Technical Illustration

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Create a realistic illustration of an actual object/product that shows its component parts by utilizing either an exploded view or cutaway view technique.


The purpose of this type of drawing is to show how something works, how it is put together or how to assemble it in its entirety.


First you must find an object that you can disassemble. You must be able to take the object apart to see the various parts and how they go together inside the “case” of the overall product. A mechanical object is much better than an electronic object for this purpose because the parts will typically be larger and easier for you to see, as well as easier for you to understand how they all go together.

You will not be able to work from a photographic template layer on this assignment. However, I strongly suggest that you roughly sketch with paper and pencil the exploded view or cutaway view of your object first and use that as a template to work from. This sketch can help you plan and visualize how the individual parts work together.

Three key aspects of this type of drawing are consistency, accuracy and three-dimensionality.

  1. Consistent perspective view point throughout all the parts can be aided by use of Illustrator’s three-dimensional grid and Illustrator’s 3-D Revolve effect.
  2. Accurate rendering of details requires close observation and patience.
  3. Control of light and shadow is achieved by manipulation of gradient fills, use of the blend tool, or gradient mesh to give realistic dimension and volume to component objects.
  • Your final illustration is 11 x 17  trim size (final size).
  • It may be in either B & W or color, your choice.

• Save this Illustrator file for later in an assignment using inDesign