Monday, May 30, 2011

Circles in Perspective - Part Two

In Part One we learned the basics of how a circle in basic one point perspective becomes an ellipse.

 So how would another circle of the same size, say to the left of this one appear? Like this?:

That looks bigger than the center ellipse... maybe it should point to the vanishing point, like this:

Now that looks too small and really off...

In fact, in a perspective drawing like this, all ellipses on the ground plane will be oriented the same way - with their minor axes precisely vertical:

It might help if you think of each ellipse as the end of a cylinder. Since the sides of the cylinders are vertical, the ellipses are oriented vertically as well:

Interestingly, the same thing happens in two point perspective - as long as the sides of the (imaginary) cylinders are parallel, all the ellipses will be oriented the same way, in this case, vertically:

In Part Two we'll see how to apply this to a real drawing.


  1. i just recently started watching your feed, great stuff! i love the color vibration in the selfish giant cover as well. do you think you could talk more about it?

  2. Thanks donm, sure, I'll do a post on the SG cover in the near future, then you can post any specific thoughts or questions there.

  3. It might be worth pointing out that the weirdness stemming from the first few examples can probably be attributed to the fact that one point perspective doesn't actually exist, as all straight lines begin and end at the horizon.

    This makes the squares and ellipses (ellipsi?) on the sides improper.

    (btw, I love your blog)

  4. Needs Loomis,
    One point perspective is typically the "most imperfect" of an already imperfect system (namely, linear perspective), as you point out. I chose it for this example because it exacerbates the problem(s), making them more apparent.

    I'm glad you like the blog! Now if I could just get around to updating it more...