Multi Point Perspective Guide

So far, we have looked at 1, 2, and 3 point perspectives. Multi point perspective takes those perspectives and expands on it. Normally, there isn't a lot of opportunities to go beyond 3. However, if artists do decide to do so, it gives them a fresh look on spacial awareness!

Obviously, discussing multi point perspective means that there is already a fundamental of basic 1, 2, and 3 point perspective. If anything, any perspective that goes beyond this require using any of the concepts found in the previous guide.

Consequently, bringing in assets that were built for 1, 2, and 3 point perspective saves a lot of time when trying to figure out how to handle multiple vanishing points in this guide. There is also an assumption made that a minimum competency of the Photoshop tools being used is present.

From here on, the goal is to understand and construct perspectives that have 4, 5, and 6 vanishing points. However, please note that anything beyond the 5 vanishing point limit is more for curiosity rather than any practical application.

Setting up a multi point perspective

To get started, a single vanishing point will need to be created. From the previous guide, having a single line rotated multiple times will form a circular pattern. It will look something like a star burst. Duplicating this entire shape will yield additional vanishing points ready for placement.

The second type of shape needed is the simple square grid. Based on the previous lesson, create a square pattern and then fill the entire layer to form a grid. Color coat any of these shapes with Photoshop's 'color overlay' layer style option.

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Since multi point perspective deals with creating a sphere, the Spherize filter is the 'go to' option to generate a perspective globe quickly and accurately. To use the filter properly, the grid image that it is targeting must fill the entire canvas.

Then, select the elliptical marquee to cut out the circle. This can be done before or after the filter has been applied to the grid. With these steps in mind, we can finally begin the process of creating perspectives beyond 3 vanishing points.

Multi point perspective with 4 vanishing points

Begin the process by building a 2 point perspective. Using the 2 star burst shapes, just move it to a half way on the canvas on both ends. When done properly, a horizon line will naturally form and link both these two shapes together.

With the Spherize filter, turn a vertical grid into a globe if it hasn't already been done. Then, place the sphere right in between the ends of the 2 point perspective diagram. If everything goes well, it should look like a square diamond surrounded by various oval shapes.

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Now that we know how to make it, where can this perspective exist? Just think for a second. You need to see the bottom plan first, which means you are not on ground level but somewhere in the air. Yet, there is an object that seems to reach for the heavens. It goes even higher than where you are!

This object will seem to ‘curve' upwards because there is a vanishing point located above you. This is when you will see this perspective: when a tall object exists on the ground level, and yet, reaches high enough that it goes beyond your eye level.

Multi point perspective with 5 vanishing points

To construct the 5 point perspective, start with the sphered globe found in the previous example. Using this shape, duplicate it into a new layer and then rotate the new layer 90 degrees clockwise or counter-clockwise.

You should have a circular grid with four points of perspective: one for each ‘corner' of the circle. Now, rearrange the 1 point perspective right in the middle of this new sphere. That's it! All four corners of the globe is its own vanishing point while the star burst shape provides the last vanishing point.

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Does this shape look familiar? It should! Just think for minute. Where would this shape exist in the natural world? I can think of planets or a concaved or convex mirror with this shape. It's essentially a lens. What can you think up?

For any practical application, the next step would be deciding on a picture plane. Luckily, this perspective has a lot of freedom for placement. You can set the canvas inside the circle or you can set outside the circle. You can even encompass the entire circle!

Multi point perspective with 6 vanishing points

It exists in theory, but it's hard to show in real life until the invention of panorama cameras. In the perspectives we have talked about, you're viewing the scene in front of you. Whether it's 1 point or 5 point perspectives, the object is always viewed in front of your eyes.

However, the 6 point perspective goes beyond simply viewing what's in front of you. Instead, this where you look at things in front of you and behind you! Basically, you're trying to convey a 360 degree view, in an instance, on paper.

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Without creating a 3D object, the only way to do that is to make the five point perspective twice so it allows you to look on the ‘other side' of the hemisphere at once. The image that needs to be used will be a 360 degree panorama camera shot.

First, divide the panorama into two halves. Then, enlarge one half to fit the square canvas. Remember, it has to fit the entire canvas for the Spherize filter to work properly. Apply it to that half of the panorama shot and then shrink it back.

Then, repeat the process to the other side of the panorama shot to complete the viewing angle. Due to it being very hard to find any practical use for a 6 point perspective, artists rarely use this particular viewing angle in an actual drawing.

Having said that, if you're up to the challenge, practice this particular perspective. It would be for your own thirst for knowledge rather than practicality. Otherwise, stay motivated to learn and build up on the concepts we have discussed up to this point.