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50 Excellent Illustrator 3D Tutorials

Adobe Illustrator is one of the best applications for making graphic artwork like logos, print designs and Web pages. As time goes on, more and more Illustrator techniques are introduced by talented designers and artists in the industry who achieve some of the best results on the Web. One hot trend nowadays is 3D effects. So, we’ve gathered together some 3D tutorials to give you an idea of what Adobe Illustrator offers and how to use its 3D features. This list mixes tutorials for beginners and experts. [Links checked February/10/2017]

Here then is our round-up of 50 Excellent Adobe Illustrator Tutorials for 3D artwork. You’ll learn a lot of techniques and good practices.

Further Reading on SmashingMag: Link

Adobe Illustrator 3D Tutorials Link

How to Create Funky 3D Springs in Illustrator5
In this tutorial, learn how to create 3D springs in Illustrator.

illustrator 3d6

Disco Ball Tutorial7
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a disco ball effect in Illustrator.


Design Gift Boxes Using Illustrator’s 3D Tools9
Learn how to make a fully editable ribbon and masked typography. Also, you’ll create sparkles using the Symbol Tools.

illustrator 3d tutorials10

Let’s Make a Playful Yet Robust 3D Letter Design11
This tutorial is perfect for the near beginner who wants to take their skills to the next level. You will create 3D text and use depth of field to enhance a design.


3-D Bowl13
This tutorial shows how to create a realistic 3D fruit bowl illustration with Adobe Illustrator CS2.


Illustrator Tutorial – 3D lighted text effect15
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create 3D text and then apply some brushes to get a neat, futuristic spacey effect.


How to Create an Open Book with Illustrator’s 3D Extrude & Bevel Tool17
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create an open book mostly using Illustrator’s 3D Extrude and Bevel Tool. You’ll create open pages with graphics and then add a wavy background.


3-D Blue LCD Alarm Clock19
Create a 3D neon-blue digital LCD clock in Illustrator, with a final step in Photoshop. This tutorial covers the Illustrator portion. Some skills you’ll learn here are creating perspective, blending and adding gloss.


Create a Milk Bottle with a Funny Cow Label21
In this tutorial, you will create a 3D milk bottle with a cute cow label.


3-D Charts in Adobe Illustrator CS23
Create a 3D pie chart with transparency and highlights so that the graphic looks like semi-opaque plastic.


Make 3D Yet Flat-Looking Shopping Basket Icons25
Learn how to create a custom shopping-basket icon for your next Web design project. You’ll need a solid understanding of Adobe Illustrator’s tools to complete this tutorial.


How to Make a Vector Military Cap Icon27
This tutorial shows the intermediate-to-advanced Adobe Illustrator artist how to make a realistic military-style cap icon using mainly gradients, blends and the Gradient Mesh tool.


Rendering a 2-D Spark Plug Diagram from 3D Components in Illustrator29
This tutorial takes you through building a 3D spark plug from multiple components and then expanding the image into a 2-D vector diagram.


Create a Checkered 3D Chess Figure Scene31
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a 3D chess scene with the help of the 3D Revolve tool and gradient masks.


3-D Graphs33
This tutorial shows you how to create 3D graphs in Adobe Illustrator CS2 with ease.


3-D Flower Pot 35
Create a 3D flower pot, including soil and flower, in this tutorial.


Make a Handy 3D Vector Calendar Icon37
Make a handy calendar icon to use on your blog, website or print projects. You’ll use Illustrator’s Path and 3D tools to create this design.


Create and Color an Eco Easter Egg in Adobe Illustrator39
In this tutorial, you will learn how to create an “eco”-colored egg for Easter. It is eco because no artificial colorants are used.


Using Swift as a Powerful 3D Illustration Tool41
Learn how to create 3D illustrations using Adobe illustrator and Swift 3D 42.


Create a Rotatable Globe in Adobe Illustrator44
Create a 3D globe of the earth that revolves to show countries and continents.


How to Make Realistic Skate Wheels in Illustrator46
In this tutorial, you’ll create a set of realistic skateboard wheels and map the wheels using the 3D Revolve tool in Illustrator. You will also learn some cool tricks to add finishing touches.


Glossy Dice Tutorial48
Create glossy dice in just seven steps. Throughout this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use the 3D features and other features in Illustrator.


Create a Vibrant 3D Pixel Type Treatment50
This tutorial shows you how to give fonts a 3D pixelated look. Using a free font, gradients and Illustrator’s 3D filter, you will easily create a type treatment that you can apply to many other fonts.


Create a Can of Beans by Mapping Vectors to a 3D Object52
Learn how to create a can of beans, built entirely from vectors, using the Symbols palette, the Extrude tool and Illustrator’s image mapping.


Working with 3D Objects and Transparencies to Make a Vector Cola Bottle Design54
A tutorial that discusses how Illustrator deals with transparency in 3D objects. Learn how to create a plastic cola bottle.


3-D Logo56
This tutorial shows you how to make 3D gradient logo in minutes. This technique is great for making 3D graphic objects and icons.


3-D Hammer Using Illustrator58
This tutorial show how to create a 3D hammer in 10 steps.


Drawing a Vase in Illustrator Tutorial60
In this tutorial, you’ll create a 3D vase using paths and 3D revolve options.


Turn a Boring Bar Graph into a 3D Masterpiece62
In this tutorial, you’ll plot an accurate bar graph using Adobe Illustrator’s Graph tool and render the graph to give it added visual appeal.


Fun with AI’s 3D tool64
A tutorial exploring more of the 3D tools in Illustrator.


Create a 3D Pushpin and a Paper Note in Illustrator66
A tutorial on creating a 3D pushpin with the 3D Revolve tool. You will also learn how to apply highlights and create shadows for a more realistic effect, and add a paper note.


Creating Omspace 3D cylinder graphic in Illustrator68
In this tutorial, you will create good-looking 3D cylinders and symbols.


Design a Business Report Cover70
Build a classic design layout quickly using Adobe Illustrator. Throughout this tutorial, you’ll use the 3D tool to make a set of business buildings, and then add motion lines.


3-D Apple Tutorial72
A tutorial on how to create a 3D apple.


3-D Pill74
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a 3D pill to cure your design headaches.


Create a Dream Design with 3D Typography76
In this tutorial, you’ll create a dreamscape with 3D typography using Illustrator and Photoshop.


How to Make a Delicious Vector Orange in 9 Decisive Steps78
Create a semi-realistic vector orange with simple shapes and tools and multiple effects.


Craft a Delicious Chinese Food Icon80
This tutorial demonstrates how to craft a delicious Chinese food icon set, along with numerous vector Illustration techniques. You’ll need a strong command of Adobe Illustrator’s tools for this one.


Create a Colourful 3D Text Explosion82
Create a 3D text explosion using Illustrator, and finish it with Photoshop.


Adobe Illustrator in 3-D84
Create a 3D can and label in Illustrator.


3-D Isometric Vector Icon86
Learn how to create a 3D isometric vector icon in Illustrator.


Use the power of Illustrator to Create Cool 3D Infographics88
Translate abstract data into an easy-to-understand 3D illustration with these tips.


3D Chess Board, King, and Pawn90
Learn Illustrator’s 3D tools, Live Paint Bucket tool and pathfinders, and learn how to make a grid and show basic perspective.


3-D Effects in Illustrator CS92
A tutorial focusing on basic 3D effects in Illustrator. You will learn extrusion and bevel techniques, including surface mapping and other options.



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Ronald Bien is a Web/graphic designer and a blogger. He is also a creative mind behind Naldz Graphics, a design blog of tutorials, freebies and resources. If you want to connect with the author, you can follow him on Twitter.

  1. 1

    Fantastic collection, I just recently got into using Illustrator!

  2. 2

    Vinod Batus

    June 16, 2009 7:43 am

    Simply Brilliant!

  3. 3

    Nice set of tutorials, good post!

  4. 4

    Thanx a thousand time ! Very useful !

  5. 5

    Thank you..Very useful resources for learning…

  6. 6

    in the past couple weeks i’ve seen dubstep and 4:20 references. sm rox.

    still my homepage.

  7. 7

    LOL 4:20!!!! its weed time!!!! xD I LOVE SMASHING MAGAZINE!!! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!!

  8. 8

    :D nice list, but 3-D Blue LCD Alarm Clock’s tutorial should blend to a “how to make true reflexions” tutorial ;)

    :) this will improve a lot to illustrator beginners and enthusiasts

  9. 9


    June 16, 2009 8:21 am

    very good (-: tnx

  10. 10

    Amazing Tutorials! Thanks.

  11. 11

    These are great tutorials for those looking to punch up their designs with a smattering of 3D. However, I use the 3D tools in Illustrator on an extremely limited basis. They are so clunky and frustrating.

    Eventually I turned to the free 3D app Blender to handle all my 3D needs. Yeah there was a (pretty steep) learning curve but man, the results can not be beat! My clients love what I’m able to do, and so will yours. I can even export the .obj from there and import it into photoshop (extended version) and paint on it!

    I use Illustrator daily at my job and in my own personal projects. It excels in so many areas, but I won’t use it for 3D. It’s just ugly…

  12. 12

    Chris Robinson

    June 16, 2009 8:50 am

    Nice roundup, the “Rendering a 2D Spark Plug…” is a great tut I dig the style and techniques.

  13. 13

    AWESOME…great…always wanted to collect more 3d illustrator tutorials….really helped me
    thanx A LOT !

  14. 14

    I agree with post #11. I’ve played around with 3d objects in Illustrator and it’s extremely frustrating, it’s a resource hog too. Most of these objects are super basic and would take a matter of minutes to create in any 3d application. Just download one of the many “lifetime trial” versions off your favorite torrent site ;).

  15. 15

    Nice collection but i must say they are not fresh. Fresh means something which has been published recently. and half of the tutorials from this collection can be found on dozens of showcase sites as they are quite old. Still you got a good collection there.

    DKumar M.

    • 16

      kabeer khan

      July 26, 2012 7:45 am

      yes , you are right ! Everyone is showing same tutorials ! now i m fade up with them.

      P.M= Please bring something new !

  16. 17

    Benedikt Roßgardt

    June 16, 2009 9:56 am

    The most tutorials show the usage of the same functionalities – bevel and extrude. :-(

    The Military Cap and the Chinese Food Box are some of the best tutorials, I think.

  17. 18

    Mélane Lago

    June 16, 2009 9:57 am

    This is really excellent! Thank you for sharing! :)

  18. 19

    good stuff really love this!

  19. 20

    this was a good tutorial i haven’t seen b4, its cool man~

    thank you

  20. 21

    Brian Temecula

    June 16, 2009 10:07 pm

    Nothing quite as grand as a fabulous illustration. I have the old CS2 Illustrator, and it has so many features. I can’t imagine having more.

  21. 22

    I dabble with the 3D Tool from time to time… but it doesn’t beat real 3D software.

  22. 23

    This could be summed up with a single post about the 3D tool and how revolve + various lighting settings work.

    Not really fresh or interesting for anyone who has looked at the 3D tool ever.

  23. 24

    really kool very nice representation of 3D ;)

  24. 25

    Thank you so much for this! Now I need to get Adobe Illustrator..

  25. 26

    Great collection, really love it .

  26. 27


  27. 28

    Thx for this great post.. :)

  28. 29

    NSFW Warning: If you are at work or in a similarly quiet environment, the 3-D Apple tutorial leads to a YouTube video with obnoxiously loud “music” playing in the background.

    Mute your speakers and your earphones if you want to avoid going deaf or suffering a synthetic drum-induced heart arrhythmia.

  29. 30

    awesome collection! thanks for contribution putting these. I just love 3D things.

  30. 31

    sean steezy

    June 17, 2009 6:48 am

    Awesome, thanks for including my skate wheels from vector tuts! Some people are knocking illustrators 3D applications, but if you experiment with it, you will find its more than just making semi realistic 3D objects, but you can get abstract and create some awesome effects. Explore your vector illustration software’s 3D possibilities, that’s my advice to you 3D haters…

  31. 32

    Fantastic… Thanks for sharing this illustration showcase.

  32. 33

    Great!!! Fantastic Tutorials!!! Great Contribution!!!! i’m really happy whit the collection!!!

  33. 34

    i for one loved the music ebbing from the apple tut =)

  34. 35

    Aleksandar Tasevski

    June 19, 2009 12:00 am

    Awesome collection of tutorials. Thanks SM!

  35. 36


    June 21, 2009 12:10 am

    thanks alot for sharing

  36. 37

    Amazing !

  37. 38

    ajit biswas

    July 1, 2009 11:24 pm

    i am so lucky to found you.

  38. 39

    Thanks a lot! Excellent work on gathering all these tutorials!

  39. 40

    Daniel Velasco

    July 17, 2009 12:58 pm

    Jojojo ¡Excelente! voy a sacarle el jugo a todo este material :D. Yeah!

  40. 41

    really nice tutorials, these will improve my skills

  41. 42


    January 3, 2010 8:53 pm

    Its really amazing tutorials

    I wanted to something similar to like this

    I think it will take lot of time to reach this level

    anyhow great isnt it tttttttttttttttttt

  42. 43

    I prefer real 3d app over 3d effect in Illustrator, because that effect has very low performance, and more difficult to edit.

    The only situation I would use 3d in Illustrator, when I am going to use simplified version (i.e, silhouette).

  43. 44

    Bemnet Amanuel

    February 23, 2010 9:09 am

    it is very good and thank you for being helpfull

  44. 45

    Bemnet Amanuel

    February 23, 2010 9:11 am

    it is very good and thank you for being helpfull I am looking forward for
    your other tutorials

  45. 46

    Mozammel Sarker

    March 12, 2010 8:18 am

    This is really excellent for user! Thank you for sharing.

  46. 47

    Thank’s for tutorial’s…

  47. 48

    i like, i like i, like!!!!!!!!!!!! well done

  48. 49

    Thanks! :) I just recently got into using Illustrator!

  49. 50

    Really Superbbbbb

  50. 51

    they all just dont look completed..
    but nice tutorials

  51. 52

    I say waaaawwooo brilliant..
    it is wonderful to see all these shapes and it is very helpful for my paintings … millions of thanks.

  52. 53

    cool 3D Logo, broken link

  53. 54

    great work

  54. 55

    Dear sir/ madam,

    I am very much interested on about tourials.
    I know use the illustetor software.
    Please send me some more design and tutorial and apdate software to me , that willbe enough kind of you.

    Thankiung you.
    With regards,

    Gobinda bose.

  55. 56

    I like it is very verry nice……………………..

  56. 57

    Very nice collection.


  57. 58

    Hi Forum,I am designing a website for a charitable foundation but haven’t got much experience in adobe. Can anyone help with steps on how I can create a metal cup/can for donation in adobe illustrator or any other adobe product?,

  58. 59

    thanks for this amising and usefull creation.


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