Create a 3D Box in Illustrator

    ●  Add a Gradient to your box and some Triangle shapes to improve the Focal Point.

Learn About:

Opacity and Blending Modes3D ExtrudeDistort & Transform
Clipping Mask Effects

  •   This tutorial is part of the Cereal Package Design Project.

Other People's Work:

Here are examples of work inspired by this tutorial.

Step #1: Open Illustrator ~

Start with a new Print Document of 8.5 x 11″inches - change the color mode to RGB - and set the Raster Effects to medium.

Step #2: Stroke and Fill ~

Set your Stroke and Fill color to brown or whatever colors you need.

Step #3: Rectangle Tool ~

Get the Rectangle Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (m) …

… and draw a box.

Step #4: Colors ~

Click the Swatches icon or go to: Window > Swatches

… grab the top, "tear off" the panel and place it somewhere.

Step #5: Radial Gradient ~

Now click the Gradient icon or hit the keyboard shortcut: Cmd(⌘)+F9 and select Radial as the Type.


Step #6: Choose your Gradient Color Stops ~

Now you can drag colors from the Swatches menu to fill your gradient …

… drag OFF any stops you don't need …

… and apply the gradient to your shape.

Step #7: 3D Extrude ~

With the rectangle selected, go to: Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel and check the Preview box …

… and adjust the Extrude Depth to make it look like a box .

Step #8: New Layer ~

Create a New Layer by clicking Layers or go to: Window > Layers

… add a New Layer and lock your background layer.

Step #9: Triangle Shape ~

Select the Polygon Tool which is behind the Rectangle Tool …

… click somewhere on the artboard …

… and enter the settings shown:

Polygon tool

Which gives you an equilateral triangle on the ArtBoard.


Step #10: Transform Scale ~

Go to: Object > Transform > Scale with these approximate settings:

Step #11: Distort & Transform ~

Now go to: Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform and set the top pivot point …

… set the Angle to approximately 30 and the copies to around 13.

Step #12: Expand Appearance ~

With the shape selected, go to: Object > Expand Appearance.

Expanding the shapes makes them editable.

Step #13: Stretch the Shapes ~

Get the Selection Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (v) …

… hit the keyboard shortcut: Cmd(⌘)+A to select all of the triangles, grab one of the corner handles and drag it outward to expand the sunburst to fill your 3D box.

Get the Pen Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (p) …

… draw a box the same size as your 3D shape.

Step #15: Selection Tool ~

Get the Selection Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (v) …

Step #16: Select Both Shapes ~

Select both shapes by Shift + Clicking them.

Step #17: Clipping Mask ~

Right-Click and select "Make Clipping Mask."

Step #18: Feathering ~

Then go to: Effect > Stylize > Feather, hit preview …

… and set the Feather Radius to your preference.

Step #19: Blending Modes ~

Lastly, with the shape selected, click Transparency or go to: Window > Transparency

… and scroll through the Blending Modes to find one you like.

Blending Modes affect how the shape interacts with the background …


Last Step: Save and Attach ~


Attach it!

  •   ALWAYS save your projects using the following naming convention:


  •   DO NOT name your project any other way - Improperly named projects will not receive credit and you will be sad.


  •   NEVER leave your work on the desktop or depend on a flash drive - instead, save your work in a folder you can find later - preferably on a virtual drive where it can be backed up.

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