I need to reproduce the footstep where it looks like this:


Having created all the shapes, I'm currently stuck with the shadow: I'm not sure how do I create it in an effective, editable way.

Here's what I have right now:

basic 2D shape

I have tried the following:

  • This didn't quite work because the shapes will move outside their original locations, also it relies on using colours, while my image needs to be in black and white

  • The Effect → 3D → Extrude & Bevel tool almost creates the desired effect with minimal effort, but instead of being pressed in, the object stands out:


Anyone knows if there's an easy way to define this inner shadow drop on multiple objects at the same time? I still have the original "foot" shape on a separate layer in case I need it.Spent more than 2 hours on Google overall, very close to just drawing it on a piece of paper and then tracing the photo into vector :/


2 Answers 2

  • Select the shapes and create a Compound Shape, Cmd + 8 Mac or Ctrl + 8 Win
  • Copy it
  • Select the compound shape and move it holding Alt to duplicate until the inner shadow position.
  • Select the compound shape and the duplicate and make a Blend, Cmd + Alt + B Mac or Ctrl + Alt + B Win
  • Menu Object > Blend > Blend Options... > Specified Steps change the quantity
  • Cmd + F Mac or Ctrl + F Win to paste in front the original compound shape
  • Select all and create a Clipping Mask

enter image description here

  • 1
    Thank you so much for recording a video. This seems like a reasonable option too! I'm sorry, your post haven't showed up until now and I haven't seen it.
    – WhatHiFi
    Nov 11, 2018 at 20:45
  • I dont think you need the blend option for most things.. In your deme it does not do anything useful. YOu only really need it for outer shapes. Not inner shadows.
    – joojaa
    Nov 12, 2018 at 8:00

Make a shape with holes - draw the outline of the footprint and subtract from it with pathfinder panel function "Minus front" grouped rectangles. As well you can create the holes with Object > Compound path > make.

Apply 3D effect extrude to that shape. Make a hole to the background with zero deep copy of the extrusion. An example

enter image description here

  1. A grey footprint outline, cyan rectangles on it, the rectangles are grouped

  2. Select all, goto Object > Compound Path > Make. Now you have the holes.

  3. Make the 3D extrusion

  4. Copy the extruded object. Via the appearance panel reopen the 3D effect dialog of the copy and set the extrusion depth =0. Expand the appearance, ungroup release the compound path and delete the hole shapes to have the outline of the footprint in the right viewing angle. Save the dialog settings somewhere, because you can need them later.

5...7 Make a hole to the background with the outline and place the extrusion. You can also use image 4 as a clipping mask for the extrusion (3) so there's no need to make more holes.

If also the footprint outline needs some depth, you can make another extrusion with the background with the hole. Use the original footprint outline, copy the viewing settings from the original extrusion dialog

enter image description here

About comment " I was on the right track but moving in the opposite direction"

The track actually is a loop, so the direction was right. See this:

enter image description here

The grey pattern in the left is like yours and the orange one is its outline. In the middle the grey shape is extruded. The watching direction is "towards the ceiling".

The orange shape has got the same extrusion, but the depth is zero. In the right the orange extrusion has been used as a clipping mask. The direction of the light and masking together turn extrusion to intrusion.

The opposite is as possible and very easily an image of a carving looks like it's an extrusion. That can really be a problem when one tries to make a drawing.

  • That seems to have done it! I knew I was on the right track but moving in the opposite direction haha:) Thank you!
    – WhatHiFi
    Nov 11, 2018 at 20:42
  • @WhatHiFi seemingly another answer has already been written. It has an advantage (or drawback for someone) You can in the beginning draw the shape in the final perspective. It has also another advantage. The holes can have more complex forms than straight extrusions. If you look carefully your model, they are not straight extrusions, the holes converge.
    – user82991
    Nov 11, 2018 at 21:06

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