I'm trying to take something like this: Slanted 3D letter

And change the perspective so the base line can be flat like this: Flat letter

  • 3
    Could you specify what are you tried so far and what graphic apps do you have? – Sylwester Pilarz Jun 9 '18 at 6:57
  • I have Photoshop and Illustrator. I've tried using the Distort, Perspective, Warp, and Straighten tools from those apps. – Elizabeth Atkins Jun 9 '18 at 15:52

Photoshop and Illustrator haven't no Idea of the 3D structure of your blue N because your image is 2D. It's impossible to alter the perspective mechanically, some human reasoning is a must.

If your blue N was a 3D model in a 3D software, you would change the watching direction in a second. In Illustrator or Photoshop you must redraw or distortion transform every visible surface separately and draw from scratch all new visible surfaces. That's a hefty job, you would easily tinker one hour with a single letter - or hours, if you want the same fine curvature as the surfaces have in your examples.

My suggestion: Start from scratch and make the letters from typed ones with Illustrator's 3D extrusion (Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel). You will not get the same degree of fine details, but you will get something nearly right in few seconds. An example:

enter image description here

Note: Every setting in Extrude & Bevel dialog is essential. The lights define very much what is the contrast of the image.

If you want to flatten the result to normal drawing for adding something or changing colors, you must expand it (Object > Expand Appearance). Beware: You will often get a complex group of shapes and clipping masks.

High quality results with fine roundings and glosses without drawing them manually need proper 3D software with precision rendering.


Worth adding a couple of quick notes:


The N in your example image is not perfectly straight in either baseline or verticals - just slightly off in both - this adds just enough to the perspective to help "sell" the image - see image below.

If you go for a mechanically perfectly flat baseline and vertical, with perspective, your primary way of showing any perspective with some relief will be a significant vertical shift - in other words, looking partially downwards towards your letterform - if you go with the eyeline being at the centrepoint of the letterform with a 1-point perspective it will not feel at all natural unless your letterform has some serious depth - and even then it'll feel a bit strange - see second image below - the smaller "N". This is partially because with that kind of deep perspective 1-point view, you'd typically see major lens spherical distortion (the vertical edges would all bow outwards) and Illustrator's Bevel & Extrude tool doesn't do that. You could manually do that after the fact by expanding and running warps or distortions... but that makes for a destructive workflow.

N Persp n Rulers


You can get some edge beveling behaviour in the Illustrator 3D extrude & Bevel toolset (see image below) but as User287001 indicated in their excellent answer, for the kind of image in your second example (and possibly even your first) I'd guess there was a dedicated 3D DCC (Digital Content Creation) application in use.

N-3D-Bevel Demonstration

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