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Create 3D text effect

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Learn easy and quick ways to create 3D text effect in Illustrator.

You can create 3D effects using a variety of ways in Illustrator. In this article, we'll show you how to create 3D effect using the basic tools and features of Illustrator.

Logo with 3D text

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Get Sample File

Ai file; 218 KB

Before you proceed

4 steps to create 3D effect

Hollow letters

make a copy

3D graphic

final artwork

Step 1: Create your text

Add text

Type your text using the Type tool and assign a font.

Remove fill color

Convert text to outlines by right-clicking and choosing Create Outlines.

Remove fill color, assign the stroke of 2pt and set color as black.

Release compound path

  1. Ungroup the letters in the text. Right-click and choose Ungroup.
  2. Right-click the letter and choose Release Compound Path. Select the inner sections of B and O and delete them.
Hollow letters

After the inner sections are removed, the letters show a hollow shape.

Step 2: Create a copy of the text shape

To create a copy of the shape, press Alt and then drag the shape.

Create a copy of the text

 Assign a different stroke color so that we can easily differentiate between the two outlines. Let's use blue.

Step 3: Create a 3D shape for letters

Using the anchor points

Create 3D graphic using anchor points

  1. Select anchor points on the path around the area where 3D effect is to be created.
     The Anchor point options will become available on the Control panel when you select the anchor points.
  2. Press Command/Ctrl+C and Command/Ctrl+F to copy and paste in front or choose Edit > Paste in Front. This will copy the paths held by the selected anchor points and paste them in place on the top. This process helps you make an identical copy for precision. Assign these new paths a diff stroke color.
  1. Join loose ends to make a closed path.
  2. To make a closed path, select end points and click the Connect Selected End Points button  in the Control panel.
  3. Complete the step for the whole letter 'O'.

Using the Pen tool

Use the Pen tool to draw faces around all the edges of the letter. 

Keep solid fill to zero and assign a different stroke color for easy identification.

3D

Use either of the two methods (Pen tool or anchor points) to create the 3D dimension for letter B.

After all 3D faces are created

3D graphic

Step 4: Add fill and stroke color

Add outline color

Fill the solid colors into the shape and delete the stroke color.

final artwork

Select all the letters and add a contrasting color for the stroke.

The final artwork

Here's the final artwork. Go ahead and use it for your logo extension and creative branding. 

Final

Alternate ways to create 3D designs

You can also create the 3D text object using the Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel option or Blend option. For more details, see Create 3D objects. Creating 3D object using these options is quicker, but you may experience precision trade-offs.

Bevel tool
3D typography using Extrude & Bevel option

Blend tool
3D typography using the Blend option

What's next: Learn about 3D effects

We've got you started with creating 3D text effects in Illustrator. If you would like to know more about 3D workflows learn about 3D effects in Illustrator

More text design ideas

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