Create a 3D Can in Illustrator Using the Revolve Effect

Illustrator 2 February 2011 | 6 Comments

With Pen Tool, Draw a Left Line Profile of Shape of Can. Draw Your Lines to the Right to where Center would be in fully drawn can

Take Scissors Tool and Cut Points where you might want Can to take on different Colors (I split mine twice, which ends up giving you three separate lines. One for top part of can, one for where label will be placed and one for bottom, slightly below label).

You Can then change the stroke colors of these separate lines. I chose different shades of Gray from dark to light. You can select these with Direct Selection Tool.

Now Select all Three Lines at Same Time and Group Together (Accessible from Object drop-down menu)

With Object Selected, Choose the Revolve 3D effect for Effect drop-down menu.

Use the Above Settings or Your Own to Determine the Look of Your 3D object. (Make Sure Right Edge is Selected from Offset Option) You can change the Rotations of the 3D Object using the free-form square at top.

The 3D Can will fill in with whatever colors you chose for the stroke lines Step 3. You can always come back and Access the 3D Effect from Appearance Panel by Double-Clicking.

Now Create Your Label. Make sure to make it large enough to wrap around the object you created. You could add barcode and nutrition label if desired.

Group Your Label into One Object and drag Object into Symbols Panel on Right of Workspace. This will save label as a symbol and allow you to access in next step.

Now Go Back into 3D effect (access on Appearance Panel) and choose the Map Art option. This will open up all of the layers of your object and allow you to choose where you want to place label. Scroll through the various surfaces and choose the one that appears as the outer middle surface (this is represented in red on document view). Note: There will be two surfaces that look alike, one is the outside and one is the inside.

Once surface is correctly selected, Choose the Label Symbol from the drop-down menu that you created. There are options on bottom that you can also select, Scale to Fit will size your Label to the Object (This can distort the shape of the Label). You can also choose Shade Artwork which will apply the same lighting effects given to your Object.

Finishing Touches: You can put a Tab on your Can by creating the outer shape and filling with color. Then create the hole (fill w/ white) and overlay it on the larger shape. Select both shapes and Choose Minus Front from Pathfinder Panel. You can Access the Pathfinder from the Window drop-down menu.

Now Apply a 3D effect "Extrude & Bevel" from the Effect drop-down to the Tab Object. Then rotate to coincide with your can.

Final Image with Drop Shadow Effect and Full Label in Background

6 Responses on “Create a 3D Can in Illustrator Using the Revolve Effect”

  1. Nay Nay says:

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  3. ads-studio says:

    Great article. I have this page bookmarked and reference it regularly when mocking up labels. Thanks for sharing!

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