One Point Exterior Perspective Exterior in Photoshop

    ●   Learn to use a Vanishing Point to create the illusion of depth on a flat surface.

Learn About:

Horrizon Line Vanishing PointGradients Manipulate Lines

• This tutorial is part of the Face 2 Face project.

Other People's Work:

These are examples created by students following this tutorial.


Step #1: Open a New Document in Photoshop ~

Open a New Document in Photoshop and make it 800 x 600 - a standard size for computer generated content:


Select the Line Tool which is behind the Rectangle Tool …

… make sure Pixels is selected in "Pick tool mode" …

fill pixels

Draw a Horizon Line …

… put your Horizon Line anywhere you want, but it's generally a little below the center half of the page in the lower 1/3 of your composition area …

This will give the viewer a feeling that they are standing on the ground looking off into the distance.

Step #2: Vanishing Point ~

Click the Brush Tool or hit the keybord shortcut letter (B) …

brush tool

… put the vanishing point somewhere on the Horizon Line, close to the center.



The Vanishing Point is the point on the where parallel lines appear to converge in the distance.


The Horizon Line and Vanishing Point always meet!


Step #3: Perspective Lines ~

Using the Line Tool again - draw some perspective lines eminating from the Vanishing Point.





Make as many perspective lines as you like, above and below the horizon line.


Step #4: Select the Sidewalk ~

Get the Magic Wand Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (w) …

… and click inside the sidewalk area with the Magic Wand.

Step #5: Gradients ~

Select the Gradient Tool which is behind the Paint Bucket

… select your gradient color in the Gradient Picker

… and select Linear Gradient in the menu bar.

Drag the cursor across the selected area to fill it with the gradient.

Step #7: Finish the Sidewalk and Street ~

Do both sides of the sidewalk and the street

Don't be affraid to experiment with colors!

Click on the little arrow to open the Gradient picker window …

… click on and pick any gradient you want …

… and click Append.


Step #8: Buildings ~

Using the sidewalk as the base line to serve as the bottom of the buildings, get the Line Tool again, and, holding Shift to keep a straight line, drag straight down to the base line …

… next do the back of the building the same way.

Step #9: The Top of the Building ~

Now draw a horizontal line to simulate the top of the building.

Step #10: The Next Building ~

Draw the next building connected to the first one.

Step #11: Tops and Sides ~

Make tops and sides all around - it doesn't have to be Perfect ~ just keep going …

Step #11: Windows ~

Next, draw doors and windows with squares and rectangles.

Get Fancy! The roofs and bases of the buildings are along the perspective lines towards the vanishing point.

Step #12: Eraser ~

Get the Eraser Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (E) …

… set the Erasing Mode to Block

… and the first thing to erase is the top lines.

Using a combonation of the eraser and the line tool, clean up your scene and fill in with colors.

Last Step: Save and Attach ~

Go to: File > Save as …

Save your work as a .psd which stands for "Photoshop Document." This preserves the layers and allows you to work on them again later …