Cube that Square: Put a Flat Design on a Cube in Illustrator | Victor Langer | Skillshare

Cube that Square: Put a Flat Design on a Cube in Illustrator

Victor Langer, Logosaurus Rex, Graphic Designosaur

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7 Lessons (44m)
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. Isometric & Extrude

    • 3. Lesson 1: No Rotation

    • 4. Lesson 2: With Rotation

    • 5. Lesson 3: With Rotation

    • 6. Lesson 4: With Rotation & Reflection

    • 7. Goodbye is not Extinction


About This Class

In this class we will be looking at how to put a flat design on a cube. In Illustrator this is called “mapping” to a 3D object. This technique looks scary at first, but is actually pretty easy once you get used to it. You make a cube using the Extrude 3D Effect, then MAP--meaning APPLY--your flat square design to it’s three visible faces, and then recolor or add shading. What starts out as a not very exciting flat design can become something great on a cube.



1. Trailer: greetings and welcome to my second class on skill share. For those of you who miss my first class, let me introduce myself. I'm a graphic designer so are specializing in logos. I've been in the business since the late Jurassic period, when computers first appear in the fossil record. We also see a mass extinction of designer sores that claimed almost all of my colleagues. But I was one of the few who was able to adapt and evolve into an entirely new species logo . Saurus Rex, a digital graphic design IHS! Or here's a picture of me engrossed in an illustrator manual. This shot was taken before I discovered that it was much easier to type if I cut my nails in this class, we will be looking at how to put a flat design on a cube. An illustrator, this is called mapping to a three D object. This technique looks scary at first, but it's actually pretty easy. Once you get used to it, you make a cube using the extrude three D effect than map, meaning. Apply your flat square designed to its three visible faces and then re color or add shading . What starts out as a not very exciting flat design can become something great on a cube. Here's an overview of the four lessons. Lesson one is easy because the flat design doesn't require any special rotation lessons. Two and three are harder because selective rotation is needed and Lesson four is the hardest of all because it needs rotation, reflection and color swap. Before starting lessons, there will be a brief introduction about isometric drawing and what an extrusion is. Then, as a Pelley ontological note, I will briefly show you the cumbersome old way to achieve this effect, which became extinct many years ago when three D effects came out. An illustrator. This is so you can appreciate the new way to do it is only a graphic designer sore can. Your project will be to come up with a flat design that will make a great cube design and then, of course, to apply it to an isometric cube. It could be an abstract design, a pictorial design or letter. The final delivery bles are one. A scan of your sketch to the flat design created an illustrator and three the final cubic design, the main skills involved in this class are the extrude three D effect with mapping the rotate tool and the reflect tool. I'm assuming that you have at least a rudimentary knowledge of illustrator. I have adjusted my screen resolution cell that all the tiny icons will be easy to see. Make sure you view this on full screen for best visibility. The full screen I icon is at the bottom right of the video window to get out of full screen , press the escape key so off we go. 2. Isometric & Extrude: introduction. I symmetric and extrude Isometric versus perspective three D drawing. Imagine this is a cube and you're looking head on at one of its vertical edges. The horizontal is of the sides who would be parallel and at 30 degrees to a baseline with perspective drawing the horizontal is would converge at a vanishing point on the horizon. Isometric is good for mechanical drawing and logos. Perspective is good for landscape drawing and architectural drawing and isometric is what we're gonna be dealing with in this class. Now, this is the old way to do it, just to show you how much greater the new way is. Supposing you had a square and you wanted to draw this left face of that isometric cube, you would think you could just sheer it 30 degrees. This is shearing where you ah grab these two sides and moving in opposite directions to make a parallelogram. If you did that vertically 30 degrees, you would think you would have it. But if you put them together, you see that you don't because the angles aside becomes lady longer than the original vertical side. So what you have to do is to compensate for that. Supposing you wanted to put this square on this cube, you'd have to first shorten it in the height. In other words, scale it vertically, non uniformly by this magic number, 86.602%. I don't know how that's arrived at, but I found it in a tutorial a 1,000,000 years ago, and it works. And then you'd have to take this and share it 30 degrees, horizontal like so, then rotated minus 30 degrees like so, and that would become the top face. And then you would rotate copies of the top around this point third of a turn each 120 degrees, and that would give you the full picture. And then you would shade the to vertical faces to give it a three day look. So that's pretty bad. And what's worse is that this would only work if your original square can rotate anyway. 90 degrees. If you've got a design that needs selective rotation and cant just rotate any any old way, then you have to go through this process with all three of the sides, and your degree of sheer and rotation would be different for all three. Pretty nasty. OK, now let's look at extrusion ins. The verb is extrude. This is an extruded star. These aerial an isometric view now 30 degrees to the baseline. So Ah, what you're doing with extrusion is you're taking a flat object and you are extending it in space perpendicular to its face by a certain amount. That's the depth of extrusion. Here's a square that's extruded into a rectangular bar. If you took that square and you extruded it to a depth exactly equal to the side, you would get a perfect isometric cube. And that's what we're gonna be doing. Notice also that the three faces air exactly identical, and that the outline forms a perfect hexagon. 3. Lesson 1: No Rotation: lesson one. This is an easy one because the flat design can be rotated at quarters of a turn any which way, and it will still work. So I, uh, used sketches for this pencil sketches. Remember pencil and paper papers, that white thin stuff. Remember that stuff and scanned it? And that's why I have to go on. Let's say so. First, we're going to draw the flat design. Zoom in a little bit there and we're gonna use a 30% gray for a square. The square, the big square building. Downshift, make a square, and then we're gonna Ah, it's a slightly darker grey, 60% for the inside square and, ah, rotate that 45 degrees and, uh, center it top to bottom left to right. Then we're going to move this little square over, move a copy over just like so and scale it up a tiny bit. And then so, like just that anchor point, delete it. There's our arrowhead now for the shaft rectangle tool, like so and center top to bottom. And now we want to rotate this arrowhead and shaft a copy three times at 90 degrees. So let's select both parts of the arrow. Let's go to outline view so we can see our CenterPoint get rotate tool, and we're going to option or all to click right in the center when you hit option or alter option on the Mac Altan windows, you see dot, dot, dot next to the cross hair. That means something else is gonna happen. And what happens is that the rotate box comes up and ah, 90 degrees is what we want. We want a copy, okay? And then we can hit ah, command or control Commander Mac control on Windows D to duplicate that move two more times . Let's go back to normal view. Select whips, select everything and go to Pathfinder. Subtract to get rid of the darker grey stuff and there's are finished design and let's make this black. I usually like to work in light grey, but we need black. I'll show you why later. Now, before we make our cube toe apply this flat designed to we have to do something else to the flat design. And that is we have to make it into a symbol. And what is a symbol and illustrator? I have no idea. I only use symbols for this one instance. Ah, all I know is it's got to be a symbol for this to work. So just drag design into the symbol panel and say Okay, enough to name it. And it becomes a symbol, whatever that is. Now let's make our cube. So, uh, we're gonna use 10% this time. 10% black light, grey and ah, rectangle tool click. Bring up the box. We want a three inch cube, three inch, three inch. Okay, Now we're going to turn this flat square into an isometric cube. We goto effect three d extrude and bevel. Big scary box comes up and we're not dealing with bevel just extruded in this lesson. First thing is to go down here to the bottom left and hit preview that shows you the extruded view, the default extruded view what? Which is called off axis front, Meaning it's just slightly angled away from head on. We don't want that view. We want isometric down the bottom here. Let's make it isometric right. There's are isometric view with our 30 degree horizontal to the baseline, and, ah, now we have the extra depth to deal with the default is 50 points. What we want is an extra depth exactly equal to the side of the square, which is three inches. This field only takes points, but it doesn't matter. We can put in three inches any way we can put in three i n and then uncheck and recheck preview to refresh the view. Refresh the preview and there's are perfect isometric square. All right, now we're ready to apply our flat object to it. This is called mapping Missy Map art down here. That's what we want. Map art. Another big box comes up and the first thing we want to notice on this box is this field up here called surface. This is the surface field, and it shows you the different surfaces of your three D objects so you can apply stuff to each surface individually, and it highlights them in red. Now, Right now, we're looking at the front. Right face. Don't get confused by this other red object here, which is the original square. Okay, this is the thing we're looking at. That's the front, right? If I page through these surfaces, I see now it's highlighting. They left Ah, Rear invisible face. Now the right rear invisible face. Now the bottom invisible. And now the left front. Now the top. Okay, so let's deal with the job. Would go appear to the symbol field. We look for our symbol. There it is. And then it's a little small. So we scale to fit, scale to fit. Okay, So much for that surface. Now we look for our other surfaces. There's are right front surface, again symbol, scale to fit. Let's look for our left front surface. Now. There it is, symbol scale to fit. And then we also want to do 11 of the thing and that as we want to get rid of the original Gray Cube, we just want our flat design. So we go down here here and check invisible geometry and poof, the great Cuba is gone. We see okay to that box. Okay to that box, moving all. Move a copy down, and now we're gonna recover it. But before you can edit in effect, you have to do something called expand it. So we go up here to object, expand appearance appearances, in effect, right? And now these two objects look alike. But If we go to outline view of you outline, we see that this one is really just, ah, square that has an effect applied to it, which is not a real path. And this one is the real path, the real object and one of the thing we want to do down here. While we're an outline view, let's get our group selection Tool is there is an extraneous object in here and here it is . See that we don't want that. Even though we said invisible geometry, it didn't believe us and gave us still some extraneous objects. Let's delete that I picked this one out and delete it and picked this one out and delete it . Now we've got a beautiful, perfect object. Let's go back to our normal view, and now we can re color. Move a copy down. Save your intermediates. Work from top to bottom is a good way to go and save the file. Do that every minute or so, and let's color everything with a fill of orange. And now let's go in and shade the to bottom faces. Vertical faces. Way I do that is, I like to work in Pantone colors and then to shade. Um, I go appear to the color panel and, ah, going to convert that into see him like a And of course, you have to be working and see him like a color mode for the file. So here's the little guy that converts to see I'm like, Hey, see those four colors in there? And now we've got the four components and we can increase the black. That black is the K because black, the word black ends in K. They didn't make it a because it would be confused with blue. So we're gonna slide this black component to the right slightly. And while we're doing that, we're gonna watch the Phil stroke and fill box watch the film. You can also watch up here in the color panel, but it's rather small that doesn't show in the object that you can't watch the object. So I'm gonna slide this while I'm looking at the fill in the stroke and fill box to, like, get it just where I want it. See, that's too dark about like so Okay, the same thing for this other side convert to see him like a slide that k over while you're watching the Phil. And there it is done deal 4. Lesson 2: With Rotation: lesson two a little bit harder. With rotation, the square object has to be rotated selectively using a letter for this, Um, you could use any squarish letter m and e f etcetera. And some funds air just squarish funds where even the normal normally rounded letters are square. So this is gonna be, um, three m's. I'm using gill sans bold 120 point text tool kept em and scale it up a little, uh, create outlines type, create outlines. And ah, again, we have to make this assemble whatever that is. Remember from lesson one dragon into the symbol panel Say OK, do enough to name it. Now let's go make our isometric you like before and, uh, we're gonna you use a light gray swatches 10% gray rectangle tool Click three inches three inches three inch square and then effect three d extrude and bevel and down in the lower left. First thing to do is preview. There's the default view or position off access front. Change that to isometric right, and then change the extrude depth. 23 inches. Sat side of our square three i n and, um, uncheck and recheck preview to refresh the preview. There's are Isometric Cube, then map art. Here's the map part bucks and once again, our surface field. Right now, the ah, right front faces selected again. Don't be thrown off by this square. That's our original square, that this is an effect of so right front. Let's get our symbol. There it is now notice that are, Ah, letter isn't exactly a square, but that doesn't matter, because scale to fit will actually make it fit the square and distorts it a little. But that's OK. And that's the bar at the right position we wanted in. Now let's look for this surface. The front left. You can scroll forward or backwards. Here there's the front left and again symbol scale to fit. And this one I want also to be vertical, so I'm going to rotate here, just like I would rotate a square normally and hold down shift to make it snap to the quarter turn. Then let's get our top surface. There it is and again symbol and scale to fit, and I want that to be rotated clockwise, 1/4 turn hold shift to snap, and that looks pretty good. And again, again Let's get rid of our invisible geometry. Ah, get rid of our Q by checking invisible geometry and then say OK and OK and move a copy down , Save the file. And let's Ah, um, before we can edit this further, we have to expand the effect or appearance, object, expand appearance. And now that's put a white stroke on it just so we can see the divisions. So we go stroke white, make it three points more visible. And now I discover that I want to edit this. I don't like this position of this of this, this one this m I want this m to be rotated 1/4 turn clockwise. I think that would be a better design. So here's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna edit that effect. So I move a copy over and then move it down, working in columns and to edit an effect. You have to go to the appearance panel. It's a crazy thing, but this is the way it's done. You have to go to the appearance panel and look for the effect and f X means effects. Here's the object with the effect, so you click F X and now you can edit that effect. Eso Let's put our preview on again here in the lower left. That's what we had before, and I was edit Herbal. We can go to a map art and we want to change our front left face so we look for the front left. There's the front left, highlighted with the red. Again. Don't be thrown off, but it's Blue Square. That's the original square. Now we want to rotate that clockwise 1/4 of a turn so we just do this and hold shift to make it snap. There it is noticed that the orientation is different in this view, and in this view you just have to do trial and error. And that looks good. So we say, OK, OK, what was that up? Move a copy down, save the file and expand appearance, object, expand appearance so we can re color. And, um, let's make all of these a light blue fill light blue whips. Problem is, I forgot to remove our extraneous objects, so let's do that. There's an extraneous object number. Those guys from lesson one. We want those out of there. Okay, Now we can re color make him all light blue first, and then shade the verticals. Um, once again, Pantone color convert to see him like a increase the black and like in less than one, the, uh won't show in the image until you release it. You can You can do it by trial and error that way. Or you can just watch they fill in the stroke and fill box tiu c the right shade, come up and then release it on the other one convert to see him like a and there's that one , and that's it for Lesson two. 5. Lesson 3: With Rotation: Lesson three. This one is also a little bit harder, has selective rotation, and it also has some other problems as well see toward the end. So let's say I started with this sketch of the Cuban, the square. Let's draw the square first Going to use the grid for this one of my favorite ah, tricks and illustrator. So that's good of you. Show grid and view, snap to grid and ah, we have 1234 increments on a side. We're gonna let each one of those B two squares so we want 2468 squares for our, um overall square, large square. So let's us say, um, we'll use, um like 30% here. Oh, no, we're going to do this in strokes, right? We'll do it in strokes like stroke. Three points, rectangle tool and we can just go. 12 345678 diagonally snaps to the grid, which is a fun future. Then we want these arcs usar ellipse tool and here's our center and we want to use option on the Mac Ault on windows to draw from the center. We also want shift to make it a circle. So there's our 1st 1 There's our 2nd 1 Tomb or squares in radius. There's our 3rd 12 more squares and radius. There's our next one. Two more squares and radius, and our last one. It's right there. Looks good. Okay, let's zoom out a little bit here. And then let's move a copy down working and, uh oops. Didn't get him all. Let's select him all. Move a copy down, working in columns, keeping intermediates. Right now we can go up to Pathfinder Divide, and that makes separate objects wherever there's an intersection group by default. So we get our group selection tool, Select all the stuff we don't want. And there's our nifty little square design. Let's bring our sketch down to refer to and, um, zoom in a little. Let's get rid of our grid now, which we don't need any more view. Hide, grid and view. Snap to grid and here are separate objects. Funeral separate objects from the divide Pathfinder Undo, undo. And so, uh, which ones are black? That one. That one. And that one gonna make that black. And this one this one and this one. Make that light grey let's say, or medium grey Phil. And no stroke. Okay, that looks good for our square design. Save the file. Make it a symbol. Drag it into the symbol panel. Say, Okay, I don't have to name it. Let's make our isometric cube like before. And we want a square. 10% black whips. Wrong item. 10% black rectangle tool. Click three inch square, like before three inches. Okay, zoom in a little bit here and make this a, uh, isometric cube effect three d extrude and bevel preview. Isometric right. Three inches. Refresh the preview. Okay. Now, instead of mapping it directly on to do something different, I say, okay. And let's save that and use that in less than four, so I don't have to redo it. Just drag a copy down here and then Ah, we want to ah, get our sketch to refer to next to it. And we have to go to ah, appearance panel again to edit our effect. Look for the f X double. Click it and ah, preview. There's our cube. Now we can map it. There's the map bucks. And right now they front right face is selected. See the red again. Don't be thrown off by that blue square. That's our original square. So that's map that you know, a symbol and scale to fit. Now we have to rotate it to match our sketch here. That looks like it needs 1/2 turn with shift to snap to it. Nope. Missed it. Try another. Ah, Quarter of a turn there. That's the one. See that Goto a surface field again. There is the top symbol scale to fit. That one needs 1/2 turn rotation. I would say that looks good and surface feel. There's our front left symbol. Scale to fit and quarter turn to the right. Maybe. Yep, that's the one. Okay, now we can say, Ah, we wanted visible geometry again. Invisible geometry there and then say OK, so your kid or the other one and move it down rid of that panel. And, ah, before we can re color, we want Teoh to object. Expand appearance. Okay. No, we've got a problem. We have extraneous objects in there, but you can't see them because this design is covering up the whole cube. The other two designs we did in lessons one and two had spaces where we could get in air and select the extraneous objects. So this is going to be a little tricky. What we have to do here is, um let's get our group selection tool. Well, let's try it this way. See what happens there. Know that Just deletes the whole thing. That's no good. Undo. We have to get group selection tool and select each of these area with shift Add to this election. Okay, Those air are valid objects, and we want to lock those with commander control to Bloxham. Now we can select are extraneous objects. Okay, then we unlock Commander control an option or Ault to to unlock. And now we've got good stuff. We can recall there save the file and that's re color. So the blacks are gonna be Let's say green. Okay, then the blacks on this face are gonna be that green with the shading and using the ah see on my trick a trick again And the blacks on this whips moved it Blacks on this face the green with more black good and the grays air gonna be the pink And on this side again the pink with shading And on this side did oh, more shading And there you have it Lesson three 6. Lesson 4: With Rotation & Reflection: listen for this one's pretty tough. It has rotation, reflection and color swap. Here is my sketch of the Cube and for the square. I laid it out this way so I could follow the flow along the cube. It makes a right angle turn and continues around the size of the Cube. So this is our top. That's our right side. That's our left side. The top and the right side are the same. And we're also going to use a cube from Ah, we've already made from less than three for the three D Cube. So let's draw this square first. Gonna use the grid for this. If you show grid and view, snap to grid. And ah, the way this design works is that it's ah one unit and then four units and then one and 41 and four. So that's 15 and that's Ah, three pairs of fives or 15 units for this whole side of the square. So, uh, I could ah get the rectangle tool and I could count out 15 units across and 15 units down, but an easier way to do it. Since I know these air half inch squares on my grid is to just click and, um, put in ah, 7.5 inches, 15 times 1/2. So 7.5 books and 7.5. Okay. And let's do this as a stroke. Black stroke, stroke black this up a little bit here and now. Let's put in the white areas was l shaped white areas. Ah, and we're going to use the rectangle tool again. And we're gonna make two rectangles, one like so and then another one, like so And then we'll unite them. So that first went on top. Rectangle Tool will start one square down. It'll run four squares high. It'll go all the way to the end and then come back for squares like So that's that piece. And then the other part will just be like so. And then this 2nd 1 we'll start one square down from that run for school, squares high, go as far as it can, and then come four squares back, and then the other part is just there. And this little pieces just like that. Okay, so let's select those pairs there and ah, make them into one object. Pathfinder. Your night. One object Okay, now let's color them. Ah, group selection tool. Let's select everything, then de select the big square. So we've just got the three white shapes. Make those a very light gray. 10% Get rid of the black stroke. Now we can select Thea the big square and make that the dark gray ups made a stroke there. I need to fill. There's Phil. Okay? And that's it. That's group it. So far, so good. That looks like that. Now we can get rid of the grid view. Hi. Grid and view. Snap to grid off. Let's move a copy down. Let's move our sketch down to compare refer to scale r squared down so roughly matches the size in the sketch so we can see what we're looking at. Okay, Now, how do we get from here to here? We have to do this square now by manipulation. Well, we see that we've got the thin stripe all the way along the top here and all the way along the side there so we can start out by rotating it to get that thin stripe on the side. And, um, it's more convenient to use the bounding box for simple rotations than the rotate tool. So Ah, now we've got the fat stripe on the bottom here, but on the top here, that means we have to flip this or reflect it around. It's horizontal axis, horizontal reflect. So let's drink a copy down, reflect tool and it's already in there already previewed that. So that's horizontal. Reflect. And now does this look like this? Yes, it does, except that the colors have to be reversed. So let's switch the colors and I'm going to get the group selection tool. So, like thes three light pieces, then, Ah, instead of using the swatches because I don't remember exactly what this waas um, what the's graves were. I can just use the eyedropper tool and that's, um, in the toolbox over here. Or you can do command on a Mac control on Windows. I That's what I'm gonna dio eyedropper tool. And now, wherever I click with the eyedropper, tool will color these three pieces, so I'm gonna click a dark the dark gray. Now I'm gonna go back to my group selection tools so, like the big box, and then release it to go back to the eyedropper tool click up here for the light gray. And now we switched our colors. Let's take a look and see if that's right. Does this match this? And yes, it does. So this is going to be our top and right side of the Cube, and this is gonna be our left side of the cube. Now we're ready to Ah, Math. But first, we have to make these guys symbols. So let me get rid of these old symbols here. And, um, this is our top and right. Drag it into the symbols panel. Call that top, right? I have to name these this time. Okay, This is just an intermediary. This is our left side of the cube. And so we call that left. Okay, now we're ready for mapping. Let's get a copy of our generic you, which we keep for future purposes. Move a copy down. We also want our sketch to refer to so we can see what we're doing when we map it. Okay, That was done a little more. And let's edit Are Generic Cube my goto appearance. Then we look for that f x effects double quick. That and there's our extrude box down in the lower left. First thing always do. Here is preview, and there's are Isometric Cube. Perfect cube. Now we can map art. There's a map arc, bucks, and the right side of the Cube is selected here. So let's get our symbol for the right top and right. Same one and then scale to fit. And is it oriented? Correct? In terms of rotation, it is. Let's get our next face. That's the top. Get our top right again. Top and right scale to fit. And that's not oriented correctly. In terms of rotation. That's got to turn a little bit. Maybe one turn to the right. Clockwise that does it. And now let's get our left side of the cube right there, highlighted in the red. And now we need are left symbol scale to fit, and that needs a little rotation. I'm not sure which way kind of have toe full around with it. That's the right one. Okay, say invisible geometry. Okay. Okay. You hear that? Move a copy down and before we can color, we have to do expand, object, expand appearance. Okay, Now we can recover. I'm not going to try to get rid of extraneous objects on this one. There are always extraneous objects when you do mapping in three D effects. Ah, and it's kind of crazy sometimes, and it's unpredictable. But as long as you can color it and ah, there's nothing, nothing that looks wrong with it, you can go with that. So that's to our, ah group selection tool and ah, the start Gray on top will make that blue. And, um, we want to ah, to the side blue here, this side blue, and we want to add a shade again. I like to work in Pantone colors. Um, you can shade just Aziza Lee converting. It seemed like a right. You can shade just Aziza Lee with us seeing like a color. But there's one thing you can't do with a Say it cm like a color very easily, and that is to add a tent. If you wanted this to be a tent, you can just move the slider or you can use this tent ramp, and that's something you can't do very easily with a C and my kid color. So Pantone colors are nice to work with. Make this ECM like a move the black slider over a little. Let's go get the other side. Blue areas. See, I'm like a move the slider. Okay. Now, for the other color on top, that's gonna be a yellow orange. And on the side, left side, same color. Seem like a like headed And the last side again Adding the shading. And there you have it. End of lesson for 7. Goodbye is not Extinction: So there it is for class number two. Goodbye for now. And remember, departure is not extinction. There may still be more evolution.