Creating a 3d Smiley Face in Illustrator

In this tutorial, you will be learning how to create a nice 3d smiley in Adobe illustrator. We will be using the 3d feature of Adobe Illustrator along with the gradient, one of the most powerful tools inside the program. Let’s get into it.


Creating the Circle

Create a circle with the help of Ellipse tool (E). Select the right anchor point of the ellipse with the help of Direct Selection tool (A) and delete it.

Step 2

Fill and Stroke Settings

Now, fill the selected shape or path with Yellow (R:255, G:235, B:0) color and set Stroke color to None.

Step 3

3d Revolve Options

Go to Effects > 3D > Revolve… to bring up the 3D Revolve Options dialog. Set the Revolve axis to Right Edge. Under Surface group, set the Rendering Style to Plastic Shading.

Select the Light and set its Parameters as given below,

  • Light Intensity: 90%
  • Ambient Light: 80%
  • Highlight Intensity: 25%
  • Highlight Size: 100%
  • Blend Steps: 25
  • Shading Color: Black

Step 4

Creating the Eye

Let’s start creating the face of the smiley. For eyes, create a circle using Ellipse tool and set its Fill color to White and Stroke color to Grey (R:200, G:200, B:200)

Step 5

Creating the Iris

To create the Iris of the eye, Copy (Ctrl + C) the eye shape and press Ctrl + F to create another copy on the top of it. Now, use Selection tool (V) along with the Shift key to scale it down proportionately and set its stroke color to None.

Step 6

Preparing Gradient for the Iris

Press Ctrl + F9 to bring up the Gradient panel. Under Gradient panel, set the Gradient Type to Radial. Select the first gradient stop and double click on Fill color box to bring up the Color Picker dialog.

Now, pick some Sky Blue color (R:147, G:207, B:250) and press OK to close the dialog. Set the end gradient stop’s color to White.

Step 7

Finishing the Eye

Create another gradient stop by clicking on the gradient bar. Set its color values as R:0, G:113, B:188 and Location to 92%.

For the pupil, just create a small circle on the top of the iris (blue part of the eye) and fill it with Black color. Finish up the eye by adding a small White colored circle with the Opacity parameter set to 85%

Step 8

Creating the Mouth

For mouth, create a circle and delete the top anchor point. Select both the open ends and press Ctrl + J to join both the open points together. Now, select the third anchor point and move it little bit upwards.

Step 9

Creating the Teeth

Create two copies of the mouth object twice by Alt + dragging it. Let’s name the first copy as Teeth and the other one as Mask. Select the teeth shape and scale it up using Selection tool (V).

Apply the Black and White gradient to the teeth shape. Set the RGB values of both the color stops as R:135, G:135, B:135 with first midpoint at location 20% and second midpoint at location 80%

Step 10

Finishing the Mouth

Align the Teeth shape with the Mask as shown in the image and scale down the teeth shape vertically. Now, select both shapes (Teeth and the Mask) and press Ctrl + 7 to create the Clipping Mask. Align the clipped Teeth shape with the Mouth shape and group them together.
That’s it, now, you can create your own smiley faces and emoticons using Adobe Illustrator.

Step 11

Map Art Illustrator

You can either place the face as it is or map it over the smiley’s head using Map Art function of the Illustrator. Read more in detail about Mapping 3d objects in illustrator.

3d smiley faces finished

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Use your creativity and add more stuff to make your character more interesting. Thanks!