3D Vase in Illustrator

    ●  Make a Vase Shape and use the "Map Art" function to make a symbol bend to match the contour of the 3D object.

    ●  Then Add a Shadow!

Learn About:

Map Art with Symbols3D Revolve Symbols Drop Shadow Effects

  •   This tutorial is part of the Make a Scene, Shadow Life and Drag and Drop Projects.

Other People's Work:

Here are some examples of work inspired by this tutorial.


Step #1: Open Illustrator ~

Open a new blank document in Illustrator with approximately these dimentions:

Step #2: Draw HALF a vase Outline ~

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

pen tool

  … turn the Fill off and pick any color for the Stroke.

  Draw a shape like this:

 It may take a couple of trys to get it right!

Step #3: 3D Revolve ~

Leave the Stroke off and set the Fill color to whatever you want.

Select the path with the Selection Tool (V) and go to: Effect > 3D > Revolve.

draw vase 3

Click OK and see the 3D.

draw vase 4

Step #4: Not so good? ~

Using the Direct Selection Tool , you can always adjust the anchor points afterwards.

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Step #5: Symbols ~

Open the Symbols Palette or go to: Window > Symbols


… click the Symbol Libraries Menu

symbol libraries menu

… and choose the Flowers or Retro Pack for starters but pick any pack you want.

There are many different Symbol Packs to choose from!


Step #6: Select some Symbols from the Library~

Add your Symbols to the main Symbol panel by clicking them.

Step #7: Appearance Panel ~

 Go back and select the shape again with the Selection Tool

draw vase 4

  … open the Appearance panel or go to: Window > Appearance

… and Double-click 3D Revolve to edit.

Step #8: Map Art ~

 Click on Map Art

… and scroll through the layers until you find the biggest one.

Step #9: Choose your Symbol ~

  Choose your symbol from the Symbol drop down box …

  … and hit Shade Artwork too.

shade artwork

  This may take a couple of try's to get the symbol placed in the correct position.

Adjust the position and size of the symbol for best effect.

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Step #10: Effects ~

Select everything by hitting Cmd+A and go to: Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow

… and put a Drop Shadow on it.

Step #11: Create a New Layer ~

Open Layers by going to: Window > Layers


… make a New Layer and lock the other layers …

… and drag that layer to the bottom.

Step #12: Fake Shadow ~

Get the Ellipse Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (L) …

… and drag an oval circle around the bottom.

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


… hit Reverse Gradient if necessary …

… lastly, lower the Aspect Ratio of the gradient.

aspect ratio

Look! 2 Shadows! Try different stuff!

Try other styles Too! Experiment! Take a risk!

Step #13: Save as .ai ~

Then go to: File > Save as ... and save the document as an .ai file.

Step #14: Open your Current Project ~


… if it's the Drag and Drop Game, open your interior in Photoshop

Click to view the project database

Click to view the project database


… if you're working on the Make a Scene, open that …



… (Remember: all these tutorials are intended to be applied to YOUR PROJECT) …



Step #15: Place your Vase ~

Now go to: File > Place … and place the .ai vase you saved.

… (Remember: all these tutorials are intended to be applied to YOUR PROJECT) …

Last Step: Save and Attach ~

Save your work as -]

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.