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An exploded axonometric drawing is a great way of showing your project differently. This is of course an oldie but goodie tutorial on how to easily make an exploded axonometric view using photoshop. 

See the video tutorial here. You can also download the file here. 

Final image


Once you have your 3d model in SketchUp, put it in a parallel projection view.

In this step is important that you start exporting each layer separately

Of course, it also depends on what exactly you want to show in the exploded axonometric view, organization is key in this process.

We wanted a very detailed axonometric view of our project. So when exporting, we made sure to export the architectural elements like the wall, floors, stairs, etc.


Once you have exported all of the layers, import them into Photoshop. Adjust the canvas so you can spread them out vertically.

Start with the base layer and make some adjustments to erase unwanted and somewhat ugly parts that won’t be visually pleasing. 

Import a grass texture, if you don’t know where to import it from, check out this article on textures. 

With the color range tool, select the green color, and use a mask to mask out the texture with the green in the base layer. 

For this base layer, to give it that more in-depth feeling. We are going to add some inner shadows to the grass, the building print, and the streets. Use blending options and do them separately.

Now start turning on each layer, and start placing them above the last one. Needless to say, it has to be in a logical order.

Once you start moving them upwards, you can then add some textures, shadows, adjust color. 

For this layer, we did the same step when adding the texture. Selecting the color and then masking it out. 

We started doing the same process of adding each layer above the last one. We added some soft drop shadows to each one. 

If you are in the middle of this process and you think that you would like to animate this as well, check out our article on how to animate still renders, or any image that you want to move to make it more interesting when presenting your work.

When we were separating the layers, we wanted to show different things. But it all depends on what you want to show in your exploded axonometric. 

If your canvas is too big, make sure to adjust it to avoid too much white space, but don’t overdo it, and leave some white space for text.

In order to connect all of the layers in this exploded axonometric view, we are going to draw some straight lines connecting each corner. 

Choose a very thin and light-colored brush and holding the shift key start drawing each line. 

We have some classical free brushes that you can download here.  And we are just going to start painting in people. 

Obviously, paint in the people accordingly. 

We wanted to add some trees, so using a brush also, we added some trees. If you want to change its texture its fine. 

You can add the elements you need that go along with what your project is. 

In the end, we added a paper texture, and we also added the text. (Keep in mind that this is an oldie but goodie tutorial, and we weren’t paying attention that much to fonts, hahaha, so check out our recommended fonts for architects)

Final Exploded Axonometric View

This is the final result! We adjusted a little bit of hue/saturation. Did you like this process? How do you normally do your exploded axonometric images?

Watch the video tutorial below and download the file here to follow along.

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