Amazing Illustrator 3D Effects And PS Brush Creation

title-curves Adobe Illustrator is very powerful tool in the right hands, especially in creating nice 3D effects in the very fast time, later You can easily define those effects as photoshop brushes for later use. Enjoy this tutorial and follow with me to those steps – I will show and give You different ideas how You can use the same technique and get out amazing effects.

At first I will show You technique, how to create effects and after that, I’ll show You my ideas and different ways how to implement them.

Step 1

At first I’ll teach You how to create curvy lines, how to differentiate them and later import them to Adobe Photoshop and convert to brushes for later use.

Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document.

For the fill color use none color, and for stroke use 1px monochrome colors. If You will use them as brush, select black #000000 color.


Select Pen tool(P) and create two curves, there is no matter what Your shape will be, we will later change it anyway. If You want to modify Your curve later, deselect curve, select Direct Selection tool(A) and click on just one point, drag it later to fit curve Your needs.


Now again select all curve, holding ALT click and drag the curve to duplicate it. Then holding SHIFT+ALT resize it smaller to differentiate it.

Select the top curve, right click on it and send it to the back –  Arrange–>Send to back.


My result is like this now:


Step 2

Now Select both curves, and go Object–>Blend–>Blend Options..

I used Specified distance, 2px, You can try different settings using Specified distance or Specified steps.



Now with both curves still selected press CTRL+ALT+B or Object–>Blend–>Make to execute those steps.


Bonus Step 3

Select top curve and adjust transparency to 10% to get cooler and more realistic effect.

Press SHIFT+CTRL+F10, if You don’t see the Transparency.


Step 4

Now We will go to Adobe Photoshop and create our own brush!

Resize Your lines holding SHIFT+ALT and dragging them bigger, You must create ~2500x2500px size (it’s maximal allowed size for brush, if You are using Photoshop CS3). Copy and paste Your effect into Photoshop and hide background color.

Press CTRL+ALT+I and check Your document size – if it’s bigger then resize it proportionally with one one of the values 2500px, use Bicubic Sharper, which is better for document reduction.


Now we are ready to create our Photoshop brush:

Edit–>Define Brush Preset and name Your probably first Photoshop brush!

Different Techniques With Adobe Illustrator and Blending tools

Now I won’t be going in so much deep details, I’ll just give You more ideas, how to use the same technique to get different results.

3D text effect

Create text using just stroke color and bring up Stroke panel and check more details and create dashed line:


Now just go through the same steps as I described in previous example, to get this result:


And then just click with Convert to Anchor Point tool on the Anchor points, to get swirly effects.

After this, You can simply import effect in Photoshop and add some spice to it.



Using Spiral tool:


The same effect using dashed star strokes and simple coloring in Photoshop.


Feel free and experiment with different shapes, spirals, type-faces. You can get really technical and amazing effects doing just those simple steps! If You have any more suggestions, ideas – comments will be appreciated!

Dainis Graveris

Dainis is 25 years young man, who struggled for 3 years while studying in design academy and working for local design agency, because of ignorant teachers and agency boss. He couldn't believe this is all life could offer to him! And then he discovered true Internet possibilities, he was lucky to find his passion early in life and take advantage of this beautiful Information (Internet) Age! Now he is committed to help others succeed, to help others take charge of their life and follow their passion! His goal is to open Your eyes and help unveil Your true potential!

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  1. Stop Dreaming Start Action says

    thanks for this great “HOw To” article,

    Stop Dreaming Start Actions last blog post : Follow Your Dream

  2. Michael Stewart says

    Interesting effect, I must try this one time. Thanks and keep up the great work.

    Michael Stewarts last blog post : Create Lightning in Photoshop

  3. says

    Wow, thanks for all of the responses!! I am glad, You enjoyed this! :)

    @Hisoka yeah, You can do something similar in Photoshop, but it takes a lot more time modifying Your 3D effect, while in the Illustrator, You can easily and a lot faster get much better result. I don’t think this is a trick to do in Photoshop really. But, Illustrator haters can try Your way :) Thanks, anyway for sharing – appreciated! :)

  4. Joel Drapper says

    They look great! I can’t wait till I can afford illustrator :P

    Joel Drappers last blog post : How to Comment Like a Pro

  5. Hisoka says

    You can do this without using Illustrator actually. It will take time to duplicate all the lines though. But if you want to, you can press alt+down key to duplicate the lines until you have enough, merge the layers, and then transform>skew. The effect should be similar to what you could make in the Illustrator part.

  6. Justin Leaf-Wright says

    If there is one thing I lack in.
    Then that is DESIGN…..

    Photoshop = GGGGRRRRRR (i need to learn)

  7. Hisoka says

    Wow, this is one of the best Illustrator tutorials I have ever followed! Nice props to you. Hope to see more great tutorials.

  8. Brandon says

    A pretty awesome tutorial, there’s still so much to explore in PS. Thanks!

    Brandons last blog post : Alltop – The Ultimate in News Feed Aggregation