How To Make A Sphere In Illustrator

Did you know Illustrator has long introduced the 3D effect feature in its software? This has helped kick off the careers of so many artists and allowed people to experience how they want to. 

To make a sphere in Illustrator, draw a circle, then go to Effect> 3D > Revolve. Select the Sphere preset and click OK. 

This article covers several different shapes that can be made in Illustrator using the 3D effect. Continue reading to learn more. 

Why Are 3D Objects Used In Illustrations?

3D objects can be used to create realistic, highly-detailed illustrations that can be used to explain a concept or idea better. They illustrate complex concepts in a way that is easier for viewers to understand. 

Apart from highlighting important features of an object or image, 3D objects can be manipulated to create unique and interesting compositions. Viewers get an immersive experience, allowing them to explore and engage with an illustration more meaningfully. 

What Are Some 3D Shapes That Can Be Made In Illustrator?

Some 3D shapes that can be made in Illustrator are as follows:

  • Cube
  • Pyramid
  • Cone
  • Cylinder
  • Rectangular Prism
  • Sphere

How To Make A Sphere In Illustrator By Adding Gradient?

  1. Select the Ellipse tool and draw a circle. 
  2. Select the Mesh tool from the panel. 
  3. Click where you would like to add the gradient.
  4. Then from the color swatches panel, choose the color with which you want to add the gradient. 
  5. You can add more points to the sphere by adding more Mesh points to the sphere. 
  6. To adjust the anchor points, you can use the direct selection tool to move colors around and experiment. 
  7. Once you are happy with your work, save your document. 

How To Make A Sphere In Illustrator Using 3D Effect?

To make a sphere:

  1. Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document.
  2. Select the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw a circle on the Artboard.
  3. Click Ctrl + C or Command + C to copy. Then click Ctrl + F or Command + F. 
  4. In the layers panel, lock the lower layer and turn off its visibility. We shall return to this later. 
  5. Next, choose the Selection tool. Select the left side of the circle only and hit delete. You will be left with the semi-circle. 
  6. With the ellipse selected, go to effect, then 3D, and then Revolve.
  7. In the dialogue box, choose Position to Front. 
  8. You will see a sphere now. 
  9. To add the shadow to the sphere, go back to the layer in step 4 and make it visible. 
  10. Drag this to a side and add a black-and-white gradient. 
  11. Set the gradient to 100% black and the opacity to 0%.
  12. Now use the direct selection tool to decrease the size of this circle. Minimize it to make it a vertical oval. 
  13. Move this below the sphere. Adjust the gradient if needed. 
  14. Right-click on the oval > Adjust > Bring Backward.
  15. Copy this oval and add it wherever needed while adjusting its shadows and gradient. 
  16. When it looks realistic, you are done. 

Watch this video for more information.

How To Make A Cube In Illustrator Using 3D Effect?

To make a cube:

  1. Select the Rectangle Tool from the Tools palette.
  2. Click anywhere on the Artboard to open the Rectangle dialog box.
  3. Enter the side length of your cube into the Width and Height fields.
  4. Select the 3D > Extrude and Bevel option from the Effect menu.
  5. Click the Preview checkbox and select the Preview Mode from the dropdown menu to see any changes you may make while working on this.
  6. Adjust the extrude and bevel settings to your preference.
  7. Click OK to apply the 3D effect and create your cube.  

How To Make A Cylinder In Illustrator Without Using 3D Effect?

To make a cylinder that gives the illusion of a 3D effect:

  1. Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document.
  2. Select the Ellipse tool and draw a circle. 
  3. Lock this layer.
  4. Then click on the circle and drag it. A new circle will appear.
  5. Place this circle under the first circle at a distance. 
  6. Select the pen tool and draw two lines on either side of the circles to join the circles. 
  7. Now go to Object and then click Group. 
  8. Now use the Mesh tool to add points to the cylinder. 
  9. Now add gradients as you wish. You can move the Mesh around and alter the gradient. 


3D art is the future, from what we hear. It is always possible to attain the skills of making 3D art, experimenting with different shapes, and finding what works best for you. So go ahead and put this information to use; we are vouching for you here.