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Perspective in Storytelling 23

We have officially entered 3-point perspective territory!!  I love 3-point perspective.  This would be the FIRST time I used 3-point perspective, and it’s one of my favorites.  Actually, that first inset panel was also in 3-point perspective…I was pretty excited about my new discovery!

Let me first be very clear: YOU DO NOT EVER HAVE TO DRAW 3-POINT PERSPECTIVE.  It is not important.  I don’t use it very often…about once every 20 pages, but it depends on the story.  It’s just fun, and has the added bonus of making you look good.  But technically, it is never needed to tell a good story.

When you do use it, make sure it’s for something that matters.  It will make your reader’s eyes pause.  The panel will last longer.  This isn’t just because it’s pretty.  Let me explain a theory I have:

The human eye can’t see all that much at once.  And as such, it really only sees in 1-point or 2-point perspective.  This is maybe technically not true…like we all have some sort of fisheye thing going on in the corners of our eyes.  But the stuff we can focus on in one glance is pretty straight forward.

Perspective changes when we move our eyes, or turn our heads.  The actual act of seeing in 3-point perspective or fisheye or panorama—or anything that advanced—is from us seeing something in multiple frames.  So when we see something complex like this on the page, it makes us think we are IN THE ACT of moving our eyes or our heads.  So in a way, crazy perspective makes one panel seem like a short animation sequence.

Uh, either that, or I’m just crazy.

Technique-wise, what I’ve done here is use my tilted 2-point perspective strategy, and added to it.  So I first go to Edit>Free Transform and adjust as I did in this video.  THEN, before I click that checkbox, I right-click the grid, and it gives me more transform options.  I pick “Distort,” and drag a couple corners so that the set of lines that once were parallel are parallel no longer.

When you do this you have to decide which side of those parallel lines you’d like to stretch.  So just ask yourself which side you think is slightly closer to you, the viewer.  

In this panel I made the closest perspective point pretty low, so everything above it’s super distorted.  There are so many fun things you can do with perspective!

(Let me do you a favor and say do NOT try using 3-point perspective in panels that are small, or ones where there are not a lot of lines.  It’s just a waste of your time; no one will notice that it’s 3-point perspective, even subconsciously, because there’s not enough to go by.)

For more perspective posts, click here.

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