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Elliptical Isometric Illustration with Adobe Illustrator CS2

(intermediate to advanced)

Isometric Illustrations are based on horizontal and vertical lines at 30 degrees and are used to give the impression of a three dimensional object when perspective forshortening is not required. Isometrics are often used for technical illustrations and product rendering.

Step 1: Drawing the Ellipse

  1. Select the Ellipse tool and click on the Artboard
  2. In the Ellipse dialog box enter 4” for Width and Height
  3. Click Ok

Step 2: Decorating the Ellipse

  1. glyph paletteCreate and apply a gradient
  2. Create an icon by choosing an Iconic font like Animals (the lion used in this example is from the Animals font) or Webdings.
    1. Open the Glyph Palette by choosing Type > Glyph and choose the select the font you wish to use from the font drop down list at the bottom of the palette. Tip: Use the zoom in button zoom in button to get a better view of the various glyphs. Choose the glyph you wish to use for decoration
    2. Select the Type Tool and click on the Artboard
    3. Double-click the Icon you have chosen in Glyphs palette
    4. Use the Font Size text box to resize your Glyph to fairly large, 200, for example
    5. Select the glyph with the Selection Tool and choose Type > Create Outlines to convert the glyph to a simple object.
    6. Resize, color and position to fit.

    create outlines     apply gradient and use glyph palette to add icon

  3. Add a Border decoration
    1. add a graphic border using the brushes paletteCreate another smaller Ellipse using the method described above.
    2. Select the first ellipse and second smaller ellipse and use the Align Palette to align them horizontally and vertically.
    3. Select the smaller ellipse
    4. Click on the Brushes palette tab to make the palette active. Open the Brushes Palette options by clicking on the arrow in the upper right of the palette. From the resulting flyout menu choose Open Brushes Library.
    5. Select one of the Geometric border pattern libraries
    6. Click on the border pattern of your choice
    7. In the Transparency palette set the blend mode to multiply.
    8. Adjust the opacity till it looks good.
    9. Add any other graphic touches you want.
    10. Use the Direct Selection Tool to drag across the ellipse to select the ellipse and all decorative components. Choose Object > Group or Ctrl + G (Win) or Cmd + G (Mac)

  4. Scaling for Isometric Appearance

    1. non-uniform scaleSelect your grouped object
    2. Double-Click the Scale tool (Double-clicking will set the point of origin to the absolute center of the object and open the scale dialog box.
    3. Select the Non-Uniform option
    4. Enter 57.735 in Horizontal and 100 in Vertical. Tip: reverse these values if you want a top down rather than side view.
    5. Click OK

      ellipse after non-uniform scale
  5. select anchor point using the direct selection toolAdding the Cylinder Side (or bottom)

    1. Using the Direct Selection tool click on the right anchor point of the main ellipse.
    2. Choose Edit > Copy (This will copy the arc that forms half the ellipse
    3. Choose Edit >Paste in Back
    4. Paste in Back again   (We will need two copies of the arc) do not deselect the arc.
    5. Now we need to move one of the arc copies off to the right. There are a number of ways this can be accomplished.

       If the Transform palette is not visible on-screen, choose Window > Show Transform to display it. The Transform palette displays information about the location, size, and orientation of the selected object or objects. All values in the palette refer to the objects bounding boxes.
      paste copy in back
      Choose from these methods to move the arc:

          • Use the selection arrow to select the arc and drag to a new position while holding down Shift to constrain the move.
          • Double+click the selection tool in the toolbox to display the Move dialog box (or choose Object > Transform > Move). In the Move dialog box, enter a value in the Horizontal text box for the depth you want the cylinder to be (try I in); set the Vertical value to 0. A positive value moves the object to the right of the x axis.
          • In the Transform palette, position the pointer next to the existing value in the X (horizontal) text box, and type 1 in to specify the amount of the move.
      1. Joining the sides of the arc.

        1. We will do that by selecting the anchor point at the top of the moved arc and the anchor point at the top of the arc we left in position. (It may be easier to accomplish this if you move the original ellipse and grouped decorations out of the way).
        2. With the Direct Selection (white arrow) tool Click on the top anchor point on the first arc and then Shift-Click to select the top anchor point on the second arc.join
          1. Choose > Object > Path > Join. Illustrator will connect the top points of the two arcs with a straight line.
          2. Repeat for the bottom anchor points on the arcs. This will close the shape of the side of the ellipse.
          3. Move the joined arcs back into position
            move the arcs into position
        3. Alter the Gradient on the side of the ellipse to enhance the appearance

        finished isometric ellipse

          © TrainStation - an Adobe Authorized Training Provider
          all rights reserved
          Author - Leslie R. Williams


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