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Inkscape Tutorial - An Isometric Tileset - part 2

Date/Time Permalink: 10/26/09 08:51:21 am
Category: Graphics Tutorials

Continuing our experiment in Inkscape 0.46, we'll take our isometric tileset from the previous part and add some more objects to it.

A brick wall

Some objects you'll want to set to a permanent color. Here, I've taken the eighth-cube base and opened the 'fill n stroke' dialog to the HSL tab, then, without changing the lightness, set the color on each side to hue: 1, saturation: 255. You can also change these colors if you want your bricks to be darker, of course, just remember to keep the consistent color scheme where the top is lightest, the left face is medium, and the right face is darkest (or however you decided on your lighting scheme). Additionally, because bricks have mortar, I've added a stroke colored just a hair darker than pure white. I've also duplicated that, making one cube and one brick shape:


Now just stack-em-up, and group 'em together. Notice that I've gotten the face of the brick wall exactly to scale with the base block.


Flat tiles

To speed things up a little, here I've made a sidewalk tile by making two cube-top shapes, insetting the top one and making it lighter, and setting a gradient on the bottom shape from 20% to 40% gray, so we have some realistic lines in the sidewalk. And the grass, I just went crazy with some zigzag paths and gradients, trying to get something besides putting-course green.


Round pillars

Now we come to a tricky one. You've probably figured out that if you try to draw a circle with the circle tool, it's difficult to get it to conform to the tile perspective. Also, dragging it around will be a pain, since the round corners want to snap to the grid the wrong way. What to do? Well, start by drawing a tile shape just like we did for the top of our first cube with the 'bezier tool.' Now draw a circle inside that (make them different colors so we can see what we're doing) with the corners of the circle's bounding box just where they are here:


Duplicate this setup and move that tile above this one, remembering to snap it to grid. Here's the cube beside it for comparison:


Now with the bezier tool, draw a box between those two, with the top and bottom of the box right at the half-way line for our two circles:


Now select the square and bottom circle and combine them into one path with Ctrl-shift-plus. Now do a horizontal gradient fill on this new shape from 20% to 40% gray, while making the top circle 10% gray. Sort everything into the proper stacking order with page-up/page-down if you need to. Group the pieces of the pillar together, but leave the top and bottom squares out of it for now.


Now, select those top and bottom squares and use the fill n stroke dialog to make them transparent - setting the alpha to zero. Keep them selected, and use shift-mouse-click to select the pillar too. Ctrl-G to group them together.

We now have a pillar that behaves exactly like our cube!


As you might guess, it's even easier to create a ball shape this way. Radial gradient to the same standard as the rest of the set.


Drawn objects

Of course, you can also draw directly on the grid itself. I could have built this window by stacking blocks, but it was much easier drawing it from scratch. I just do it at twice my intended scale and then scale it down. To scale down precisely, use the 'transform' dialog from Ctrl-shift-M and scale by -50%.


Combined objects

But most of the time it's easier to go on combining the building blocks into new objects, for instance this potted tree on the sidewalk here:


As you can see, we've come a long way since our beginning block! Next time we'll explore an even more advanced level of isometric editing in Inkscape.

Inkscape Isometric Tileset Tutorial

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