Fun with Perspective

Perspective for Video Games

Retronator magazine has a couple of great posts on the subject of Perspective. There’s a solid intro, then a more in depth follow-up.

I say perspective, but its actually “graphical projections”, that is, variations on the theme of three dimensional space depicted in two dimensions, i.e., a flat surface. As the article points out,

“Drawing is a much more technical skill than people give it credit. You don’t need to be ‘artistic’ or ‘creative’ or ‘gifted by gods with talent’ to do it. Sure, there are big creative parts to making artwork (what to draw, how a viewer should feel, how to stylize things—to name just a few), but drawing things is very learnable, mathematical even.

Going from your childhood drawings to things that look more correct has a lot to do with geometry. Even if you’re not doing photorealistic drawings, following the mathematical rules of how we see our 3D world makes things much more believable, immersive.”

The article then goes through various 3-d-ish projections that are used in video games to simulate the real world by using bits and pieces of the rules of perspective. It seems a bit complicated, as the author uses words like “curvilinear” and “matrices” and “Axonometric”, but the examples are visual and its not that difficult to understand the points he’s making regarding the various ways of manipulating perspective.

In video games, the key is to keep it simple, after all.