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Wikipedia states in an isometric view, all angles must be equal to 120.

I am building my assets by making screenshots of some 3D models, so I can get any point of view on them. I tried to capture them with a POV which gave me angles of 120 everywhere, but once I put those 2D assets in an isometric game engine, it was a bit weird looking.

Then I noticed something weird : in Age Of Empires, angles are not of 120 but 127 ! example : http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120311170558/ageofempires/images/7/74/Age_of_empires_building_towncenter.jpg I tried building assets so that their base has an angle of 127 and it's better looking.

What is the reason behind that ? What is the right angle to use ? What do you use ?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If you take screenshots of 3D models, it also helps to make sure that you're using an orthographic rather than perspective projection. \$\endgroup\$
    – Agumander
    Nov 14, 2014 at 19:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ How do I know if I am in orthographic or perspective projection? \$\endgroup\$
    – Rayjax
    Nov 14, 2014 at 19:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ In perspective projection, parts of the model further from the camera will "shrink" relative to the space of the screen. I'm not sure about other programs, but in Blender you switch with '5' on the numpad. Here's what the difference looks like: i.imgur.com/fkjV3vP.png \$\endgroup\$
    – Agumander
    Nov 14, 2014 at 19:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, well, as I just found out (and as you just said, as we posted at the same time :), in orthographic view all 3D objects have the same size, regardless of their distance from the camera. I am taking screenshots in a video game so I guess orthographic view will be impossible to get \$\endgroup\$
    – Rayjax
    Nov 14, 2014 at 19:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am using .mdx/.mdl models (warcraft 3) any idea of how to get them in orthogonal view? \$\endgroup\$
    – Rayjax
    Nov 14, 2014 at 19:42

2 Answers 2

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When people refer to an isometric perspective in the context of pixel art or video games, they are usually talking about a dimetric projection where the z-axis is vertical and the x and y axis go diagonal with a vertical:horizontal ratio of 1:2. The reason is that this is much easier to pixel than a "true" isometric projection:

dimetric perspective

Alternatively there are also a few games which use a trimetric projection where one axis is 1:2 and the other is 2:1 example of trimetric projection

However, when your workflow is based on rasterizing 3d models and not on 2d pixel art, then you can just as well go for a true isometric perspective when you think that this is more aesthetically pleasing.

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As I found out later here isometric in video games in game development it is better to have tiles with a 1/2 height/width ratio, which displays better and is nice for calculations. As I measured, having those ratios also means having a 127 degrees angle.

Later, I found this answer on gamedev : What is the view perspective angle of most 2.5D isometric games it seems that diablo 2 also had this 127 degrees angles, which is also interesting because its ratios make a pythagorean triangle. If I understood this correctly, this would make a lot of calculations, especially on diagonals, easier.

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