40 Useful Adobe Illustrator 3D Tutorials and Techniques

Mar 8 2009 by Jacob Gube | 48 Comments

Adobe Illustrator is a versatile vector illustration application that’s preferred by many professional artists and designers. Its robust and powerful set of tools coupled with its intuitive interface makes it the go-to app for vector work. Illustrator excels in allowing designers to craft stunning and realistic-looking 3D artwork.

In this collection, you will find 40 useful and informative tutorials and techniques on creating three-dimensional artworks in Adobe Illustrator.

1. Create an Open Book with Illustrator’s 3D Extrude & Bevel Tool

Create an Open Book with Illustrator's 3D Extrude & Bevel Tool - preview.

Learn a technique for illustrating a three-dimensional book by reading through this Adobe Illustrator tutorial.

2. Use the power of Illustrator to create cool 3D infographics

Use the power of Illustrator to create cool 3D infographics - preview.

Learn a process for creating an infographic piece from conceptualization to finalization using a variety of Illustrator tools and techniques such as the Gradient Mesh Tool.

3. Create a Can of Beans by Mapping Vectors to a 3D Object

Create a Can of Beans by Mapping Vectors to a 3D Object - preview.

Craft a tin can (perfect for product design models) using a host of Illustrator tools and techniques such as the Extrude Tool and Image Mapping techniques.

4. Design Gift Boxes Using Illustrator’s 3D Tools

Design Gift Boxes Using Illustrator’s 3D Tools - preview.

Discover a method for creating 3D gift boxes in Illustrator which can later be adopted for designing packaging and software boxes mockups.

5. Fun with AI’s 3D tool

Fun with AI's 3D tool - preview.

Explore the tools, options, and techniques available to you for making 3D objects in Illustrator.

6. Let’s Make a Playful yet Robust 3D Letter Design

Let's Make a Playful yet Robust 3D Letter Design - preview.

Investigate a way for composing a three-dimensional letter art piece by reading through this tutorial on VECTORTUTS.

7. 3D Blue LCD Alarm Clock

3D Blue LCD Alarm Clock - preview.

Illustrate an LCD alarm clock using an assortment of Illustrator tools such as the Rounded Rectangle Tool, gradients, and the Blend Tool.

8. 3D Objects and Transparencies to Make a Vector Cola Bottle Design

3D Objects and Transparencies to Make a Vector Cola Bottle Design - preview.

Create a realistic-looking Cola bottle design by skillfully using 3D objects and transparency options in Adobe Illustrator.

9. Creating Omspace 3D cylinder graphic in Illustrator

Creating Omspace 3D cylinder graphic in Illustrator - preview.

This tutorial shows you how to create cylindrical shapes using the Extrude & Bevel Tool with Map Art options.

10. Create an Animated 3D Poker Chip and Part II

Create an Animated 3D Poker Chip and Part II - preview.

This two-part series on AiBURN shows you how to render a poker chip in 3D using the 3D Exclude and Bevel Tool in Illustrator.

11. How to Make 3D Vector Vintage Stars

How to Make 3D Vector Vintage Stars - preview.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create 3D vector stars in Illustrator.

12. 2D Spark Plug Diagram from 3D Components in Illustrator

Rendering a 2D Spark Plug Diagram from 3D Components in Illustrator - preview.

Diagramming is one of Illustrator’s strong suits – learn a method for creating three-dimensional diagrams (i.e. for instructional brochures) in this tutorial.

13. 3D Effects in Illustrator CS

3D Effects in Illustrator CS - preview.

This tutorial series explores your 3D options in Illustrator: Part 1 discusses Extrusion & Bevel basics, Part 2 covers custom bevel creation, Part 3 talks about the Revolve Tool, and Part 4 discusses lighting and transparencies.

14. 3D Charts in Adobe Illustrator CS

3D Charts in Adobe Illustrator CS - preview.

Create professional charts in Illustrator that will impress: learn how in this tutorial that utilizes the Pie Graph Tool.

15. Design a Business Report Cover

Design a Business Report Cover - preview.

Design a professional and captivating business report cover that has 3D buildings as a graphics component.

16. Create a Rotatable Globe in Adobe Illustrator

Create a Rotatable Globe in Adobe Illustrator - preview.

This tutorial gives you a quick walkthrough on creating a 3D globe using some stock vector files and the 3D Revolve Tool.

17. 3D Bowl

3D Bowl - preview.

See how to construct a realistic 3D fruit bowl in Adobe Illustrator in this tutorial that walks you through the entire process.

18. How to Map Artwork onto 3D Objects with Illustrator

How to Map Artwork onto 3D Objects with Illustrator - preview.

Learn the concepts behind mapping images onto 3D objects in this insightful tutorial.

19. Create a Checkered 3D Chess Figure Scene

Create a Checkered 3D Chess Figure Scene - preview.

Construct a 3D chess scene using gradient meshes and the 3D Revolve Tool.

20. 3D Isometric Vector Icon Tutorial

3D Isometric Vector Icon Tutorial - preview.

Create a simple and beautiful 3D icon using a variety of Illustrator tools such as the 3D Rotate Tool.

21. Create a 3D Push Pin and a Paper Note in Illustrator

Create a 3D Push Pin and a Paper Note in Illustrator - preview.

In this simple tutorial aimed at beginners, you’ll witness a method for composing a 3D push pin and paper note illustration.

22. 3D Graphs

3D Graphs - preview.

Learn another technique on how to use Illustrator to generate impressive but quick-and-simple 3D graphs.

23. Making of an Abstract Artwork

Making of an Abstract Artwork - preview.

See the process of an Illustrator artist’s method for composing this abstract and three-dimensional work of art.

24. 3D Chess Board, King, and Pawn

3D Chess Board, King, and Pawn - preview.

Create three-dimensional chess pieces by reading through this step-by-step Illustrator tutorial.

25. Make a 3d Red Blood Cell Button

Make a 3d Red Blood Cell Button - preview.

This Illustrator tutorial walks you through the process of crafting three-dimensional blood cells.

26. Halloween Pumpkin

Halloween Pumpkin - preview.

Read this tutorial to discover a method for illustrating a realistic-looking Halloween pumpkin.

27. 3D Flower Pot

3D Flower Pot - preview.

Learn about a quick-and-simple way of rendering a three-dimensional flower pot; as a finishing touch, use the Symbols Library to add some flowers in the composition.

28. 3D Dice

3D Dice - preview.

In this short, 7-step tutorial, you’ll learn how to compose a 3D die using the Map Art option in the Extrude & Bevel Tool.

29. 3D Hammer using Illustrator

3D Hammer using Illustrator - preview.

Craft a three-dimensional hammer using a variety of Illustrator tools and options by following along this helpful tutorial.

30. Drawing a Vase in Illustrator

Drawing a Vase in Illustrator - preview.

Here is a method for creating a set of realistic-looking 3D vases using Adobe Illustrator.

31. Make 3D Yet Flat Looking Shopping Basket Icons

Make 3D Yet Flat Looking Shopping Basket Icons - preview.

In this creative take on three-dimensional objects, you’ll see a method for creating a 3D/2D hybrid shopping basket icon.

32. 3D Logo Tutorial

3D Logo Tutorial - preview.

Craft a beautiful 3D logo in this simple but informative Adobe Illustrator logo design tutorial.

33. Disco Ball

Disco Ball - preview.

This short but helpful Adobe Illustrator tutorial, you’ll learn a process of constructing a disco ball.

34. Cool 3D logo

Cool 3D logo - preview.

This tutorial shares another method for creating a 3D logo using Illustrator.

35. Gradient Meshes Introduction

Gradient Meshes Introduction - preview.

To create 3D objects with accurate shading, you’ll need to understand the Gradient Mesh Tool; this tutorial gives you a perceptive look into gradient meshes.

36. Translucent IM Style Illustrator Icon Tutorial

Translucent IM Style Illustrator Icon Tutorial - preview.

Recreate the MSN icon in Illustrator by following along this Illustrator tutorial that utilizes the Gradient Mesh Tool.

37. 3D Vector Calendar Icon

3D Vector Calendar Icon - preview.

Create this beautiful 3D Vector Calendar icon in Illustrator by reading through this step-by-step tutorial.

Illustrator and…

Here are a few tutorials that use Illustrator in combination with other tools.

38. Colourful 3D Text Explosion Using Illustrator and Photoshop

Create a Colourful 3D Text Explosion Using Illustrator and Photoshop - preview.

Combine Illustrator and Photoshop to create this stunning art piece.

39. Merge 3D with Illustrator and Photoshop

Merge 3D with Illustrator and Photoshop - preview.

Use Illustrator and Photoshop to merge compose a futuristic art piece.

40. Using Swift as a Powerful 3D Illustration Tool

Using Swift as a Powerful 3D Illustration Tool - preview.

Use Illustrator and Swift3D (a modeling and animation software) to create 3D illustrations.

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48 Comments

Barkri

March 9th, 2009

Ever since I was about ten years old I was fascinated by heraldic figures. This tutorial is all about creating heraldic figures. It’s not about ‘tricks,’ but more about ‘creative inspiration,’ and how to achieve good results relatively ‘quickly.’ Let’s look at making shields, heraldic design elements, and simple text effects to create a classic branded design. Have fun!

Crowd

March 9th, 2009

Pretty cool.

Does anybody have the experience with using the Gradient Mesh for print? Somehow I’ve always used to be afraid to test it without converting to a bitmap first.

insic

March 9th, 2009

awesome list

Alex

March 9th, 2009

Wow! What a big list of tutorials! Thanks for sharing.

vectorss

March 9th, 2009

great list thanks

Colin

March 9th, 2009

Cool list. Wish I’d seen that open book one two weeks ago, would have saved me a huge headache doing something similar!

Sam

March 9th, 2009

Excellent list, thanks.
Note to number 7: You’re reflection is upside down ;)

sriganesh

March 9th, 2009

great collection of cool and powerful tutorial list, bravo dude.you site is helpful to others,i bookmark your site.and your site link will be listed in my favorite site column. all the best. having site like yours -we survive !! lol

Jonathan Patterson

March 9th, 2009

@crowd- Gradient mesh for print is just like any other eps print job. You shouldn’t have a problem.

Anubis From Memphis

March 9th, 2009

Awesome list of tutorials! Thank you so much for sharing!

WinBlackjack

March 9th, 2009

this is so cool!

Desiztech

March 10th, 2009

really tutorials…almost makes me wants to use illustrator

izzat aziz

March 10th, 2009

awesome indeed. used open book for one of my project.
thank to you. :D

Sketchee

March 11th, 2009

This is a great collection of three d effects. I’ve been using a lot of similar images from istock for my publications, but I’ve been slowly trying to create my own instead

metalpig

March 13th, 2009

cool list! :) thanks for sharing.

Mohammad Danish

March 16th, 2009

how can i open 3D -> Extrude Bevel

Bene

March 16th, 2009

Very nice collection of tutorials! thanks for sharing

Asmaa'

April 1st, 2009

Very nice list of tutorials , thanks for taking time to compile them :)

Nightstalk

May 13th, 2009

Thanks for sharing all of those.

Jabo13

May 28th, 2009

Very very great post, very useful!!!!!!

Allan De Ramos

June 5th, 2009

Thanks a lot! Very cool tutorials!

eshanne

August 8th, 2009

Kewl.. Thanx for the sharing dude, this is an awesome 3D Effects ever, i’ve been doing like this for years .. And everything is goin to be smooth..

Ashley Adams

August 25th, 2009

wow! This is awesome.. creating 3D effect by using Adobe Illustrator takes illustration to another level completely.. this is a brilliant collection of art works.. I am really thankful for this extensive tutorial you have provided mentioning the different techniques that can be used to create the 3D effect.. I never knew that 3D effect could be achieved in this way.. hats off!!!

Eddie

November 4th, 2009

Anyone know what happened to the 3D Logo Tutorial from
good-walls.com?

Helder Carvalho

December 31st, 2009

Very, very useful! Thanks

pranjal

January 2nd, 2010

its very useful to complete my assignments

anish

January 14th, 2010

3d vector tut was good

thibaut

January 31st, 2010

Hi,
Cannot access to 32) 3D Logo Tutorial. Any other link ? Thanks

Adam

February 1st, 2010

Great, I always want to go 3D but always shy away. This has increased my confidence.

Arman

February 7th, 2010

These sure are cool tutorials

Magnetico

April 14th, 2010

Thanks for the list buddy. You did a great job.

CSSReX

April 19th, 2010

Thanks for this wonderful list!

danny

May 19th, 2010

@Crowd Yeah I’ve used the mesh tool for print, it’s never given me any problems.

Murdoc

June 22nd, 2010

You can use the flatten transparency option to flatten the mess gradient and make it print correctly

Lisa

June 25th, 2010

Anyone know of a good book to go along with these tutorials? I’ve gotta learn to do this in 2 weeks!

harry

August 30th, 2010

Hi

Can we make a curved Iron rod in illustrator using 3d filter

t_design

October 1st, 2010

Great list!
Although, on number 28 the perspective of the die is wrong.
Everything else is wonderful, Thanks for Sharing.

Marbella

October 9th, 2010

thanks for putting this list together, some great examples there. I think the results of making 3D objects in Illustrator aren’t ideal, but if you’re not a 3D artist and don’t know the heavy weight 3D apps, then it’s a good solution.

mak

November 11th, 2010

Nice and very useful tutorial for the using of 3d effect in illustrator

me

November 13th, 2010

^_^ thanx love it sooo much you are the best

IMRAN KHAN

November 24th, 2010

this tutorials is very goooood

sardaromar

January 21st, 2011

thank you! Great work

MrFrostySmooth

February 24th, 2011

Ummmm… I can just say that the calendar one is poop.

Frank Zweegers

March 4th, 2011

Great, nice selection.

Jairo Canseco Aguirre

April 7th, 2011

Thanks for the list of tutorials, feeling inspierd already, just to see the list of Tutorials inspired me a lot,
Thanks

mzaqsa

April 8th, 2011

good work. i am so inspired. All the tutorials are looking very professional.

san

August 3rd, 2011

Fantastic tutorial,thanks.Could you give some idea creating simple 3d man.

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