I'm currently playing around in Illustrator and I would like to know the best way to recreate this pattern from a Samsung wallpaper (or similar) so that I can colour it how I like.

enter image description here

The main problem I'm having is positioning the triangles between each other. Is there a better way to place then flush against each other so there are no gaps?

Do I have to just painstakingly pull each point to match up with each other?

Or is there a way to "cut up" a larger shape?

enter image description here

  1. Draw a rectangle that covers the whole canvas.
  2. Make sure you have "Smart Guides" activated (View->Smart Guides or Ctrl+U)
  3. Draw a bunch of black (or any other colour) lines creating your design. The lines can intersect (encouraged) but make sure they touch each other or they touch the border of the rectangle (i.e. the border of the canvas). This is why Smart Guides comes in handy.

  4. Select the whole art (Ctr+A) and using the Pathfinder palette (Windows->Pathfinder or Shift+Ctr+F9) click on "Divide".

  5. This turns the art into a group of polygons. Each one has the fill colour of the original rectangle (red in my case) and the border colour of the lines (black in my case). Double click on the group, select each rectangle and recolour it at your hearts content.

Here is an animation in Scott's style. I don't know what possessed me to make the rectangle red. Maybe need more coffee.

enter image description here

  • 1
    You should only connect end points, plus the lines you use are mostly from one side of the screen to the other. It just doesn't give it the 3D diamond look. Look at @Ryan's answer for a better example.
    – SPRBRN
    May 6 '14 at 13:44
  • @SPRBRN: The last 3 lines were intentionally placed to create the diamond effect. I would think the OP would understand he can place the lines wherever he wants but good point : )
    – cockypup
    May 6 '14 at 13:46
  • This is perfect and works best for what I'm after!
    – SaturnsEye
    May 6 '14 at 13:46

From an architectural standpoint try to think of these not as triangles but as surfaces. Surfaces are made up of sides. In this case these just happen to be, mostly though not entirely, triangles.

Use the line tool, not the polygon tool.

For a quick example here's a rough animation:

enter image description here

  • Can the spaces then be individually filled with colour?
    – SaturnsEye
    May 6 '14 at 13:03
  • Yes you can add color in illustrator or in photoshop. Personally for something like this I do the coloring part in photoshop because its what I'm more familiar with but you can use either one.
    – Ryan
    May 6 '14 at 13:14
  • Too bad this answer isn't chosen, as this one does right to the diamond aspect of the question example pics. The accepted answer with red square with lines across the screen slice it up, but without the magic.
    – SPRBRN
    May 6 '14 at 13:55

Just to add on @cockypup

Another way to make things easy to apply colour, use the same approach as @cockypup showcased but instead of using the Pathfinder to explode the object to pieces, I would suggest using Live Paint.

  1. So once you have drawn the big rectangle and created the lines that cut through.

  2. Select All and chose Live Paint under Menu--->Object.

enter image description here

  1. Now you can select the Live Bucket Tool from the Tools Panel and start adding colour to each segment.

enter image description here

  1. Two advantages you have now,

(a) you can always go back and change your design with less effort,

(b) when using the Live Bucket tool you have the freedom of choosing colours form the swatches panel just by using the cursors on your keyboard! Also don't forget that the colours available for you to skip through are based on which group of colours you have selected in the swatches panel!

Let me know!!!

  • This is great! (+1) I have to say that "Live Paint" is one tool I have yet to explore.
    – cockypup
    May 7 '14 at 14:42
  • It sure is! Let me know if you need help!
    – Mamoon
    May 8 '14 at 5:47

There is actually a web page that can build these polygons for you, based on a file you upload. Check it out Somestuff.ru

  • This is my preferred method of creating these things. It gives you nice colours too without you having to do all of that manually.
    – boz
    May 7 '14 at 10:12

I second Ryan's answer, but add to it from a cartographer's perspective. The surface Ryan is talking about is called Thiessen Polygons, also known as Voronoi Polygons. There may be a special tool in Inkscape or AI for this, but in QGIS you just pass an XYZ point file to the Voronoi Polygon tool and it will generate the polygons for you.

I'm sure there are lots of ways to get the output to your favorite vector editor.

  • I was wrong about the Thiessen Polygons. I get those mixed up with Triangulated Irregular Networks, which would be more suitable solution in this example.
    – JMT2080AD
    May 10 '14 at 1:00

So first I'd recommend you check this online tool. Since it's not exactly what you're looking for I'll explain how I achieve similar results in the past. I hope someone in this thread has a better way to do this. Create an isometric grid then click on it at different places with the shape builder tool. Then modify the triangles at will by just selecting intersections between 6 triangles and moving them.


You can also use a variety of plug-ins. Scriptographer gives you very advanced options to mess about with shapes and color. There is one script that allows you to generate triangles in a pattern with mere mouseclicks.

You can download it here: http://scriptographer.org/scripts/interactive-tools/triangular/

Scriptographer might seem daunting at first, but they have really great guides to get started: http://scriptographer.org/tutorials/

Although the shapes in the example don't exactly match what you want, for as far as I remember you can modify them a lot.

Good luck!


There's also this site, which will give you a vector svg file that you can then edit...


  • 3
    Welcome to GD. Your answer may help the OP but please read our Help Center Guidelines and know that new users posting link only answers tend to receive down-voted votes. Do you mind adding a little more information to help the OP so your answer will be better? May 7 '14 at 14:13

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