BLOCK RASTER: REVISITED, REVIVED & REVISED
Some days ago I saw this project called Blocky Earth by Jaume Sánchez (image above) which reminded me of my old isometric block raster script (image below). Looking at the code now, I have to say that there are a bunch of things I would have done different had I done it today, so I spent last night rewriting it. As the script got a well deserved overhaul I also took the time to put in some things that I felt was going to add a nice touch.What follows are images and short descriptions of how these add-ons work.
Maybe the biggest addition to the script are the three sliders (one for each side of the blocks; top, left & right) to adjust the amount of light falling on each side. This can be used both as a way to increase the contrast – like in the image below – as well as change the entire lighting direction.
This function was actually included in the previous version but I’ll consider it new anyway. What this list does is to simply tell the script that either ‘Light’ or ‘Dark’ colors should be elevated. The script checks the brightness level of the sampled area and uses that value as a multiplier with the Max Height value. Therefore, as the ‘Light’ value is default, lighter blocks are rendered higher, of course the same happens with dark blocks if Elevate is set to ‘Dark’.
Draw Non-Elevated & Threshold
Having this option turned OFF when running the script with images with an overall uniform background can be useful to not draw blocks of limited height that would otherwise be drawn as a thin flat object. The accompanying Threshold value – enabled ONLY if Draw Non-Elevated is turned OFF – is the amount by how high a block needs to be in order to be drawn by the script. Note that the threshold is limited to values between zero and the Max Height value, the maximum threshold value will vary accordingly.
I’ve also added an option to turn the outlines ON and OFF. Not very big enhancment as it is very easy to just turn of the stroke of all selected objects directly inside Illustrator but I thought this way was more convenient.