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fabio0069
03-03-2009, 11:13 AM
I am in need of links to websites that deal with Isometric perspective, specifically relating to urban planning and/or computer game design. The project I am involved with currently is set in an alternative, dark fantasy version of Persia circa 1800.

Perhaps if we get enough links here, it could be used as a resource for isometric mapping in general (if anyone's interested)...?

Areas that I am particularly interested in include:

* Isometric perspective tutorials/advice
* Architectural design
* Mediaeval urban planning
* Concept art/environmental design for computer games

As always, any help is gratefully received!

Peace

Gamerprinter
03-03-2009, 01:31 PM
Most of us who dabble with Isometric mapping use a 3D app with an Isometric camera to accomplish our needs.

GP

Redrobes
03-03-2009, 02:39 PM
Yeah you really need your objects in 3D and view them at 30 degrees of tilt. You need to set the camera to have extreme telephoto lens and position it a long way back or if possible an iso/ortho type setting. Usually in games all the buildings are on a grid and each building can use up one or more of them.

There was a link to a web page that allowed you to put buildings together in this style. It was pretty good but I cant remember the link now.

Some of the tokens in CC3 seem to take on this style too.

fabio0069
03-03-2009, 06:36 PM
Thanks for your help, guys. Currently all my work is done using good old pen and paper, with some Photoshop. I am not actually involved in the game artist/3D modelling side of things, although I downloaded Blender not that long ago and am devoting any spare time I have in learning the software (loads of great tutorials out there for this one!) so this info will definitely be useful.

I would like to get some thumbnails and WIPs on here when I have them, and am more than happy to receive any advice and/or criticism on these should anybody feel the urge!

Thanks again.

torstan
03-03-2009, 09:05 PM
I find that starting with a square grid top down and drawing out a floorplan is a great help. Then spin this 45 degrees and shrink it in the vertical direction by 57.7% This will give you an isometric floorplan. Use this as a sketch and then work it up from there as a normal 2D map, with some 3D sketching.

fabio0069
03-04-2009, 05:20 AM
Great advice, Torstan. Thanks!

Blake
03-05-2009, 06:35 PM
Isometric is easy to do in 2d. As Torstan said, spin it 45 degrees and shrink it vertically (depending on what angle you want, though, I typically shrink about 50 degrees)

Don't just start with your floor plan, though. Work in layers, and use a different layer for each elevation increment. Then once you spin them, and shrink them vertically, you can offset your layers to give you roofs to houses, walls, and the like, which you can sketch vertical lines over to connect the corners, and then fill out the details.

Ascension
03-05-2009, 06:46 PM
Ooo, some great ideas here...thanks T and B.

fabio0069
03-05-2009, 06:54 PM
I'll second what Ascension said - thanks Blake, that is some good advice. Just trying to get my head around this massive project I'm working on - it's gonna be a while in the making!

misteradam
03-08-2009, 02:07 PM
i think google sketchup might be a good option to do the sketching in.. it's a lot easier to learn than blender.

fabio0069
03-08-2009, 06:44 PM
I'd heard about Google Sketchup but never got round to actually trying it out. I'll take your advice and download the free version and give it a go! Blender is awesome but the learning curve is fairly steep. Thanks Misteradam

fabio0069
03-27-2009, 11:34 AM
MisterAdam, I thank you... I've been using Sketchup for the pasy couple of nights and it's awesome! So simple, yet so effective... :)

I'll be posting some of my models shortly, so watch this space! All criticism accepted, so be brutal if you feel the need :)

Gandwarf
03-29-2009, 02:42 PM
Starting to get interested in Sketchup as well. I saw some very cool city maps that must have taken ages to create however.

Please do post your work when you get around to it. I want to see what people new to the software can do with it. I watched some tutorials on YouTube and it doesn't look like rocket science.

fabio0069
03-30-2009, 03:28 PM
Here ya go folks: my first attempt at modelling in Sketchup...

For the last one I just used textures that come with the program (tinkering with the colours). I plan to drop these and future models into Photoshop for some proper texturing/painting. Comments welcome :)

Steel General
03-30-2009, 03:30 PM
Looking good so far...

Redrobes
03-30-2009, 04:06 PM
Yeah - lookin mighty fine. It will be interesting to see the proper textures. I usually use cgtextures.com stuff which has loads and loads of them to use.

Ascension
03-30-2009, 05:58 PM
Lookin good so far. I guess if SU keeps gainin in popularity one of us will have to do up a proper tut for putting good skins on buildings.

fabio0069
03-30-2009, 07:18 PM
Cheers guys! Steel General, Redrobes and Ascension, appreciate the props. Seeing you guys take an interest gives me extra incentive to produce more (not that I needed it)! ;)

I need to digout CS2 from my cupboard as my computer almost died the other day and I need to reinstall it :( Once everything's up and running again I'll post some more.

Thanks again!

Peace

Ascension
03-30-2009, 07:26 PM
Try not to let it (SU) take over your life like it did with me. One bit of advice, when making many large tube-like structures (like towers with sloping sides) it will cause the file size of the document to grow exponentially and make your pc chug its guts out. So make your towers straight...SU likes straight lines and flat planes.

fabio0069
04-02-2009, 06:34 PM
Nice one Ascension, thanks for the tip! (That's the tip about the towers. I'm afraid it's too late regarding my instant addiction to SU... it just came up and slapped me in the face and said "You're my bitch now...") ;)

Ascension
04-02-2009, 09:37 PM
Here's a pic I did a long time ago of 2 towers...there were going to be 3 more until my pc couldn't handle it anymore. All those curves plus it was done to actual scale, something like 200 foot tall tower by 500 foot diameter pond...maybe that was what killed my drive. Anyway, just thought I'd share, hope you like it.

http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=7938&d=1227073469

fabio0069
04-04-2009, 04:12 PM
Here's a pic I did a long time ago of 2 towers...there were going to be 3 more until my pc couldn't handle it anymore. All those curves plus it was done to actual scale, something like 200 foot tall tower by 500 foot diameter pond...maybe that was what killed my drive. Anyway, just thought I'd share, hope you like it.

http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=7938&d=1227073469


Cool, yes I do like it! It looks pretty big and I'm not surprised your computer protested! Shame you didn't get it finished. Any plans along those lines? Maybe reduce the size a little?

Ascension
04-04-2009, 04:44 PM
I think about it once in a while but I'm having so much fun mapping that I never have the time for anything but maps these days. Plus the towers aren't even close to done, lots of columns and pillars left to do...I'd be at it for a month straight and miss a challenge :)

Gandwarf
04-04-2009, 04:55 PM
That's some great work fabio.
And some stunning work from Ascension. I didn't know you had been messing with Sketchup as well. The software is indeed highly addictive and I have discontinued using it for the moment. I fear I am going to map every building in my cities and never get done :P

fabio0069
04-05-2009, 06:00 PM
I think about it once in a while but I'm having so much fun mapping that I never have the time for anything but maps these days. Plus the towers aren't even close to done, lots of columns and pillars left to do...I'd be at it for a month straight and miss a challenge :)


Ha ha! Yeah, I can see your point, Ascension. I've seen some of your maps and they're pretty darn awesome :) Although I can't help but think it could be really good if you ever did get round to finishin it... ;)


Thanks for the props, Gandwarf! Appreciate it :)

misteradam
05-11-2009, 12:42 AM
awesome! I just started using sketchup myself a few weeks ago for a project at work, and it's a powerful little program.

One thing I have noticed is that grouping things together seems to create less lag. Wish I could post what I've been making, but I think someone would have me murdered for doing so.

There are a number of plugins that will render your scenes with realistic textures and lighting, most of them have free trials.

Good luck with this, looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

Novarri
05-12-2009, 04:06 PM
For realistic lighting, try Kerkythea. It's entirely free, the link's in my sig (and remember you need the SketchUp to Kerkythea plugin, which can be found on that site as well).

fabio0069
05-13-2009, 05:43 PM
Thanks Novarri! I downloaded Kerkythea a while ago but haven't had the chance to really give it a go. The effects look pretty awesome from what I've seen. Some day soon... ;)

lobsternooberg
05-13-2009, 06:06 PM
try surfer 8 for isometric mapping.... though not specifically for gaming it does offer 3d graphing from x,y,z sets... which can be rotated to any view you like ..... though i dont know about the transformations algorythms and whether they are isometric......... technically they aren't since x,y,z is 3d and you want 2d isometrically transformed to 3d...... correct??

anyways sorry to blather about .... just try google sketchup it rocks!!!!!

:D