Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Parallel and Perspective Projection

Parallel vs Perspective Projection

Drawing is a visual art that has been used by man for self-expression throughout history. It uses pencils, pens, colored pencils, charcoal, pastels, markers, and ink brushes to mark different types of medium such as canvas, wood, plastic, and paper.

It involves the portrayal of objects on a flat surface such as the case in drawing on a piece of paper or a canvas and involves several methods and materials. It is the most common and easiest way of recreating objects and scenes on a two-dimensional medium.

To create a realistic reproduction of scenes and objects, drawing uses two types of projection: parallel projection and perspective projection. What humans usually see is perspective projection. We see a horizon wherein everything looks small, and we see bigger things when they are nearer to us.

Perspective projection is seeing things larger when they’re up close and smaller at a distance. It is a three-dimensional projection of objects on a two-dimensional medium such as paper. It allows an artist to produce a visual reproduction of an object which resembles the real one.

The center of projection in a perspective projection is a point which is at a distance from the viewer or artist. Objects located at this point appear smaller and will appear bigger when they are drawn closer to the viewer. Perspective projection produces a more realistic and detailed representation of an object allowing artists to create scenes that closely resemble the real thing. The other type of projection which is also used aside from perspective projection is parallel projection.

Parallel projection, on the other hand, resembles seeing objects which are located far from the viewer through a telescope. It works by making light rays entering the eyes parallel, thus, doing away with the effect of depth in the drawing. Objects produced using parallel projection do not appear larger when they are near or smaller when they are far. It is very useful in architecture. However, when measurements are involved, perspective projection is best.
It provides an easier way of reproducing objects on any medium while having no definite center of projection. When it is not possible to create perspective projection, especially in cases where its use can cause flaws or distortions, parallel projection is used.

Several types of parallel projection are the following:

Orthographic projection
Oblique projection
Cavalier projection
Cabinet projection


1.Perspective projection is representing or drawing objects which resemble the real thing while parallel projection is used in drawing objects when perspective projection cannot be used.
2.Parallel projection is much like seeing objects through a telescope, letting parallel light rays into the eyes which produce visual representations without depth while perspective projection represents objects in a three-dimensional way.
3.In perspective projection, objects that are far away appear smaller, and objects that are near appear bigger while parallel projection does not create this effect.
4.While parallel projection may be best for architectural drawings, in cases wherein measurements are necessary, it is better to use perspective projection.

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  1. While parallel projection may be best for architectural drawings, in cases wherein measurements are necessary, it is better to use perspective projection.

    Are you sure about this statement..?
    I think its just the reverse.

    • Tony is correct. Parallel projection is used in engineering and architecture for this exact reason – to allow for measurement and specification on a depiction that is not distorted.

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