Creating 3D in
Illustrator with the Revolve Command
Saturday, August 21, 2010 Filed in: Adobe
The revolve command
can take a vector line and sweep its path into a
circular direction. This can be used to create a
3D object. For best results draw your line facing
with its curve pointing to the right (the lines
are anchored on the left edge). Once the object
is created, you can reposition it with the same
Position controls found in the Bevel and Extrude
1. Select an object or line
inside of Adobe Illustrator.
A line or a shape is all you
need to create a 3D object. By default, the
extrusion will rotate around the left edge so
position the vector object accordingly.
2. Choose Effect > 3D > Revolve.
Check the Preview box so you can see the effect
update as you make changes.
With the Preview box checked,
changes will update so you can experiment more
easily. For complex objects, the screen may take
a moment to redraw.
By default, Illustrator revolves objects around
the left edge. You can change this to the right
edge using the from pop-up.
3. If you object has a fill, you can use the cap
command to make it appear solid or hollow.
4. Use the Angle property to
set the number of degrees to revolve the path.
While you can use any number between 0 and 360, I
typically start with 360˚.
With the Preview box checked, changes will update
so you can experiment more easily. For complex
objects, the screen may take a moment to redraw.
You can use the Offset slider to expand the path
to create a ring-shaped object.
If you experiment with this
effect, some pretty cool options are possible.
Try using a dashed line and creating an irregular
path. In this case a basket shape is possible and
you can create abstract 3D objects for motion
graphics work. Technique adapted from
From the new Adobe Press book –
Motion Graphics with Adobe
Creative Suite 5 Studio