Creating a 3D Extrude & Bevel of a package in Adobe Illustrator, how can I reach the same angle and perspective for Top View and Bottom View of the same object?

I can set the same Y and Z values, but how to adjust the X values for both, so that Top and Bottom objects look from the same angle?

Current view looks almost the same, but if to overlay both on each other, their sides are not aligned identical.

Values I set for Bottom View:

Here are settings for the Bottom View I set

Values I set for Top View:

Here are settings for the Top View I set

Here is the print-screen of the 'Map Art' 3D option in Illustrator. Isn't it a true 3D? enter image description here

  • Its not 3d as such, its just a trick of making one projection. It has no 3d substance you can not edit it.
    – joojaa
    Jul 12, 2019 at 17:05
  • @joojaa No, actually it has! By 'Map Art...' option. I've added each side as symbol in a 3D Map.
    – Olenia
    Jul 12, 2019 at 17:12
  • 1
    For it to be considered truly 3D it must be able to manipulate its overall shape. Just because you can do the simplest possible 3d projection does not mean its 3d. You can not make any other shapes interact with it, Its just an simple transformation of 2 data points theres no general about it, If it was real 3d you could actually make more complex shapes out of it.
    – joojaa
    Jul 12, 2019 at 17:25
  • @joojaa Thanks for the explanation. I am not aware of this. So I guess Photoshop does the same thing as Illustrator?
    – Olenia
    Jul 12, 2019 at 17:34
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    Well Photoshop can display arbitrary 3d objects. But it is not really an editor it cant be used to model them.
    – joojaa
    Jul 12, 2019 at 17:36

2 Answers 2


Illustrator's 3D effect is not "global". It is object-oriented. Meaning each instance of the effect is bound by the artwork it is applied to, not the artboard or "scene". The 3D effect is completely ignorant of any other objects with the 3D effect applied to them.

Illustrator is never the correct tool to use if you want global 3D settings. The only way to get "scene-like" 3D is though continual trial and error and "tweaking" of individual objects.

Or.. applying the effect at the layer level.

enter image description here

This means everything on that layer will have the same 3D Effect appearance applied to it.

But, when you apply the Effect to the Layer you can, and will, run into odd intersection issues....Note the purple shapes in the image below. They are in the correct stacking order, but still have this weird overlapping intersection issue.

enter image description here

My guess is that by rotating your object 180° the bounds changed, thus changing the positioning of the object-oriented 3D center.

You aren't doing anything "wrong". It is, and always has been, a limitation of the 3D effect in Adobe Illustrator. The 3D effect is a "patch" solution.... a quick thing added many years ago to half-heartedly satiate users asking for 3D. It has never been fully developed by the Adobe team. And in reality, has never even been improved, updated, or altered in 10+ years of AI development. All they've done over the years since adding it is make certain the UI matches the rest of the application.

If you are seeking to build 3D worlds or scenes, you are better served by moving to a real full-fledged 3D application such as Blender, Lightwave, Maya, etc.

  • Thats because its not 3D, not the way anybody sane would define it. Otherwise me drawing a camera projected image woudl be 3d. Illustrator si no more 3d than that.
    – joojaa
    Jul 12, 2019 at 17:05
  • @Scott Thanks for the support. But oh, you know what - actually I was just 'tweaking', but then get it. You should add + 180° to the X value to get the facing view. It works! Looks aligned.
    – Olenia
    Jul 12, 2019 at 17:31
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    Yeah :) it's all about "tweaking" the effects. I wish Adobe would make this more robust (like Adobe Dimensions used to be), but they don't seem to be interested in doing that. I have no idea what your edit and "true 3D" is asking @Olenia -- the Map art merely adds symbol artwork to faces and then distorts them around the object matching the 3D effect settings. It renders the art flat on surfaces, there will be no "depth map" like a real 3D app may provide.
    – Scott
    Jul 12, 2019 at 17:37
  • Thanks @Scott. BTW, there is also an awful Map Art editor (when you add symbols on the surfaces) and it's hard to fit the image on the sides (The Top and Bottom fits good) Or maybe there is a way to set the exact size...
    – Olenia
    Jul 12, 2019 at 17:46
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    There are handles you can move which will "stretch" the artwork - just like the bounding box on non-3D objects. Again, not really sure what you are getting at.
    – Scott
    Jul 12, 2019 at 17:50

A little late, but maybe this is useful

enter image description here

To make top and bottom up versions (= otherwise the same projection, but 180 degrees differece in X-rotations) identical in Illustrator's 3D extrusion the shapes cannot be the same. The other shape must be = the first shape as flipped around horizontal axis.

Here the X-rotations are 75 degrees and -105 degrees. The results are identical.

About "does Illustrator have 3D?" Illustrator can show how a rendered 3D extrusion or revolution surface would look out. But there's no accessible 3D surface. You cannot build proper combined pieces. An example:

enter image description here

In the left there's 2 extruded shapes. This is in a 3D CAD program. Illustrator would make the same pieces in few seconds.

In the middle the extrusion results are moved to overlap in 3D space. In Illustrator you cannot do this, because there's no accessible 3D pieces, you have only the 2D images of the rendered extrusion results. To make the same scene in Illustrator you must cut a hole to one of the shapes.

In the right there's a boolean difference of 3D shapes. It was 2 clicks in 3D CAD. Illustrator has nothing to make it in 3D, you must draw it.

About vector rendering of a 3D scene: It's sometimes useful to export the 3D scene as 2D vector wireframe and open it in Illustrator:

enter image description here

In this way it's well possible to get some tricky 2D drawing work done with very little effort. In Illustrator one can start from coloring or drawing the easy pieces.

About artwork mapping: It's a calculated 2D image how a 3D piece with mapped images would look out.

The mapping often is impossible because Illustrator divides surfaces to pieces. Only very simple shapes can be extruded or revolved so that you get the expected number of surfaces. Generally you may think you need 1...4 art symbols because you have 1...4 visible textured surfaces. But if the surfaces are divided, you must cover separately for example a dozen of them. Making all to fit is a nightmare.

  • Show also a difference of shaes its even more revealing.
    – joojaa
    Jul 12, 2019 at 19:43
  • You have got it.
    – user287001
    Jul 12, 2019 at 22:08

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