How to Build Artwork in 3D Relief
By John McWade
Dateline: April 12, 2004
We used Macromedia FreeHand to create this article, but similar results can be achieved with Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW or another vector-based illustration application.
How Light Adds Dimension
The effect of 3D relief is created by adding edges to a flat object. The edges are then colored light or dark to depict reflected light. An object will appear raised or depressed depending on the position of the highlight and shade relative to the light source.
Light from a 45° angle above results in a natural place to divide an object into light and dark — at diagonals. The width of an edge determines how raised or how depressed an image appears.
There Are Two Techniques to Use Filled Shapes
Lines with round ends
Why round ends? You’ll see: They align perfectly when cut, with no adjustment.
How to Draw Angled Edges Using Filled Shapes
1. Crisscross two ruler guides.
How to Draw Edges Using Lines
1. Draw and fill
2. Clone the shape
3. Cut each line where you want to separate light from dark (use the knife tool). Darken the segments that fall in the shade.
This article is excerpted from Before & After, How to design cool stuff, Issue 6. Copyright ©2004, Before & After magazine, all rights reserved. Design more cool stuff! Visit Before & After magazine online at http://www.bamagazine.com/ to buy the current issue, subscribe, or order back issues, including the one containing this article. Get a free bonus issue when you subscribe in the Graphics.com Member Area.