Creating a 3D Sketch from 2D Plans
An Easy Way To Build A Perspective Drawing Of A Building From A Floor Plan

This lesson is going to show how to take a simple 2 dimensional plan and turn it into a 3D perspective sketch. This will challenge your skills, so make sure you are comfortable with the other information we've covered so far.  Drawing a Floor Plan is the first step an architect or designer goes thru to design a space. Area sizes and placement are worked out in this phase. After the space plan is finished, 2D Elevations are created, showing what the outside of the building should look like. The floor plans and elevations are drawn flat as if they were viewed straight on with a telescope from far away. These drawings are done like this, so builders can see all the accurate dimensions and heights in order to estimate costs and build the project from the ground up.

Our Perspective drawing will bring these plans to life.

For this exercise, print out this floor plan and elevations. Save the image to your computer first and print from there. This is the design for your new Guest House. It has two rooms and the overall outside is 20 x 10 (don't be concerned whether the dimensions are in feet or meters for now). The wall height is 10. Wow, this kinda looks like the shoebox shape doesn't it?  If we were to view this building in 3D as if it had already been built, we would stand somewhere out front, at a Station Point and look at it from an angle as in this example.

On your copy of the elevations, draw a person in the doorway to give it some scale. Draw a horizon line thru the persons head to establish eye level.

Set-up your drawing board with a blank piece of tracing paper. Draw a horizon line. Notice the horizon line you drew on the elevation, it's close to being half the overall height of the house. 10 is the height of our building and we want to transfer that to the horizon line. Draw a vertical line somewhere thru the middle of the horizon line with the top and bottom being almost the same distance from the horizon line. This establishes the corner of the building that is closest to us, the viewer.

Now draw the side of the house using the side elevation as reference. Think about how the side of the shoebox looked because this is almost the same.

Now draw the front of the house using the front elevation as reference and thinking about the shoebox shape.

Your vanishing points may not end up being where mine are and that's OK. Your drawing will look similar. You are just guessing on how the front and side look in perspective based on instinct from knowledge from the previous lessons.

Using your freehand skills, draw in the door and windows. For an exact way to draw these openings, go to Shortcuts.

You have just completed what is called a Thumbnail Sketch, a small quick drawing to convey an idea. Excellent! Do you want to add some more stuff to your guest house to make it look even better? Proceed to part 2.

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