Sunday, March 7, 2010

Creating 3D Planets

Hello everyone. I want to share with you tutorial about illustrator’s 3D tools. I know illustrator is not a 3D modeling program but with the 3D tools you can create some 3d objects easily. So let’s create our galaxy today.


OK. Before we start we need some texture maps to put on our shapes to look like real planets. For this tutorial I am using a texture map for Mars which I got from . You can your maps online from Google, Yahoo or other search engines.


Let’s start with creating the sapphire shape. We are going to use “Revolve” comment which is placed under “Effects/3D”.

I. With ellipse tool create a perfect circle. (To create a circle you need to push shift button while drawing your shape.) Do not choose any fill color, only put a stroke color.
II. With direct select tool choose one the left point on the path and delete it. So now you have an arch represents half circle.
III. It is time to create the 3d sapphire. Now choose your shape with selection tool and go click on revolve command (Effects/ 3D/ Revolve). Click on the preview box to see the result of the tool. As you see you already created the sapphire. Quickly what revolve tool does is turns the shape around the 2 end points 360’. You can play with the angle to change this ratio.


Ok. Now it is time to apply the texture map on it. First you need to import the map in to art board. If you saved the map to your computer just click on it and drag it in to illustrator.


Now we need to convert this image to symbol. Because of this is a linked image illustrator can not convert it to symbol. First you need to embed the image. Let’s click on the image and from the options click on “Embed”. So it is not a linked image anymore. It is part of your project. Click on the image once and click “new symbol” icon under symbol library.


Now as a last step we need to apply the map to the sapphire. Click on the sapphire and double click on “3D Revolve” which is listed under Appearance. (if appearance is not open you can open it from “Window/ Appearance” or short cut “shift + F6). The 3D revolve box will pop up again. Now click on “Map Art” button. As you see there are 2 surfaces (one of them is inside of the sapphire and the other one is outside).
Choose the first one. From the symbol menu choose the texture map you created. And click on “scale to fit” button left down side of the box. Click “OK” to apply the map art. Click on preview to seethe results. If you want to play with the side views of the
object you can rotate it by playing X, Y, and Z values.

Congratulations. Now you can create other planets and create your own.


PS: If you want to add shading to your art to looklike more 3D you can easily add it by using
photoshop or illustrator. Just create same size circle and fill it with radial gradient tool. And
place the new circle on the top of the planet. If you multiply the new shape you can see the
nice shading effect.

I hope you enjoıed my tutorıal. If you have any questions please do not hassitate to ask me.

Leo Graphics, 2010

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