Illustrator Perspective Grid

by Design Workshop Sydney

The Perspective Grid tool is a handy function in Adobe Illustrator for creating perspective drawings or in order to map two-dimensional artwork onto drawn planes. We explore this tool in our Adobe Illustrator training courses.Illustrator-perspective-grid
First go to the File menu and create a new document, A4 size page, for example, with a landscape format. Return to the File menu and select Place then browse to a drawn sketch. Now we click on the Perspective Grid tool in the Toolbox to create the Perspective Grid overlaid onto the drawing.
Go to the View menu and choose Perspective Grid. Note that here we can have either one, two or three-point grids. If at any point we happen to lose the control grips on the grid, we simply press Shift and the letter P on the the keyboard. The two main settings are the Ground line and the Horizon line, so we want to adjust these until they match the lines on the overlaid sketch, especially that of the central horizon line. This will be the equivalent of the viewer’s eye-level. We can adjust these by simply moving the diamond-shaped grips upwards and downwards.
We can also move the circular anchor points to the left or the right to adjust the Vanishing Points and the size of the Grid. Note that these Vanishing Points are always on the horizon line. Also note the colours of the grid – we have Blue on the left, Red on the right, and Green on the bottom ground (or horizontal plane). Note also how this corresponds to the planes on the Active Plane gizmo on the top left.
Make sure that the grid matches your sketch or photo, and simply use the various shape and line tools to create the shapes of the buildings. Note that the Active Plane gizmo is on the top left. You can control which plane you’re working on by selecting the plane first then draw with your tools. To create a shape not on the grid, click in the circular area. To move an object to another plane we click and drag with the Perspective Grid tool whilst hitting the 1, 2, 3 or 4 key on the keyboard, or on the cube itself.
Symbols may also be dragged onto planes. Text does not work on the grid, however. We have to create it then select and drag onto a plane as we would move an object above.
Whether you’re a complete beginner or self-taught, our courses will help you gain self-confidence in your Illustrator workflow, as well as adding to your professional skill-set. Many more tips and techniques can be found at the Adobe website. And see many examples of our clients’ work on our Facebook page.
Other related Illustrator Blog Posts:
Illustrator workspace
Illustrator basics
Illustrator clipping masks
Illustrator live trace
Illustrator brushes