If you do a lot of perspective illustrations or technical drawings in Illustrator, and don’t want to use a fully formed CAD tool, then HotDoor Perspective is an ideal purchase.
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HotDoor perspective is a plug-in for Adobe Illustrator that, as the name suggests, adds an easy-to-use perspective-drawing capability to Illustrator 8 or later. It creates a guide layer that allows you to constrain lines to the vanishing points of a one-point, two-point or three-point perspective. As well as perspective grids, you can also create isometric projections (for instance, 30 degree) and oblique projections (where the depth of a 3D object is represented at a 45-degree angle). I t’s simple to use – accessible as a palette from the window menu – and allows you to switch between the various perspective and other projections easily. Determining the vanishing points is done using a number of sliders, which set where the horizon should be, and then the angle of the grid lines that converge on the Vanishing Point. As well as the control-panel palette, HotDoor Perspective also adds a Cylinder and Cuboid primitive tool to the tool palette. Using these allows you to quickly create the representations of 3D shapes that conform to the projection you have set-up. If you change the projection, they will change as well. HotDoor Perspective compares favourably to FreeHand 9’s built-in perspective support, being easier to use, and, also, better integrated with the rest of the application. FreeHand’s Perspective control feels horribly bolted on, is tricky to use, lacks the isometric and oblique projections, and has no object primitives. Perspective, although a plug-in, fits in with the rest of the application perfectly. However, a couple of features would give the plug-in more usefulness, such as a greater number of primitive shapes, for example cones, spheres and pyramids. Also, the cylinder tool seems to work only lying on its side. Secondly, it would be great if all shapes that were constrained to the perspective grid could be moved and stay constrained to the grid.