Design Challenge Day 8: Creating a 3D Revolve Effect in Illustrator

Creating a 3D Revolve Effect in Illustrator

Yesterday was really the first time I've played with 3D effects in any software and it was FUN! When I saw this tutorial from Dansky today, it felt like perfect timing to try my hand at it again. Who doesn't want to make cool 3D stuff?

The Process

This started out by simply creating an ellipse and then using the pen tool to remove the right side. Then, selecting the top and bottom anchor points, click on Object>Path>Join to create a closed half-circle. The fun begins when you select the object and click on Effect>3D>Revolve. You can change the shading, light, rotation, and more. Once you've created your sphere, a pattern is mapped over it and the artwork is shaded to create this 3D revolve effect.

05.10.17 BLOG-IMAGE - 3D revolve effect in Illustrator

The Presentation

This is the second tutorial from Dansky that I've done. I like his calm and patient presentation style, especially since I'm usually frantically trying to figure out what's gone wrong when my project doesn't look like the one in the video. (Today it was because I had a stroke on my original ellipse - oops!) I'd still like to see links to resources in the video description, but I've noticed that this is a common missing component in most tutorials. I've learned to scan for what types of resources I'll need to take care of any necessary searches and downloads before I start a tutorial.


I'm really excited to be getting more familiar with some of the tools, such as the pen tool, after just a week and a half of this challenge. It was fun to realize I knew how to do some of the steps without needing the tutorial to guide me! However, I found when trying to create a symbol of my own to replicate for a blog image, it just wasn't happening. This probably means I should find tutorials on creating repeating patterns and making swatches and symbols.

I also quickly found out that rendering 3D effects takes some serious processing power! I have a 2015 MacBook Pro and it did okay, but if I ever become serious about working in this style, I will definitely need to upgrade my machine.