# Simple question about graphic/ sprite design

Hello everyone, I’ve been experimenting with Unity for a little while now, however I’ve been self-teaching myself game programming/ design for a few years. Nothing crazy, but a hobby that has come and gone. I’m older now, and I am taking it more seriously. I thought I’d include this little intro since I’m new to the forums.

Anyways…I’ve always been pretty good at drawing, and okay at computer graphics, but never really taught myself any professional techniques or anything like that. I was wondering what graphical perspective a game like Pokemon Ruby / Sapphire is, if that’s the right wording…? I’m interested in learning top-down graphics like games like these, but when I search for top-down graphics and tutorials, I literally get like flat, top down perspective…Like staring down at the top of a head, like a drawing plan… I like how Pokemon has the slight angle to show more detail…what is that called exactly?

Here’s a like to an IGN blog which shows all the Pokemon graphical styles from the beginning to present, in-case you’re not sure exactly what I mean:
http://www.ign.com/blogs/hardcore_hector/2013/01/19/pokemon-graphics-past-present-and-future

The style your looking for is called isometric or orthographic. It gives the appearance of looking at the world from an angle instead of straight down. However it is harder to make than normal top down graphics.

P.S. Welcome to the forums!

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Thank you for the feedback! I can see now how it is considered isometric. One little question left over though is when I do look up isometric, there seems to be a lot of emphasis on the 45 degree view, where you see left, right, and top (thinking of a basic cube drawn in isometric). When I look at a game like Pokemon, I see that it is only the top and front which is shown. Is there maybe a certain branch of isometric that falls into this category? Overall, I think learning to draw in isometric will certainly help me achieve this goal in the long run, so thanks again for the reply.

For reference, this is the style which is typically coming up when I search isometric (45 degree perspective)

Vs. (what I’m truly looking for, without the 45 degree perspective)

Not trying to be too picky, but I feel like there’s a name for it…any clue?

That would be the oblique style I believe, games like Ultima Online and others used it for many years. I actually prefer it in some cases over isometric.

I believe the “technical” term would be 3/4 view. It is indeed a form of top-down, but called 3/4 because if you get it “perfect”(though it is always open for debate and artistic styling), you get 3/4 of the drawing is the front, while 1/4 is the top. It isn’t always perfect of course, but if you take a look at your example of oldale town there, the buildings appear to be set in tiles of like 2x2 let’s say. So grab the lower left “tile” of the pokemart in the upper right corner of the example, and you will see how it is about 3/4 front, and 1/4 top of the roof.

Isometric means that all the axes are equally foreshortened. If you drew an axis gizmo, all the arrows would be 120 degrees apart (360 degrees divided equally into 3). That’s where the 45 degrees comes from; you’d use a camera with an orthographic projection and rotate it 45 degrees down and 45 to the side to get all axes foreshortened equally.

If you rotated the camera differently, you would get different types of orthographic projections that are non-isometric (the amount of foreshortening for each axis is different). It would be isometric, dimetric, or trimetric depending on how many axes are equally foreshortened (three, two, or none respectively).

The important part is the orthographic projection which is a parallel projection where all lines that are parallel in the world will be parallel on the screen as well. This is on contrast with perspective projections where distance will makes parallel lines in the world appear non-parallel on the screen to give you an illusion of depth. Orthographic projections give you no visual cues about depth which is why Penrose stairs or Escher illusions work.

Three-quarter view is related to portrait drawing. A three-quarter view is rotated halfway between a front and a profile view. It is not necessarily related to either orthographic or perspective projection.

If you want to spend the next three hours on wikipedia, here’s a rabbit hole you can go down 3D projection - Wikipedia