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How to Make Use of Perspective Drawing in Anime and Manga?

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"Drawing is an illustration of the soul. The better you draw, the stronger your soul gets." - P.S. Tavishi

Perspective Drawing is the representation of an image as it is seen by a human eye. Synonym with linear projection, such drawing is based on a principle that the objects begin to appear smaller with their increasing distance from the viewer. When the distance becomes too large, the objects appear to meet at a single point, called the vanishing point.

In art, it is inevitable to make very precise use of perspective. It gives the image depth and volume, and make it look more realistic.

This article will help you learn the basics of perspective drawing. Alongside, it also explains how you can apply these lessons to anime and manga.

Example of Perspective Drawing for Anime and Manga

Example of Perspective Drawing for Anime and Manga

Example of Perspective Drawing for Anime and Manga

At first, the drawing appears to be a complex work of perception. However, it is relatively easy and more straightforward than what you actually see in manga and anime.

Once you have the knack for perspective drawing, you can draw such scenes within no time. Since the usage of images, at times, can get you caught in copyright laws, it's a good idea to draw something of your own and add the piece to your article. So, even if you aren't interested in becoming a manga artist, you can still practice this lesson to improve your sketching.

Fundamentals of Perspective Drawing

Fundamentals of Perspective Drawing

Fundamental of Perspective Drawing

The chessboard example is one of the most basic perspective drawings you can think of. You can observe how the board and character sizes are shrinking with distance. You can continue drawing the board along with characters until they merge into a single point.

No Perspective vs Perspective Drawing

No Perspective vs Perspective Drawing

No Perspective vs Perspective Drawing

What will happen if you avoid using any perspective in your drawing? I think the difference is pretty clear by seeing the above image. In image A, no perspective is used. As a result, it seems the lady is sitting over the top of the table, in fact, it doesn't even look like a table. The complete scenery is weird, to say the least.

On the other hand, in image B, perspective drawing is used. As a result, you can easily figure out the lady is sitting near the table and some utensils are kept over the table for her.

As you can see, the use of perspective techniques gives a realistic edge to the image. It enhances its volume and portrays it into a three-dimensional picture.

By Cristina Zoica Dumitru

By Cristina Zoica Dumitru

Types of Perspective Drawing

As illustrated by Cristina Zoica Dumitru, there are three types of perspective drawing. The types vary by the number of vanishing points they have, in short, "VP".

  1. In a one-point perspective, the perception ends at a single vanishing point.
  2. In a two-point perspective, the perception of an object can be processed from different ends with two different views.
  3. In a third-point perspective, there are three or more ways to look at an object.
One-Point Perspective

One-Point Perspective

Examples of One-Point Perspective

Examples of One-Point Perspective are the simplest of all. It includes:

  1. Walking on a straight road
  2. Looking exactly at the front of a building
  3. Observing the hallway in your home from a single location

Two-Point Perspective

Two-Point Perspective

Examples of Two-Point Perspective

To know if an object lies in the two-point perspective category, you can place it on a horizontal line and see if it converges at two points. If it does, then it's an example of a 2P perspective as shown in the above image by Christina. Some examples include:

  1. Buildings
  2. Interiors

Hint: Anything that appears to form a triangle from the bird's-eye view is highly likely to have a two vanishing point when viewed from the front.

Three-Point Perspective

Three-Point Perspective

Examples of Three-Point Perspective

As you must have already realized, a three-point perspective is the most complicated of all. It is often called the multi-point perspective as well. The most common example of this perspective is buildings when viewed from above. However, almost every entity that you can think of highly-likely falls in this category.

Three-Point Perspective is the base of drawing manga and anime. It includes one-point as well as two-point techniques. The video below demonstrates a drawing of a simple building in a three-point style. You should start with this tutorial to gain an idea of how things work on a broader spectrum.

Make yourself a master of perspective, then acquire perfect knowledge of the proportions of men and other animals.

— Leonardo da Vinci

How to Design Anime Characters using Perspective Drawing

How to Design Anime Characters using Perspective Drawing

How to Design Anime Characters using Perspective Drawing

The very basic example of perspective drawing with respect to anime characters is when a character is standing a little in front of another character. In other words, one is in the foreground, while the other is in the background. The method is pretty simple and can be broken down into a few steps as follows:

(Considering the characters are standing in a one-point perspective setting such as a hallway or a road)

  1. Draw the respective vertical lines for both the characters you want to project.
  2. Focus on the vanishing point of the setting. Draw the lines above and below from that point such that they cross the vertical lines of both the characters from top and bottom both.
  3. Finally, draw a horizontal line crossing the vanishing point and draw your characters between those divided sections.

To make it simpler, here's a video to guide you through the process.

This is a basic example of drawing anime characters in perspective. To make it harder and more competitive, you can try drawing characters from different angles such as top-view, bottom-view, side-view, and so on.

The image below is also an exemplary way of showing a three-point perspective. In this, the character is drawn smaller in comparison to the sword because of their distance from the front. In place of a sword, you can also draw anime with a book, punch, or whatever that makes them appear shorter in the background.

Souji Mitsuka from Ore, Twintail ni Narimasu (Gonna be the Twin-Tail!!)

Souji Mitsuka from Ore, Twintail ni Narimasu (Gonna be the Twin-Tail!!)

© 2020 PS Tavishi

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