TDT - Productivity solutions for tech illustrators.

 

Tips and Tricks

A few helpful hints

  • Drawing cylindrical projections along a 30 degree axis is tedious. Rotate in 120.0 degree increments until the shapes can be drawn vertically. When you finish all of those projections, rotate everything back to the correct orientation.
  • When working with orthographic guides (see "Converting…") leave a duplicate of each face un-skewed off to the side. Complex objects should be drawn in orthographic and then skewed into the proper view.
  • Once an object has been created on any isometric axis it can be converted to the other isometric axis by rotating it in 120 degree increments and using horizontal and/or vertical mirroring.
  • When creating a gear-like object, complete the round version (front view or orthographic) and do 57.4 percent vertical scale. If the orientation of objects around the main object is important,  rotate the round version 45 degrees before scaling.
  • Don’t be shy about moving the faces around to compensate for the dimensional offsets.
  • The various transformations used to create an isometric drawing can be saved as presets or scripts. In CorelDRAW, you can assign keyboard commands or create menu items to your scripts. 
  • Nearly everyone has trouble drawing views looking up at an object. This solution comes from Dick Barry, a long time friend and EXPERT isomatrician. Rotate your faces 180 degrees and draw the object normally. When you are finished - rotate everything 180 degrees again and you will have a view looking up.

Exporting

  • Avoid using CorelDRAW features that are not supported in the target application. For instance if you use a white patch to hide something in CorelDRAW and then export it to *.dxf the object you hid will show through a box (the patch) with a black outline.
  • Use a version of CorelDRAW that you know has a reliable export filter. Generally CorelDRAW 4.0, 7.0 and 9.0 are the best.
Convert paper engineering drawings into isometric guides that can be traced over to produce accurate illustrations.
Convert electronic CAD files into isometric guides that can be traced over to produce accurate illustrations.

 

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1997 - 2001 John M. Morris