How to setup the rendering and camera for isometric gameworld projection? And specifically how do i get the images exactly the right size?

What angles to use to get the exact 2/1 isomtric view? Methods to set the camera on the right position? Options to set like anti alias off.

I have tried many things, 45, 30, 35.264 degree angles. What i do is set the angle of the camera, then place the camera in front of the model then use dolly/fov/lens settings to get the left and right edge of the model lined up with the save frame. Then adjust camera height so the bottom lines up with the bottom of the save frame. But i keep getting jagged edges and not the isometric style 2 width one height.


1 Answer 1


Firstly, a 2:1 ratio is not isometric. It is a similar-looking dimetric projection (where two of the three axes are equally foreshortened, and the vertical axis is slightly less so)

Isometric projection is when all three axes are equally foreshortened. An axis-aligned square tile lying in the horizontal plane has an isometric projected width:height ratio of sqrt(3):1 (like two equilateral triangles stuck together)

Comparison of isometric and 2:1 dimetric projection

For both projections, you want your camera to make an angle of 45° with each axis in the horizontal plane (yaw of 45).

For a 2:1 dimetric projection, the camera should be angled (pitched) down 30° from the horizontal. For true isometric, the angle is atan(1/sqrt(2)) which is about 35.264° (this aligns it with an axis drawn through two opposite corners of an axis-aligned cube).

Secondly, ensure you've configured your camera to use orthographic projection (as opposed to perspective projection - you don't want lines to converge & objects to shrink into the distance).

You can find additional information about isometric vs 2:1 dimetric projection here.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks i actually managed to get this done, still i had to fiddle a long time to get the exact pixel amount on the corners so i can use them straight into my game. wayofthepixel.net/index.php?topic=16644.msg150810#msg150810 \$\endgroup\$
    – Madmenyo
    Commented May 11, 2014 at 7:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ What i ment with a 2:1 ration is the pixel amount for the diagonal lines, 2 straight:1 up. \$\endgroup\$
    – Madmenyo
    Commented May 11, 2014 at 7:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ A 2:1 step ratio will necessarily result in a 2:1 width:height ratio, +-4 pixels over the extent of a tile. A true isometric tile (within limits of pixel resolution) will require a somewhat less regular step pattern. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Commented May 12, 2014 at 4:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ So if i understand it correctly all isometric games should be called dimetric games? Since everything i read and know about isometric games is using that 2:1 step ratio. \$\endgroup\$
    – Madmenyo
    Commented May 12, 2014 at 9:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ It would be more technically correct to call these types of perspectives orthographic or axonometric. As the Wikipedia article linked above describes, the word "isometric" is commonly misapplied in games, even to trimetric games like SimCity 4. It's good enough when discussing style at a high level, but when you get into the nitty-gritty of pixel ratios, using the more precise definitions will help you get the exact answers you need, and avoid confusion. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Commented May 12, 2014 at 12:20

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