How to Design 3d Type in Adobe Illustrator

In today’s tutorial I will show you how to design abstract 3d curves and letters with a blend tool.

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Step #1. Simple Circle

Create a 300px circle using the Ellipse Tool. Fill it with a linear gradient. In order to do this, head over to the Gradient Panel and set these colors as gradient stops on the slider:

  • At the Beginning – #EBF3FA
  • Position of 10% – #E4EEF8
  • Position of 30% – #D2E2F4
  • Position of 40% – #CCDDF2
  • Position of 54% – #BED5EE
  • Position of 73% – #ACCAEA
  • Position of 75% – #ABC9EA
  • At the End – #90BAE3

Step #2. Final Shape

Once you’ve added the gradient, head over to the Effect/Distort and Transform/ZigZag to apply zigzag effect.

Set all the values as shown in the image below.

Zig Zag options

Now we need to convert our life effect into the regular Adobe Illustrator object by going to Object/Expand Appearance.

With this cog/flower like shape (our result) selected make a duplicate by dragging the shape while holding Alt/Opt key.

Apply the gradient to the fill of the duplicate. Assign these colors as gradient stops to the slider:

  • Position of 10% – #F4F2F8
  • Position of 30% – #E2DBED
  • Position of 54% – #CFC2DF
  • Position of 75% – #C1AFD5
  • At the End – #7C6C90

Second Gradient

Step #3. Blend

Select both shapes and head over to the Blend Options dialog box. Select the “Specified Steps” from the dropdown and type 100 in the field next to it.

Blend Options

Click ok to apply the changes and press Ctrl/Cmd+Alt/Opt+B to create a blend. The end result should be similar to mine on the bottom.

Blend End result

Step #4. Letter

Grab the Pencil Tool and draw the first letter. To make the curves of the letterform smooth, double click on the Pencil Tool icon to bring up the Pencil Toool Dialog Box.

Pencil Tool Dialog Box

Move the Fidelity slider to the right to smooth the lines you are creating when you are drawing with theĀ Pencil Tool. It also make your artworks less accurate, since you rely more on the software than on your hand.

Step #5. Final Design

After finising your drawing process, select both the letter and blend and head over to the Blend/Replace Spine to allocate the blend shapes accros more elegant curves of the letter.

Replace spine of the Blend Tool

Now you can make a few duplicates of the first letter and draw the other letters of your word. Select the letter and duplicate of the first and head over to the Replace Spine command again to finish you word.

Replace Spine

You can even create a custom shortcut to speed up the process. To learn more about custom shortcuts, enroll in my Adobe Illustrator Course for free.

Abstract 3d type effect in Adobe Illustrator

That’s all for today. We are done . Thanks for following this tutorial to the end and do not forget to share this vid and the article with your friends.

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