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Digital Matte Painting Essentials 2: Perspective
Illustration by John Hersey

Plotting measuring points


From:

Digital Matte Painting Essentials 2: Perspective

with David Mattingly

Video: Plotting measuring points

Now that we've learned about ellipses, it's time to put that knowledge into use, and add ellipses to all of the round objects, the towers and domes, in our scene. However, we need to determine the percentage of the ellipses we'll use throughout. To do that, we'll determine the correct percentage or height for one ellipse high up in our picture >> And base all of the ellipses off of that. I call this ellipse, the Master ellipse. You could use a high percentage like this one as your master, or a flatter, low percentage one like this.

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Digital Matte Painting Essentials 2: Perspective
2h 37m Beginner Aug 27, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

An accurate perspective drawing is an essential base for most matte paintings. Learn how to create linear perspective drawings of a castle in Adobe Photoshop with this course, and migrate the lessons to your own project. David Mattingly, a matte artist for many groundbreaking motion pictures, teaches you about the three types of perspective, and how to set up vanishing points, find and rough in the forms in your painting, add detail like crenellations, draw ellipses, and polish the final drawing.

Note: This installment of Digital Matte Painting Essentials builds on the concept sketch from the first course, but it's not necessary to have those files to proceed.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the three types of linear perspective
  • Preparing your concept sketch for drawing
  • Setting up vanishing points
  • Finding the first boxes in perspective
  • Roughing in the other rectilinear forms
  • Creating a flat crenellation
  • Plotting measuring points
  • Drawing ellipses
  • Adding repeating details to walls
  • Delineating the background
Subjects:
3D + Animation Rendering Design Digital Painting Visual Effects
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
David Mattingly

Plotting measuring points

Now that we've learned about ellipses, it's time to put that knowledge into use, and add ellipses to all of the round objects, the towers and domes, in our scene. However, we need to determine the percentage of the ellipses we'll use throughout. To do that, we'll determine the correct percentage or height for one ellipse high up in our picture >> And base all of the ellipses off of that. I call this ellipse, the Master ellipse. You could use a high percentage like this one as your master, or a flatter, low percentage one like this.

And get very different results. But, which one is correct for this picture? There are two ways to figure out the master ellipse, one that is completely accurate but involves some rather complex perspective. And an easier one that just involves intelligent guessing, I'm going to show the advanced way first If you're not interested into delving into complex perspective and trust me, we'll be getting into some pretty deep waters. Skip forward two videos to the building and ellipse bank tutorial and I'll show you the easy way.

You'll be able to complete the project either way as both give you acceptable results. But only this first way, will give you completely accurate results. So here's how to (INAUDIBLE) To do this you must find the location, of your viewer in your scene. Then you'll find what are called measuring points, which are used to find precise distances on the lines of convergence back to your vanishing points. Many artists who use perspective all the time don't know how to do this, so if you stay with me through this section, you'll know more than 90% of artists about this topic.

To do this, you need to be able to view the location of your vanishing points. We have them set up on our paths panel, so you'll have to zoom way out in your scene to be able to see them. If your interface doesn't look like this, you'll need to go to window in the top menu and make sure that application frame is checked. Or photoshop won't allow you to have this wide border around your picture. Start a new layer and call it Station Point. Draw a new path that goes vertically through the center of your picture plane.

Hold down the Shift key, when clicking the second time to get the line absolutely vertical. This is your distance line. We're drawing it down, but it actually represents the distance between the scene and the viewer. There's no way to draw it out from our canvas, so we're folding it down, to do our calculations. Somewhere along this distance line is the station point, which represents the position of the viewer. In 2-point perspective, the station point is always on the distance line at a 90 degree angle from the two vanishing points on the horizon.

Our station point is actually already set, since we have the positions of our vanishing points. All we have to do is find the point on the distance line, that lines up with the 90 degree angle between our 2 vanishing points. Since we can only see 1 layer of paths at a time, we need to copy a few lines onto our station point layer. First, go to the horizon layer, press a on the keyboard to get the pass selection tool, which is the black arrow.

You may need to press shift a if the direct selection tool or the white arrow is selected. Select the horizon path, copy it, return to the station point layer and paste the horizon line in. Go to the right vanishing point layer, select one line of convergence, copy it out and paste it onto the station point layer. Go to the left vanishing point layer, select one of the lines of convergence, copy it and paste it onto the station point layer.

Delete the points on each line of convergence that aren't the vanishing point. We just need the location of the right and left vanishing points. I'm going to add some custom icons to help you keep these various lines and points straight. When you do this you don't need to be quite so fancy, but it's important to keep everything clear. Now you need to determine the position of your viewer, or the station point on your distance line. Remember, the station point is a point on the distance line that is at a 90 degree angle to your vanishing points.

Make the distance line a little longer. >> Create a large square and delete the top of the square so you just have the bottom 2 sides. With that selected press Cmd+ or Ctrl+T to transform the path. Move the transform center to the bottom corner of the 2 sides. Then rotate it and transform it so that the corner of the two sides is on top of the distance line. And the two sides intersect each vanishing point. This may take some playing around to get it just right, so take your time with it.

So here is the station point or the position of the viewer in your scene. Now that we found the station points, we need to find the measuring points. Let me clean up these lines a bit so we can see what we're doing. And add some custom icons to what we have completed so far. Here's the definition of a measuring point. A measuring point is a point on the horizon line the same distance from the vanishing point that the station point is from the vanishing point.

I know that's a mouthful, but if you're going to use measuring points you're going to need to commit it to memory. So I'll say it again. A measuring point is a point on the horizon line, the same distance from the vanishing point, the station point is from the vanishing point. Since we already have lines that go between our vanishing point and our station point in the half box we used to find the station point. We can just duplicate it and use it again. Cop that half box and paste it back in place.

With it selected press Cmd or Ctrl + T and move the transform center to be on top of one of your vanishing points. Now rotate it up, this line represents the distance between your vanishing point and your station point. And by rotating it up, we are locating the point on the horizon, that is the same distance from your vanishing point, as your station point is from your vanishing point. A bit confusing I know, but try and rap your head around it.

I'm going to mark that point on the horizon with another custom icon and delete the copy of the half box. Now select that original half box again, duplicate it, press command or control t to invoke the transform tool. And move the transform center to the other vanishing point. Swing it up to the horizon and you have your other measuring point. We'll mark that measuring also. And delete that duplicated box.

So, that's how you set up measuring points for a set of vanishing points. In the next lesson we'll actually use them to find our master ellipse.

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