I'm lost here. 2 hours down the drain trying to figure this out.

This is what's happening:

I'm trying to map text to a flag shape for a client's logo. I've followed the steps outlined here for an idea of what to do. Pretty much every other post I've looked at says essentially the same thing as that tutorial.

My problem is that when I go to map my artwork to the flag shape (an extruded 1pt stroke), in the "Map Art" dialogue box, none of the surfaces encompass the entire shape. I get the edges, top, bottom, and the main middle part (the part I want the text to appear) is broken up into smaller groups.

For example, I'll have 7 surfaces. One will be the bottom line, another the top line, two edges, the back (or part of) and then the middle bit is a group of different sections - none of which is big enough to hold the text.

I have no idea why it's doing this. I would love any help!


1 Answer 1


The issue is due to the 3D extrusion.

Each separate section which requires extrusion variations is different. You can't map art over anything more than one extrusion section, as you've discovered. Illustrator's 3D is really, really, really lacking in many areas. This is one such area.

There are two possible workarounds I can think of:

  1. Distort your text independently of the 3D object, don't map it to the object.
  2. Extrude the primary surface to create depth rather than extruding the depth to create the primary surface and add the text to the shape you are extruding before applying the 3D extrusion.

Assuming your "1pt stroke" is just a wavy line to make the flag and the goal is to have text "wave" in the same manner the flag is....

Draw the flat shape with Type on a Path set to "Skew":

enter image description here

The "Skew" setting for Type on a Path keeps type verticals vertical and only makes the horizontals of the type follow the path.

Outline the type and then you can use the 3D Extrude & Bevel to rotate the image and extrude the 1pt edge. The lighting isn't nearly as dynamic in the 3D effect because the main surface isn't being auto-created by the extrusion. THis is another limitation of Illustrator's 3D effect. However the shapes are there and that's the important aspect, lighting can be adjusted manually by adding additional gradients to the shape or adding other objects.

enter image description here

Using this method you can't map art because the flat surface is not being generated by the extrusion. Therefore the flat surface won't distort the text at all.

If your art is more complex than straight type, you can use Object >Envelope Distort` to alter the shape to try and match the waving flag before extruding things.

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