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Old 11-01-2009, 09:40 AM   #1
Gonzogoose
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How to Throw Type into Perspective

Branching out of the newspaper headline thread, Clem sent me his tutorial for the way he handles perspective in Illustrator for posting. So here goes:

Note: This only works if the artistís use of perspective is reasonably accurate, or at least consistent. If it is not, I wouldnít bother with any of this. Youíll just get frustrated.

1. This is the panel which required the signage.



2. In Illustrator, trace the edges of the billboard, using the Pen tool.



3. Zoom back. Select one of the receding lines. Using the Scale tool, enlarge the line 2000%. Then do the other receding line. (You canít do both at once or their positions will shift. Where these two lines intersect is your vanishing point.



4. Double the height of the nearer vertical border of the billboard. Then draw a line from the bottom of that line to the vanishing point. Then extend the more distant vertical line so that it intersects the line you just drew.



5. Run a line from the lower right hand corner to the upper left, as shown. Where this line intersects the middle diagonal line is the physical midpoint of the billboard. Run a vertical line from top to bottom, which intersects this physical midpoint.



You can see that the nearer segment is wider than the more distant one. This is the reason why simply distorting letters does not produce real perspective. The distortions of perspective are more marked the closer you get to the object. This is why we had to locate the physical center of the billboard.

6. Repeat the process, locating the physical centers of each of the boxes and running a vertical line through them, as before.



7. Convert all of these lines to guides, and then draw four rectangles corresponding to the four perspective segments of the billboard.

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Old 11-01-2009, 09:41 AM   #2
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8. Here is the lettered billboard, which was established several issues earlier. The top version is the sign as originally typeset. The bottom one is the same sign with the type outlined. It has been divided into four quarters, including the outlined type. If there are a lot of letters in your sign, or newspaper, or whatever, this will take some time. In the case of this billboard, it was used several times in several issues, so taking the time to do this was well worth it.



9. Now here is the sign simply distorted by the computer, without recourse to the rules of perspective. You can compare this to the final version, in which real perspective was utilized.



10. Paste the quartered sign onto the comic page, and make sure it is in back, while the four rectangles you drew (step 7) are in the front.



11. Select the leftmost quarter, and the leftmost rectangle. Then OBJECT>ENVELOPE DISTORT>MAKE WITH TOP OBJECT.



12. Repeat the process with the other three segments of the sign and the other three rectangles.



13. Select the sign artwork, then OBJECT>EXPAND, and then UNGROUP. Remove the outlines of the four segments. If the artist has roughed in the signage, you can draw a white mask so that his work will not be seen. Make sure you put it on a layer destined to be deleted. (And send your editor a note telling him that the artwork for that panel will need to adjusted, to remove the artistís rough lettering.)



14. Hereís a comparison of the two versions. The one on the left done with real perspective. The one on the right is a simple distortion.

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Old 11-01-2009, 03:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzogoose
Branching out of the newspaper headline thread, Clem sent me his tutorial for the way he handles perspective in Illustrator for posting. So here goes:
That's eight kinds of splendid. Thanks to both you and Clem.

As it happens, my only formal art training is a qualification in Technical Drawing, and perspective holds limitless fascination -- as Clem has said himself.

Brilliant, brilliant stuff.

Cheers

Jim
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Old 11-01-2009, 08:45 PM   #4
t_orzechowski
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Thank you for taking the time to break the process into easy steps, Clem!
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Old 11-02-2009, 12:22 AM   #5
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you mean, and tell you what you yourself have been doing beautifully for 36 years, tom?

you're welcome, for what that's worth.
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Old 11-02-2009, 01:41 AM   #6
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There's no end of Illustrator, and now FontLab, information I'm copying out from this site. The pen-and-ink work, no problem... making the most of my rather limited font library, nothing to it. But, the trial and error input from yourself and Nate, Thomas Mauer, Jamal and others I'm forgetting is something that ought to be compiled. Organized somehow. Indexed by someone with the patience of a saint. Sold for a modest fortune, proceeds divided by ratio of index hits.

Grief, I'd better start loading some images!
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