How to create 3d objects in Adobe Illustrator using Revolve?

In this tutorial I am going to show you how to create 3d objects in Adobe Illustrator through Revolve effect. Adobe Illustrator basically concentrates on 2d graphics but still we can create 3d objects with the help of some filters like Revolve. Revolve is the one out of three 3d filters. Revolve Effect can create great stuff when used correctly. Let’s first discuss the working of the Revolve effect.

Working of Revolve effect in illustrator

3d objects in illustrator

Revolve, as the name suggests, revolves the selected shape/path in a specified degree to create 3d objects. There are lots of options available regarding lighting, shading and mapping through which you can set up lights and map your artwork on to your object. There are some more options that will be covered during the tutorial.


3d objects in illustrator

Let’s first create a shape as shown in the image. Now, we will revolve this shape all around 360 degrees to create a 3d object.


3d objects in illustrator

Now Select a fill color for your 3d object and make sure to set the object’s stroke to none. Go to Effect menu » 3D » Revolve…. This will brings up the 3D Revolve Options dialog. Under 3D Revolve Options dialog, turn on the Preview check box. Now, specify one side (Left or Right) for the revolve axis for your object. I am using the Right Edge option for the given object so the shape will revolve from right side. Now, you can see how Revolve Effect converted that simple shape into a 3d looking bottle.

Step 3

3d objects in illustrator

You can set the orientation of your object by manually rotating the cube under 3D Revolve Options dialog. You can also use the available presets present under Position dropdown.

Step 4

Under Surface group you can make use of the available surface shading types for your object.

3d objects in illustrator

This option displays only the wireframe of the object.

No Shading
It displays the object without shading. Object looks flat without shading so this option is not frequently used.

Diffuse Shading
The Object uses diffuse lighting reflects the light in very soft manner and renders/illuminates the surface with very soft highlights.

Plastic Shading
Plastic shading renders the object’s surface in such a way as it’s made up of plastic leaving a bright strong highlight on the surface.

Step 5

3d objects in illustrator

It is the number of degrees at which your path revolves, I am using 360 degrees.

Turn cap on for solid appearance / Turn cap off for hollow appearance
You can turn Cap on and off according to your need by using this option.

You can use Offset parameter to increase or decrease the distance between the revolve axis and the path.

Step 6

3d objects in illustrator

You can map symbols to the surface of your object by using map art option. To add a map to the object, just click on Map Art… button. Under map art dialog select the surface for mapping (the selected surface will highlighted automatically in the red color) then select a symbol that you want to map from the symbol dropdown and hit OK. You can use your own artworks as symbols to map them over the surface.

Note: You have to save your artwork as symbol in order to use it as a map for your 3d object (learn more about Symbols Panel)

Step 7

You can adjust the lighting setup of your object by tweaking some options given in the Surface group. Under Surface group you will find a small thumbnail that previews the lighting setup.

3d objects in illustrator

Light Intensity
This option allows you to increase or decrease the intensity of the selected light.

Ambient light
This option lets you to adjust the amount of the ambient light. Ambient light is a natural light present in the environment coming from all the directions.

Highlight Intensity
This option allows you to increase or decrease the intensity of the highlight.

Highlight Size
You can increase or decrease the size of the highlight by making use of this option.

Blend Shapes
This option alters the smoothing of the surface. Keep the value high for good smoothness of the surface.

Move selected light to back/front of object
You can move the selected light to back or front of the object through this button.

New Light
You can create a new light through this button.

Delete Light
Use this button to delete the selected light.

Step 8

3d objects in illustrator

Shading Color
You can deal with the object’s shading color by using this option.

No shading color.

Sets shading color to black.

You can choose your own color from the color picker to shade the object.

Step 9

3d objects in illustrator

Preserve Spot colors
Preserve Spot colors option preserves spot colors in the object but it doesn’t work with custom shading color.

Draw Hidden Faces
Draw Hidden Faces option will draw only visible faces when OFF else it will draw the complete object.

That’s all about Revolve effect. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you have queries or suggestion regarding this tutorial, let me know through your comments and emails. Good Luck…