Day of personal projects leads to creation of an aid for geometric drawing

Epic artist makes tool to exercise drawing skills

A staff member at Epic Games has created a free-to-use art tool during a one-day creative holiday.

Senior environment artist Warren Marshall created the tool, which is called Carapace, out of a desire to “refine his manual drawing skills”.

Marshall is both highly technical and artistic, he felt the need to revisit the basics and learn more about perspective.

“Gotta grind those fundamentals,” he said on Epic’s community blog. Speaking about how making perspective grids by hand can be frustrating, he added: “The programmer in me wanted to do something cooler. Enter Epic Friday!”

Epic Fridays are monthly days off intended to give its employees a break from ongoing tasks and offer them the chance to work on personal projects. It was during the latest of these that Marshall created his art tool.

Marshall describes the app as “a simple program that lets you place vanishing points around an image placeholder to flesh out the shell of your drawing. Shell, carapace… Get it?”

Carapace allows users to place up to nine vanishing points or as few as one. One-, two- and three-point perspective grids are possible along with some extras to accommodate any odd angles in a scene.

“Carapace can also determine the perspective of existing images,” said Marshall.

“Say you have a piece of concept art that you want to paint over or add something to it. If you can’t work out the perspective, you can use this program to load the image and lay down trace lines. With two trace lines on the screen, hitting a hot key will place a vanishing point at the intersection spot. This saves you trying to figure out where to place the vanishing points by clicking and dragging and guessing.”

You can see a short tutorial video by Marshall on Epic’s community page and Carapace can be downloaded here for free.

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