I would like to create a maze with gradients, but I don't know where to start. I can see that they are subtle gradients that shift, so I would like to start with some techniques that could help me shift my perspective beyond basic flat design: maze

As a beginner, my reasoning would be:

  1. Create selected areas and put them on individual layers

  2. Choose eight or so colors, trying to find ones that blend into one another for depth. This sum not really sure of and don't know a lot about color theory.

  3. Create the full outline of the maze, but in a slightly different style that extends for a few more turns.

  4. Use the gradient tool to try to match up where intersecting layers.

Would this be a correct technique? Am I missing something?

  1. what additional techniques are needed for a maze with curves? curved maze All design credit goes to: http://dribbble.com/shots/1118644-G-Glob
  • I would recommend using a single "global" gradient for the shading on the bottom (this would be a black gradient with lower opacity). Then use maybe two other gradients or so to create the other sections and just mask them or apply them to the shape.
    – Hanna
    Commented Aug 4, 2013 at 23:10

1 Answer 1


It's easiest to complete this isometric maze in Adobe Illustrator.

I've tried for the first time, creating a screencast that most accurately shows the necessary steps to complete this and adds some commentary on the use of accurate gradients. Still improving at screencasts, but hopefully it gets the points across.

Part 1: How to make an Isometric top - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKgDZ87RRyA

Part 2: How to make the walls within - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vrdyj46quYA

Part 3: How to accurately consider light sources for gradients - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0v3b9sQmiig

You can use this method to extend your maze and hopefully there are some principles that help you in your Illustrator techniques.

Final Output

Final Output

Grayscale and Curved Wall

enter image description here

Note Make sure your guides are not locked. Unlock Guides

Source File

IsometricMaze.ai (To be safe, this will take you to a Google Drive Shared File where you can preview before downloading)

  • I had a hard time getting the first video to load. Skating on the bottom you can see the various slides but I encountered errors after trying four or five times. The second and third parts are great. But I just listened along, need a little help with the guides etc. do you think a lot depends upon color choice? If you kept it monochromatic would it still create the illusion?
    – Charles
    Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 1:45
  • To add to the question, how would you use similar techniques for curved mazes?
    – Charles
    Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 1:50
  • @Charles The illusion of depth isn't so much a color choice as it is a value choice. I've edited my answer to include a grayscale. Viewers understand depth because they subconsciously understand what changes in value mean. Light gives information as to how an object is shaped and its volumetric form. Curves wouldn't be too difficult as long as you maintained the same wall thickness throughout, it would look goofy if you didn't. It would also change your gradient considerations because the values across the curves would vary as well as vertically. Always consider your light sources. Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 2:06
  • thanks, any style reason why you choose to separate the base colors on the far right into two separate colors versus one. By separating the sections it seems that lost the perspective of the maze.
    – Charles
    Commented Aug 7, 2013 at 21:46
  • 1
    Thanks Adam. You should really consider teaching as a side gig. Very nice flow and explanations of your thought process. This is often very hard to find online. Truly appreciate your time and effort.
    – Charles
    Commented Aug 10, 2013 at 13:40

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