Think of a bowling ball that has rolled to the center of a trampoline. I would like to depict that in Illustrator, except the trampoline would be a grid that conforms to the weight of the bowling ball (the planet in the example below).

original image from http://www.space.com/images/i/000/046/071/original/pulsar-J1906-disappears.jpg

  • Can you use parametric surfaces of multivariate functions to make grids?
    – user64742
    Jun 16, 2017 at 23:32
  • To my knowledge, these are not available in illustrator.
    – 55 Cancri
    Jun 16, 2017 at 23:35
  • Darn. That would be a very clever solution assuming one could get their hands on a closed form version of the relativistic curvature formulae.
    – user64742
    Jun 16, 2017 at 23:39

1 Answer 1


Found an interesting option in this video.

Start by creating a grid with the Rectangular Grid or Polar Grid tool.

Click Object > Envelope Distort > Make with Mesh

Add some perspective with the Effect > 3D > Rotate and adjust to your liking.

Move the points from the Mesh grid (not your original grid) until you get the desired effect. Go back and tweak the settings in the Rectangular grid and Envelope Distort tools if the result is still not good enough.

This is my final result after just a few minutes doing what I just described:

Grid mesh warp

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