Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

In this tutorial we will learn how to create a Shopping Basket with the help of 3D modeling. I'll share with you some secrets of working with such objects, and I will teach how to find shades for basic color quickly. For recoloring the objects we will be using Phantasm CS which makes this process much easier and faster.

Step 1

Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a rectangle with a stroke of gray color and no fill. Set the stroke width and the Align Stroke to Outside in the Stroke panel.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Round the corners of the rectangle with the help of the Dynamic Corners Tool, a tool of the VectorScribe plugin. Open the Dynamic Corners panel (Window > VectorScribe > Dynamic Corners), set the radius in it, and with the help of the Dynamic Corners Tool round the corners of the rectangle, simply by clicking on them.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

The advantage of the Dynamic Corners Tool over the Rounded Rectangle Tool is in the dynamism of the tool and you'll see it in the next steps.

Step 2

Create another small rectangle. Its size should correspond with the holes in the walls of the basket.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

To round its angles, I was also using the Dynamic Corners Tool.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

It is always a pleasure to work with the shapes that can be transformed easily. Select the rectangle and go to Object > Transform & Distort > Transform… and set the horizontal offset value and number of copies in the dialog window.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Re-apply Object > Transform & Distort > Transform… and set the vertical offset value and the new number of copies in the dialog window of the effect.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

In fact, we only have one rectangle to which the effect is applied. Therefore, changing one shape, we will get changes in all of its copies.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

I think the advantages of dynamic tools that are the tools of the VectorScribe plugin are obvious.

Step 3

Fill the rectangle with red color, it can be any color but different from the color of the stroke of a large rectangle that you created in step 1. Now, drag it to the Symbols panel and save as a new symbol.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Using the described technique, create another group of rectangles. Then, keeping it selected, go to Object > Expand Appearance and remove three rows of central rectangles, as it is shown in the picture below.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Move the obtained group to the Symbols panel, and save as a new symbol.

Step 4

Copy a large rectangle and paste it in front (Cmd / Ctrl + C; Cmd / Ctrl + F). Change the stroke color of the rectangle, and increase its thickness in the Stroke panel.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Basic elements for 3D modeling are ready.

Step 5

Proceed to the modeling of the basket. Select the rectangle with a gray stroke and go to Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel…. Set the parameters indicated in the picture below (I usually do not set the numerical values of the corners, and turn the cube so that the shape takes the necessary position. Extrude Depth parameter corresponds with the height of the basket.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Click on the the Map Art… button in the 3D Extrude & Bevel Options dialogue window, and in a new window apply the hole shapes created above to the walls of the basket (apply the first hole shape set to the long side and the second one to the short one). Background of the visible sides of the 3D object has light gray color, the non visible dark gray. This will help you to understand which sides to apply the colors.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

You can always get access to 3D object through the Appearance panel.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Since we created the shape using the Dynamic Corners, we can therefore change the radius of corner rounding in the 3D object.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

This is a great way to improve the result, not redoing everything from scratch.

Step 6

Select the second rectangle and go to Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel… and set the same parameters as for the first rectangle except for its height (Extrude Depth).

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

With the help of the Selection Tool (V) set this object for the top of the basket.

Step 7

Now create handles on the basket. With the help of the Pen Tool (P) create two vertical cuts of different length and align them vertically.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Now, connect them with the help of the Pen Tool (P).

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Using this technique, create another trapezoid, the base of it should be smaller than of the first one. By moving its vertical segments vertically, try to make the sides parallel to the sides of the first trapezoid.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Select both trapezoids and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Now, round inner and outer corners using the Dynamic Corners Tool.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Step 8

Select the handle and go to Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel… and by controlling the position of the cube in the dialog window, set the handle in the desired position.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Duplicate the handle (Opt / Alt while dragging) and set the copy on the opposite side of the basket.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Now the 3D modeling can be considered to be complete.

Step 9

Before the following steps set the Surface option to "No Shading" for all the 3D objects. This will greatly simplify our work.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Now select the whole basket and go to Object > Expand Appearance.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

By this action we have transformed 3D objects into a group of simple vector objects.

Step 10

Before coloring the objects we have to perform certain actions. We have used 3D Map Art objects in our work. These objects after the Expand Appearance command will contain Clipping Masks. This makes it difficult to access objects when coloring. Therefore, Clipping Masks should be removed. Select all the objects and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Release, then go to Object > Path > Clean Up….

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Step 11

Some objects have to be combined into one shape, because they represent a surface. Select those objects and click the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

I usually paint the surface in different colors; it makes work easier.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Step 12

We will create holes in the walls of the basket. Select the group of red rectangles and side baskets on which they are located (it is convenient to do this in the layers panel), then click on the Minus Front button in the Pathfinder panel.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Perform the same actions with the rest of the walls of the basket.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

With the help of the Pen Tool (P) create a shape of the bottom of the basket and place it below all the objects.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Step 13

Proceed to the coloring of the elements of the basket. Fill the front of the basket with linear gradient which consists of different shades of red. Note that the lighter gradient sliders correspond to the corners of the basket. This allows us to add volume with a simple linear gradient.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

To get bright colors, work in the RGB Color Mode (File > Document Color Mode > RGB color). Our image is intended for the Web, so the choice of such a color model is reasonable. To quickly obtain basic color shades, I use Color panel which opens when you double click on the gradient slider. Set the "HSB Color Mode" in the Color panel. This color model is useful for getting shades, at the same time your document will still stay in the RGB Color Mode. Now move the sliders H and B in the Color panel and get any shade of the basic color in a few seconds.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Step 14

Using the described technique, fill the surface of the upper part of the basket with a linear gradient.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Create complex lighting on the inner side of the basket with easy gradients. First, fill it with a linear gradient, as shown in the picture below.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Now add a new fill to this object in the Appearance panel and apply radial gradient which has one transparent slider to it.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Step 15

Fill the upper end of the basket with a vertical linear gradient.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Keep the object selected, go to Object > Path > Offset Path… and set the offset value in the dialog window.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Fill the new shape with a linear gradient, which contains the darker shades of red than the original shape and move it slightly up. Due to the differences of the gradient shades of the upper and lower shapes we have got glares of light on the upper edge of the basket.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Step 16

Use a similar technique for the bottom of the basket. Fill the bottom of the shape with a linear gradient, one of the sliders of which is lighter than the others.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Now with the help of the Pen Tool (P) create a new shape and fill it with darker linear gradient. Round the corner of this shape with the help of the Dynamic Corners Tool.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Step 17

The walls of the baskets have a certain thickness, so we have to create an edge in every hole in the wall of the basket. Copy the front surface of the basket and paste it back (Cmd / Ctrl + C; Cmd / Ctrl + B). Take the Knife Tool and cut the copy along the trajectory AB.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Fill both sides with linear gradient which consists of very bright shades of red color, and move the parts of the shape using the arrow keys so that they could be seen in the holes of the basket. Thus, we have created a glare on the edges of the holes.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Using this technique, create the edges of the holes. This time, fill the shapes with gradient, which consists of brown shades.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Do the same manipulations with the holes on the inner surface of the basket.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Step 18

I didn't use a different technique when coloring handles, so I will only show the process of applying the gradient fills.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Step 19

Let's create glare on the basket. With the help of Pen Tool (P) create the shape shown in the figure below, and fill it with linear gradient from pink to burgundy color with 0% opacity.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Create similar shape on the far edge of the basket.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Step 20

In some areas, create glares with a special Art Brush. With the Ellipse Tool (L) create two circles with white fill. The diameter of the bigger circle is 5px, and of the smaller is 1px. A large circle has 0% transparency. Select both circles and go to Object > Blend > Blend Options… and set the number of Specified Steps in the dialog window. Now go to Object > Blend > Make.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Drag the resultant blend object to the Brushes panel and save the new brush as Art Brush.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Step 21

Take the Pen Tool (P) and create a vertical line at the nearer corner of the basket. Apply the brush created in previous step to this brush.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

If the glare seems to be too bright, reduce its opacity in the Transparency panel.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

The picture below shows the areas where you need to apply this brush.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Step 22

Now create shadow under the basket. With the help of the Pen Tool (P) create two shapes shown in the figure below. Both shapes are filled with black color. The bottom, larger shape has 0% opacity. Select both shapes and go to Object > Blend > Blend Options… and set the number of Specified Steps in the dialog window. Now go to Object > Blend > Make.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Round the corners of the shape using the Dynamic Corners Tool.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Step 23

In practice, it often happens that we need to create multiple color variations of the image. This is not difficult to do if you are using Phantasm CS in your artwork. Select the objects that are going to be recolored, group them for convenience (Cmd / Ctrl + G), and go to Effect > Phantasm CS > Hue / Saturation…. Tick the "Colorize" option and by controlling Hue and Saturation sliders, set the desired color.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

So, I easily created green and blue variants of the basket.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Step 24

To get some colors, you need to apply multiple effects. All these effects are available in Phantasm CS that gives you more flexibility working with color. So, to get a yellow version of the basket, first apply Phantasm CS Hue / Saturation effect.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Then apply the Phantasm CS Curves (Effect > Phantasm CS > Curves…).

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

And finally adjust the levels of the image with the help of the Phantasm CS Levels (Effect > Phantasm CS > Levels…), getting a golden color for our basket.

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

Vector Isometric Shopping Basket

These are tricks that Phantasm CS can do, my friends.

Conclusion

For more information about plugins used in this tutorial follow these links:

Download the tutorial artwork

Click here for the Illustrator CS4 artwork…

Click here for the Illustrator CS5 artwork…

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