Week 1: Basic ShapeS

Basic Perspective: Pitch

Pitch refers to the amount that a plane is foreshortened. In this section, we refer to planes as foreshortened circles. As was taught earlier, the greater the pitch, the narrower or flatter the ellipse.

Pitch: The ellipse closest to the viewer (bottom left ellipse) is more foreshortened than the back ellipse (the ellipse farthest away from the viewer) and therefore has more pitch. Consequently, it is narrower than the back ellipse.

  • Pitch: The ellipses that are closer to the eye level (the top ellipses) are more foreshortened than the bottom ellipses and therefore have more pitch. Consequently, the top ellipses are more flat than the bottom ellipses.

  • Pitch: Another example of ellipses which are more foreshortened as they get closer to the eye level (the top ellipses) as their pitch increases.


Changing Pitch


Notice as the eye level is lowered on this roll of tape from step 1 to step 7, that the ellipses become more foreshortened, have greater pitch, and are consequently flatter.

Note that the corresponding cast shadow of the tape also becomes more foreshortened, has greater pitch, and therefore is a flatter shape.


As one would expect, the pitch of the ellipses of this cup change with an eye leve changel. Note that the cast shadow is more foreshortened and also that the angle of the cast shadow shape changes as well with the difference in eye level.