Day 23: Applying 3D Extrude & Bevel

With 3D Live Effects you can add dimension to your 2D drawings easily. Though the features are limited, you can still control the appearance of 3D objects with lighting, shading, rotation, and more. You can also easily map artwork onto the 3d surfaces. Let’s see how each 3D effects works…

3D Extrude & Bevel

3D Extrude adds depth to an object to make it 3D. Select your object and go Effect>3D>Extrude & Bevel. The options window pops up. Change the Extrude Depth to determine the amount of depth. The Bevel sets the type of edges for the 3D object. Click and drag the cube to define how the star rotate in 3d space. You can also change the surface shading to define the texture.

3D Revolve

3D Revolve effect adds depth to an object by revolving an axis. In the illustration below, I have drawn half of the bottle. The 3D Revolve will make it revolve from the leftmost axis at 360degrees to form a 3D bottle. To revolve an object go to Effect>3D>Revolve.

Mapping Artwork

You can easily map graphic on to a 3D object. First you need to add your graphic to the Symbols Palette. Next, got to 3D Revolve Options and click Map Art and pick the surface to map to. For my bottle, I realized the surface of the bottle is on Surface 3 of 4. I can tell this by the red wireframe on the bottle in the artboard. I then select the graphic to map for Symbols and resize my graphic.

3D Rotate

3D Rotate lets you quickly rotate a 2D graphic in 3d space. It can be found under Effect>3D>Rotate.

Edit 3D Appearance

Anytime you want to make changes to a 3D object, you can go to the Appearance Palette and double click on 3D Extrude & Bevel to make your new changes.

Expanding 3D Appearance

To fill the surface with gradients and other effects, you will need to expand the appearance of the 3D object. Once expanded, you cannot make any more changes to the 3D effect anymore. However, you can add gradients and strokes effects to each surfaces. To expand the 3D appearance go to Object>Expand Appearance. After that you can use Direct Selection Tool to select the surfaces you want to apply gradient.

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About The Author: Tony Soh

Hi. I'm the founder of Vector Diary. Illustrator is my passion and I have written numerous tutorials on illustrator helping people learn illustrator. My most popular tutorial on learn illustrator has been a hit. It makes learning illustrator so easy and has benefited more than 20,000 people worldwide. Also, I've revealed some of my secret techniques in the premium tutorials. So don't forget to check it out!

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  1. Gravtar for ArtConch
    ArtConch August 10th

    Amazing tutorial, I so enjoyed this one, and now I am so looking forward to experimenting more with it. Here is how my lesson turned out

  2. Gravtar for iStockdiary
    iStockdiary August 11th

    Hi ArtConch, Gd work and thanks for sharing.

  3. Gravtar for Marco Candello
    Marco Candello June 21st

    I didn’t get the Mapping Artwork thing. When I tryied to apply it, it did a revolve and not the example you gave. Could you explain me a little better so I may find what i miss? Thanks.