2 January 2009

3D Logo Tutorial


Many people asked me how to do this, heres your awnser, with only illustrator and photoshop you can do almost anything. In this Tutorial you will start with the making of a logo shape, going to rough 3D, and finishing it in Photoshop. This is so easy that even the starting beginner can do it.

Illustrator Lets Go

Create a new web document doesn't matter the resolution since we are working in Vectors here, just remember to use RGB.

Now with your document created lets go to the tool bar and pickup the Elipse tool or hit (L) on your keyboard, remember to hold down shift while doing this circle so it stays perfect.

Go to the top of your screen, take off the Fill color choose None, and put a stroke of 25pt.

Now that we got our Circle done lets make a Fill instead of a stroke. Go to Object -> Expand, a window will come up make sure you got Fill and Stroke ticked, click ok.

See.. Now your shape as a fill and no stroke, that's the way to go.

Joining Up

Get the line segment tool, and make vertical line, set the background to none, put the stroke to 25pt as our circle, finally go to Object -> Expand.

To make sure we got this perfectly aligned press command+Y or for windows user ctrl+y this way we get to the Outline Mode and zooming as much as you want to make sure both objects are aligned.

After the Vertical alignment is good press again command+y or ctrl+y to get back to normal view. Now get a ruler here. command+R or Ctrl+R and push one from the top so it aligns with the top of the circle, after that simply push your rectangle until it hits this ruler. ok? Perfect!

The Evil Pathfinder

The pathfinder is a must know tool in Illustrator, here we don't cut like photoshop, we extract objects using objects. Ok lets move on, go to Window -> Pathfinder.

Now we will join this objects together, it's very simple, just select both objects and click "add to shape area" in the Pathfinder window (see image).

But we aren't done. It looks like it did nothing, but in fact you just need to go to Object -> Expand Appearance and voila your 2 objects are now just one.

Cutting Objects

Make a simple square and rotate it like this. Hold down Shift for a perfect 90ยบ rotation.

Now put the shape like I did here, and with both objects selected hit the Vertical alignment

button on top (see image).

Everything is aligned, lets select only the square now, click the right button of your mouse and go to Arrange -> Send to Back.

Again bring up the pathfinder, and with the two objects selected hit "minus back" in the pathfinder window.

Our logo shape is finally done. Easy huh?

The 3D part

After we got our shape done give it a light color so we can see the object in 3D perfectly.
Ok now go to Effect -> 3D -> Extrude Bevel, use the following settings, or what you like most.

Click ok and now we got our 3D object, but to edit it we need to expand appearance, so Object -> Expand Appearance.

Giving it light

Create a new gradient, window -> gradient, you don't have to use my colors so just make sure you got a light a medium and a dark version of your color. Make a Radial version and a Linear one.

With the Direction Selection Tool (A) select the inside of the object like we did, remember to zoom so we get all shapes, if you have to go one by one.

Now with the radial gradient we created selected simply drag from the bottom middle to the top, try different times until you are happy with it.

Now the front of the shape, using the gradient tool again start from the middle and go out of the object so that the light comes from the middle, remember use radial gradient here.

For the other parts just use the same but this time Linear Gradient, try to match mine, it's easy simply select each shape with the directional selection tool, get your gradient and try it out.


Place your Illustrator shape in a new Photoshop Document, give your new document a 800x600 I think that will do, after you place it Rasterize the layer. Create a new layer and put it below your logo layer, name this big shadow. Get the elipse selection tool and make a selection like I did.

Great now get the gradient tool (G) and make it black to transparent and click the radial option.

Start from the middle and straight out until you get something like this.

Go to Filters -> Gaussian Blur -> and give it a nice blur in our case we did 6.0 but if you are using a diferent size it may not suit you, just try different settings until you got it.

Get the opacity down to 30%. Create another new layer and name it small circle do the same thing as you did for the big circle, but put the opacity to 70% and dont forget the gaussian blur 4.8.

Hold down ALT+SHIFT and drag your circle to the other part of the logo so it copies it. Perfect!

Just one more little tweak, select the top of the logo (that little square) create a new layer and name it shine, do a gradient of white to transparent with the linear option selected.

Shiny Lines

Perfect, give it a opacity of 80%. For those little shiny lines, create one more layer, name it "little lines" get the pen tool (P) and make a selection like I did.

Now select your brush tool (b) and put the master diameter to 1 and hardness to 100%.

Go back to the pen tool (p) and hit the right mouse button and click stroke path. Select Brush

and click OK.

Give the "little lines" layer a Overlay and put down the opacity to around 58%.

We could play with this a little more, give it some texture or noise to make it feel more realistic, but for this we think it works.

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  1. The pathfinder is a must know tool in Illustrator, here we don't cut like photoshop, logo design

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