Isometric buildings in Inkscape


It's been a while since I've made a new building in Inkscape, but this weekend
I had a crack at a building I've been admiring for a while,
Manor Apartments
in Brisbane CBD.

I've been making these for a while. They're stylised vector-based
isometric
building tiles that can be used in some hypothetical game I might make one day.
The colours are specifically chosen from a palette that lets me

programmatically recolour them on the fly
.

I find getting the base sorted at the start is really useful. In most cases,
this just involves drawing a square or rectangle base and I have a template which
you can see in the image that lays out a standard block size of 256×128
pixels. This building is easy in that it's essentially a rectangle so I can get
away with minimal changes.

Next step is drawing windows, or other repetitive features. These can be cloned
so that they don't need to be re-drawn, and any subsequent changes only need
to be made to the original in order to flow through to the entire image. Usually
there's two copies of each feature with different shadows; one facing left and
another facing right.

This building is a little more tricky because it has the sweeping arches on the
ground floor, as well as various arched windows which are more difficult to draw
since they're not basic square shapes.

Once the ground floor is done, it's a step-by-step process to add floors until
we reach the roof. For the most part these can be duplicated from lower floors
or assets can be reused in different arrangements.

This building is fun because it has so much variety on the different levels. I
stylised or glossed over over a lot of the ornamental detail in the original
building because it doesn't fit with my existing style, but I like how it
adds a sort of plastic simplicity to the end result.

My plan with this building was to make it modular, so that I could repeat
variations of the first tile a few times to create the rest of the building.
This image shows two very similar tower pieces placed next to each other to
make a larger building. I've colourised it, and added a couple of other older
buildings to check the styles work together.

Finally, I've added and subtracted some floors, added a roof and placed a few
different sized blocks around to make a completely new building. No longer Manor
Apartments, but a series of blocks that can be configured numerous different
ways.

The end result are four separate tower pieces that can be combined or used
individually to create various large and small buildings. I think it worked
really well, and it's something I want to explore in future buildings.

Manor Apartments

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