Sorry in advance for the wall of text

So basically what I want to do is recreate the Stroke Type Depth from Premiere in illustrator. I realise that I could convert text to a path in illustrator and just manually connect the points but that would take too long and still isn't quite as good as premiere's effect.

This is what premiere outputs with an edge outer stroke above a depth outer stroke, note that the depth stroke also expands to fit the previous edge stroke.

Premiere's rendering

After a while of messing around with illustrator and some googling, this is the closest I could make. I made the depth by using Effects > Transform & Distort > Transform of (-0.1px, 0.1px) with 150 copies to make a 15 px depth effect at 45 degrees down and left and with Effects > Stylize > Round Corners

This is close but it takes a decent bit more steps to do and doesn't accommodate (and align the copies) for the stroke. Also not nearly the biggest issue but with the copies, its not scalable. Also round corners seem to sometimes not work as expected and have artifacts such as random corners not being rounded. But that was probably just a one time thing. enter image description here

When I first found the depth stroke in premiere I really liked it and I wanted to make something with it in illustrator and was really surprised and confused to not find it. I would expect that if anything illustrator would have more options for transforming paths and text that premiere would have but that doesn't seem to be the case.

So am I missing something or is this not possible in illustrator, at least to the same degree of ease and quality?

Thanks for taking the time reading this and responding, I'm sure it will help other people too!


Illustrator's equivalent = Effects > 3D > Extrude & Bevel.

In your case a text (no need to outline it) with dark stroke and yellow fill is extruded. There's no shading.

Depth, direction and bevelling the edges are easily changed. Even the extruded shape itself can be edited after the effect is applied.

Learn also, how to

  • reactivate the effect settings via the appearance panel for adjustment
  • set up the shading and light
  • convert the extrusion to ordinary drawing (=a group of flat shapes) by expanding the appearance

An example:

enter image description here

NOTE: Here the rotation angles are not small => The text gets distorted due the projection.

To keep the distortion low use narrow rotation angles, say 1 degrees. Compensate the lack of depth with HUGE extrusion, for ex. 1000 or 1500 pt.

Your export from Premiere seems to have rounded outer corners altough the yellow characters have sharp corners. This can be mimicked to some degree by applying Effects > Stylize > Round corners before extruding:

enter image description here

Unfortunately the result is quite random. some corners are still sharp and the yellow part clearly suffers.

A little better result is available at least with brute force. That is: Make the extruded part fully dark and insert sharp yellow shapes over it. Scale, skew and rotate them to fit with the viewing angle.

The scaling, skewing and rotation can be stolen from the extrusion. See an example:

enter image description here

  1. Text with stroke and fill

  2. Effect > Stylize > Round corners is applied

  3. Effect > 3D Extrude & Bevel is applied

  4. A copy is made. The extrusion depth is changed to zero in the copy (use the appearance panel to acces effects for readjusting)

  5. Effect Round corners is removed, the shape is expanded (Object > Expand appearance) and ungrouped (needed more than one Ungroup-commands). The yellow parts are grouped again and moved aside

  6. The extruded rounded version has got the same dark fill color as the stroke, unrounded yellow parts are placed onto it (=manually, no alignment available)

This is not perfect. Some corners of the dark part are still sharp. That's not bad, but having no control over "which corners stay sharp" isn't welcome. Maybe someone shows a better way.

  • This almost works except 3d extrude first doesn't look quite right, I'm not sure what it does to the colors but it changes them, and it also 3d rotates the front of the text which is something I don't want happening. Also to add rounded corners on the yellow fill in illustrator you just add an inner stroke, which I forgot to do.
    – tactic
    Mar 13 '18 at 19:47
  • @KevinBrown did you remember to took the shading off? Shading simulates light, which causes different brightnesses for the surfaces.
    – user287001
    Mar 13 '18 at 19:56
  • @KevinBrown about rotation: There's 3 rotation angles in the extrusion dialog. . Put the uppermost and the mid angle = 1...2 degrees and the lowest angle = 0 degrees. Experiment with huge extrusion depth.
    – user287001
    Mar 13 '18 at 20:12

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