Sharp, blocky surfaces and simple geometric shapes, harmonized with organic textures and superfine environmental details create such a distinctive viewing experience of 3D illustrator and exhibit designer Tim Reynolds’s group of personal projects called "Low-Poly, Isometric Worlds" and "Low-Poly, Non-Isometric Worlds." Get inspired, learn about low-poly, find out about Reynolds’s creative process and see a hand-picked selection of his work in this feature article.

On the left: one of the pieces from "Low-Poly, Non-Isometric Worlds." On the right: Tim Reynolds.

30-year-old Wisconsin-based illustrator/designer Tim Reynolds (or, to his friends, Turnis — a nickname he picked up in high school from an older kid trying to pick on him) has worked on 3D graphics and exhibit design projects for big companies like Nissan and Circuit City and on illustrations for the magazine Popular Mechanics.

Illustration for Popular Mechanics October 2012.

I’m glad to present Tim Reynolds’s "low-poly" 3D renderings of beautiful environments and objects below.

What is "Low-Poly"?

The term "low-poly" that Reynolds uses to label his work was inspired by a computer graphics method of rendering 3D objects using a polygon mesh with a limited number of polygons. This is often done in video games and movies.

Though Reynolds says that he doesn’t really work with a fixed polygon budget when he makes one of his masterpieces, the sharp, faceted edges of his scenes help define his work as low poly.

"Roadways [Nighttime]"

The Creation Process

So how does Reynolds produce these amazingly detailed and unique illustrations?

"I’d say that the process is about 93% Cinema 4D and 7% Photoshop," he told me.

"I always keep a sketchbook nearby for quick doodles of ideas but normally I just jump right into Cinema 4D and start building," shared Reynolds.

Reynolds seems to take an almost-carefree approach to building his scenes, letting his creativity drive the production.

"I usually start with some sort of primitive shape (plane, cube, etc.) and start pushing and pulling points. I really like just building random little shapes and moving them around until I’m happy enough with a composition before moving on to lighting," Reynolds said.

"I use some texture, mostly some form of noise in my shaders that help give the objects some grit and definition."

Lighting is a key element in his "low-poly" illustrations. "Most of the time I try and stick with more natural color palettes while letting the lighting really take control of the mood," Reynolds said.

Low-Poly Showcase

Here are some of Tim Reynolds’s awesome "low-poly" scenes, environments and objects.

"Alien"

Part of "Low-Poly, Isometric Worlds"

Part of "Low-Poly, Non-Isometric Worlds"

Part of "Low-Poly, Isometric Worlds"

Part of "Low-Poly, Non-Isometric Worlds"

Part of "Low-Poly, Non-Isometric Worlds"

Part of "Low-Poly, Non-Isometric Worlds"

Part of "Low-Poly, Isometric Worlds"

Part of "Low-Poly, Non-Isometric Worlds"

Part of "Low-Poly, Non-Isometric Worlds"

Part of "Low-Poly, Non-Isometric Worlds"

Part of "Low-Poly, Non-Isometric Worlds"

Part of "Low-Poly, Non-Isometric Worlds"

Part of "Low-Poly, Non-Isometric Worlds"

Part of "Low-Poly, Non-Isometric Worlds"

Part of "Low-Poly, Isometric Worlds"

Part of "Low-Poly, Non-Isometric Worlds"

Part of "Low-Poly, Non-Isometric Worlds"

Part of "Low-Poly, Isometric Worlds"

Part of "Low-Poly, Isometric Worlds"

Did You Like Tim’s Work?

If you want to purchase some of Tim Reynolds’s prints, check out his online shop on Society6.

You can reach Tim and see more of his work on his site, TurnisLeftHome.

He’s also on Dribbble and you can catch his tweets on Twitter.

Author:

Jacob Gube is the co-founder of Design Instruct. Join him on Twitter @sixrevisions