Here is an image that I drew by hand. I am looking for a way to create precise distances between anchors (blue dots) and a way to connect them with straight lines (black).

I have photoshop and illustrator. Can someone please provide a clear list of steps to take in either of these programs? Ideally I would like to be able to fill some of the parts with colour.

hand drawn shape

I basically want the A's and B's to be equal. enter image description here

Ideally I use a grid to position my points for shape corners. Like this: enter image description here

But this is an online generator (http://tommaitland.net/graphpaper/)
and I need to do this in photoshop or illustrator.

  • Is this a mechanism by any chance?
    – joojaa
    Dec 23, 2015 at 6:14
  • @joojaa I am not sure what you mean by that. Dec 23, 2015 at 6:23
  • 1
    Then im pretty sure it is not. (see here)
    – joojaa
    Dec 23, 2015 at 6:32
  • no it is 100% not a mechanism hehe Dec 23, 2015 at 6:39

2 Answers 2


Most likely, the result must be an extruded profile (or parallel projection). Of course we wouldn't use the extrude tool in Illustrator.

All you have to do is to draw your profile (the B's) and copy it to give the extrusion effect you want the extrusion amount will be (the A's).

This Projection called Axonometric projection where it is a type of parallel projection used for creating a pictorial drawing of an object, where the object is rotated along one or more of its axes relative to the plane of projection.

Considering that you have a equiangular please follow my steps.

  1. you have two option to draw a equiangular, one using the polygon tool and the other way is to draw with line segments explained by @joojaa
  2. you should have a profile shape like the one below.

enter image description here

  1. select the shape and copy it in a new diagonal direction.

enter image description here

  1. with the line tool, connect all the pointed angles.

enter image description here

  • This is exactly same thing as what i do just different order ;) Not that that is not valuable in it self. I also close the edges. But i also teach how to get equally long edge in different direction than main.
    – joojaa
    Dec 23, 2015 at 21:25
  • Both of your answers gave me a new perspective on this! Thank you. Dec 23, 2015 at 21:26

Use illustrator its by far easier. After your edits its easier to understand what your after. Basically your asking if there is a grid snap? Sure, to turn the grid on and turn grid snapping on:

  • Choose View → Show Grid
  • Then enable gridsnapping View → Snap to Grid

the rest should be self explanatory on account that you know how to draw the shape. But to add a bit your shape is a parallelogram. That means that you can always clone the opposite side by alt dragging selected shape to clone path parts.

Now its not so easy to do this on a grid. As the length of edges does not necessarily coincide with the grid (especially when your at an angle). When you hold Alt and click then you get a dialog for entering values for the tool. This will help you doing the drawing WITHOUT a grid. Just type in direction and line length and then clone them around.


Image 1: Time lapse of a arbitrary example

Tip: Use the line tool its conceptual easier. If you need the shape closed afterwards just use shape builder tool to make shapes.


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