Perspective or Parallel projection?

I often read posts saying we should model in Perspective rather than Parallel Projection but I do not understand the advantage this offers and I am keen to learn.

Personally - I work almost exclusively in Parallel projection often switching to standard camera views to check sections, elevations and plan views and I find Perspective in this context confusing.

I would be interested to learn what advantage modeling in Perspective offers as I may be missing something obvious.

I guess the biggest advantage is that perspective is how your eyes see the world.
Perspective looks natural and parallel protection doesn’t…
Another advantage is that a problem called “clipping” doesn’t happen as much in perspective as in parallel protection.

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Parallel projection is basically a 2d view of what you are working with, it is generally used to display specific views. It shows you 2d drawings of your model.
Perspective shows you your model as if it was sitting on your desk. You move around it in 3d space and the view changes appropriately.
Working in parallel projection is distorted, the zoom function doesn’t work as expected and everything is forced into a 2d world view.

The problem is that if you get used to working in the parallel view it is hard to change to perspective, it seems distorted but it’s closer to reality than parallel.

People who ask for a split screen view are usually the ones who work in parallel, or have come from working in software that only uses parallel.

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Biggest advantage as mentioned above by @tweenulzeven and @Box : Perspective view is closest to what surrounds you. The world isn’t viewed as being parallel. Try using perspective for a while.
But… see below.

I think what might help you a lot is a few shortcut keys.

  • create a shortcut key to toggle between ‘Parallel’ and ‘Perspective’ view.
  • create shortcut keys for Top and side views (Front, Left, Back etc.) if you find their icons too time consuming

So you can switch to you favorite ‘Parallel’ view instantly any time and back to your work flow in ‘Perspective’ view. It’s worth a try and you will probably not regret it.


Thanks for the answers and I will take them all fully onboard with my work.

Thinking about it - I did my engineering apprenticeship in the 70s and my early drawing work on Miltary Aircraft on a drawing board before CAD. We worked to BS (British Standard) 308 using 1st & 3rd angle projection ( BS 308 is the old familiar standard that many UK engineers grew up with) and I suppose it stuck as I then didnt do any drawing for almost 40 years.

I guess my mind still thinks in line with BS308 the way it was trained to years back but that standard is now obsolete so its time to get up to date :grinning:

It’s hard to get rid of old habbits…

Perhaps it is what you are used to using in SketchUp, because I find navigating a model in parallel projection very cumbersome and disorienting. Often the recommendation is made online to people having problems with clipping and other things because they are using parallel projection. I think perspective navigation is much faster for a complex model.

My background is all 2d drafting, and all my work entails orthographic drawings.and I don’t find a need to see SketchUp models in ortho directions, except when it helps with some modeling operations or images for plans.