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Working with Orthographic Projections and Basic Isometrics 2018–vector-893
Difficulty:Intermediate Length:ShortLanguages:

A few times a each month we revisit some of our reader’s favorite posts from throughout the history of Vectortuts+. This tutorial by Cody Walker was first published on November 25th 2008.

This is the first part in a series of tutorials about Isometrics. Isometric projections are a system of drawing that allows an artist to quickly and accurately draw an object without using perspective. I will go into more depth about isometrics later in this tutorial. I’m going to begin by talking about a system that is commonly used with isometrics.

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Orthographic projections are a way of describing what an object looks like from several different views. Orthographics are also called engineering drawings or plan views. Using a set of orthographics an Illustrator can easily draw the three-dimensional object from any angle and in perspective, isometric or any number of other drawing systems. 3D modelers often use orthographics to accurately create an object in a 3D application.

An orthographic is one way to describe a three dimensional object in two-dimensional space. Typically an orthographic will have the top, side and front views of an object drawn together with some kind of scale.

Orthographics 1

An orthographic can have more then three sides drawn if the object has unique sides that would not be described clearly by just three images.

Orthographics 2

Once you have a clear set of orthographics you can draw your object in whatever method and from whatever view is required for your project. If you are planning to draw a set of orthographics from a
physical object begin by measuring. Use a ruler and a set of calipers to measure all the surfaces of the object and make notes and a sketch. Once you are finished gathering data you can use your notes to create a set of orthographics in Illustrator. And that brings us to the world of isometrics.

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