# Setting up a dimetric grid with plane sets

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I want to work using a dimetric grid with the "Create plane set" option checked however I can't figure out what spacing is required to get the grid lines to intersect on the different plane sets. Screengrab attached to illustrate what I'm talking about. Absolutely love the way the grids/plane sets work for isometric and really hope it's possible to find the formula to get it to behave with non-isometric projections.

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Sorry to bump this but really nobody using grid planes for anything except isometric?

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I rarely use grids, so I'm not quite certain what you are trying to do. My understanding is that when there is a plane set, the perpendicular and horizontal axes need to be checked for snapping. Tho' the grid intersections in the various views don't match, when lines are drawn, they will get a high-lite color when they are perpendicular to the axis that defines the grid, and a projection line will appear when new nodes are lined up in the plane w. a previous one. One is not snapping to the grid, but to the points.nodes of the shape being drawn in that projection.

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Can you share a link or sample of the grid you're trying to recreate? This will allow us to help you further.

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Hi Leigh,

Thanks for replying. My problem is pretty simple and not related to a specific grid…rather just any 2 axis grid that is not isometric, I'll outline the constraints I have for you:

I want to do 3D drawing using 2 axis and a plane set

I don't want to use isometric

When switching between the grids for the different plane sets (First axis, Second axis and Up axis AKA x,y,x axis) I want the grid lines to always intersect at the same point as they do when you choose the isometric grid.

In the gif in my original post you can see me switching between plane sets and the grid points don't intersect. There must be a formula for calculating the spacing dependent on the angles used in order to have intersecting gridlines (and this formula should be used by default to set spacing when you change the angles IMO otherwise the plane sets are pretty much useless).

I have attached some images to illustrate the problem.

This has been drawn on an isometric grid:

Lets say I want to draw the first building again, start with the first plane set showing on the grid and draw the shape:

Now for the roof I toggle the plane set:

draw another shape just shift clicking into those intersections etc etc:

Now lets try the same thing with a non-isometric grid, eg. 2:1 isometric:

To begin with it's fine, draw the first wall as before

Problem is when you toggle the plane set, now nothing lines up

I hope that's clear now.

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Thank you owenr but that didn't seem to make any difference, does it matter what spacing I put in the Second axis?

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To avoid having to use a formula, have you considered just temporarily moving the existing shape or group of shapes that align on the first plane set so they snap to the intersections in the other plane set, adding whatever shape(s) need to be aligned to that, & then switching back to the first plane set & moving the entire group back into alignment with it?

Alternately, can you work in just one plane set & rely on snapping to keep everything aligned, something like what @gdenby described in his reply?

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@owenr thanks for the clarification but that didn't work either, did you try it out on your computer?

Quote

have you considered just temporarily moving the existing shape or group of shapes

that's not really an option, I am drawing 3D geometric cityskapes, therefore everything will have elements that exist on both plane sets, ie. side walls on one plane sets, roof and front wall on another plane set etc. Moving everything around will be too time consuming.

Yes I could just do what @gdenby suggested but…plane sets are an amazing feature when you work in isometric mode, I mean they are a real game changer that puts affinity far ahead of illustrator, so I would love to be able to use them with different axonometric projections.

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2 hours ago, owenr said:

up_spacing =  sin(first_angle) * first_spacing * 2

Thanks for posting that useful formula! Now, I just have to remember it  when I want to use it.

To make it easier to use, I just checked & the formula can be entered directly in the spacing field for Up axis. It uses degrees by default so for example you can enter sin(26.6)*10*2 in the field (with or without the px suffix) & it will automatically convert that to 8.955 px when you exit that field. Cool!

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Sorry @owenr when I tested I had lined up my shape with the one plane that doesn't align. My bad. So I think with your formula it lines up the first and second axis but not the up axis? Or is it first and up axis but not the second? Either way this is fantastic. Just a couple more questions…

is this specific to 2:1 isometric work? ie. if I change the angles to some custom amount then the formula changes?

do you happen to know how to figure out spacing for the second axis so that all the planes line up?

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1 minute ago, owenr said:

It takes only a few seconds to use the simple formula with a calculator app and paste the result into the up-spacing spacing field, and that's the planes set up for the entire work session. Isn't that a far more efficient way of working than dragging everything around every time you want to switch plane, which could be hundreds of times per hour?

As I just discovered, you don't even have to use a calculator -- Affinity will do the calculation for you.

As for efficiency, I typically group things as I go anyway, & copy & modify existing groups, and/or use symbols to add new items. I also frequently do not want everything to align precisely on the primary grid lines. I prefer not to use a large number of subdivision lines for that because it makes it harder to align the items I do want on the primary lines . Using too many subdivision lines can also make it hard to see some items unless I constantly fiddle with line colors & opacity.

So for my usual workflow, it is just about the same if I move things around temporarily as setting up the grid so everything aligns to it. For others it may be different.

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Thanks @owenr learning that formula has been awesome and I'm a lot closer to where I want to be now! The first thing I did was to actually enter the formula into affinity and the reason I then turned to a calculator is because I had the corner of my shape lined up with the grid lines on the vertical plane set…and if you do that then it doesn't line up with anything. Once I aligned the corner of my shape on the x or y plane set (not sure why they are called first/second in affinity?) then indeed it lines up beautifully when using a 2:1 isometric grid and swapping between the x/y planes (but doesn't align to the intersections of the vertical plane).

I believe that the "2" part of the equation relates to the x:y ratio here, so to make the formula universally applicable to any kind of axonometric projection you need to figure out that ratio first, does that make sense?

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5 hours ago, owenr said:

Each to their own, I guess. I'll use a simple formula and set a value once rather than repeatedly drag things back and forth to compensate for not setting the value.

I am not sure that is what @danw is talking about doing, so I could use a little clarification on that point. It sounds to me like he is talking about 'switching' back & forth between two different plane sets to draw different elements. If so, would that not require entering the formula each time the plane set changed?

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3 hours ago, danw said:

Once I aligned the corner of my shape on the x or y plane set (not sure why they are called first/second in affinity?) ...

Not sure but I think that is to avoid confusion with the x & y coordinates shown in the Transform panel & elsewhere in the UI. The grid axes are not really in a different plane from that of the workspace, so there really is only one 2D plane, always aligned to the horizontal & vertical axes of the document, & no third dimension or z axis.

Does that make sense?

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11 minutes ago, owenr said:

Dan will be repeatedly pressing the quote key to cycle through the three planes which make up one plane set, not changing the plane set a multitude of times.

Thank you! I did not know about the quote key function for cycling through the planes until you mentioned it. Now it makes sense.

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