Drawing in perspective in Illustrator
When you want to use linear perspective to create depth in Illustrator CS5, it takes no time at all to set up a perspective grid. You can then forget about the technical points of perspective drawing and simply concentrate on your artwork.
1 In Illustrator, choose File > New, or if the Welcome screen is open, click Print Document in the Create New section. Click OK.
2 Select the Perspective Grid tool (Os ). The perspective grid appears.
3 Try dragging the various perspective grid controls:
• The diamond-shaped handles at the bottom move the entire grid.
• The diamond-shaped handles at the far-left and far-right sides control the height of the horizon line.
• The circular handles on the left and right sides of the grid change the angles of each plane.
4 Choose View > Perspective Grid > One-Point Perspective > -[lP-Normal View] to see a preset for one-point perspective. Then choose View > Perspective Grid > Three-Point Perspective > [3P-Normal View] to see a preset for three-point perspective.
Tip: You can save your own presets by choosing View > Perspective Grid > Save Grid as Preset.
Now that you’ve seen how the perspective grid works, you can see it in action.
5 Close the current untitled document window without saving changes.
6 In your Lesson01 folder, double-click the file Perspective_Start.ai. If a Font Problems dialog box appears, click Open.
This is a building that was drawn using the perspective grid. Now you’ll add a couple of windows to it.
7 Choose View > Windows. This brings you to the document view that was saved under the name Windows. With the Selection tool, select the second window in the top row, and then choose Edit > Copy.
8 Choose View > Initial View.
9 In the plane switching widget, click the empty area outside the cube to make sure no perspective planes are selected, and then choose Edit > Paste.
10 In the Tools panel, select the Perspective Selection tool (►*>). Clickthe right plane of the cube in the plane switching widget, and then drag the window you pasted into the empty area to the right of the upper window on the right face of the building.
11 Alt/Option -Shift-drag the selected window down to make a copy that lines up with the lower row of windows. As long as you drag with the Perspective Selection tool, the object follows the perspective of the selected plane.
Verifying your document’s quality settings
Before saving graphics, it’s a good idea to verify the quality of your document.
1 Choose Effect > Document Raster Effects Settings. When the Document Raster Effects Settings dialog box appears, change the default Screen Resolution (72 ppi) to High (300 ppi), and then click OK.
2 Choose File > Save As and save the document into your Lesson01 folder, naming the file perspective.ai. In the Illustrator Options dialog box, make sure the options Create PDF Compatible File, Embed ICC Profiles, and Use Compression are all selected, and then click OK.
3 Close the file.
You’ve finished working on elements in Illustrator, which you’ll use in later lessons. Next you’ll experiment with the 3D features in Photoshop to create an asset you’ll need for a Flash animation later on. Have fun!