Creating a 3D object using Adobe Illustrator

In this article, I will introduce how to create 3D objects using Adobe Illustrator.

You can create a 3D object in 2D, so the result is pretty unique and looks different from the average 3D model.


Final Image


There are 3 functions in Adobe Illustrator for creating 3D objects.

  • Extrude/Bevel
  • Rotate
  • Revolving

By using these 3 functions, you can create an object as in the image below.


Final Image

The top is an object created by extrude/bevel, next is an object created by rotation, the last is an object created by revolving.

I will explain each function.


First, create a new Adobe document.


Create a new file



Create a new file


Once you create a new file, choose the rectangle tool as in the image below.

It is the icon highlighted in the left tool bar.


Select the rectangle tool

Draw a rectangle.

Click the white background with the rectangle tool, and a window will popup as in the image below.

Set the width as 150px, and the height as 150px to create a square.


Creating a squre with W150px,H150px

Select the square.


Selecting the square

Choose Effect>3D>Extrude/Bevel.


Choose Extrude/Bevel

You will be able to edit the Extrude/Bevel options, so edit the parameters according to the object you want to create.

Here, I set the ‘Extrude Depth’ to 70pt, and the Bevel to ’Gentle’.

After you are finished editing, press ‘OK’.


Extrude/Bevel options

Press Ok and create a 3D object.

The depth is set to 70pt, and the gentle bevels show up on the sides.


Extrude/Bevel results


Next, I will introduce ‘Rotation’.

Create a square like before, with H150px and W150px, then choose it.

Choose Effect>3D>Rotation.


Choose Rotation

A 3D rotation option will show up.

Drag the 3D rotate option cube in the direction you want to rotate the object.

I rotated the object so that the light blue surface faces the bottom left.

Press OK when you are done.


3D Rotation options

The square will rotate.


3D rotation result


Next, I will introduce revolving.

This method is to rotate a object around a certain axis, and create a 3D object.

As previous steps, create a H150px,W150px square.


Choose a rectangle

Choose Effect>3D>Revolve.


Select a Revolve object

A revolve options window will popup as in the image below, so set according to your needs.

I set the revolve axis to ‘left’, and the degree to ‘360°’.

It will rotate a whole rotation if you set it to 360°.180° will be a half rotation.


3D revolve option

If you press OK, a cylinder will appear as in the image below.


3D revolve result

Export image

The file you just created is an .ai file.

If you want to upload to STYLY, you have to use a .png or .jpeg file.

For this example, I will export as a .png file.

Choose File>Export>Export format as in the image below,

and save as a png file.


Image Export

Uploading to STYLY

If you want to upload the png file to STYLY, please refer to the following article for details.


In this article, I introduced how to create 3D objects using Adobe Illustrator.

You may be able to create a new style by creating a 3D object in 2D.

Please explore the possiblities by changing the extrude angle, or a half rotate revolve option.