I have some circles and line to make a cloud like the one below. I know i can use the path finder to make some unions.

But how to make some gradients with a 3d effect ? (like the example)

enter image description here

Thanks in advance

(i'm using Illustrator CS6)

  • You could do this multiple ways. If you want to keep one shape, this should be possible with the gradient mesh tool. You can also use multiple shapes (e.g. one for the background and several overlaid for highlights/shadows with basic radial gradients) Commented Sep 14, 2012 at 23:51
  • This is off topic on this site but I've asked the Graphic Design mods if it is suitable for them.
    – Kev
    Commented Sep 15, 2012 at 0:27

1 Answer 1


As I mentioned in the comment, this can be achieved either with clever use of the Mesh tool or with separate parts filled with radial gradients. Bellow is a poor attempt to duplicate the effect and illustrate the idea:


Mesh Tool used to create the background

single element gradient

A single shape filled with a radial gradient

multiple shapes

Multiple shapes with gradients

There are probably more techniques to tackle this.

  • Fantastic solution, only with a fill on each shape (no stroke) it works really great.
    – jules
    Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 11:11

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