Suppose I want the top view of this isometric graphic, how can I project an isometric image to an orthographic view in Photoshop?

  • Sortof yes. It wont work well for the moubtains though.
    – joojaa
    May 25, 2021 at 16:37

2 Answers 2


If we assume that it's a perfect isometric projection, here is one out of several ways to revert to a top view:

  • Select the layer with the image.
  • Press Ctrl / Cmd + T to enter Free Transform.
  • Make sure the Maintain aspect ratio chain is unticked.
  • Enter 173.2051% (100 × √3) in the Set vertical scale field.
  • Enter 45 in the Rotate field.
  • Press Enter to Commit transform.

This gives you the following result:

The angles aren't exactly 90 degrees (I'm looking at the right and lower line with ocean which should be flat). This must be because the image isn't a perfect isometric projection to begin with.

Scaling to 176% gives a slightly better result:

You might be able to nudge your way to an even better result.

As you see, this only works for flat surfaces so the mountains aren't quite right. Nothing to do about that.


If the object is flat you need only to reverse the skew, scale and rotation. It's presented already by others.

If the object is not flat - like the mountains in your example, the task is impossible except by guessing the areas which are hidden in the isometric view. In practice they must be redrawn manually or you must somehow create a 3D model, guess right the texture in hidden areas and rotate the model or camera to get the top view.

In theory your isometric view could contain a known area from where also a proper 3D model or the wanted top view is available. Unfortunately I do not have a slightest idea where to start from to find them.

ADD: There's a plausible comment which says that the wanted view is not available in the source of this image. If that's true then you must paint what's behind the mountains. The visible side probably could be warped for something which resembles the top view but it generates a hole and you must fill that hole by knowing or guessing what the backside contains.

Here's my guess what's behind the south-east mountain. It's based on absolutely zero facts.

enter image description here

  • It seems to be a screenshot from SimCity (2013). Here is a video with that exact area.
    – Wolff
    May 26, 2021 at 18:19
  • I guess videogames do not have generally exportable 3D models. Algorithms generate a certain set of views but each of them is valid only for a certain viewing direction and zoom level. Camera rotation obviously cannot be stopped to a wanted direction. Otherwise the whole question would have never born. But checking what photogrammetry would create of 8 (guessed) possible views would be interesting.
    – user82991
    May 26, 2021 at 19:19
  • I'm pretty sure it's not possible to export a top view in any way. The image is perhaps somehow generated from 3D data, but it's displayed in the game menu as a fixed flat image. The game itself is rendered differently. Anyway, I was thinking the OP was interested in the general principle rather than this specific image.
    – Wolff
    May 26, 2021 at 19:30

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