Three Point Perspective

Three Point Perspective from a Low Eye Level (mouse-over to view)

Three Point Perspective is the most complex form of perspective drawing. Three point perspective uses three sets of orthogonal lines and three vanishing points to draw each object.

Click here to view the full illustration with all the vanishing points displayed.

This technique is most commonly used when drawing buildings viewed from a low or high eye-level. The low eye level in our illustration above creates the illusion that its box shape is towering above us. It naturally gives it the scale of a tall building.

In one and two point perspective, the picture plane is fixed at right angles to the ground plane. In three point perspective, the picture plane seems to be set at an angle as the viewer tends to tilt their head back or forward to look up or down from the eye level.

As a consequence, the vertical transversal lines, which were parallel in one and two point perspective, now appear to recede. They form a third set of orthogonal lines, which rise from the ground plane and eventually meet at vanishing point 3, high above the picture plane.

Three Point Perspective from a High Eye Level
Three Point Perspective from a High Eye Level

Three point perspective is also used when drawing an object from a high eye level as in our illustration above. It creates the illusion of looking down from a high viewpoint.

This drawing process is simply a reversal of the method used for drawing a box from a low eye level.