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Adobe® Illustrator® CS5 Classroom in a Book: Editing the Perspective Grid

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This excerpt from Adobe® Illustrator® CS5 Classroom in a Book shows you how to edit the Perspective Grid.

Note: This excerpt is from a draft manuscript and may not be representative of the final published work.

From the book

Next, you’ll learn how to edit the Perspective Grid. To edit the grid, you can either select the Perspective Grid tool or edit using the Define Grid menu item. You can make changes to the grid if you have content on the grid, although it may be easier to establish the grid settings before you add content. You can create only one grid per Illustrator document.

  1. With the Perspective Grid showing two-point perspective and the Perspective Grid tool () selected, drag the horizon line point down below the bottom of the blue sky to move the horizon down, as shown in the figure. The measurement label should show approximately 147 pt.
  2. The location of the horizon line indicates the observer’s eye level.

  3. With the Perspective Grid tool, drag the left ground level point up to move the whole Perspective Grid. Drag until the horizon line you adjusted in the previous step is lined up with the bottom of the blue sky.
  4. The ground level point allows you to drag the Perspective Grid to different parts of the artboard or to a different artboard altogether.

  5. With the Perspective Grid tool, drag the horizontal grid plane control point up a bit so that it’s closer to the horizon line.
  6. With the Perspective Grid tool, click and drag the Vertical Grid Extent point down to shorten the vertical extent.
  7. Making the vertical extent shorter can be a way to minimize the grid if you are drawing objects that are less precise, as you will see later in the lesson.

  8. Choose File > Save. Changes you make to the Perspective Grid are saved with this document only.
  9. Setting the grid up for your drawing is an important step. Next, you will access these changes using the Define Grid menu.

  10. Choose View > Perspective Grid > Define Grid.
  11. In the Define Perspective Grid dialog box, change the Units to Inches, and change the Gridline Every value to .3 in. Change the Viewing Distance to 7 in. The Viewing Distance is the distance between the observer and the scene.
  12. Notice that you can change the Scale of the grid, which you might want to do if real world measurements are involved. You can also edit settings like Horizon Height and Viewing Angle, which you can also edit on the artboard using the Perspective Grid tool. You can also experiment with the Grid Color & Opacity settings. When you have finished making changes, click OK.

  13. With the Perspective Grid tool, drag the left vanishing point to the left until it reaches the left horizon line point. Notice that this changes only the left (blue) grid on the two-point Perspective Grid.
  14. Choose Edit > Undo Perspective Grid Edit. You are able to undo most changes made to the Perspective Grid.
  15. Choose View > Perspective Grid > Lock Station Point. This locks the left and right vanishing points so that they move together.
  16. With the Perspective Grid tool, drag the left vanishing point to the left again, until it reaches the left Horizon Line point. Notice that this now changes both grids on the two-point Perspective Grid.
  17. Choose File > Save.
  18. Choose View > Perspective Grid > Lock Grid. This option restricts the grid movement and other grid editing features that use the Perspective Grid tool. You can change only the visibility and the grid plane position, which you will work with later in this lesson.

Now that the grid is locked into the correct position, you will begin creating your cityscape by adding content to it.

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