15 Sep The Perspective Ruler in Manga Studio
The Perspective Ruler in Manga Studio is very possibly the best and most useful feature you will find. It is the perfect companion for comic artists, both amateur and professional. Thank’s to this tool, there is no need to do long and tedious perspective template setups, and for those who lack the experience of drawing in perspective, the ruler is the perfect learning resource. Let’s explore it and unleash its full potential!
The following text is a transcript from the video above. You can go ahead and watch it. It will be easier to understand and it will take only a few minutes of your time. But if you are old school and prefer to do all the reading, feel free to do so!
Setting up The Ruler
Drawing in perspective had never been as easy as it is now thanks to the perspective rulers of Manga Studio.
To activate them, we must go to the Layer Menu, and select Ruler -Frame. Then, we will choose the option Create Perspective Ruler.
In this pop-up we can decide whether we want a one point, two point or three point perspective.
By selecting any of this options, the software will prepare the ruler for us. By default the Create new Layer option will be selected, and it will set the ruler upon a new layer. This layer will have the Show in all Layers option activated, and we will be able to reference it in any layer we work in.
If the Create new Layer option is deselected, the ruler will appear in the default layer of the document, and it will be set up to Show only when editing target. Because of this option, we won’t be able to snap to the ruler in any other layer, unless we change this parameter to Show in all layers.
Properties of the Perspective Ruler
To control the ruler we will need to make use of the Operation tool. When we click on it, we will see many intersecting guides, and a great number of icons along them.
The blue line in the middle of the ruler  is the Horizon Line and it must be thought of as the Eye Level of the viewer. We can change the height from where the viewer will see the scene by clicking the green square  and moving it up or down. This line will be the snapping guide for every horizontal line we draw.
The blue points on the Eye Level [A, B] are the vanishing points. In One Point Perspective there will be just one, in Two Point Perspective there will be two, and in Three Point Perspective there will be three; the third one being all the way up, sometimes even outside the document.
These Vanishing Points have each two sets of guides [A1, A2, B1, B2]. All the lines we draw on the document, when the Snap to Ruler option is enabled, will follow the direction of these guides to meet their vanishing points.
The vertical line  is the guide responsible for the snapping for every vertical line we draw.
Adjusting the perspective rulerThe three icons in a row  are the main controllers of the ruler. The big cross [+] symbol allows us to re-position the ruler, being able to move it anywhere we want in the canvas. The small cross [+] symbol moves the main controllers individually, letting us get them out of the way if they are distracting.
The circle [○] between the two crosses  helps us move each guide to the position of our choosing. Meanwhile, the two crosses [+] will move the connected guides and their vanishing point simultaneously.
The two crosses on the Eye Level  will rotate it with the vanishing points at the same time. Like if we were tilting our head sideways.The [♢] diamond is a switch, that activates or deactivates the snap to ruler option when clicked. Notice how the guides become green? This means the snapping is unabled. Even if we see the icon on the top bar activated, we won’t be able to use this ruler unless we enable the snapping, by clicking the diamond again.
There are several other diamonds in the ruler, one for each guide. By clicking them we can disable individual vanishing points, maintaining the snap to ruler feature for the vanishing points that remain active.
Remember: Every time a guide is green, it means it’s unable.
In the panel to the left, we can find many options for the perspective ruler. The most remarkable one is the option of grid. By activating it, we will display a grid in perspective.
This grid is very useful, because it helps us to understand a little better the perspective environment we are creating, and we can use it as a snap ruler if we activate the Snap to grid option on the top.
We can see now, how by elevating the Eye Level we see the floor further from us, and if we lower it we see the floor from up-close.
The grid is a great tool, because it allow us to measure in perspective. The grid is made of perfect squares. We can change the size of the squares to make them bigger or smaller. We can use the squares to measure distances, or to easily see the areas where the distortion created by the perspective will affect our drawing.
The position of the grid can also be adjusted to match a specific position. To move it, we will select the green circle and drag it around. Be careful not to mistake the green circle of the grid with the green square of the Eye Level. The circle will only be visible when the grid is active.
The perspective ruler can be use with any drawing tool from the pencil tool, the pen tool, the brush tool, the airbrush tool and the decoration tool. It can also work both in vector and in raster layers. The eraser is an exception, and it will not be affected by the perspective ruler.
But there are other tools that can be used with the perspective rulers, that will dramatically help speed up the drawing process.
Selection tools, such as the Rectangle, Ellipse and Polyline marquee can snap to the perspective ruler just like any other drawing tool. And so can most of the tools in the Figure panel. We can use the Direct Draw tool such as the Rectangle, the Polygon or the Ellipse shapes and put them into perspective with just one click. The same happens to the Frame border tools, that will allow us to make comic frames in perspective.
Coming Very Soon…
This is all there is to know about the perspective ruler! If you want to learn more about perspective, check out our course in perspective drawing. We will start publishing them from October of 2015!
See you then!
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