Isometry illustrations ranks first in the list of the main trends of commercial graphics for a number of years and it is wildly popular with both customers and designers. There are 3 reasons for this:
I. In isometry, we can use the full range of graphics solutions for illustration to make it visually unique. This is very important for graphics that are created for the needs of a particular brand
II. an isometric illustration is much more informative than the flat one. That allows you to convey complicated metaphors and messages within a single scene
III. the lack of foreshortening, which causes a lot of pain to beginner illustrators, saves a lot of time and allows you to create large complex illustrations with many elements easily.
But most novice designers or illustrators have great difficulty working with isometric illustrations.
Because there is no sensible information on this topic on the Internet. 90% of the lessons and articles teach people to work in isometry using the SSR (Scale, Shear Rotate) method. Which is not only terribly inconvenient, but also useless if the task is to draw something more complicated than a cube
For two years, I have been teaching people vector graphics, isometric and commercial illustration. And in this article I want to share with you the most effective tools for working with isometric illustrations and secrets how to make illustrations much better. So, let’s get started!
I. Isometric Instruments
The first thing to do is to forget the SSR method forever as a bad dream.
To work with isometry in Adobe Illustrator, we use guide lines and built-in 3D functions, such as Extrude and Bevel, Rotate and Revolve. Let’s examine each of the tools separately.
We create guides from a line segment, which we initially place at an angle of 30 degrees (or 330). I use guides in isometry in only three cases:
1) when the object has the shape of a simple rectangle and I have its dimensions and proportions in front of my eyes;
2) when I need to complete the “plane” to the volumetric figure
3) to align the same length objects that settle down along a straight line
Rotate is ideal when you need to turn a complex shape to isometric view, which we initially drew in front view.
Extrude and Bevel function i use when need to increase the thickness of the shape that we turned to isometric view with the help of the previously mentioned Rotate function. In fact, you can do the same using Guides, but Extrude and Bevel function does it faster.
This function is especially good when you need to “squeeze out” the volume of the bunch of small elements, such as keys on the keyboard. Just a couple of clicks — and you’re done.
Revolve function is an indispensable tool when you need to draw a rotation shape that would be really hard to create using previous tools. When using Revolve tool, we draw half of the object by contour and then rotate it.
With these tools you can build complex shapes in isometric projection that would be impossible to build with the help of the SSR
II. Optical compensation
Isometry is an angle in which 3 sides of the shape are visible, all straight lines are parallel to each other and there is no foreshortening.
And the lack of foreshortening forces us to use a number of tricks when working with isometry. Let’s look at examples
A. Centering elements
The picture on the left shows that due to the foreshortening, the distance to the left of the central dark rectangle (A) is larger than the distance to the right (B). At the same time, it is exactly in the center both geometrically and visually.
In isometry, however, the inner object must be shifted to the right so that it visually looked at the center.
The thing is our vision doesn’t allow us to see things in isometric view as they are.
That’s why the geometric center is not always in the same spot where visual (or optical) one is
To compensate for the lack of foreshortening, we have to shift the inner object slightly to the right. And we can’t be sure how far exactly because it depends on its size. You can tell it only by eye.
B. Object’s size
The lack of foreshortening in isometry also causes some problems with objects of the same size which are placed at a considerable distance from each other. In perspective drawing, we can easily determine which object is closer and which one is farther. However, that doesn’t work with isometry.
This can be seen most clearly in the wheels of the car. If we draw the near and far wheel the same size, it will visually look like the back wheel is larger
That’s why in order to create the wheels visually the same, we should draw the back wheel a little bit smaller (example B). It will be even better if we make a difference in their size more distinct (example C).
C. Visual static
Due to the fact that in isometry all the lines are parallel to each other, the illustration looks unnatural.
The problem is very easily solved by adding objects placed at a different angle.
The example of the laptop clearly demonstrates it. Straight lines are an evil that we should fight (as with those who promote the SSR method).
III. Stylization of a volume
In isometric view, we see 3 sides of one object. And if we do not use stylistic techniques for them, we will not get a nice 2D illustration, but a poor analog of 3D render.
Be sure to use in your illustrations such popular methods as: negative space, shape’s line, textures, and contrasting shadows. If possible, try to avoid a variety of shades of the primary color.
Using these techniques you can not only significantly reduce your working time, but also make your illustrations much more professional. Just look at the results of the work of my students:
If you are interested to see the process of how to make isometric illustration, below I am applying a couple of lessons:
The full version of all my lessons is available on the site http://easymetry.com/eng
Hope you find my article useful. Do write a response below what do u think about this and is really helpful to you 🙂 You can also ask me any question you want