I'm trying to wrap a pattern brush I made in Illustrator around this tire

enter image description here

so that it looks convincing. It's the Goodyear logo, but I'm having trouble making it look like the Cooper Cobra logo. I was able to use the pattern brush to get this far

enter image description here

But am having trouble beyond that. My envelope distort skills aren't too good. Would this be better suited for Photoshop?

  • There's a bit of a 3D element to such a transform. The tyre is not only rotated and distorted for perspective, but the rim of the tyre goes inwards. I'm not sure that either Illustrator or Phtoshop can realy solve this. Have you thought about using actual 3D software to model the tyre? Something like Blender could probably do it.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Feb 4 at 19:25
  • Yeah, unfortunately, I'm clueless about Blender. Touched it once in my life. :)
    – QMan2488
    Commented Feb 4 at 22:52
  • Follow tutorials on youtube. Also there's a Blender stack exchange if you get stuck.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Feb 4 at 23:34

1 Answer 1


It's off in many ways:

  • the right geometric distortion is much more complex than you have made, as already said in a comment by others
  • it's too sharp when compared to the photo
  • it doesn't obey the light conditions

Sharpness and light condition errors are more harmful than minor geometry errors. Illustrator offers ways to fix also the color and it's possible to insert blur, but Photoshop has even better tools to make it to have the right blur and colors according the light variations

Unfortunately making the complex enough warp is very difficult in 2D. It's not impossible but one must practice a long time to get it right. A beginner is no more a beginner when he succeeds.

3D programs are much better in that sense, but you must make good enough 3D model of the tyre. No tyre details are needed, only the surface below the text and the rendering projection must be close the projection in the photo. Otherwise the text looks distorted.

First aid to the geometry: Make your brush stroke to have non-uniform width. Use Illustrator's width tool to get it. It's tried here:

enter image description here

In the bottom left there's the used art brush. The width is adjusted at both ends of the curve. It helps just in this case, but it's not a general fix.

Illustrator's legacy 3D effect revolve allows a route to coarse 3D work. I took a news photo which has a tyre with no old text. I guessed a simple 2 node path which as revolved makes approximately right surface:

enter image description here

The revolution profile should not have an anchor below the forthcoming art insert, because Illustrator often splits the surface at the anchor to 2 separate parts. The user cannot control it.

I tweaked the orientation of the tyre model manually and used the map art feature to insert some text. My tyre is grey and the text is black, because I'm going to expand the result, separate the distorted text as a path an adjust its color manually.

Here's the separated text on the tyre. The color is changed to white:

enter image description here

To get it separated needed expanding the appearance, removing 2 clipping masks and numerous ungroupings. Finally I could select the letters (they were splinters). I combined them to a compound path for easy handling.

There's much less pieces of the tyres to be removed if one renders with no shading.

The result is still geometrically a little off, because there's no perspective and the tyre profile & orientation were only guesses. But I let it be.

In the next image the text is colored with a radial gradient and it's a little transparent to reduce the brightness:

enter image description here

In normal screen size the text is not sharper than the photo. But zooming in reveals that the photo has originally had much lower resolution than the text. The photo has been scaled to bigger size. It's better to have a high resolution photo instead of a screenshot.

  • I'll try this, even though I've never done any 3D stuff at all, so that's all new to me. Regarding resolution and light, I am aware of that for the text, I was just asking about perspective. Lighting will be cleaned up later. We'll see. It might not be possible with what I know how to do, I normally deal in flat graphics, and this is just for fun.
    – QMan2488
    Commented Feb 4 at 22:50
  • How are you able to draw the shape of it with the revolve? Whenever I try an approximate half circle like you did, there's never a hole in it and it doesn't look like the donut-y shape.
    – QMan2488
    Commented Feb 4 at 23:20
  • @QMan2488 Check this image i.sstatic.net/AHo3e.jpg. It shows how to develop a rrevolvable shape - it has grey fill and absolutely no stroke! See the offset parameter in the revolve dialog. it makes the hoke of the donut.. One must eyeball the needed orientation angles and the possible perspective angle.
    – oneprivate
    Commented Feb 5 at 0:11
  • Thank you for all your help. :)
    – QMan2488
    Commented Feb 5 at 0:18
  • i.imgur.com/bTsrjkF.png
    – QMan2488
    Commented Feb 5 at 4:35

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