Horizon Line : perspective term

16 January, 2009

The horizon is represented by the point at which the sea and sky, or flat land and sky meet. This is the natural and true horizon. Then true horizon line is always at the level of your eyes and will change as you change the elevation of view. The higher the elevation of view, the higher the horizon line will be on the picture plane, showing more ground and less sky. The lower the elevation of view, the lower the horizon line will be on the picture plane, thus, more sky than ground will be seen. So, the position of the horizon line in the picture depends on the elevation from which we view the subject. Notice the change in position of appear on the canvas with the different elevations of view.

There are times when the true horizon line cannot be seen. A good example of this would be when we are in a room looking at a table with a box on it. The walls of the room hide the true horizon. Even though we can’t see it, it is there and must always be kept in mind in order to draw the subject correctly. Any object that is level and parallel to the ground plane will be affected by the horizon line.

Ground Line is not always the same as the horizon line. There are conflicting definitions of what this actually is, or is not, but it tends to be described as the flow or lay of the distant environment edge. Perspective Grid or Ground Plane with the vanishing points established on the horizon line, lines can be drawn on the ground back to these points to show the contours of the environment. In animation, this is a very crucial stage of background and character layout setup to ensure the characters stay solidly on the ground. When drawn correctly, this ground plane helps to define form. A hill is shown as a hill and not a flat surface. Many students tend to draw the horizon line at either the exact middle or at a high angle. The trick is to see this in your drawings and consciously lower the horizon line. Look at your own drawings to see how you draw.

Eye Level: The level at which you are standing and looking at an object is known as the eye level. A baby will see everything from the floor upward. A six-foot adult will see the same room from a higher point of view. A bird looking down on a city street will have a much greater eye level. Eye level and the horizon line are tied directly together. By changing the up or down level of where you look, the horizon line changes within our field of vision or picture.

A long, flat, country road is a good example. Safely, we stand in the middle of the road and look off into the distance where the road seems to vanish into a point (Vanishing Point) on the horizon line. Point of View: Point of view can be described as what you see from where you are looking. I cannot get any simpler than that. Station Point: Station point is the point from which the viewer is looking from. Line of Sight: Without going in to unnecessary detail, think of the line of sight as what can be seen from your point of view.

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