Daily Deviation
kiolia's avatar

Placing Figures in Perspective

By kiolia
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Edit: Obligatory "Holy smokes DD"! Thanks all :)

You've got environments, and you've got characters to place in them...but what if they're all standing in different points in space? How do you make sure they all look as tall as they are, or aren't? How do you make sure you don't have cars the size of buildings in the background? How do you make sure your skyscrapers don't look seven feet tall? Read the tutorial!

This is a principle I've seen abused too frequently, so I thought I'd put together something on how to make sure your figures and environments all agree from a perspective standpoint.

Note that you can do most or all of this using lines and vanishing points, but this is an easy bit of shorthand to make sure figures stay in proportion to each other, or to use when you're sketching.

I think I learned the general idea from an old issue of Draw! magazine, but this was all done out of my head. Therefore, please don't repost this, in whole or in part. Please do download it for your own use.

Check out one of my old comic pages and see this principle being abused in action: [link]

(C) James Pray 2010
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© 2010 - 2020 kiolia
Comments306
anonymous's avatar
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DDoornik's avatar
So helpful!  I knew my figures, drawn from multiple photo references, were misplaced in my drawing but I couldn't figure out what to do.  I'm drawing field workers; one is standing upright, the other two are bending at the waist.  I decided to use the belt line to determine where to place them in the picture plane, two and a half heads below the horizon.  Your instructions are very clear and I look forward to practicing more!  Thank you!!
SuperSarcosmic's avatar
SuperSarcosmicStudent General Artist
Useful, thank you!! I still have a really shaky understanding of where things are in relationship to each other, so this is fantastic. 
iamkathybrown's avatar
iamkathybrownHobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing! I make all my characters the same height because I don't know how to scale. Maybe now I finally can!
kiolia's avatar
kioliaHobbyist Writer
You can do it!
micma's avatar
James, you are an absolute legend! thanks for posting this.
kiolia's avatar
kioliaHobbyist Writer
Thank you, sir :)
NuSuKi's avatar
This is awesome. Thank you for sharing!
rahul808's avatar
rahul808Hobbyist General Artist
very helpful :) 
KronaRedrum's avatar
Thanks for sharing it!
kiolia's avatar
kioliaHobbyist Writer
You betcha!
FishingJB's avatar
FishingJBHobbyist General Artist
wow thanks for sharing it! I need this!
yellowis4happy's avatar
yellowis4happyHobbyist General Artist
This is so useful, wow! Thank you for making this!
KunoichiH29's avatar
KunoichiH29Student General Artist
awesome! It's a "simple" but complicated tip but I'm sure it makes a big difference in drawings! Thanks so much
Rifitika's avatar
RifitikaHobbyist Filmographer
This was very helpful.
Musou-Enrai's avatar
Nice! :) Great observations!
misterlewis's avatar
misterlewisHobbyist Digital Artist
Very helpful
Nick-Harris's avatar
Just what I need! Many Thanks.
jacobguide's avatar
Awesome!  Thanks!
Grusart's avatar
GrusartHobbyist General Artist
Gosh! Simple, and helpful! Thanks a bunch for making!
kiolia's avatar
kioliaHobbyist Writer
You betcha :)
DaIllestBeast's avatar
DaIllestBeastHobbyist Digital Artist
Amazing! Very helpful and I really needed this... thank you!
AngHuiQing's avatar
AngHuiQingProfessional
Oh my god I've been looking for this forever. You always see how to draw perspective with buildings but rarely with figures. This is going to help a lot more with my current issue. Thank you!
kiolia's avatar
kioliaHobbyist Writer
Hey, sure thing.  Enjoy!
anonymous's avatar
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