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I'm trying to reproduce this:

enter image description here

I have sort of got it by redrawing with the pen but it isn't what I think I should be doing and it isn't as smooth. I think I can do better by trying to learn to bend these shapes properly.

Can someone point in to the correct steps?

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Pen tool is the proper way. It simply takes practice. –  Scott Jan 28 at 20:22

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

No question in my mind that the sample you've shown is hand drawn and not a 3D render or something. There are ways to make building something like this a little easier on yourself though.

Draw a path, with a thick stroke and rounded end caps:

enter image description here

Select the path, then go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke:

enter image description here

Slide your original path over a bit and adjust it until it lines up:

enter image description here

Select your paths and Pathfinder > Divide. After a little cleanup and some gradient fills, voila:

enter image description here

I'll admit, mine is a little rushed and kind of ugly, but it shows how you can create the foundation of a shape like that in just a minute or so.

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+1 I was able to follow these steps with a few differences but it certainly got me in the right direction. Thanks. –  RKS Jan 28 at 22:32
    
Great. You are welcome. –  TunaMaxx Jan 28 at 23:27

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