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Map artwork over 3D objects

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Learn how to map a graphic artwork on 3D object surfaces.

A 3D object comprises multiple surfaces such as a cube, cylinder, or cone. By mapping, you add graphic artwork to each surface of a 3D object. For example, you want to map a label or text onto a bottle-shaped object or add different textures to each side of an object. 

You can use Graphics in 3D and Materials and map artwork on the surface of 3D objects. Read on to learn more on how to use graphics. 

Before you proceed

If you are new to creating 3D objects, learn how to convert 2D artwork into 3D graphics/objects in Illustrator. 

Add an artwork as a map on 3D object

Use any of your existing symbols or add new Graphics to start applying a map on each 3D surface.

  1. Select any artwork from your Illustrator document. 

  2. Choose Window > 3D and Materials and click Materials tab

  3. Click    at the bottom of the panel and select Add as Single Graphic.

    As an alternate, you can use drag and drop to add graphic to the 3D panel.  

  4. Select the 3D object to which you want to map artwork, and go to Graphics > All Materials & Graphics panel.

  5. Click the graphic to apply as a map on the 3D object.

    Apply graphic on the object
    Apply the graphic that you want to map on the object

    To view only the artwork map without the geometry of a 3D object, select Invisible Geometry in Properties. You can use this effect as a warp tool around 3D objects. For example, when you want to warp text around an object like a cylinder, cuboid, or sphere and create designs. 

  6. Click the blue circular widget on the applied graphic to move it around the 3D object. Alternately, you can use the Scale and Rotation sliders from Properties panel > Main parameters to move the graphic. 

  7. To add another graphic, select the 3D object and click the graphic thumbnail from GraphicsAll Materials & Graphics.

    Graphics in Illustrator are specific to each document. 

Drag and drop graphics to 3D panel

You can also drag and drop an artwork to the 3D panel to add it as a graphic. You can use this option in any of the Object, Materials, or Lighting properties in the 3D panel. 

  1. Select the object in the canvas, click and drag it on the 3D and Materials panel. + Add Graphic symbol appears on the panel. 
  2. Just drop the object to add it as a graphic. 

To drag and drop multiple objects, hold the ALT key while dragging the object on the panel. 

Add as multiple graphics

If you have artwork with multiple objects set in it, you can add each object of the artwork as a separate graphic.
Click    at the bottom of the 3D and Materials panel and select Add as Multiple Graphics.

When you add any single or multiple graphics, they are saved as Symbols in Illustrator. 

What's next: Create 3D text effects

We've got you started with using 3D effects in Illustrator and mapping art on 3D objects. Take a step forward and learn how to create 3D text effects using basic tools and features. 

Have a question or an idea?

If you have a question to ask or an idea to share, and participate in Adobe Illustrator Community. We'd love to hear from you.

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