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  • Break out your pocket watch and your paintbrushes! It's time for episode 9 of

  • 10 minutes to better painting! I am your incorrigible host, Marco Bucci.

  • Let's dig right in. The teacher from Starship Troopers said:

  • "Figuring things out for yourself is the only freedom anyone really has." This episode is about

  • perspective, which falls under the category of: depth. You there! Gaze upon

  • the visit of gods! Well...artists, actually. And they, back in

  • the Renaissance era, developed something called 'linear perspective.' The basics

  • of which involve a viewer, whose eye line gets projected infinitely far into the

  • horizon: this makes a horizon line - onto which we can plot a vanishing point. And

  • from that point comes a linear perspective grid which you then

  • reference to ensure your scene has cohesive depth. A single vanishing point

  • is called one-point perspective. You can have two vanishing points on a horizon

  • line. Usually these points are located quite a bit out of frame... and you get a

  • different angle to the scene. Changing the distance between the two vanishing

  • points simulates various focal lengths of a camera's lens. If you want to look

  • up at something, add a separate grid entirely and have that grid recede to a

  • third vanishing point, independent of the horizon line. This is of course three

  • point perspective, and putting that third point below the horizon line will

  • simulate looking down. This is knowledge we owe to artists who lived, like, six

  • hundred years ago - which is pretty cool if you ask me! ...and I bet they're rolling

  • in their graves. Geez, minute and a half into this

  • thing ... where's my unpaid intern??

  • ...Thanks. Hey! Get back in your car drive away and then come back again. Jus--just

  • do it! When he drives away from camera the car gets smaller, and when he comes

  • back toward camera, the car gets bigger. This leads us to a hidden relationship

  • between size/distance/and the eye line. This checkered floor will reveal the eye

  • line (or horizon line). Now, pay special attention to where the car crosses that

  • line. The eye line tells us that everything above that line is above our

  • eyes and everything below the line is below our eyes. *psst, do the driving again*.

  • So, as the intern travels through depth the size of the car changes but its

  • relationship to the eye line does not. This relationship tells you how to

  • resize your objects, too. The ratio of the object space above the horizon to the

  • object space below the horizon should also remain consistent. And of course

  • that ratio will change depending on where your eye line sits.

  • I'll move the camera here to show you how some of those changes might look.

  • In this illustration by Juanjo Guarnido, these two figures are at different

  • depths in the scene. Our eye line is nicely positioned at ... well... crotch level. I

  • know this because all the perspective lines traced back to a vanishing point

  • right at his ... Man, come on, really? *sigh* Let's take stock of the measurement above and

  • below the woman's crotch. When we translate that scale to our main figure,

  • who is the same size give or take a few inches, the relationship holds true. Of

  • course his feet are off-screen. But because the woman has given us the eyeline

  • reference, the hidden information here can still be resolved! I see a lot

  • of people trip up here, by simply placing large objects close to camera in hopes

  • to give depth to the scene. But there's no reference for these objects. I don't

  • know their relation to the eye line; I don't know how big they are; so it's

  • basically like they're floating. In the last example I had the information to

  • complete the picture whereas this time I do not. Speaking of

  • missing information: when working with depth, objects will inevitably overlap

  • and therefore conceal other parts of the picture. Guarnido has designed his

  • picture to give us contiguous slices of the perspective grid, and we then fill in

  • the areas that are overlapped by other stuff.

  • We can do this on much less - Dean Cornwell here shows us a few areas where

  • objects are providing some perspective information. From there we can roughly

  • extrapolate back to the vanishing points, from there the horizon line, and from

  • there the viewer can approximate the perspective grid for the entire scene!

  • Things that touch the ground are very good depth cues because even if an

  • object gets rotated, creating a custom vanishing point, that point will still

  • indicate where the horizon line is. Getting back to overlaps: be careful with

  • silhouettes. This tree overlaps the temple, while still preserving a healthy

  • chunk of the temple silhouette. Too many overlaps can compromise the silhouette.

  • This temple now almost reads like a ... *Spooky music plays*. Here's another tricky little thing! I'll call up

  • some perspective lines, and the unpaid intern. The intern will drive from this

  • point close to camera to this point a little further away. *rusty engine sound* I ... think that car

  • needs a tune-up, but let's plot the line he took. It looked like this. Now let's

  • pull out and have him drive that same path. This time the line looks like this!

  • Here are those two lines side-by-side. They show us that distance forces

  • horizontal lines. Take a look at the river that travels through depth in this

  • Scott Christensen painting. When I analyze the lines that those river banks make

  • from close up to far away we see a gradual progression towards horizontal

  • lines. It's like a cypher for a perspective grid that we the viewer can

  • solve! But a perspective grid is not an absolute requirement. Color and value

  • alone can deliver depth through something called

  • 'atmospheric' or 'aerial perspective.' ...painting goes over there and over here

  • I'll draw up a quick chart. I'll plot the colors of the lights on the left and

  • shadows on the right. Starting with the shadow category, these are colors across

  • all objects in the painting. And I'll identify the foreground midground and

  • background sections. There are two things to notice here. One: there's more variety

  • of shadow colors and values in the foreground progressively less variety

  • toward the background. And second: with depth, the color is pulled toward the

  • cyan side of the blue family on the color wheel.

  • Alright let's examine the light category now. Again, corralling colors across all

  • objects. The first thing to notice is the overall

  • cooling of the color still happens ... though the light family preserves its

  • color more than the shadow family. Also, yellows get filtered out by the

  • atmosphere. This causes distant colors to appear a

  • touch redder. When we don't observe these trends and when we don't have a

  • perspective grid, we can only achieve limited amounts of depth. But just by

  • implementing some atmospheric perspective, we can make even large

  • objects in the background recede much further into the distance! This is all

  • super powerful stuff that we'll explore in part tw-- yeah yeah I was just getting to that.

  • Hey how did you buy that car?! I don't even pay you.

  • ...Ah, the choices we make.

  • Alright let's sketch something! I'll start by plotting the

  • horizon line, vanishing point and perspective grid based on the story I

  • want to tell. I'm imagining myself high above the ground - like on the second

  • floor of a building or something. Right around roof level. So when I block my

  • scene in all the rooftops will be just above the horizon. I'm also picturing

  • this city kind of elevated off the ground, so that means the ground plane

  • needs to be put way below the horizon line, which you can see is this kind of

  • waterway I'm developing here. So right away my choice of viewpoint dictated

  • quite a bit about how I block in this scene. I'm also thinking about the simple

  • concept of having things overlap other things: like the foreground building

  • overlaps the mid-ground building; the foreground people overlap the platform

  • they're walking; on those little boats overlap the walls. I know that seems like

  • an obvious point, but I have noticed there seems to be a common reluctance to

  • have shapes overlap other shapes, which of course just robs the scene of depth.

  • But remember when you do overlap shapes, consider the silhouette you're losing

  • and the silhouette you're retaining. Oh, I should say I'm not trying to make this

  • like the coolest concept art piece you've ever seen ... what I want to show you

  • is how these simple concepts will allow you to start sketching a place that has

  • a sense of believability to it. At this point in the painting I feel like I know

  • the space well enough to populate it. You know, at the beginning I was worried

  • about the placement of big things but now it's like ... put a boat here ... put a

  • person there ... with the basics in place it becomes just fun to explore the space

  • you're creating. But be careful! I'm finding myself drifting from my own

  • perspective grid in some key areas! So here I'm

  • just kind of auditing that. Tweaking a few of the important lines that really

  • have to recede to that vanishing point. And I guess I'll leave the sketch

  • unfinished because at this point it's just noodling out the rest of the scene,

  • which is not really the focus of this lesson. *Squeaky voice* Huh? Oh the intern wants me to

  • tell you that I have longer art lessons featuring real time paintings and

  • instruction available at www.marcobucciartstore.com

  • I'd like to get back to this

  • opening quotation. If figuring things out for yourself is freedom ... then are my

  • videos somehow removing freedom?? Well, teaching art, to me, is like helping

  • someone navigate. And there are two overall lands you can wind up in. My goal

  • with these lessons is to encourage you to move in this direction. And trust me,

  • you'll still have to navigate countless twists and turns by yourself. And that, in

  • my opinion, is where the real discovery, learning, and freedom happens. So I'm

  • really happy you're watching my videos! But I hope you're also spending the time

  • to sort out the information on your own.

  • *Christmas bells jingle*

  • "Hey buddy, its Marco. Are you having a good Christmas? Yunno, I know that I

  • don't always give you the easiest time ... I yelled at you for the coffee thing ... and

  • got you drunk on the air ... and I had you kidnap that one guy ... but I want you to

  • know you make this show better than I could make it alone. So, in this envelope

  • is a check! There's a '1' with a few zeroes after it, which I hope you can use

  • to pay off that car of yours. Maybe a few months' rent? Or, I don't know, just go buy

  • a lot of coffee. You deserve it and I want you to know that! Well, I hope you

  • have a great holiday, and I can't wait to come back in the new year and make more

  • episodes with you :)"

Break out your pocket watch and your paintbrushes! It's time for episode 9 of

Subtitles and vocabulary

B1 INT US perspective horizon line grid vanishing depth

Perspective - 10 Minutes To Better Painting - Episode 9

  • 19 0
    Isla Fisher   posted on 2020/08/22
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