Perspective - Part 4

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We have learned perspective with one and two vanishing points so far.  So let us continue to the one with three.  To understand this type, we have to imagine two possible scenarios as far as the viewers eye is concerned.

In this first example, image you are flying in a hot air balloon high above a building.  As we look at the building, the two vanishing points that we referred to in the previous lesson are going to be present here also, but because of the elevation of the observer, this time we are going to see a third vanishing point that is not located on the horizon line, but below it.

This time, the three vanishing points guided us to define how each side of the building was drawn.

The three dimensional building showing its solid sides.

 Now, image that you descend to a height just above the ground, so that you can no longer see the top of the building.  In this particular scenario, you will discover that things have inverted as far as the third vanishing point.  That is to say, now it is above the horizon line.

The third vanishing point has shifted above the horizon line. The same building as above, but from a different viewpoint.

Application: Theory without application is of little use, so with that in mind, let's go again to a painting and an illustration to see these laws in action:

© 2002 Electronic Arts Inc. SimCity
Illustration for video game.  Yes, the principles of perspective
are used in all aspects of art, even in the electronic media.

The Apotheosis of the Spanish Monarchy (detail)
by Giovanni Battista TIEPOLO

1762-66 Fresco,
Queen's Antechamber, Palacio Real, Madrid
Tiepolo used three vanishing points for this composition (see brown tower)

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