Mastering 3D Design in Illustrator: Tips and Tricks for AI 3D Developers


As an AI 3D developer, you may already know how to use 3D modeling software like Blender or Maya. However, if you’re looking for a more powerful and versatile tool, consider learning Illustrator. This popular vector-based graphics software is not only used for creating 2D designs but also has advanced 3D design features that can help you create stunning 3D models, animations, and visual effects.

In this article, we’ll share some of the best tips and tricks for mastering 3D design in Illustrator. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced designer, these tips will help you take your 3D design skills to the next level. We’ll cover everything from creating simple shapes to working with complex 3D models.

Tip 1: Use the Right Tools and Settings

Before you start designing, it’s essential to set up your workspace correctly. This includes using the right tools and settings for your project. Here are some tips:

  • Choose the right brush type: Depending on what you want to create, you may need different brush types. For example, if you’re creating a simple 3D object, use a solid brush. If you need to add texture or shading, use a texture brush.
  • Use layers: Layers are an essential part of 3D design in Illustrator. They allow you to organize your work and easily make changes to specific parts of your design.
  • Enable 3D mode: To create 3D designs in Illustrator, enable 3D mode by clicking on the "View" menu and selecting "3D." This will open up the 3D toolbar with options for creating and manipulating 3D objects.

Tip 2: Create Simple Shapes

One of the most basic but essential skills in 3D design is creating simple shapes. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Use the pen tool: The pen tool is an excellent tool for creating precise and customized shapes. It allows you to draw straight lines, curves, and angles with ease.
  • Use the extrude function: To create 3D objects, use the "Extrude" function in the 3D toolbar. This will allow you to add depth to your design.
  • Experiment with angles and perspectives: In 3D design, angles and perspectives are critical. Practice creating shapes from different angles and perspectives to develop a better understanding of how they appear in space.

Tip 3: Work with Complex 3D Models

Once you’ve mastered simple shapes, it’s time to move on to more complex 3D models. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Use the Extrude function: As mentioned earlier, the "Extrude" function is a powerful tool for creating 3D objects. Use it to add depth and texture to your designs.
  • Apply materials: To give your 3D models a realistic look, apply textures and materials to them. Illustrator has a variety of pre-made materials that you can use, or you can create your own.
  • Use lighting: Lighting is essential in creating a realistic 3D scene. Experiment with different lighting setups to see how they affect the appearance of your design.

Tip 4: Practice and Iterate

Like any skill, mastering 3D design takes time and practice. Don’t be afraid to experiment and make mistakes along the way. Remember that it’s all about practice and iteration. Keep working on your designs and refining them until you’re happy with the result.


Mastering 3D design in Illustrator can be a challenging but rewarding experience. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to creating stunning 3D designs in no time. Remember