3D Buildings on Grid Paper!




About: Hi! I'm knexinventions 49, a kid who loves to build, program, inspect element, play, and more. As my username suggests, most of my 'ibles will be on Knex, but I have some other ones with paper. I'm currently...

Hey guys! I'm back, doing my first post in a while: a tutorial on something cool to do on graph paper. You draw 3D models of buildings and stuff, and I think it's sorta a fun thing to do when bored. This instuctable might be more of a concept than a step by step, but it's still basic. Enjoy!

I just made a Papercraft version of this. Head on over with this link and make sure to check it out!

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Step 1: Stuff You Need

You will need:

  • Pencil (a regular mechanical pencil or #2 would do well)
  • Some kind of thin marker like a Sharpie Pen (if you want to outline it in black ink)
  • Graph paper (or printer paper if you don't want the grid guidelines)
  • One of those shader things or finger (for shadows if you want them)

Step 2: Drawing

Rotate the paper a bit so the squares are at a 45 degree angle. Start doing a basic outline of the building in pencil.

Step 3: Outlining

Once you're sure of the final design, you can outline it with a thin pen/marker.

Step 4: Shading


1: Finger

Shade the areas that would have shade lightly, then rub it with your finger to spread it around.

2. Shader thing

Sorta scribble around that area that would have shade and use it like a pencil to make shade.

Step 5: Optional: Cutting

This is an optional step that is for people that want to make their drawing into an anamorphic illusion. To do that, use a pencil and lightly sketch the base. Make a dot on the farthest corner from you (shown in the picture). Trace along the line that aligns with the dot where the line come out of the drawing is where you will cut. If this is confusing, the picture captions will probably help. Trace an outline for the paper that the building will be on (make room for the shadow) and cut it out. When you get to the lines that you sketched, just cut the building outline.

Step 6: Done!

You now have a cool cube-like 3D building. Thanks for reading this 'ible!

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43 Discussions


2 years ago

I love this! What a great little visual trick!


3 years ago

That was an awesome tutorial. Came out great, thanks for sharing :)!

1 reply

Thanks! First comment an this in a while. I think I can only do Instructables over breaks. .-.


4 years ago

I'm loving how well this effect works thank u


4 years ago

Here is my attempt, I don't know how to shade and my lines are not straight but it was fun! Awesome idea!

15, 6:30 PM.jpg
1 reply

Good! BTW, there is a 'I made it!' button at the top of the page that makes it show up with a picture and a I made it! ribbon.


4 years ago

Good example of using two point perspecive drawing to force a three dimesional illusion.


4 years ago on Introduction

very kewl. Well done. Here's the photoshop version.