Mapping 3d objects is quite simple inside Adobe Illustrator but generally, many people use this feature in a very simple and ordinary way. There are many things they overlook while mapping the object. This tutorial will teach you how to map 3d objects inside Illustrator in a very creative way and by using this technique you can create some very cool and nice looking 3d objects.
Select the Rectangle tool(M) and create a rectangle as shown in the image.
Now, create few copies of the rectangle by pressing ALT + down arrow and rotate them a bit. Group (Ctrl +G) them together when you are done. It will give us a clean and nice stripes pattern.
Create another rectangle and align it at the top of the stripes pattern.
Select both the objects (rectangle and stripes pattern) and open the Pathfinder panel/palette by pressing Shift + Ctrl + F9. Use the Crop Pathfinder from the Pathfinder panel/palette to crop the stripes pattern.
Now, Delete all the unwanted objects and drag the stripes pattern inside symbols panel/palette in order to save it as a symbol.
Create a Circle using Ellipse tool (L) and delete its left anchor point.
Now, select the semi circle and go to Effects > 3d > Revolve. This will bring up the 3d revolve options dialog box.
Related article: Create 3d objects in Illustrator using Revolve.
Under 3d revolve options dialog box, click on the Map Art… button to bring up the Map Art dialog. Select the surface that you want to map and select the symbol from the Symbol dropdown.
Now, click on the Scale to Fit button, it will scale the symbol to fit the surface and turn on the Shade Artwork (Slower) and Invisible Geometry options.
You can easily get rid of the seam by simply rotating the symbol or map.
This is how your object looks like after mapping. You can turn on the surface shading/Rendering Style to Wireframe in order to give your object nice line art look.
This technique works with revolved as well as extruded objects.
You can try different symbols to map your object in order to get some cool effects. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and learned something new from it. Your Comments and Suggestions are welcome. Good Luck!