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Tooning With Banes - The Horizon

Banes at 12:00AM, Feb. 11, 2021

The Horizon

Even though I've been drawing/cartooning for longer than I can remember, there are major holes in my knowledge. Even after a lifetime of drawing, and making hundreds of webcomic pages.

Luckily I found some great info while cruising around the ‘Net.

You may already know this stuff (and even say “well, duh!” to it), or you may not. Or if you’re anything like me (and Lord willing, for your sake, I hope you're not), you will know parts but not the whole thing - or haven't really thought about it.

Anyway - the horizon.

What is it?

If you've taken a road trip across the prairies or looked out at the ocean, you know it.
It's that line in the distance where the ground meets the sky.

What I didn't know before - hole in my knowledge #1 - is that the horizon line is also the EYELINE.

That's the height of your eyes - you being the observer of the drawing - and could also be considered the “camera”.

Our eyeline (the red arrow) happens to match the eye level of the character in this pic.

The other piece that blew my mind - and the reason for this article - is that the eyeline will be at the same level on all characters, no matter how close or far away from the ‘camera’ they are.

It makes sense when you think about it - which I never had.

Instead of just eyeballing these kinds of shots - so to speak - the horizon/eyeline is a quick reference to work from when you're drawing things that are further away. Very handy!

(of course, this presupposes that the characters are all the same height, and that the ground is level. If not, you adjust accordingly).

The camera - and therefore the eyeline can move, obviously.

Now we're seeing a lot more sky, and a lot less ground. Notice how the horizon crosses all the characters at the WAIST, now, no matter how close or far away they are from the camera.

The horizon line can even disappear from the frame altogether - a bird's eye view will see it disappear below the panel, while a worm's eye view will have it vanish above the panel. Cool!

Okay! That's it!

Again, this might be obvious to many of you. But I hope it was helpful to some of you. It was to me when I found it!

Have a good one,




cdmalcolm1 at 8:18PM, Feb. 11, 2021

cool. Same thing can be told with light sources on objects on a plain.

area5_1 at 8:51AM, Feb. 11, 2021

Nicely illustrated.

Avart at 7:28AM, Feb. 11, 2021

Thank you Banes, as you said we know a bit of this and that but not the whole thing. And we need to keep updating our knowledge.

Andreas_Helixfinger at 2:45AM, Feb. 11, 2021

I second Hushicho's comment. This is a very helpful piece of info your providing us here, Banes👍

hushicho at 12:44AM, Feb. 11, 2021

Great tips to keep in mind, and much simpler than looking at perspective, which usually overwhelms new artists. I love this! Thank you for letting people know about this very handy thing to remember!

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