The popularity of isometric shapes in digital art can be explained in many ways.
This blocky style is retro, it’s shiny and there’s a lot of play involved when creating.
There are plenty of great examples online to get inspired by – www.polygonheroes.com and the works of our artist Ryan Barber (www.behance.net/rbarber), for example.
In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to work from a model photo, combining both Photoshop and Illustrator to create exciting shape styles.
We’ll begin by using Illustrator’s Pen tool, and show you how to trace a grid of carefully mapped triangles on top of a photo. A more interesting isometric illustration will have a map of triangles that’s not evenly distributed.
Therefore, we will be adding and subtracting anchor points, and using the Direct Selection tool to adjust triangle corners, in order to distribute our shapes.
We’ll be using the Eyedropper tool, gradients and swatches too, showing how these are all used to fill and affect colour. After the initial vector drawing is complete, we’ll then take our design into Photoshop.
Here, we’ll explore how to make overall colour changes to our rendered design, using Gradient Overlay, Levels and other color adjustments.