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I've been attempting to recreate this vector (for practice) with intricate patterns in Adobe Illustrator, however, I can't wrap my head around it. How would I make something similar to the one in the image I provided?

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Here's one possible method, there may be others

  1. Draw a cross, like this.

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  1. Make a pattern brush from it, set the spacing to something like 40% and apply it to a straight line

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  1. Duplicate the line, move it horizontally, select both lines and make a step blend like this

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  1. Add an Envelope Make with Mesh, and set the mesh to 1 row, 1 column

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  1. Distort the mesh as you like

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Another possible method for slightly more complex patterns would be to make a pattern from the cross, then use it as a fill for a rectangle, and expand the appearance, then use the Envelope Make with Mesh as above. In this example I used the "brick" pattern in the pattern editor.

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Another way to make 3D-like distorted rectangular stripes with mapped patterns is to use Illustrator's 3D effects. The mapped pattern can be a vector, a bitmap image or a composition. Vector patterns stay as vector if you use the classic 3D effect extrude & bevel. The artwork is deformed automatically to the right geometric form. It's a huge advantage over using envelope distortion, because you can change the wiewing direction without editing a new envelope. An example:

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On the top left there's a tiled collection of crosses. It's dragged to the symbol list to make it available as mapped 3D artwork. The curve is to be extruded with Classic 3D Extrude & Bevel. It's done below. The artwork mapping is shown in the next image.

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The transparent areas of the artwork stay transparent if there's used no shading.

Illustrator splits the surface to pieces as it likes (no control). Each piece must get its artwork separately. You see the falling part of the stripe is still grey.

You hopefully notice that the colored part of your shape is not a bent rectangle. It becomes wider as the distance grows. 3D extrusion doesn't make it. It's edited afterwards. It's possible after expanding the appearance of the 3D effect. (and after removing the clipping masks and several groupings, too. Sorry.)

The fill pattern must be inserted manually afterwards if the shape is expanded and edited. The grey part is stretched and colored with a simple gradient in the next image:

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    that's a really good solution, welcome to the site!
    – Luciano
    Commented Apr 22 at 14:04

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