I was trying to practice finding vanishing points in different images, and most tuts I followed showed images with at least some rigid surfaces like a table or something, but, I found a particular image, that I think has only one vanishing point, but am not quite sure how to plot the vanishing point of. How do you suggest I plot vanishing points for such images?

EDIT: I need to find the vanishing point and the horizon line because, in blender there is a tool that allows you to set the focal length of the camera feeding in these two data, and I'm unable to do so in the specific cases of such images as below:


2 Answers 2


Nope. There is not only one vanishing point. There is an infinite number of them.

You are thinking in terms of a cityscape where we have orthogonal walls. Each wall has its own set of vanishing points.

But when you have a natural organic landscape you do not have clear angles, so forget about them. That is why you do not see clear vanishing points.

A segment of the ice has one until it changes direction, until it changes size, until... it is better not to think on segmented vanishing points at all...

Let's imagine there are some towns on the horizon. If I choose to build a road for them, I would build a road with parallel edges. But as you can see I can build different roads, each with its own perspective.

The yellow and the red lead to the same town, but they have a different perspective. The red one looks as if the camera is lower on the ground.

The orange and the blue leads to different towns on the horizon. And all of them could be feasible.

enter image description here

We are used for a two-point perspective because we live in a rectangular constructed world, A room, a table, a city block. We are used to having parallel lines.

So let's try to put a rectangular base, probably for a small building.

The (A) image does look odd. Let's find out why.

We are assuming that the horizon is flat. If I draw some perspective lines to the horizon and one of the 90° border (closer to the camera) we can see that the other two are off (B). We simply need to correct them (C)

enter image description here

But this does not mean that they are the only vanishing points.

Here is a different perspective with different vanishing points with different "focal lengths" and the plane is really on the ground based on its own arbitrary vanishing points.

enter image description here

So. There is not only one vanishing point. There are endless ones. But you can only apply them to two (or more) parallel lines. Once you establish an artificial construction, the vanishing point will only work for that construction or additional constructions that use the same parallel lines.

As in nature we do not have intentional parallel lines there are no defined vanishing points, or there are a lot of undefined ones... The only line you have is the horizon, the rest of the grid is not defined.

Some exceptions could be a series of straight trees. They can be in fact parallel, so if you have an aerial shoot, or a shot inside the forest upwards, you can have one finishing point.

enter image description here

Light rays from the sun on a forest or thru the clouds can be also vanishing points, but only for the position of more rays, not the overall landscape.

enter image description here

One option is to imagine a 1 point perspective that feels right. You have the horizon, sometimes not too clear because you could have a mountain hiding it, but feel the overall sensation on where it is.

From there "feel" how high the camera is, based on whatever elements you have in the scene, how the trees are diminishing in size, imagine if the grid you are constructing "fells on the ground". Now the perspective will not match the individual elements, but at least you have defined some basic rules.

In the next images, the height of the camera is different, so you need to choose which one feels better for you.

enter image description here

Images from pixabay.com

Complementary post: At what point does 1 point perspective become 2 point perspective?

  • you see I need the vanishing points and a horizon the adjust the focal length of the camera in blender to perform camera mapping, so I was trying to find it..... is it really impossible? Commented Oct 13, 2018 at 16:51
  • I don't know that "organic" has anything to do with it - rocks are inorganic but similarly don't have a single vanishing point Commented Oct 13, 2018 at 16:57
  • @mathmaniage please add this info to the question. I will expand the specific case on my answer later (When I arrive home)
    – Rafael
    Commented Oct 13, 2018 at 17:04
  • @Rafael , I've added the information. Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 2:53
  • @Rafael , here's how it's usually done: youtube.com/watch?v=yeWzQYh7iH0, but, landscapes no clue Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 2:57

Most of us can see it and mathematicians have also proven that in a perfect 2D perspective image of a 3D scene any set of parallel lines seem to point towards a single point which is called the vanishing point.

Every set of parallel lines have their own vanishing point. That point depends also on the used imaging method and its parameters.

Vanishing points are useful tools for artists when they construct a drawing which has ordinary buildings and straight roads. That environment in 3D has plenty of parallel line sets. Vanishing points help to draw those parallel line sets, as you obviously have learned.

Trying to figure out vanishing points for something else than sets of parallel lines, is mathematically nonsense. If an artistically oriented person some day tells that he can see the vanishing points also for curved forms, I do not claim he is lying or he has taken something. His own experience can bypass the limits what's defined exactly in math. Unfortunately we have no language to describe experiences exactly.

  • I agree with @user287001, but would add: for some curve sequences which are inter-related in natural landscape images (contours, river banks, beaches etc) you can derive implied parallel lines which run tangent to those curves, and in averaging those, you can end up with some generalised vanishing points - but it's messy and imprecise perforce, and most frequently is of limited utility. For OP's specific use, I would draw onto a copy of the image some linear elements by hand, using artistic judgement, use that in Blender's photomatch, and replace image afterwards. Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 16:42

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