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Perspective and Illusion

8 9 The IsomeTrIc sysTem the allinone hexagonal projection A special case of oblique projection is the isometric system, which combines plan, section, and elevation drawings in a simple hexagonal grid, each separated by 60o to give a remarkably authentic picture. Developed by Sir William Farish in the mid 18th century to make the complex drawings of the Industrial Revolution easier to read, isometric projections can be extended infinitely over any surface and accurate measurements taken off the drawing along all three axes. In Louis Bretexs famous 1730s isometric map of Paris lower opposite the city extends for miles or kilometers in every direction, and roofs, doors and windows, and even individual trees can be seen, counted, and measured. The easily readable isometric system today survives only in popular home automobile manuals, mechanical journals, and a few other rare habitats. Also shown below right is the related 45o axonometric projection with its pure plan. A few medieval and Byzantine examples exist, but this became most popular amongst 20th century designers. Left R. B. BrookGreaves 1928 exercise drawing of Londons St Pauls Cathedral in isometric projection. Above The special isometric oblique viewing angle in which all sides appear equally foreshortened. Below A tiny fragment of Louis Bretexs vast isometric Turgot map of Paris, started in 1734. Isometric Projection Axonometric
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