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Book Excerpt: 3D Game Textures: Create Professional Game Art Using Photoshop
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Book Excerpt: 3D Game Textures: Create Professional Game Art Using Photoshop


June 22, 2006 Article Start Previous Page 5 of 6 Next
 

Perspective

We discussed earlier in this chapter that dramatic perspective (Figure 1-24) is usually not used in the creation of a game texture, although sometimes perspective is present and needs to be understood. In addition, understanding perspective is not only a valuable artistic tool to have available, but understanding perspective will help you when you are taking digital reference images and when you are cleaning and straightening those images. We will look at the artistic aspects of perspective now and later on in the chapter on cleaning and storing your assets we will talk about fixing those images.

Quite simply, perspective is the illusion that something far away from us is smaller. This effect can be naturally occurring as in a photo, or a mechanically created illusion in a painting. You can see samples of this in Figure 1-25. In 2D artwork perspective is a technique used to recreate that illusion and give the artwork a three-dimensional depth. Perspective uses overlapping objects, horizon lines, and vanishing points to create a feeling of depth. You can see in Figure 1-26 an image and the same image with the major lines of perspective as they converge on one point called the vanishing point. There are several types of perspective used to achieve different effects.


Figure 1-24: While dramatic perspective is used in traditional art, it is not used in a game texture, but there is some notion of perspective so it is best to understand the concept.


Figure 1-25: Perspective is the illusion that something far away from us is smaller. Are the street lights actually getting smaller in this image? Are the train tracks really getting closer together?

 


Figure 1-26: In 2D artwork perspective is a technique used to recreate that illusion and give the artwork a three-dimensional depth.

 

One-Point Perspective

One-point perspective is when all the major lines of an image converge on one point. You can see this effect best illustrated when looking down a set of straight railroad tracks or a long road. The lines of the road and track, although we know they are the same distance apart, seem to meet and join together at some point in the far distance—the vanishing point. In one-point perspective all the lines move away from you (the z-axis) and converge at the vanishing point. Vertical and horizontal or up and down and right and left lines (X and Y) remain straight, as seen in the Figure 1-27.

 


Figure 1-27: In one-point perspective all the lines that move away from the viewer seem to meet at a far point on the horizon. This point is called the vanishing point.

 

Two-Point Perspective

One-point perspective works fine if you happen to be looking directly at the front of something or standing in the middle of some railroad tracks, but what if the scene is viewed from the side? Then you shift into two-point perspective. Two-point perspective has two vanishing points on the horizon line. All lines, except the vertical, will converge onto one of the two vanishing points. See Figure 1-28.

 


Figure 1-28: Two-point perspective has two vanishing points on the horizon line. All lines, except the vertical, will converge onto one of the two vanishing points.

 

Three-Point Perspective

Three-point perspective is probably the most challenging of all. In three-point perspective every line will eventually converge on one of three points. Three-point perspective is the most dramatic of all and can often be seen in comic books when the hero is flying over buildings or whooping butt in the alley below as the buildings tower above. Figure 1-29 shows some three-point perspective.

 


Figure 1-29: In three-point perspective every line will eventually converge on one of three vanishing points.

 

Perspective, from the texture artist’s point of view while photographing surfaces for game art, can be the enemy. We will look at that in a coming chapter when we talk about collecting and cleaning your images. From the art education point of view, knowing what perspective is and what it looks like is enough.


Article Start Previous Page 5 of 6 Next

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