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The trickiest things to get right in perspective our ellipses. I even see professional artists, who should know better, constructing wacky ellipses. I want to teach you a few simple rules about ellipses that should make it so that you never construct an out of perspective ellipse. I want to introduce you to some very important terms about perspective. You can think of this as ellipse anatomy. First what is an ellipse? An ellipse is a circle viewed from an angle.
Two important parts of the ellipse you have to know how to identify are the long and short axises. The long axis of the ellipse runs right through the middle of the ellipse on the long side. You can test if you've drawn the long axis of an ellipse correctly by selecting one side of your ellipse along the long axis and flipping it over the center line. If it doesn't match the other side exactly, you haven't drawn the long axis. The short axis of the ellipse runs right through the middle of the ellipse on the short side.
Again, you can test to see if you've drawn the short axis correctly by selecting one side of the ellipse along the short axis and flipping it over. If it doesn't match the other side exactly, you haven't drawn the short axis. Let me rotate this long axis a little and try flipping the ellipse over it, you'll quickly discover that if the axis is off even by a little bit the ellipse will not flip over on itself. Let's rotate the short axis a tiny bit and do that same test.
Same thing, if the axis is not correctly drawn the ellipse will not flip over on itself. The last bit of ellipse anatomy you need to know is that the long and short axises always cross in the middle of the ellipse at a 90 degree angle. This happens even when the ellipse is in perspective, which may seem counter intuitive. The long and short axises meet in the physical center of the ellipse not the perspective center. We'll go into that more in the next lesson, drawing ellipses in perspective.
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