Minecraft Inspired Isometric House


Hi everyone and welcome back to Vectortwist where we cover usually things about Illustrator and sometimes even Photoshop.

Today I would like to share with you a speed art drawing that I’ve created of an isometric building or even isometric house that is inspired by the game Minecraft.

From Sketch To Final Vector Art

I will go over a few points here and there and explain how I’ve done things especially:

  • How to set up your sketch properly
  • How to work with the Smart Guides and change the preferences in Illustrator
  • How to apply blend modes and opacity to layers within Illustrator
  • Recolor Artwork Tips

This is how I usually set up my document in Illustrator:

Document Setup in Illustrator forIsometric Design

When you look at the layers panel, I have a layer for the guides, the sketch and my colors. THis really helps to be able lock the elements if needed so they don’t interfere with anything else while drawing. For the guides of course I used one of my isometric grid pattern. So we have the isometric grid that we can work with and then we have the sketch and I often add a little reference photo and my colors .

Now the first thing I would like to show is how to actually set up your sketch properly. I’m going to select my image that I’ve placed into my Illustrator document and we’re going to double click the layer where we put the sketch.

Turn a layer into a template layer in Illustrator

In the layers options window I’m going to click “Template”. This will make it into a template, lock it right away and also dim the placed image by 50%. Once you click ok you can see that it has been dimmed by 50% and it’s automatically locked.

In the next step I will show you how to work with the Smart Guides so they won’t interfere.

Smart Guides Preferences in Illustrator

Go to Illustrator > Preferences > Smart Guides. In the Preference window you will usually have most of the boxes like Alignment Guides, Object Highlighting, Transform Tools checked. If you only check Anchor/Path Labels it will be much easier to create your isometric designs. Make sure you uncheck everything and leave only Anchor/Path Labels selected. Once you’ve done that you can start drawing.

I would like to also show you that it’s really helpful to setup layers for your artwork. Just create a new layer, give it a name and then drag the corresponding design elements onto it.

Create named layers to stay organized in Illustrator

This way your artwork will be organized and it’ easier to find elements and make changes to it.

I want to show you a really neat trick that you can use when you want to have a particular layer and all its elements in a specific blend mode or opacity setting.

So we’re going to add windows to our artwork and instead of bringing down the opacity settings or even a blend mode on top in the toolbar we can actually apply this to the whole layer.

Apply a Blend Mode or Opacity Setting to the whole Layer in Illustrator

All we have to do is click on this small gray circle here and then we’re going to go to the Opacity Settings in the Top Tool Bar and then we’re going to either choose a blend mode or reduce the opacity altogether.

Apply an Opacity Setting to the whole Layer in Illustrator

In this case I think I’m going to try 40% Opacity and then I’m going to add my window elements to my design and as you can see on the artboard all of the shapes, although they are filled with 100% of the color the layer applies to all element added an opacity of 40%. This is really a neat way to continuously work and speed up your workflow.

Now here’s the finished artwork.

Minecraft Inspire Isometric House

In order to create multiple variations out of your design, simply select all of your artwork. Then we’re going to open up the Recolor Artwork tool.

Preserve Colors with Recolor Artwork in Illustrator

I want to keep certain elements the same, especially the highlights for the windows and my highlights for the corners of the walls. So in the Assign tab within Recolor Artwork, I’m going to scroll all the way down where I have my white and gray colors sthat I want to preserve. In order to do that all I need to do is click on the arrow next to the color. Now it will not be affected when I change the colors with the Recolor Artwork tool. once that’s done we can go over to Edit tab within Recolor Artwork, make sure that you have all color linked and then we can recolor our artwork. I usually work with the HSB setting and then just move the Hue slider to find new color combos for my designs.

Work with the HSB and the Hue slider to find new color combos for your designs

If you select the menu that specifies the mode of the color adjustment sliders, you can choose Global Adjust. Here you can change the Saturation, the Brightness, the Temperature and the Luminosity as well.

Global Adjust in Recolor Artwork

With these setting you can easily create new color combos such as warm and cool monochromatic color combos with the Temperature slider, maybe a night scene with the Brightness slider or a faded look with the Saturation slider.

Temperature slider in Recolor Artwork

And that’s it. I hope you enjoyed watching the whole video and please leave a comment and let me know if you liked it!

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Simona Pfreundner has been teaching Adobe Creative Suite since 2008 through written tutorials, instructional video courses and classroom teaching. With 15 years experience in the graphic design field as an agency, in-house and freelance designer, her love for art and drawing has enabled her develop an approachable and intuitive style of teaching that helps people learn graphic design software in a fun and easy way.

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