More spheres! Admittedly working all of these tutorials was pretty addictive and once I started learning how to use Illustrator’s various functions it was hard to stop seeking out new applications to learn.
After designing the previous sphere, which was of course simply a circle shaded to resemble a 3D object, I became curious about the rendering capabilities of Illustrator. While cruising the forums the rendering features are often discussed and, much like pathfinder tools, which can be a little confusing for beginners like me, the 3D rendering feature feels inaccessible.
My first attempt to create something in 3D without instructions was a sphere, what could be simpler than a circle, right? So I created an ellipse and tried a few of the 3D options, creating a cylinder, a disc, and finally this thing:
I clearly needed some assistance with this feature and while searching for “How to Create Spheres” I found another tutorial that showed, as an element of the exercise, how to create 3D spheres. Once you see how it’s done it feels a little less psychotic than all the random shapes you can create just trying to make a polygon a 3D polygon. The tutorial taught how to make a “peel effect” which is similar to the AT&T logo of a shape wrapped around an invisible sphere.
Not only does this teach how to make 3D spheres using the rendering tools, but how to repeat graphic shapes using transform, how to create symbols, and of course how to apply the symbols to make the peel effect.
During one of the steps it shows how to easily create a 3D rendered sphere like this:
It was one of my favorite basic illustrator tutorials. It was very easy to follow and provided clear steps in the multiple tools used to create the graphic. Also it teaches by osmosis several other useful tools and finally hammered into my analog brain how digital 3D rendering works. I used it to create the peel effect he shows:
One slightly more difficult one of my own:
And then combined it with what I learned in the previous tutorials to create this original graphic inspired by the wonderful, colorful, world of James Rolfe’s AVGN:
The above graphic was created using the 3D rendering sphere technique learned in the tutorial from this week; the cylinders I created by accident using “bevel and extrude” trying to create spheres before I learned how to do it properly; radial gradient shading learned from last week’s tutorial; and the pen tool (which I accidentally left on the gradient fill and made a nice fire effect). It goes to show, once you learn enough to operate properly, classic trial-and-error methodology still has skills it can impart…and that feels like a Mr. Miyagi-level lesson.
Next week is the last tutorial about making spheres and how they’re used to create textures and even characters. I’m sure there are plenty of other ways to use the 3D rendering tool so feel free to share creative ways to use them. To quote Bender Bending Rrrrrodriguez: Learning is fun.
The inspiration for the F-Bomb:
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