Jay’s “Cool Tricks”: 3D Warp Tool in Illustrator

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1. Open up an 8″x 8″ art board in Adobe Illustrator. Using the rectangle tool, create several lines that will become your pattern.

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2. Select all of the lines and group them by going under Object > Group (or hitting command G on your keyboard). Once they are grouped, open up your symbols menu (Window > Symbols). Click and drag your selected pattern into the window so that it will become one of the symbols.

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3. Delete your lines from your art board. Using the circle tool, create a perfect by holding down shift before clicking and dragging. Make sure the stroke is turned off.

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4. Create a rectangle with the rectangle tool next, placing it right in the centre of the circle.

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5. Select both shapes, then go under Window > Pathfinder. Select the Minus Front option.

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You should end up with only half a circle.

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6. With your semi-circle selected, go under Effect > 3D > Revolve. When the menu comes up, go under Position and change it from Off-Axis Front to Front. Then click Map Art.

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7. When the menu comes up, select Preview so you can see the changes you are making. Then check the box that says Invisible Geometry. Your black sphere should turn into a wire frame. Next, click on the symbol menu. Select your pattern that you had saved to the symbol panel earlier.

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8. On the grid in the menu, click and drag your pattern toward the light side (right) of the grid, and your pattern should show up on the front of the sphere. Adjust the length, width, and/or rotation to your liking!

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9. Click OK to accept your changes, then click OK again on the 3D menu. Now you should have your pattern warped to the sphere!

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That’s it! You can use any pattern that you can come up with, it doesn’t have to be lines! It’s a malleable tool, and loads of fun to play with!

Jay.

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