Creating & Using Custom 3D Objects in Adobe Illustrator | Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand | Skillshare

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Creating & Using Custom 3D Objects in Adobe Illustrator

teacher avatar Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand, Graphic Design & Photography

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction & Overview


    • 2.

      What to Expect from Illustrator 3D Effects


    • 3.

      Preparation & Materials


    • 4.

      Creating Objects with Extrude & Bevel Effect


    • 5.

      Using Standard Bevel Shapes


    • 6.

      Setting Up Lighting & Shading


    • 7.

      Efficient Ways to Work with Appearance


    • 8.

      Creating Objects with Revolve Effect


    • 9.

      Customising Appearance with Fill & Stroke


    • 10.

      Creating Symbols for Art Mapping


    • 11.

      Customising Appearance with Art Mapping


    • 12.

      Creating Custom Bevel Paths


    • 13.

      Creating Objects with Custom Bevel Paths


    • 14.

      Applying 3D Effects to Groups of Objects


    • 15.

      3D Compositions: File Setup


    • 16.

      3D Compositions: Design Considerations


    • 17.

      3D Compositions: Finishing Touches


    • 18.

      Exporting Your Work


    • 19.

      Ideas for Projects & Conclusion


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About This Class

Using 3D objects in digital art allows us to add depth and a sense of volume to our work and make it look trendy and exciting! Specialist 3D software is great, but it can be very expensive and complicated for new users. So instead I invite you to explore the 3D effects* available in Adobe Illustrator which have been around for many years.

I am Evgeniya Righini-Brand, and in this class I will share a range of tools & techniques for creating geometric and abstract 3D objects in Adobe Illustrator, ways to make them look exciting and tips to make your finished 3D compositions stand out.

I started my 3D journey about 10 years ago and although I usually use Cinema4D, experimenting with 3D objects in Illustrator is good fun and it is a great starting point for anyone who has never worked with 3D before! So if you are looking to add a new dimension to your work and learn some super useful Illustrator techniques, then this is the class for you!

In this class you'll learn:

  • how to create a range of 3D objects in Illustrator using Extrude & Bevel and Revolve effects;
  • how to light and shade 3D objects;
  • how to customise appearance of 3D objects using fill and stroke;
  • how to add graphics to the surfaces of 3D objects;
  • how to efficiently work with appearance styles;
  • how to create and use custom bevel shapes;
  • what to consider when putting 3D objects together in compositions;
  • how to add finishing touches to 3D compositions;
  • how to flawlessly export your work.

I’ll be super excited to see you using 3D objects in your work! 

* In the current edition of the class you'll learn how to use the original 3D effects in Adobe Illustrator which starting from CC 2022 version can be found in the Effects menu under 3D and Materials > 3D (Classic). These effects are still super versatile, less glitchy and have a few advantages over the new 3D and Materials tool which is currently in Technology Preview — watch out for the class update in future when this new feature is finalised and fully rolled out by Adobe.

Recommended classes:

This class follows up on the tools, techniques and theory covered in our two previous classes Creating Trendy Abstract Patterns in Illustrator & Creating Trendy Designs with Abstract Patterns in Illustrator, so if you are at a beginner level of working in Illustrator, don't hesitate to check them out too.


To quickly get you started I've attached a file with a range of 2D objects which you can easily convert into 3D and a file with a few of my abstract patterns which you can use for art mapping.

Meet Your Teacher

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Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand

Graphic Design & Photography

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1. Introduction & Overview: Using 3D objects in digital art allows us to add depth and a sense of volume to our work and make it look trendy and exciting. Specialists for your software is great, but it can be very expensive and complicated for new users. So instead, I invite you to explore 3D effects available in Adobe Illustrator. I'm Righini from Attitude Creative, and in this class, I will share a range of tools and techniques for creating geometric and abstract 3D objects in Illustrator, ways to make them look exciting, and tips to make your finished [inaudible] positions stand out. If you're looking to add a new dimension to your work and learn some super-useful illustrator techniques then this is the class for you. I'll be super excited to see you using 3D objects in your work. Enroll now, and let's make something awesome. 2. What to Expect from Illustrator 3D Effects: 3D effects in Illustrator have been around for quite a while now. In comparison to other ways of creating and working with 3D objects, such as designated 3D software or working with video objects in Photoshop, Illustrator 3D effects are quite simple and straightforward. They can work as a basic introduction to how different 3D shapes can be created for anyone who never worked with 3D before. The best thing about 3D in Illustrator is that it is easier to set up, control, and adjust at anytime. The downside is the range of effects available in comparison to dedicated 3D software such as my favorite, Cinema 4D. But with a bit of imagination and ingenuity, you can create a lot of really cool 3D objects in Illustrator. In this class, I want you to learn to look beyond the obvious and experiment with shapes to create something awesome and unique. Another limitation in Illustrators 3D Effects is, that you can only fully control individual objects and cannot work with a set as a whole. However, because the controls are very basic, you cannot get lost in the settings and it is not as scary or frustrating as other applications with all their different panels and settings. If you are a 3D beginner, you will be totally fine here. In Illustrator, there are two types of 3D effects which allow to create different types of 3D objects from 2D [inaudible]. They are located in the 3D section of the effect menu and called Extrude & Bevel and Revolve. In this class, we will look at how you can use these two effects and how to customize them to create a range of exciting geometric and abstract shapes. There is also a rotate effect, but it only allows to rotate the view of 2D or 3D objects in 3D space. I don't really consider it to be a true 3D effect and won't cover it in this class. Now you know what to expect. Let's begin. 3. Preparation & Materials: For this class, we will need a range of different 2D objects which you can make into 3D. To quickly get you started, I've attached a file which has a range of different shapes, which you can experiment with. I'll be using this file to demonstrate the 3D effect so it will also be easier for you to follow along if you have the same file in front of you. All the objects in this document are created using the techniques which I've covered in my class on Creating Abstract Patterns in Illustrator. I recommend you check it out not just to learn about creating different shapes, but also because we will be needing some patterns in this class at a later stage. Though I've also attached my own patterns which you can play around with, it's good to have your own stuff too. If you want to go ahead and create your own shapes, I suggest you keep them in a separate file, similar to what I've got here so you can use them as a library of 3D objects and you won't need to generate new ones every time. Just adjust them to fit your projects. Even files full of elements which you can use over and over again is a huge time-saver. Set yourself to work smart. For this class, we'll be using a lot of different panels. To make the process smoother, add them to your workspace from the window menu to have them available during the class. We'll be needing switches, color panel, stroke, appearance, transparency, graphic styles, and symbols, as well as the usual layers panel. With your workspace ready and with all 2D objects in one file in front of you, now let's start creating 3D shapes. 4. Creating Objects with Extrude & Bevel Effect: So let's start with the basics. With the selection tool, select the first circle from the extrude layer, and go to the menu effect, 3D and select, "Extrude and Bevel." In this options window, let's straight away take the preview here. So we can see all the changes we're making in real time. Extrude and Bevel adds depth to the object by extending it along the objects Z axis. A 2D object has a horizontal axis X and the vertical axis Y. Extrusion is created along the depth axis Z, which is perpendicular to the X-Y plane of the object. Any 2D object you create, will be the base face of your 3D object, and it will determine how it looks. So in this case, extruding a circle gives us a cylinder. Think about your original 2D shape as the shape of the whole for which you squeeze out some soft material. Understanding this basic principle will allow you to easily plan what you can create using this effect and importantly, understand what cannot be created this way. In this window, we've got a number of different settings. The first one is the Position drop-down menu, from which you can choose the way the object is rotated, and the angle from which we viewed. The settings are common between all 3D effects in Illustrator. Naturally, I prefer working with the isometric views. So I would pick one of these views depending on what object I have. Here, you can also manually modify the rotation angle and perspective distortion. Then we've got options unique to the Extrude and Bevel Effect. We determined the appearance of the 3D object. You can control how far your object is extruded by setting up the desired depth here. I'll go for 500 pixels for now. Next to the depth here, we also have settings for caps, which allow us to switch between the solid and whole appearance. Note that the thickness of the extruded size is now minimal, because Illustrator doesn't extrude the solid volume inside, but rather the outer path. That adds extra faces or caps which made the object appear solid. So I suggest turning caps on and leaving them alone to have objects which have volume and some thickness to them. We'll explore a way of creating whole of 3D shapes shortly. 5. Using Standard Bevel Shapes: Next, we've got the Bevel shapes settings. Bevel shapes have to none, we'll follow the straight line and shape of the 2D object. The other shapes here allow to further customize the way the extruded sides appear. Before we just had a whole for which we squeezed something out. But now, we also have a mold to put it in. Let's select this classic shape, for example. The way it is going to look applied to the 3D object depends on the height you set up here and the size of your original 2D shape. The maximum height is 100 pixels. It counts from each side, so the maximum coverage will be 200 pixels. If you want to have a sharp point at the end using the classic shape or have a smooth and using the rounded bevel shape, you need to make sure that the base size is also 200 pixels. The shapes I've provided you with are 200 pixels, so you should be able to make them work this way. Bear in mind that Illustrator has a few problems when it comes to working with 3D effects. You might need to click around changing settings and turn preview on and off a few times before it actually applies the correct settings. This can be a bit annoying, but hey, the result is worth it. In my experience, illustrator can also crash when you work with bevel shapes like that. So it's a good idea to save your document before you apply or adjust any 3D effects. This were classic and rounded bevel shapes. But there are a few more options here, which can also allow you to create some interesting shapes. When working with them, also consider the size of the original to the object, bevel height, and the extrusion depth. All of this will affect the appearance of these shapes. So play around with bevel options and see what you can create. You can also make your own custom bevel puffs, and we'll look at that a bit later in this class. The next thing here is surface settings, which are common for both extrude and bevel, and revolve effects. 6. Setting Up Lighting & Shading: In the surface section, we've got a number of settings, which allow us to control how 3D objects would render. If you cannot see all this, click on the "More Options" button here. The first menu here, allows you to choose different shading options for the surface. Wireframe creates outlines of the geometry of the object, and it is good for developing the shapes, or if you want to go for a technical drawing look, this is also a great starting point. No shading just applies the same solid color, which is applied to the original 2D object. Diffuse shading creates a very soft and smooth surface, which is great if you want to create objects, which look like they're made from non-reflective materials. Finally plastic shading, creates a glossy and shiny look of a smooth material like plastic. Because plastic shading deals with the refraction, it has got more settings available here. But before we look at them, let's quickly work out what we have here. This little preview, shows you the location of the light source in relation to the object which is represented by a sphere. You can drag the light around the sphere, and place it anywhere you want. Here, you've got a button which allows you to move the light behind the object. Well, if you put it right behind the object, you might not see the effect at all. So moving it right at the edge might be a good idea. If it doesn't look as you want it to look, you can always move the slide back to front by clicking on this button. You can also add a new light or a few of them, by clicking on this button. We'll select light on your sphere, and delete it by clicking on this "Delete" button here. Each light has a separate intensity setting here, which controls the brightness of the selected light. Make sure that the light you want to adjust is selected here. All other settings here are universal for the whole object, and it doesn't matter which light you have selected. Ambient light, controls the overall brightness of the entire object surface. Set an ambient light to 100 percent, will create a flat looking surface in a solid color. By lowering the value, you can add more contrast to the shape. Highlight intensity, controls how reflective the surface is. Lower values create [inaudible] are not very reflective look, and the higher values produce a shiny look. Highlight size changes the size of the highlighted areas. The number of blend steps determines how smooth or rough the transition between different shading areas is. With the higher value here, you'll get a smoother look, but it might take longer to render because there are going to be more puffs created for different shades. Next, we've got a few options for the shading color. Standard setting is black, and it shades the object with the shades of black. This is a safe choice. No. It doesn't add any color to the shaded areas, and it makes the object appear very light. This might be a bit weird, but it can also produce a nice heaven-like lightened look. Custom shading, it allows you to select a color, using the color picker window by clicking here. This option allows you to create some interesting shades if you pick a color different from the one used to color the shape. To fully explore 3D effects and produce nice and experimental renders of objects, I suggest you don't touch the preserve spot colors here. It does exactly what it says, and it should only be used if you are producing the work for professional printing using pre-mixed spot colors, such as Pantone colors. The last setting here, allows to create faces hidden from the view. This is particularly useful if you want to have a degree of transparency in your object. This is pretty much as far as the material control in Illustrator gets. 3D objects might appear to have defects on their surface and funny edges. It comes from the anti-aliasing and preview settings. You shouldn't worry about it too much as it won't be visible when you export your work. When you're happy with your setup, click "Okay" to render a 3D object. 7. Efficient Ways to Work with Appearance: Now we've got our cylinder here. Based on its appearance style, we can easily transform other 2D objects here into 3D. There are a few ways of doing this in Illustrator, all of which might be more appropriate at different stages of development. Some of them are quite clumsy. I'll show you a few of my favorite methods and skip the ones which I don't find as efficient. If you've just applied the effect like I've done here, you can easily select all other 2D objects which you want to apply the same effect to, and then either go to Effect menu and select Apply the last effect here on the top, which in our case is Extrude & Bevel, or press command shift E, or control shift E in Windows. This will apply the same effect for the settings you've just specified when you are creating the initial effect. Depth, position, shading, lighten, and bevel type, are all the same here, which is great when you need to have consistency across different objects. If instead you click on the second item in the effect menu, which is going to list the effects name, you open the Effect Options window with the settings from the previous time when you applied the effect. If you want to build on the previous effect or modify it slightly, you can do it quickly this way. For example, I am happy with all the settings here, but I want to create a cube instead, so all I need to modify here is the extrude depth, which needs to be the same as the size of my original square to create a cube. It should be 200 pixels. I'm done here, and here is my cube. Applying effect this way using the effect menu, it allows you to add a specific effect to a selected object while preserving the rest of its appearance settings, such as fill color and stroke settings. If you style your object first, and then you want to convert it into 3D, this is an obvious way to do it. After you have applied the effect, you will be able to see it in the appearance panel. You can modify it at anytime by clicking on it here. From here, you can also copy it across to other objects. Appearance panel lists all the attributes which are applied to the object and can include fill, stroke effects, and opacity settings. Our object here has a fill color and a 3D effect applied to it. If you drag this thumbnail on the appearance panel to another 2D object, it will replace the appearance settings of this object. Now, it is also 3D and the color has been replaced too. If you cannot see this thumbnail here, you need to go to this menu in the right top corner of the appearance panel, and select show thumbnail. Let's quickly undo the change and drag this thumbnail over this object whilst holding down the Alt key. Now, instead of replacing all of the attributes here, Illustrator copied the new ones from this object across and edit them to original attributes of this object. Now you can delete attributes from this objects which you don't need here, such as this fill color. This approach is very useful at the stage when you have changed some attributes, but you want to copy across some other appearance effects from another object. Remember to hold down the Alt key while dragging their thumbnail to merge attributes of two objects, and just drag the thumbnail if you want to replace them. The last method I want to show you, which is very useful for quickly styling objects, is saving the appearance settings as graphic styles. To add the appearance settings from the selected object to the graphic styles library, simply select the object and click on the "New Graphic Style" button in the graphic styles panel. To apply a graphic style to another object, simply select that object you want to apply it to, and select the desired graphic style here. This will replace the appearance attributes of the object with the attributes saved in the graphic style. Alternatively, if you Alt click on the graphic style here, it will merge a graphic style with the existing appearance attributes of this object. The same way as before when dragging appearance thumbnails, whilst holding down the Alt key. At the moment, we don't really have a lot of style and done. So the only important thing here is the Extrude and Bevel effect. It's a pretty basic style after all, but I recommend you to create a graphic styles for different styling options which we are going to look at shortly, so that you can quickly and easily try them out on different types of objects. Also, it will be worth saving your graphics style library at the end by going to this menu here so that you can reuse the styles later on in other projects. Now, let's have a look at what we can create using the revolve effect. 8. Creating Objects with Revolve Effect: Select a semicircle on the revolve layer, then go to the menu Effect, 3D, and choose Revolve, click "Preview" and here we've got a sphere. Basically, this effect works by revolving the shape around its y-axis. This y revolving a semicircle like this results in a sphere, and it wouldn't be the case if the semicircle was rotated on a different angle. Revolve effect is great for creating any objects which have a rotational symmetry. For example, I can make a neat [inaudible] from the shape I've got here, or I can make a cone from this shape. This is cool, though it is not as nearly as cool as what LC can make using the revolve effect. Let's have a look at what we can make from this unassuming circle here. In the Revolve effect, here we've got all the same settings for position, caps, and surface as we've seen in the extrude and bevel effect. But here, we've got two other settings which are unique to the revolve effect. The first one here is angle, and it says the number of degrees that 2D object is rotated. To go a full circle, we need 360 degrees. But if you reduce the number, I suggest you do it manually by typing here, you'll get a much more exciting shape. Again, illustrator can have a few problems here, so you need to turn on and all the preview and click elsewhere in the window to see the changes. This is neat. But here, we also have an option for off-setting the access from the right or left edge of the object to create a bigger hole in the middle, and this is really cool. Even if you go a full circle here, but upset it, you'll get a doughnut-like shape, which in geometry is called torus. These settings allow tons of opportunities when you start working with different shapes. You can create wedges from shapes like this or you can make funny things like this. So play around and see what you can come up with. Now let's have a look at how we can further customize the appearance of our 3D objects. 9. Customising Appearance with Fill & Stroke: Now we've got a range of basic 3D shapes, we can work on the way they look by playing around with Fill and Stroke settings. This object here only has a fill color applied to it. Now, if we swap Fill and Stroke around, we'll get a hollow looking object instead. Though unlike in the case when we have turned the caps off here we actually have some thickness to the extruded side. At the moment though they are pretty thin and you almost can't see their thickness. But if you increase the stroke weight here you'll see that it is actually now a solid object. This is one of the ways of making an object with a hole in it if it were a solid. Now let's swap Fill and Stroke color back and check out different fill options. A color which you assigned to the original 2D object determines the color of the respective 3D object, which partially can be affected by the shading color but still most of the coloring usually comes from what color you've assigned here. The great thing is that you don't need to go into 3D options to try out different colors. You can easily pick and choose colors the usual way using switches or color panels. With different shading and lighting, some colors, will work better than others. Pick carefully and adjust shading and lighting of the 3D objects if necessary. 3D effects work with any solid color fills, but they do not work properly with gradients and they do some funny things with patterns. Though sometimes these pattern distortions can look pretty cool, but because there might be a lot of details and patterns rendering will take time. If you like what you're getting with the 3D pattern, remember that you can also adjust the pattern size within the shape by selecting it with the selection tool, then pick in the scale tool on the tools panel and pressing "Enter" to access this Scale options window. Here, tick Transform Patterns and make sure to uncheck Transform objects. Now you can scale the pattern here in relation to the object. I have covered this in more detail in my previous class on creating designs was abstract patterns. Alternatively, if you want to apply a pattern to 3D object surface it can be done via art mapping and we'll have a look at it shortly. Cool things start happening when you add stroke to the same object and adjust its weight. We're starting to have a candy looking object here with these colors and I really like it. You can also add more than one stroke to an object by clicking here. If you have more than one stroke, you will need to assign different colors to them to see the change and also change alignment of the stroke in relation to the path here. Explore alignment stroke to the center, inside, and outside of the path and pick option which works best for you. Depending on what you're trying to achieve you might need to move strokes around. The logic here is that the puff on top is applied last. For example thinner stroke applied below thicker stroke won't be visible if they have the same alignment setting. But as soon as you move it above you'll be able to see it. Also feel free to explore different stroke options and dashed stroke which allows to add ribs along the extra surface like here. If you like the appearance style we've created, don't forget to save it as a graphic style to use with other shapes. The way your 3D objects will look also depends on whether the original to the path is open when two end points are not connected or closed when they are connected. With a closed path you get an enclosed shape and the fill color will be contained within a stroke color or colors. On the other hand, if you have an open path you'll be able to see the fill color on the surface too, as if the object has been sliced from something bigger. This principle can come in really handy when you need to create something like this and it looks really playful. One thing to remember is that when applying the revolve effect, parts with the fill will render faster than parts with a stroke. Keep it in mind and be patient if you use stroke. fill and stroke attributes allow plenty of room for experimentation. Play around with them and make some interesting stuff. Next, let's have a look at how we can add graphics to the 3D surfaces. 10. Creating Symbols for Art Mapping: Adding images to the surfaces of 3D objects in Illustrator is called art mapping. It allows you to customize each surface the 3D object consists of and follow the perspective while doing that. This can be useful when making mock-ups for products, but probably it is even better for making some playful designs. Art mapping in Illustrator works with the symbols which you have available in your document. It doesn't currently allow repeating elements. If you want to use a pattern, you need to create a reasonably large rectangle or a square and fill it with it. I have attached the file for you which contains a few nice things which you can convert into symbols. Don't hesitate to download the file, copy and paste what you like into the document you are working in, and experiment. Or of course, you can always use your own graphics and convert it into symbols to use in 3D. To create a symbol out of any type of graphics, select it with the selection tool, and then go to the symbols panel. Now, drag your graphics to the symbols panel whilst holding down the shift key, or click on new symbol button here, whilst also holding down the shift key. Holding down the shift key ensures that your graphics doesn't get converted into a symbol itself. You can easily edit it, use it any way you like, modify it, and create new symbols from variance. When you're adding a new symbol, it's a good idea to give it a descriptive name. Export type doesn't matter for what we're doing, so you can pick either. Then let's pick static symbols here. Dynamic symbols are only introduced in Illustrator Creative Cloud 2015 version. They do not make much difference when used to map art on the 3D object. Click "Okay" to create a new symbol. Now, we're going to modify your graphics here. For example, I am going to change color and create a new symbol from it. If you need to modify the existing symbol, double-click on it on the symbols panel and edit it the way you want. When you are done, exit symbol edit mode by clicking on this arrow here or anywhere on the pasteboard away from the symbols graphics. Create as many symbols as you want to try applying to the 3D object. You can also save your symbols library by going to this menu in the right top corner of the symbols panel, select and save symbols library, and follow the usual saving process. Now, you will be able to easily access it from any other documents in Illustrator. 11. Customising Appearance with Art Mapping: With all the symbols ready to be used, now we need to go to the object which you want to apply the symbols to. Click on the 3D extrude and bevel effect here in the appearance panel, and in this window, click on map art button. 3D objects consist of a number of surfaces, and each of them can be art mapped separately. You can pick which surface you want to work with by clicking through them here. I will start with this surface. Now I need to go to the list of the available symbols here and pick one which I want to use. It will be added here in its original size. Now I can scale. There is a button scale to fit, but I don't recommend using it because it destroys the graphics to fit into the shape here. Instead, scale and move your graphics manually. Find the edge of the bounding box and holding down the shift key, scale to the desired size. Make sure it covers the whole surface if that is your intention. This process is pretty fiddly but is better than nothing. To apply graphics to the surface in a more realistic way, check shade artwork here. It might take more time to render but it will look much better in the end, and it will take into account the shading settings of the object. If you want to delete the symbols you've applied, you can click clear here. This will remove the symbol from the selected surface. If you click clear all, it will remove symbols from all of the surfaces instead. When graphics is wrapped around an object like this, inevitably, you will get a SIM. So if you're using a pattern, either try to match sides carefully or after applying the symbol here, rotate the view of the object in the main effects a tap window to hide the SIM. Experiment with applying graphics to different surfaces, and see what you can make with it. 12. Creating Custom Bevel Paths: What we can do with standard bevel shapes is already quite good and offers a lot of possibilities. But making your own bevel paths is really easy and will enable you to create something truly unique. To create custom bevel paths, you need to find an open Illustrator's bevels file. Locate where your Illustrator is installed, which is most likely going to be in applications folder on Mac or in program files in Windows. Then you need to go to the Support Files folder, then Resources, then your language option, and here it is. Official illustrator help documentation says that there should be a required folder inside of the support files which contains resources folder. If you don't see resources straightaway in the support files, then look for it first. When you have located the bevels file, you need to open it. I also like to be on the safe side and make a backup of the original bevels file, just in case I need to roll back to it. If you decide to make a copy of it too, make sure that in illustrator, you're working with the file which is called Bevels. Because otherwise, illustrator once see the changes. Make sure that you've saved your other document or documents at this point. Now you can also close them, because we will need to restart illustrator after we modify the bevels file. Now create a single open path using pen or pencil tools. Then go to the Symbols panel, and drag the path you've just created to it. Give your bevel path a name here. Or other options here don't make a difference to what we're doing, so click "OK". Now you can draw as many other single open paths as you want to try using for your bevel shapes. Repeat the same steps by adding them individually to the symbols library. I advise you to create a 45-degree line like this and a corner like this. They will allow you to make pyramids and some cool polyhedron. You can also draw a few different polygons and use halves or quarters of them like this. Maybe create a wavy line of two, which you can make the same way as I've shown in my class on creating abstract patterns. By using this exact transformation with smooth points here and expanding the appearance afterwards. When you are done, save your document. If your system for some reason doesn't allow you to save the changes to this document even if you have permission, save this file somewhere else, and then just replace the original file in this folder. Then quit illustrator and relaunch it. When you restart it, your new bevels paths should be available in the Extruded and Bevel settings. Let's have a look at what we can do with the bevels paths we've just created. 13. Creating Objects with Custom Bevel Paths: Let's select the square on the extra layer and then go to the Effect menu, select "Extrude & Bevel", and check out what our new custom bevel paths we will do to it. If we apply a diagonal line we've created as a bevel shape, our square will become a pyramid. I'll pick an isometric view from the top to see this pyramid standing on its base. As before, height really here, in relation to the size of the original square, determines whether our pyramid will have a point at the top or it will have a top cutoff. Since the base of the square is 200 pixels, at 100 pixels height here, we'll have a proper pyramid. Play around with the settings and try out different extra depth settings to change the height of your pyramid, and then experiment with applying the same bevel path to all the shapes and create more different pyramids. Now, let's select this hexagon and again go to the "Extrude & Bevel Effect". These bevel paths allow us to create some nice polyhedrons. Depending on your original polygon and the bevel path you applied to it, you can create a whole range of different shapes. Just apply this effect to a few more objects here to see what you can get, and then go and adjust their individual settings if necessary. With other types of bevel paths such as the wavy line we've created, the original object you apply the effect to is even more important than before. There's not a lot of point in applying wavy line bevel path to a circle, for example, because you can easily achieve the same effect using the revolt effect. But applying a wavy line to some polygonal shape can create something which cannot be created any other way in Illustrator. When applying this bevel paths to shapes, pay attention to the height settings and make sure that there is no glitchy intersections going on. Custom bevel paths allow you to create 3D shapes, which otherwise are impossible with a standard illustrator tool. Experiment with creating different paths and see how you can make some unique shapes this way. 14. Applying 3D Effects to Groups of Objects: It is co-creating all these individual shapes, but you can also create 3D objects out of groups of graphic elements if you want to go for something more elaborate in your designs. For example, here I want all of these elements to form a one 3D object. If they're not grouped and I just select them all and apply the extra dumbbell effect to them, it will be applied to each object individually, and it will be extruded in relation to it's own position. On the other hand, if I group these objects, I will be able to apply for defect to the overall design and not to the individual elements. They will extrude altogether like this. This way, the whole group has an effect applied to it, and you won't be able to see the effect in the appearance for each of the elements and you won't be able to control them separately. If you ungroup your objects, pretty effect will be removed. This approach can be quite fun and can allow you to create some interesting objects, so play around with it. Try working as reasonably simple groups of objects first to see how it goes, because it can take a bit of time to render 3D effects applied to complex designs. 15. 3D Compositions: File Setup: Now, as we've covered all the basics in beyond of creating 3D objects in Illustrator, let's have a look at what you need to consider when putting them together into compositions, and how you can add finishing touches to your designs. As I've said before, let's give this file which is now filled with 3D shapes as a library of shapes. For the composition, we'll need to create a new document. Set it up to your desired size and color mode. I am making my compositions for digital use. I'll use RGB and keep Bleeds to zero, because I'm not planning on printing this. Now, let's quickly go to the "More Settings" here and set Raster Effects to 300 ppi. Raster effects determine at what resolution in your raster ways effects such as shadows, blur, glow, or grain used in your document will appear and render. We'll be using a few raster effect. This is important to set it to 300 ppi as this setting makes a lot of difference to how things look. Now we can proceed with creating a new document. Let's save this document right away, put it where it should go, give it a descriptive name, and then make sure to save it in Adobe Illustrator format and click "Save". Now, let's copy and paste any 3D objects, which you'll want to use in the composition into this file. Next, we'll have a look at what to consider when putting your 3D objects together to create an exciting and consistent work. 16. 3D Compositions: Design Considerations: I'm not going to go into the way of actually putting compositions together. So if you need to learn about design principles and different approaches, check out my other class creating Trendy Designs with Abstract Patterns, which is all about that stuff. What I want to concentrate on here is how to create 3D objects, how to create a consistent look for all the compositions, and how to take advantage of the 3D effect, and other effects to add more depth and volume to your work. When you arrange your 3D elements in the composition, make sure to rotate the elements in the 3D space using the 3D effect you have applied. For this, you can access the settings for each individual object using the Appearance panel. Setting-up rotation using the Position settings. It allows you to create tons of variants of the same object, which can make your compositions a very playful and dynamic. Make sure to keep light in position, intensity, and shading color, consistent throughout all your elements. This will allow you to make your compositions look more realistic and considered. When you have applied your surface settings to one object, stick to them. If anything, copy the appearance styles across from one object to another as we've done before. If you are applying both extruding level and revolve effects within the composition, double-check that the surface settings are the same for both effect. To create an illusion of volume and perspective, you can also explore perspective distortion settings in the 3D effects window. If you decide to add perspective distortion to your object, make sure that you're doing it consistently. After all 3D related questions are resolved, spend more time refining objects' appearances and experiment with different color variance. You can consider using the color Artwork tool, which is located in the Edit menu under Edit colors. I have covered this tool in my other two previous classes, which I hope you have watched. But if not, make sure to check them out if you don't know the ins and outs of this very useful tool. Also, consider how you can enhance the sense of depth using different colors. Consider scaling objects differently to create an illusion of depth and move some of them in the foreground and some of them in the background. If you are using any bevel path other than the straight line or using the offset function for the objects created using the revolve effect, then scale in your objects will affect their shapes. If you need to scale such an object, after you have set it up in all other aspects, such as light, color, perspective, and arc mapping, make a copy of it so you can always have a backup, then hide the original object. Select the new object and go to the menu Object, and select Expand Appearance. This will convert your 3D object into a group of 2D paths, which you can now scale as you please. When the composition looks pretty much complete, now we can add a few finishing touches, which will make it stand out even more. 17. 3D Compositions: Finishing Touches: When you think you are done, you might not be. There are always a few extra things which you can do to your work to finish it off and make it more captivating. When you're working with compositions which picture objects within an image in 3D space, you can add a further sense of volume to your work by creating a focal range and experimenting with different depths of field in the composition. Or to say it in other words, with how much in your composition is on focus and how much is blurred. Decide which object or objects you want to be in focus. Then select all other objects which you want to be out of focus. Make sure that each object is on its own, and not grouped with any other objects. If you have any objects which are made out of separate elements grouped together, like this expanded object or this complex design where the 3D effect is applied to it as a group, treat them as one object even if they are technical groups. With all necessary objects selected, go to the menu effect, blur, and pick Gaussian blur. Set it up to something between 10 and 20 pixels to start with. Then click ''OK" to apply this effect to all of your selected objects. If you go to the appearance panel, you will see that the blur effect has been added to each object. Now you can go and adjust the blur radius for any object you want by clicking here. Decide which objects are closer to your focal point, and which are further away from it. Either closer to us than the focal point or further in the distance. The further you want your object to appear from the focal object, the higher the blur radius should be. If the object is close to the focal object, then the blur radius should be smaller. That might require you to think three-dimensionally, and imagine how all these objects would be arranged in a space. But it's not too complicated, and you can always try out a number of different blur values and experiment with them as much as you need since all of these effects can be adjusted at anytime. You can always delete blur effect from your elements if it doesn't work for you. It's just another good thing to consider, so keep it in mind and don't be afraid to experiment. You can also frame the focal point in the composition, and add depth by creating a vignette. To do that, you need to create a rectangle in the size of your art board, and bring it to front so it is above all other elements in your composition. Make sure it is aligned to the art board, and then fill it in with the gradient by clicking here on the tools panel. On the gradient panel, which can be opened from the Window menu, select a white to black gradient, which is a standard gradient preset in Illustrator. You should have white colors top on the left, and black colors top on the right of the gradient slider here. If it's not so, you can swap the colors around by clicking on this button here. You can also set the color by clicking on the color stops, and choosing them on the color picker. Now, set the gradient type to radial. Then go to the transparency panel. Set the blending mode to multiply, and change the opacity to your desired value. Then if necessary, go back to the gradient panel, and change the aspect ratio of your gradient. If you want to increase or decrease the size of the gradient or move its position, select the gradient tool on the tools panel, and adjust the gradient using the slider. Drag this point in a route to change the size of the gradient. Move it around by dragging the slider like this, or change its aspect ratio by dragging this point. Vignette look good when they are subtle. After you finish setting up the gradient, you might want to revisit its opacity on the transparency panel and turn it down a bit further. Another thing which can give your compositions a more finished look and make them look less clean as vector art usually does is adding grain. Because what we've done with 3D objects is quite complex already, and we don't really want to make it even more complex by texturing each and every object separately, a good thing to do is to cover the whole composition with grain evenly. To do that, you need to create a rectangle in the size of your art board, and bring it to front the same way we've just done with the vignette. Again, make sure it is aligned to the art board, and then fill it in with black color. Then having this rectangle selected, go to the menu effect, artistic and choose 'film grain. In the window which will open, set up the grain effect. You can see how it looks in the preview here. Play around with the settings, until you like what you see. Then apply this effect by clicking on the ''OK'' button. The effect will be added to the object's appearance here. As with all other effects, now you can revisit its settings by clicking here. Well, now we've got our grainy rectangle here. But we cannot see anything else, so we need to go and adjust the opacity settings and choose blending mode, which will work best with the particular composition. Make sure you're editing opacity settings of the overall rectangle and not just the fill color. Depending on what colors you have in your composition and what effect you want to create, check out different blending modes and play around with the opacity settings to get the desired effect. To add the darker grain, have a look at multiply, overlay or soft light, and for a lighter grain, checkout screen. In combination with different opacity settings, you can get a range of very different effects, so experiment and see what works for you. 18. Exporting Your Work: When you're finished, save your final work as an AI file. Then export it for use online. To export your artwork, go to Menu File, Export, Export As. Pick the desired format here. I'm going to export my work as PNG because it works better for vector graphics, though, it can create larger files and than JPEG, you can choose either. Give your file a descriptive name here. Then select artboards you want to export. Even if you just have one artboard in your document, you still need to specify artboard number here. Click "Export" to continue. In the next options window, make sure to select Art Optimized anti-aliasing, to avoid having rough edges and blends, gaps between the paths and lines between pattern tiles. Choose the desired resolution. These days, I usually export everything at 300 dpi to start with, and then work with the PNG files further in Photoshop if necessary. If you don't have any intended transparency in your design, select white background here, though, in this case, it doesn't matter, but if you need some transparency, then choose transparent background. Click "OK" to export your work. You're all set for sharing your work. 19. Ideas for Projects & Conclusion: This what you can create and build upon [inaudible] and revolve effects in Illustrator. Creative possibilities are extensive, so don't be afraid to go well and be experimental and inventive when creating 3D objects. When it comes to creating an artwork with 3D shapes, you can explore different approaches from something very minimalistic to funky and playful. Apart from creating artwork using 3D shapes, you can also consider making patterns with them, so experiment and have fun. I would love to see how you approach 3D objects in your projects for this class. That's it for this class. I hope you have enjoyed it and learned something new. If you like this class, please leave a review so more people could discover it. If you have any questions, leave a comment on the community board for this class and I'll happily answer it and provide feedback. I cannot wait to see your 3D objects and artwork you create with them. Make sure to post your work in the project section for this class, and if you are going to share your work on Instagram, please tag attitudeskills so that we can see there too. Also, don't hesitate to follow our page on Facebook to see what we're up to, get all the latest updates, send us private messages if you need to get in touch about something, and not to miss if you're featured in our students' spotlight gallery. Thank you for watching this class and I hope to see you in our other classes.