Work In Progress on Patreon: The Unified Field.


This past Thursday was the fifth Thursday of the month, and rather than doing my usual second online hangout, I decided to post some work in progress, panels from my upcoming book PERSPECTIVE IN ACTION, which will be published next year by Watson-Guptill, on my Patreon page.

David Chelsea is reading:
William Henry Harrison: The American Presidents Series: The 9th President,1841
by Gail Collins

This post announces to the world what I believe is a new discovery in perspective. For some years I have been working on what I call “The Unified Field”, a way to work out any angle of one- two- or three-point perspective within a single picture. It has always been a problem in constructing three-point perspective that there is no easy way to combine it in the same picture with one- or two-point perspective, or with a different angle of three-point perspective. When you rotate an object relative to its surroundings, the vanishing points rotate too, and must occupy new, very specific positions depending on the precise angle of rotation. Placing them wrongly introduces an unavoidable element of distortion.

In the past my efforts have involved drawing a large chart mapping out every possible vanishing point on multiple horizons, with lines between them making hyperbolic tracks in the sky. The problem is that if this involves every possible angle of perspective it becomes a very large chart indeed; because all vanishing point but the central one are at infinity in one-point perspective, angles of perspective that are very close to one-point will have vanishing points located at a ludicrous distance from the center of vision:


My other attempt at a visual representation of The Unified Field involved a complicated Escher-type globe on which the corners of multiply tilted cubes can be plotted, which I’m not sure even Escher could have made clear:


This time I have not a chart, but a method to find vanishing points that I believe will work in all cases.

The panels posted on Patreon should lay my method out with clarity, but basically it can be boiled down to this: the central vertical line in any three-point perspective, from the top horizon to the bottom vanishing point, covers 90° of the visual field. Two lines drawn from the top and bottom of that line, meeting at a 90° angle, establish a sideways measuring point. From that measuring point, the 90° corner can be tilted up or down to establish a position of a new horizon and bottom vanishing point. The length of the line between the measuring point and the top horizon can be rotated down to the central vertical line, and that point becomes a new measuring point to establish vanishing points on the top horizon.


While this may seem like advanced stuff, my hope is that this will simplify three-point perspective by turning it from a construction that must be drawn from scratch each time, to something that can be naturally built on top of an existing one- or two-point diagram. It is only embarrassing to me that I made this discovery so late, after already having written two books on the subject.


Also posted last Thursday on Patreon, the latest page of my continuing webcomic ARE YOU BEING WATCHED? In this one, Mugg is still visiting with the devil in Nigeria:


By the way, if you are coming late to ARE YOU BEING WATCHED?, or missed some weeks and want to catch up, check out the Tumblr archive, starting here.

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