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    Build a 2-Point Perspective Grid in Illustrator

    Maggie AppletonMaggie Appleton

    In this lesson we're going to build a 2-point perspective grid in Illustrator by setting up a simple horizon line with two vanishing points. We'll save the grid as an illustrator symbol so that you can easily reuse it again in future illustration projects.

    In the end you'll have a symbol saved in Illustrator that you can place into any illustration you're working on. Or easily import it into Photoshop, Procreate, and other programmes.

    I also demonstrate how to quickly build a set of cubes inside of the grid, to give you a sense of how easy it is to construct a realistic perspective scene using the grid guidelines.

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    Transcript

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    Instructor: 00:00 Select the pen tool, erase your fill, and set your stroke color to a light blue. We're first going to draw our horizon line by clicking, holding down shift, and clicking again to create a straight line. Make sure it's nice and long.

    00:14 We're now going to select our line and hit the rotate tool. We want to move our point of origin from the center to the edge here that's going to be our first vanishing point. To do that, we're going to hold down alt and click here on the end.

    00:25 Now, in our rotate panel, we're going to type in five degrees, and hit copy. We're now going to hit command-D to repeat that action, which is going to create a fan of guide lines out from our origin point.

    00:35 We're now going to select all our lines by clicking and dragging, and hitting command-G to group them all together. Now, they're all one unit. We're going to zoom out a bit here, grab our group of guide lines, and copy it over by holding down alt.

    00:48 We're now going to right-click, hit transform, and then reflect, which brings up this panel. We want to reflect it vertically here. That's all correct. Hit OK, and now, we have our two vanishing points that make up two-point perspective.

    01:01 Now, we just need to drag these out so that they overlap, like this. We're now going to select both of these, right-click, and hit reflect again, except at this point, we're going to go horizontally, and click copy.

    01:18 Now, if we hold down shift and move this into place, you can see we now have a full two-point perspective grid. If I zoom in here, this would be our working area. I'll zoom out, select everything, and we're going to knock that stroke down, because it's quite thick.

    01:31 If you get it to a 025, you can see it's much lighter, and we're going to have an easier time using this as guide lines. Now, to be able to reuse these later, we want to select everything, come over here to our symbols panel, and hit make new symbol.

    01:47 We're going to type in two-point grid, and this is going to be a graphic. It's a static symbol. Hit OK, and now, it's saved for us for later. If I want to use this immediately, in my layers panel, I can just lock down this layer, and then I can make my illustration up here on layer two.

    02:08 Now, I'm just building some very simple cubes inside of our perspective grid. While cubes aren't the most exciting thing to draw, they're incredibly important for putting things in correct perspective. You can put almost anything you want to draw inside of a cube.

    02:20 Being able to draw cubes correctly in perspective is the first step to being able to draw anything correctly. You can see how much easier it is to make sure the lines and points are in the right place when we have guide lines set up.

    02:32 Try filling in your own grid with a whole variety of different sized cubes, just to get a feel for how quick and easy it is to build a scene with dramatic perspective using this technique.

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