Drawing a One-Point Perspective Using the Office Method


One-Point Perspective.jpg

This workflow describes the process of drawing the simplest form of perspective, a one-point projection, using the 'office' method of projecting from plan and elevational information.
Uses Tool(s) Drafting Board
Some or all of the information on this page is incomplete, incorrect, irrelevant or confusing. Please help clean it up if you are able.
This tutorial defines an appropriate topic and goal, but fails to adequately cover the techniques required to meet this goal. A set of step-by-step images and tutorial videos are required.

The wide-scale introduction of computers in the design studio has largely rendered the production of hand-drawn perspectives unnecessary. The skills and conceptual grasp of projective geometry that is required to perform this task, however, remain very much relevant and form an excellent basis for mastering more complex 3d modeling operations.

Terminology: the following terminology will be used to bring us through a drawing example. While some of them may seem confusing, they will likely make more sense as we begin drawing: (terminology from Mo Zell's Architectural Drawing Course)

  • Station Point (SP): Location of the observer in space
  • Picture Plane (PP): Transparent plane that intersects the cone of vision
  • Sightline (SL): A line that extends from the Station Point at eye level through the Picture Plane.
  • Horizon Line: This line depicts the eye level of an average height viewer. Typically this is about 5ft above the ground plane.
  • Cone of Vision (CV): The conical volume that is the viewable area from the Station Point. Typically considered to be a 60-degree cone from the eye.
  • Measuring Line (ML): This is the only line that can be measured as a true dimension, same scale as the measured drawing from which the perspective is produced (typically a plan).
  • Vanishing Point: A point on the horizon line where parallel horizontal lines converge.


Set Up Plan

Rotate so that the back wall is parallel to the Picture Plane. Lay trace or vellum over the secured plan.

Set Up Picture Plane

Draw the Picture Plane line over the back wall. Draw lines extending from the Station Point to the Picture Plane (60 degrees).

Establish Horizon Line

Draw the Horizon Line and Vanishing Point further down on the tracing paper. The Horizon line is located anywhere below the Picture Plane. The Station Point and the Vanishing Point are aligned vertically because this is a single point perspective.

True Measure Line

The back wall can be drawn according to scale, almost like an elevation. Create a measuring line to match the scale of the plan with the perspective drawing. This measuring line can be constructioned along the intersection from where CV and the interior walls. Attain the correct measurements from an associated section drawing. Vertical construction lines can be extended downwards to the perspective drawing for reference locations.

Establish Vanishing Point

Draw the vanishing point by connecting a line from the top and bottom of the wall to the VP. (These lines should be from the measuring line created earlier) Draw a vertical construction line down from the point of intersection between the PP and the CV. This creates the far edges of the wall.

Geometry Construction

Continue to draw any interior edges of the walls by connecting the SP to the piont on the plan, extending the line vertically down from the PP.

Common Problems