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.
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.
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.
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.