The boxes to the left to the tracks in the one-point perspective example have
one face perfectly aligned parallel to the picture plane. This is a limitation of
one point perspective. Another problem with this technique is that objects
become more distorted the further they are from the vanishing point, as can be
seen with the far left box in the example.
One of the central concepts of
linear perspective is that
parallel lines in nature appear
to converge (come together)
as they recede.
The apparent convergence of
parallels occurs at eye level.
“Look here, man, shouldn’t that be the other way around?”
This example of railroad tracks is a classic example of one-point perspective.
If you were to stand in the center of a straight stretch of railroad track, you could
look down the rails until they appear to finally converge. The point of convergence
is called the vanishing point. Presuming the ground is flat, the vanishing point will
be located on the horizon line.
Eye level and the rate of convergence:
If you had a view of the track from the top of an engine, you
would see the tracks converging at a slow rate toward a high
vanishing point (a). If, however, you were tied to the railroad
track, you would see the tracks converging sharply to a low
vanishing point (b).