect
      5m 1s
    3. The 3D Revolve settings
      7m 24s
    4. Fixing 3D rendering problems
      6m 32s
    5. Establishing symbols for 3D art
      6m 50s
    6. Mapping symbols onto 3D surfaces
      6m 14s
    7. Adjusting shading and light
      6m 25s
    8. Toning down 3D art in Photoshop
      5m 43s
    9. Adding a photographic texture
      7m 36s
    10. Converting from Illustrator paths to Photoshop masks
      4m 50s
    11. Making 3D droplets in Photoshop
      5m 58s
    12. Unifying textures with Smart Filters
      5m 48s
    13. Creating 3D type with Extrude & Bevel
      6m 44s
    14. Coloring and correcting extruded edges
      9m 15s
  9. 1h 3m
    1. Take action today, save effort tomorrow
    2. Introducing the Actions panel
      4m 16s
    3. Initiating a new action
      5m 33s
    4. Recording a practical action
      4m 56s
    5. Four ways to play an action
      4m 27s
    6. Streamlining by disabling dialog boxes
      5m 48s
    7. Editing an action set in a text editor
      7m 20s
    8. Inserting an unresponsive menu item
      6m 16s
    9. Match-processing a folder of files
      5m 42s
    10. Recording a transformation sequence
      6m 11s
    11. Editing and troubleshooting an action
      5m 6s
    12. Recording actions within actions
      7m 21s
  10. 1m 36s
    1. See Ya
      1m 36s

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
13h 5m Advanced Jan 28, 2011

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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final part of the comprehensive Illustrator One-on-One series, author and industry expert Deke McClelland shows how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic effects in Illustrator CS5. Deke explores Illustrator’s powerful Gradient Mesh feature, great for creating photorealistic airbrushing effects. He also covers graphic styles, the liquify tools, envelope-style distortions, the new Bristle Brushes, 3D text, and perspective drawing. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Working with dynamic effects
  • Placing artwork as a Photoshop Smart Object
  • Creating and editing a Gradient Mesh
  • Distorting artwork with an Envelope Mesh
  • Using the Calligraphic, Art, and Scatter Brushes
  • Creating an intricate Pattern Brush
  • Importing and graphing data
  • Creating a complex pictograph
  • Drawing and editing a perspective shape
  • Working with the new Perspective Grid tool
  • Using the 3D Revolve effect
  • Creating 3D type with Extrude & Bevel
  • Recording and playing automated actions
Deke McClelland

One-point, two-point, and three-point perspective

I've saved the results of the previous exercise as The glass and in this exercise, I am going to give you a sense of what's meant by the 1-point, 2-point or 3-point perspective grid. Now this is not Illustrator's nomenclature by the way. This is standard perspective drawing. You can have one vanishing point, or two vanishing points, or three vanishing points. Now that doesn't necessarily mean that a perspective drawing created with one vanishing point is somehow not going to look as good as one rendered with three vanishing point.

However, three vanishing points is a heck of a lot more complicated. So let me show you what's going on there. I've got this other illustration that I've credit for you, that's called Perspective and it contains three different photographs that are rendered with different levels of perspective. These are real-world photographs from the Fotolia Image Library. Right now, here inside the layers panel, I have all three of the layers turned on. I am going to twirl open the 1-point layer which is at top here. This is 1-point perspective that is everything is declining toward a single common vanishing point and to give you a sense of what that looks like, I've got this grid object right there.

Go ahead and turn it on and you'll see this mesmerizing bunch of junk here, that's explaining how a 1-point perspective scene works. So what we are seeing here is a green Horizon Line and that Horizon Line is cutting through the horizon of the scene. So this is a way photographs work. So real-world photographs are real-world sightlines as well. The biggest difference between the way that we see a scene and a standard camera sees a scene is that we have binocular vision, so that we can actually perceive depth by reconciling the vision of the world from our two eyes.

However, otherwise depth is imparted to us as a functional perspective. So we've got this Horizon Line and that's really it in this scene. And then we have got these Trajectory Lines that are declining toward this Single Vanishing Point. And you might think of the Trajectory Lines as representing a left-hand plane and a right-hand plane but as we'll see in Illustrator you've just got one plane that you can flop back and forth like a door on a hinge. However, you can draw in both directions just like we are seeing here. The effect that you get when you're working with a Single Vanishing Point is that everything is flat on.

So in other words everything along the ground level here is going to be completely represented as horizontal, and all of the vertical elements are going to be exactly vertical as well, and that's represented by these gridlines. So these purple lines are evenly spaced grid increments. Now, as you gosh! And you are, oh this is drawn by hands, these were not created using the Perspective tool inside of Illustrator, but they are representative of how this scene works. I am going to go ahead and twirl close 1-point and turn int off to reveal in the background the 2-point layer, and this is an example of a scene that's rendered in 2-point perspective.

If I twirl this layer open, it has a grid as well. I will go ahead and turn on that grid and now I have added another color here so that we are seeing the left pane represented in orange with its left-hand trajectory lines, and we are seeing the right pane represented in red with its right trajectory lines. Now the reason I'm not absorbing Illustrator's coloring, which is blue for the left pane and orange for the right pane. It's just because I want these lines to standout from the background photograph. There is the Horizon Line down here at the bottom of this building, so we have a pretty low angle view of this scene and then we have these gridlines as well.

So the gridlines are absolutely vertical in this case, because we have just got two vanishing points and that's it, but we did lose the horizontal gridlines. So we are left with vertical no horizontal this time. We have also got a Left Vanishing Point and a Right Vanishing Point. Notice that they are shown as being off- screen and that's because their way out there. I am going to have to zoom out in order to take in those points. There is the right-hand vanishing point right there, so it's that point at which the trajectory lines converge at the Horizon Line.

By the way if I turn on one point again, that goes for the 1-point perspective scene as well. The vanishing point is that point at which the trajectory lines intersect the Horizon Line, that's always the way it is. All right! I am going to turn off that 1-point layer, so we can see what's going on inside this 2-point scene. Way over here on the left-hand side is the Left Vanishing Point, so that's where the Left Trajectory Lines converge with that Horizon Line and basically, anything at that point, it vanishes into nothingness because it goes beyond our ability to see it, and really that might be a function of it escapes me on the curvature of the earth or what have you but it evaporates into nothingness.

I am going to press Ctrl+1 or Command+1 in order to zoom back into the 100% view here. I'll collapse my 2-point layer and turn it off. Now we can see in the background, the scene rendered in 3-point perspective. In this case, we have Trajectory Lines going every which way. There are no horizontal or vertical gridlines left anymore, everything is on a trajectory. So we have got a left pane, and we have got a right pane and then we have got another pane that's disappearing into the sky. So to see what that looks like, I am going to twirl open the 3-point layer and I am going to turn on its grid and things are quite complicated at this point.

Now we are not going to create a scene using 3-point perspective in the Illustrator and I am going to tell you why because it makes you want to claw your eyes out. I mean it's just not a pleasant thing I have to tell you. So you can try it out and all you have to do to set up a 3-point Perspective Grid is go ahead and select a Perspective Grid tool and then once you have done that, once you have your basic grid on scene, you go up to the View menu, you choose Perspective Grid and you choose Three Point Perspective and then you choose this [3P-Normal View] command right there which represents the default setting.

However, it's going to be quite a bit different than the scene that we're seeing here. You will be looking down on the buildings from a great height, as oppose to up at the buildings from ground level. That's up to you, you can try it out, but I do want you to understand how Three Point Perspective works, if only for your edification. Notice here we've got the left-hand trajectory lines once again that a left-hand pane represented as orange lines. We've got the right-hand pane represented as red lines and they are overlapping each other. These panes are intersecting each other at this point, so that the left-hand trajectory lines are really defining the right-hand building and the right trajectory lines are defining the left hand building.

That's totally okay, that's great for interior scene as opposed at exterior as well, and then we have these yellow lines that are representing the Zenith Trajectory Lines. What that means is that the vanishing point is located at the top of the scene. If the vanishing point is underneath the scene, it's called Nadir. All right! so I am going to go ahead and zoom out here because notice we have got a left-hand vanishing point and a right- hand vanishing point and the Horizon Line is also off-screen. So in order to find those, we are going to have to zoom way out.

They are way down there as you can see. I am zoomed quite of ways out from my illustration. But just projecting the scene, the Horizon Line must be here. So this would be basically where we're standing looking up at the scene. And then the right-hand vanishing point is located at this convergence, where the red Trajectory Lines intersect with the green Horizon Line and then the left-hand Vanishing Point is over here where the orange Trajectory Lines intersect the green Horizon Line. So way, way out there and that's part of the problem with representing a Three-Point Perspective Grid.

You have to zoom way the heck out in order to set up the grid in the first place. I will press Ctrl+1, Command+1 on the Mac in order to zoom back in. that's how these various vanishing point scenarios work out. Regardless of whether you set up a 1-point grid a 2-point grid, or a 3-point grid it's still a three-dimensional scene. I want you to bear in mind, its not like a 1-point grid is a 1D scene and a 2-point grid is a 2D scene, that's nonsense. They're all three-dimensional scenes. It just depends on what your view of that scene is and you can see here, if I go ahead and turn back on the 1-point perspective view, that that is still a very compelling scene.

Some of the most amazing high renaissance paintings were created using 1-point perspective and they look absolutely great. So what I caution you to do is try to work in 1-point or 2-point perspective for all of your perspective needs, that's just going to keep things that much simpler in a long run.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery .

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Q: The instructions for installing the dekeKeys don't work on my computer (which is running Mac OS X Lion). Is there an update to these?
A: The dekeKeys distributed with this course will still work for Lion. You just need to add them to a slightly different folder than in previous versions of OS X.

Open a new Finder window and choose Go > Go to Folder. Type the following file path exactly as written below. Copying and pasting may result in an error.

~/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator CS5 Settings/en_US

Move and/or copy/paste the dekeKeys to this folder and follow the rest of the instructions as outlined in the video, "Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts."
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