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What i'm trying to achieve are 3D stars like on the picture below. Essentially to draw a star similar to inflated balloon star, but with sharp edges.

I'm pretty new to Adobe Illustrator, but my thought process is to just create separate paths for each face of the star and then color them one by one. If there are better ways to do this, any tips are highly appreciated!

My question is, however, how to create two paths that have common curved side? You see, if I create a path for one star side, then when creating the adjacent side I need them to match perfectly without gaps. But now I have something like this:

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  • Use the shape builder tool.
    – Billy Kerr
    Feb 10 at 12:02

2 Answers 2

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Draw with the pen the outline of the star. Draw the division lines of the interior - no harm, if they are too long. make the actual shapes with the Shape Builder and delete possible remnants.

enter image description here

In the left the outline is drawn by clicking with the pen, It has black stroke color. A couple of the division lines are drawn with the pen, the rest of them are drawn with the line tool, the color is red. I had snap to points and smart guides ON, so the lines snapped well. I drew only straight lines, but one could as well draw directly with the pen curved lines or edit straight lines to curved ones.

In the right all was selected and every area was clicked with the Shape Builder. After it every area was a separate object. They were colored one by one by picking some colors from the screenshot in the left.The built objects have only fill colors, there's no strokes.

NOTE: This was a manual tracing process of an existing artwork. Legalwise I made a copy. Hopefully this is seen as fair use, because I taught you how to do it.

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  • Thank you so much for the help, that was really valuable! Don't worry about the legal aspect, original image was generated by AI and has no copyright.
    – LNK
    Feb 10 at 10:23
  • @LNK Using AI doesn't clear copyright problems, because the AI engine may have picked its "creation" or a part of it somewhere from the web. Changing colors and inserting some distortion doesn't change the fact that the recycled pieces are derivatives. The owner of the AI engine may also have some claims.
    – oneprivate
    Feb 10 at 12:52
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I'd like to suggest a slightly different approach, and the reasoning behind it.

IMHO, I don't think these shapes really work as a 3D star. They're just too wonky and don't look quite right. I mean you could argue they're highly stylized, but they're still wonky.

From your comments, I understand this was output from some AI art generator, and that explains why it doesn't look quite right. It's definitely a problem with current AI technology. Sure you often get something that looks kind of nice, but when you examine it, there's always something not quite right in the detail that needs to be fixed. There are much better ways to draw a star that looks 3D.

Of course if you like them, then that's absolutely fine, and this is merely my opinion. Feel free to disagree. But to me, the wonkiness looks like it's AI generated. It has that feel to it.

Anyway . . .

Just for you, since you're new, here's the SVG file for the example below so you can examine how this was constructed. I used Inkscape for this but it should open in Illustrator, and of course it's entirely possible to make something like this in Illustrator too.

I basically created this with a star shape, drew lines to the centre, used the shape builder tool to make the pieces, then added a bit of perspective distortion, and finally added some gradients to make it look a bit smoother.

Here's the original and result side by side

enter image description here

If you don't like the straight edges it would also be possible to do this using some curves for added stylization.

A rough example

enter image description here

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  • thanks a lot for you help! that was really useful!
    – LNK
    Feb 12 at 9:40

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