Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
So we are ready to map some artwork onto a 3D surface here inside of Illustrator. We already know that in order to map two-dimensional artwork onto a 3D surface, you need to first define that artwork as a symbol, which we have already done over here. We also know that when we are working with filled objects inside of Illustrator, objects that have no stroke attributes applied, we end up with fewer surfaces to work with. If you see over here on the left side, this is the object that has only stroke attributes applied, which will result in more surfaces. This one on the right over here is working with filled objects, which results in fewer surfaces.
For now, we are going to work with the one that has fewer surfaces, just so that we can just get our feet wet and understanding exactly how we can easily apply artwork to a 3D surface. Then we'll dive into the world here of strokes, which have far more surfaces and we'll see how much more difficult it is to apply it in that particular case. Now, I'm going to go ahead and I'm just going to move this over here to the side so we have a full screen to work with. As we are going to see, we are going to have several dialog boxes that we are going to have to navigate through to make this happen, so I just want to make sure we have some room to do this. If you have a larger screen or a high-resolution monitor, you'll obviously have a lot more of an easier time with this.
So what I'm going to do first is I'm going to select this piece of artwork right here. It's the group that I have selected. Notice I have the 3D Revolve effect already applied. The 3D Artwork Mapping is simply another aspect or part of the existing 3D effect that I have already applied. Meaning, I don't need to apply a new effect now. I just have to edit the one that I have already applied. So I'm just going to click on the 3D Revolve setting here to bring up this 3D Revolve Options dialog box. I am going to click on the Preview button, because obviously it's always best to see what you are working with, instead of just imaging it in your mind. What I'm going to do is I'm going to click on this button here called Map Art.
That's going to open up now another dialog box. This dialog box is going to immediately identify that my object that I'm working with right now, or I should say my group of objects that appear right over here, currently consists of 28 different surfaces. Illustrator tells me that we are looking at now 1 of 28 surfaces. That means that this surface right over here that we are looking at is the first surface. Illustrator helps me identify where this surface appears in my artwork by applying a little bit of a red outline here or highlighting it in red on the artboard itself. Now, one thing to note. Illustrator itself doesn't really match up or line up that red outline exactly on the object. I don't know exactly why but that's just the way that it is. So it does give me a pretty good idea. It's kind of near it, but as we'll soon see as we step through the different surfaces, the red outline will be offset just a little bit from the shape itself.
Let's take a look over here at exactly what this represents. Remember, this piece of artwork now consists of 28 different surfaces, and remember that I can only apply one symbol to a surface. What I have over here is the actual flattened out surface itself. The surface here actually wraps completely around the bottle, but here I see it in its flat form, or think about this as the two dimensional form of what I'm seeing right over here of this 3D surface. We refer to this as a UV. What I'm looking at right now is you can see that I have this kind of grid and I also have lighter areas and darker areas. This represents what the visible areas are on the object. Any area right now that's shaded in a darker gray refers to parts of the bottle or parts of the surface, I should say, that are currently the back part of the bottle. I cannot see them, they are hidden from view.
Whereas the areas that are now in the lighter gray area reference the parts of the label right now or I should say parts of the surface that are currently in view that I can see. So if I look at this right now, if I were to apply artwork in this particular area, I would only be able to right now see the area or the parts of the label that exists in this area right here. This part here would kind of wrap around to the back of the bottle. I wouldn't be able to view it. One thing to note by the way, if I go ahead and I click OK and I change the rotation of the object, this obviously updates. The way that I'm looking at the bottle at this moment is basically defining what I can or can't see, but if I were to rotate it, obviously other parts would come into view.
Now, in this case, it's pretty simple because the surface that I really want to map artwork onto is actually this surface number 1. It's this part that's right here, but before we do that let me just kind of step through different surfaces and we can explore what these surfaces are and easily identify them. So I'm going to go over here to these arrows and I can click on this arrow right here to simply go to the next surface. Now, notice that over here right now, Illustrator is identifying this area as a second surface. [00:04:054.65] This is important to know about Illustrator; and I can kind of go through a few of them as well, for example, this one right here. You can see that this is one area, this is another area, this is another area, all these three different areas. How is it that Illustrator is defining those surfaces? This actually comes down to how I actually create the shape.
This is also, as we are soon going to see, a major difference in how Illustrator applies a 3D Revolve effect on three surfaces differently between filled objects and stroked objects. Right now, you can see that my artwork has these anchor points that are here. In Illustrator, we have two different types of anchor points. We have something called a Smooth anchor point and that's an anchor point that has control handles that come out of both ends of it. Then we have something called a Corner anchor point. A Corner anchor point does not have a control handle coming out of the actual anchor point itself. In Illustrator, when we talk about filled objects that have 3D effects applied to them, when I think about a surface, a new surface is started any time I have a Corner anchor point. But if I'm working with a Smooth anchor point, then that still stays as a continuous surface.
So as you can see what I have done here basically is I actually have a Corner point that exists right here on the bottom, and then I have another Smooth anchor point, Smooth anchor point, and then only a Corner anchor point here. So that's why Illustrator treats this entire area as one whole surface. Likewise, over here, I was careful when I actually created this shape to define when I was working with Corner anchor points or Smooth anchor points. Because I knew that I wanted to wrap our label around this midsection right over here, I basically created a Corner anchor point here and here, and that automatically told Illustrator to define this as a new surface. But from over here, all the way to the top of the cap over here, I only used Smooth anchor points, and that ensured that this now constitute as one entire surface.
Again, you will look over here and you will see that there are lighted areas and the shaded areas. Again, they are not necessarily square because the way that the shape is, if you flattened it out, you would see basically that Illustrator itself is identifying the areas that are currently in view and currently hidden from view. So I'm actually going to go through a few more of these areas. You can see I have here at the top of this little ring here, the cap itself. As I go through them, I can identify the regions. Now, this would be facing the bottom part of the cap that you have over here. That's the bottom because Illustrator has told me that it's currently hidden from view. I can't see that because it's dark.
Then I go ahead and I kind of go around this. That would be the outside over here of the cap itself, so on and so forth. We are actually going to work with that as well. So let's kind of remember that was surface number 9 and we can now work through this. Now, if you remember also, when we start working with objects that are working with strokes, strokes can basically end up in far more number of surfaces and that's again because Illustrator will also want me to paint artwork or basically apply the symbols to the inside surfaces of shapes, not just the outside of them. We'll actually go through that in just a moment. So let's take a look at this object right here. I'm simply going to go back to my first shape. Let's go ahead and just go back to surface number 1; that's the part here that I want to put this label onto.
Now that I have this surface selected, I need to now tell Illustrator to map a piece of artwork onto that surface. Remember we had to create a symbol inside of Illustrator. Notice that over here I have a pop-up menu that identifies all the symbols in my file. So remember, this is exactly how the artwork gets into the 3D effect. Before, we defined two- dimensional artwork, we saved it as a symbol. Once I have done that, I can now bring that two dimensional artwork here into this world of 3D. I am going to choose the label over here. The label, because I have actually created the label at actual size, the label fits perfectly here into the surface that I have created. Now, I could of course go ahead and use these little handles over here to resize or rotate it, but I'll tell you that, remember, Illustrator is working with 3D rendering. Every little adjustment that I make takes time for Illustrator to re-render that artwork. Because of that, it just becomes that much more difficult to work with these mapped pieces of artwork now as I'm trying to get the perfect positioning there.
So I always find it easiest to actually create my artwork and scale both the actual 3D shape and the artwork that I want to map to it as well. In this case here I would make sure that the area that I have defined here as the part for the label was the exact same size to scale as the label is going to be, and that just made life a little bit easier for me. So I have that particular piece of artwork mapped here. You can see that the artwork itself of the bottle has the lighting and the shading going on. So I have a lighter area here and a darker area here. That's because in this piece of artwork, with this 3D effect, I actually have a light source that's kind of hitting it from the upper-right hand corner of the bottle here that's kind of reflecting off of the surface. So this part is naturally darker than this part.
But you can see that the artwork has no shading whatsoever on it. Illustrator does this by default. You can see over here there is an option called Shade Artwork, which right now says that it's slower. That's because Illustrator doesn't use gradients to create the shading effects and the lighting effects to 3D objects. Illustrator actually works with blends. In order to simulate the shading on your artwork itself, Illustrator needs to take your entire piece of artwork, chop it into literally hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of shapes, and apply blend to those as well for the shading also. So if you thought the actual rendering of the 3D object was intensive, well, it's even more so when you start mapping artwork and you want the artwork to be shaded as well.
Now, of course over here, we really want the artwork to be shaded. We want to get that more realistic look to it. So we can click on this button, and again, we just wait for Illustrator to process that, but as we'll see now that we do have the shading applied to the artwork itself. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to go over to the actual part of the cap here, because I want to basically simulate that threaded area, that grip, that basically gets applied to the actual exterior here of the cap. So I'll go back to the settings here for the Surfaces and we'll go back to surface number 9, which was actually the area that we are going to map around that particular part of the cap.
Again, notice over here I have the darker and the lighter areas. Again, just showing me which part is visible or hidden from view. Now I'm going to apply the other one, which I call the cap thread and apply that one again. Because I have created it to scale, it's simply going to just drop right into the place where I need it. I'm going to click OK and now I have applied that particular texture to that particular part of the shape. I am going to click OK and zoom in on that area so we could see what I have done here. It just applies that kind of a look to the bottle to make it look like I have the thread. I can't really emboss them or make them look in that particular way. All I'm simply doing is taking flat two-dimensional artwork and applying it onto a 3D shape. But at least it does give me a little bit more of a realistic look to what that particular piece of artwork is really supposed to look like.
So now that we have seen how to apply the artwork to a 3D shape using this mapping feature, let me zoom out here for a second and let's focus on this bottle right here, which is the one that was made up of strokes. I just want to show you again how you would apply mapped artwork to this particular example, because while the rendering does look a lot better, we already discussed that it's going to be far more complex to work with. So I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to click on this shape right here; I'm going to move it over just a little bit to the left. I'll click on the 3D Revolve effect. Let's click on the Preview button so we can see what we are dealing with here. What I'll also do is I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to click on this button here called Map Art.
Again, we'll just wait for Illustrator to go ahead and resolve that. Beautiful! Click on the Map Art button. Notice that over here, instead of the 28 surfaces before, we now have 95 surfaces. I am going to start stepping through these surfaces. Again, Illustrator does identify with a little red area on the artboard here what my surfaces are, but notice how many more shapes and how much more complex especially this area is. Now, as I come down here towards the bottom of the shape, I want you to really kind of focus on what does or does not become an area to work with. Notice over here, this is the part of the label. But take a look over here.
See how it's dark over here but lighter on this part? What I'm looking at right now is actually the inside of the bottle, not the outside of the bottle. How do I know that? Well, to be honest, I know it from trial and error. Unfortunately, Illustrator does not provide any clear way to figure out if a surface is facing the inside or the outside of an object when using stroked artwork. Let's go through other surfaces and take a look. Remember in the previous example, this entire area from here all the way down to the bottom was considered one surface, but now Illustrator actually split this into several different surfaces. That happens because when you are working with stroked objects, it does not make a difference if you are working with Smooth anchor points or Corner anchor points, because either of those types of anchor points define a new surface inside of Illustrator.
So not only am I now dealing with both the exterior surface and the interior surface of the bottle, I'm also dealing with the fact that every single anchor point defines a brand new surface. So let's kind of go through a few more of these right now. Kind of go over here and now let's take a look at this part of the label. If I now choose to apply the label right here, it gets applied to the actual surface, again because I created it in actual size. It snaps right into place where it needs to be and using again this little red outline helps me identify where that is. I can now apply the Artwork Mapping to this shape.
The result of course is I can still apply the Artwork Mapping to the shape, but notice how many more steps it took me to actually get there. Far more surfaces to work with. A little bit more guesswork in trying to get around to trying to identify where that is. Once again, I'll choose the Shade Artwork setting to go ahead and apply that piece of artwork and shade it as well, using the same lighting settings that I have on the overall object. Now, once that particular piece is done, I now know that I have to go to this particular cap area and I guess it's just a matter of stepping through all different sides and identifying that area. There is no way to kind of jump to one area or not.
In fact, here is really good example. Because of the way that I'm seeing the shaded area right now, I have a pretty good feeling that what I'm looking at right now is actually the inside of that cap, not the outside of it. So applying this right now, I would be able to apply it, but I wouldn't be able to really see it because it's the inside of the bottle. So I want to make sure I step through all the different areas to get to that particular shape. One thing to note over here while I'm here is that remember this shape that I have created, that has come with the plastic see-through cap? That's an object that has a transparency setting applied to it. Now, I could map artwork onto that plastic area, but it's important to realize that Illustrator treats mapped artwork the same way as the surface that it's applied to. Meaning if I took artwork now and I mapped artwork onto that plastic surface, that artwork would be also be set back to 50% Opacity level. So I would actually be able to see through the artwork itself. There is no way to put opaque artwork onto a transparent surface inside of Illustrator.
So once I go ahead and I apply that, I can click OK. I now know that I have that applied,. I'm going to click OK again. That's how I'm able to apply Artwork Mapping to artwork here inside of Illustrator. It's very cool. Again, depending on how you have built your objects, using fills or strokes, you can really define how easy or difficult it is to apply, but then when it comes down to it, remember the stroke settings actually give you a better looking render than the filled objects do. So at end of the day, you really do want to work with strokes here. It takes a few more steps but you do get a much better result, and there you have a wonderful looking 3D shape that now once you apply that 3D shape, you can rotate it or change its rotation from any view and see that label as it's wrapped around the surface.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
119 Video lessons · 51006 Viewers
117 Video lessons · 38776 Viewers
113 Video lessons · 81592 Viewers
65 Video lessons · 11677 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.