Designing isometric scenes like from Commandos game?

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  09 September 2012
Designing isometric scenes like from Commandos game?

Hi, guys!
I am curious how I can start to make scenes for games, like Pyro Studios, famous game, Commandos.

Screenshots from game:

It is isometric camera view? I read that this kind of scenes are made in some 3d program and exported, in Photoshop for example.

Any adviced how to make this level design in this hight detail? Any comments about this techique?

I apreciate any help!

Thank you!
  09 September 2012
Yeah, those ones are rendered as 2D images and composited together in layers for gameplay

These days though you could probably get that quality in 3D in a game engine.
The Z-Axis
  09 September 2012
I suppose that...I am generaly interested for making similar scenes for isometric strategy games, like one above...

If you could recommend some books, videos, how to start with this...?

And one question:

What time require to make scenes similar from pictures I posted? Is the possible to make this kind of scenes by one man?

  09 September 2012
I don't know a specific tutorial, but back in the days when isometric maps were all the rage, there was a lot of activity regarding those on You might find some good tutorials in the graphics subforum.

One tip in 3ds max is to use ortographic cameras.

About your second question: there are some factors that go into that. It depends on how fast you can draw and model and how much content you want to add. Also, it pays to be smart about map creation. No doubt they used some kind of map editor. Not only because you can more easily reuse assets, but also because it's easier to define collision areas, interaction objects etc.

The Commandos maps had a lot of detail in them, so even if you're fast and work smart, you might be looking at quite a long time before the first map comes out if you want to get at that level. The next ones will roll out faster though.
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  09 September 2012
Thereís probably an easier way of doing this, but this is how I would do it:

When in Max, you press ctrl+c to make a camera.

Press P to get back to perspective mode.

Select the camera and position it so itís positioned in a 45 degree angle, and with the same distance from the middle of the grid in all directions. For example:

X: -500 Y: -500 Z: 500

The camera target should be in the middle of the scene/grid:

X: 0 Y: 0 and Z: 0

After this is set, you can go into the camera options and change the camera from target camera to free camera. (This is optional)

You do not render from the camera however. The camera is just a tool for you to find that 45 degree angle.

So! When you got the camera set up, you press C to get into it, then you press U. This makes you get into Orthographic/Isometric view.

If you change the angle by accident, you now have a camera that is positioned in the 45 degree angle spot you want. You can now just press C then press U and you have come back to the default position for the render.

I think they make the graphics in those games by making a model, rendering it as a picture, and making the background transparent.


  09 September 2012

Thanks very much for this link...there are many useful stuffs, not for a graphic only...
I agree that making good maps even is must important.


Man, thank you for this detailed explanation, I have more insight in what actually I must do.
It is more clearly now

...I find one interview about PyroStudios and game team talk about all stuffs in details:

I only have doubt, in this clip at the (07:55), lead programmer told, that exteriors actually isn't set in 3d. There are different layers, that the player sees as a whole...and as well these layers are synchronized to work wel together"...

How you comment this? I don't understand how they use this layers to make all scenes... :/

And again, thanks everybody for help!
  09 September 2012
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