Mastering 3D Design: How to Make 3d Objects in Illustrator

How to Make 3d Objects in Illustrator

Are you ready to take your design skills to the next level? In this article, I’ll show you how to unleash your creativity and make stunning 3D objects in Adobe Illustrator. With its powerful tools and intuitive interface, Illustrator provides endless possibilities for creating three-dimensional artwork. Whether you’re designing for print, web, or multimedia, mastering the art of 3D design will give your work a whole new dimension. So let’s dive in and discover the steps to bring your illustrations to life in the world of 3D.

Understanding 3D Objects in Illustrator

What Are 3D Objects?

In the world of graphic design, 3D objects are digital representations of physical objects that appear to have depth, volume, and perspective. Unlike 2D images that are flat and lack depth, 3D objects give the illusion of being three-dimensional, with the ability to rotate and interact with light sources. They add an extra dimension of realism and visual appeal to various types of artwork, animations, and designs.

Benefits of Creating 3D Objects in Illustrator

There are several benefits to using Illustrator for creating 3D objects:

  1. Versatility and Integration: Illustrator seamlessly integrates with other Adobe Creative Cloud applications, such as Photoshop and After Effects, allowing you to easily transfer your 3D objects between different programs and incorporate them into larger projects. This integration gives you the flexibility to work in your preferred environment while harnessing the full potential of each software.
  2. Design Precision: Illustrator provides precise control over the creation and manipulation of 3D objects. With tools like 3D Extrude & Bevel, Revolve, and Rotate, you can precisely adjust the dimensions, angles, and depth of your shapes. This level of precision ensures that your 3D objects are visually accurate and align with your creative vision.
  3. Realistic Lighting and Shading: One of the most impressive features of Illustrator is its ability to simulate realistic lighting and shading effects on 3D objects. By applying gradients, textures, and mapping artwork onto your objects, you can create stunning visual effects that mimic real-world lighting conditions. This adds depth, dimension, and a lifelike quality to your designs.
  4. Editable and Scalable: Illustrator’s vector-based approach means that your 3D objects remain fully editable and scalable, even after they have been created. This flexibility allows you to make adjustments, experiment with different designs, and resize your objects without sacrificing quality. Whether you need to create a small icon or a large billboard, Illustrator ensures that your 3D objects look sharp and professional at any size.
  5. Expandable Library of Resources: Illustrator offers a vast library of pre-built 3D symbols, shapes, and effects that you can utilize in your designs. These resources provide a starting point for your creations and can be customized to fit your specific needs. Additionally, there are numerous online communities and marketplaces where you can find and share 3D object templates, further expanding your design possibilities.

Creating Basic 3D Shapes in Illustrator

Using The 3D Revolve Tool

One of the key tools in Adobe Illustrator for creating 3D objects is the 3D Revolve Tool. With this tool, I can easily transform 2D shapes into three-dimensional objects. Here’s how I do it:

  1. First, I start by creating a basic shape using the Pen Tool, Rectangle Tool, or any other shape tool in Illustrator.
  2. Once I have my shape, I select it and go to the Effect menu, then choose 3D > Revolve.
  3. The 3D Revolve Options dialog box will appear, allowing me to customize the settings for the 3D effect. I can adjust the angle, perspective, and shading options to create the desired look.
  4. After making my adjustments, I click on the OK button, and Illustrator instantly transforms my 2D shape into a 3D object.

Creating Extrusions With The 3D Extrude & Bevel Tool

Another useful tool in Illustrator for creating 3D objects is the 3D Extrude & Bevel Tool. This tool allows me to extrude 2D shapes and add beveled edges to create realistic 3D effects. Here’s how I use it:

  1. To start, I create a shape using the Pen Tool or any other shape tool available in Illustrator.
  2. Once my shape is ready, I select it and go to the Effect menu, then choose 3D > Extrude & Bevel.
  3. In the 3D Extrude & Bevel Options dialog box, I can adjust the extrusion depth, bevel style, and other settings to achieve the desired 3D effect.
  4. Once I’m satisfied with the settings, I click on the OK button, and Illustrator instantly applies the 3D extrusion to my shape.


By utilizing the advanced techniques discussed in this article, I have demonstrated how to create impressive 3D objects in Adobe Illustrator. Applying materials and textures, adding lighting and shadows, and utilizing the perspective grid are all essential elements in enhancing the realism and visual appeal of these objects. These techniques will undoubtedly elevate your designs to the next level, whether you are working on product visualizations or interactive designs.

With the knowledge gained from this article, you now have the tools to create stunning and eye-catching 3D objects in Illustrator. By incorporating these techniques into your design process, you can bring your ideas to life and captivate your audience with visually striking visuals. So go ahead, experiment, and push the boundaries of what you can create in Illustrator. The possibilities are endless, and with practice, you’ll become a master of 3D design. Happy creating!