How to apply textures to 3D objects using Texturino in Adobe Illustrator

In this tutorial you will learn how to apply bitmap textures to 3D vector objects using a simple technique. This has become possible thanks to Texturino plug-in, which allows you to quickly convert any embedded images into textures and easily manage them with the help of Texture panel, Texture Manager, and annotation system. Let's get started!

3D Object


Step 1

Start Adobe Illustrator and create a new document (Cmd / Ctrl + N). Whilst working in RGB color mode, proceed to the creation of the 3D object. With the help of the Pen Tool (P), draw a curved path that will fit the side surface of the vase, then extend it using a horizontal straight-line segment which corresponds to half of its bottom. Apply to this path a 1px wide stroke of light gray color then ensure the fill is turned off.

Curved Path


Keeping the path selected, go to Effect > 3D > Revolve and set the parameters, similar to those shown in the picture below.

3D Revolve Options

Vase Shadow


Step 2

Now take a look at the technique of applying texture to a 3D object with Texturino. For the texture I will use Beautiful Multi Color Watercolor Texture. Place the texture into a current document (File > Place ), then click on the Embed button in the Control panel.

Watercolor Texture


This is a high resolution texture with 300ppi, so your computer may take a long time to apply it to a 3D object. In order to optimise  this process we can reduce the resolution of the bitmap image. You can reduce the resolution by first selecting the texture, then going to Object > Rasterize and setting the Resolution to 72ppi. There is also a "Crop Image" option in Illustrator that can be used as an alternative method (this will keep the size but reduce the resolution).

Rasterize Panel


Step 3

With the help of Texturino we are able to automatically convert embedded images directly in the Texture Manager of this plug-in. Select the texture, and then open the Texture panel. To do this, go to Window > Texturino > Texture panel or simply click on the Texture Tool icon in the Tools panel. Open the fly-out menu of the panel and select Convert Raster Art to Texture.

Convert Raster Art


As a result, the Texture Manager dialog box opens automatically and we can see that a new texture appeared in the library. Here we can rename the texture and assign it to an existing or newly-created category.

Texture Manager


Step 4

Select the 3D vase and group up a single path (Cmd / Ctrl + G). It is necessary to do this action before applying texture. Select the created group, choose the watercolor texture in the Texture panel and click here on the Plus icon.

Texture Panel


Texture is successfully applied to the group, and now we have the ability to manage it with the help of the appeared annotation system. We can change the scale, opacity, blending mode and rotate texture with control.

Multiply and Relative


Step 5

Thanks to Multiply blending mode; shadows and highlights of the vase that appear on the texture.  The effect can be enhanced using the Curves feature of Phantasm plug-in. Keeping the group selected, go to Effect > Phantasm > Curves, in the dialog window replace the straight-line type of chart with S-shaped, as shown in the picture below.

Phantasm Curves

Applied texture


Step 6

Now create a reflection of the vase. Take the Reflect Tool (O) and holding down the Opt/Alt click at point 'A' (the base of the vase). In the dialog box, select the Horizontal option and click Copy button.

Reflect Panel


Place the copy of the vase below its original.

Copy of Vase


Create a rectangle with a gradient fill from gray to black color and place it over the lower vase.

Gradient Fill


Select the lower vase and the rectangle, then click on the Make Mask button in the Transparency panel.

Transparency Panel


The reflection has now been added.



We just need to add a shadow under the vase. Create a circle with a radial gradient fill from dark green to white, and then transform the circle into an ellipse with the help of the Selection Tool (V) and apply the Multiply blending mode to this object.

Transparency Panel


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Now you can add more realism to your vector artworks by applying textures to 3D objects using a very simple technique and Texturino.

Learn more about Texturino


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