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Adobe Illustrator Tutorial: How to Create Advertising Billboard Using 3D Effects

posted by: Iaroslav Lazunov, in Illustrator Tutorials / Illustration/ Comments:
Final Image Preview
vector advertising billboard

In this vector tutorial we will learn how to create an advertising billboard using 3D modeling and a few simple techniques such as shape building using the Pathfinder palette, defining the vanishing point by using the guides, filling an object with gradients and using the Blend Tool.




Tutorial Details

  • Program: Adobe IllustratorCS-CS5;
  • Difficulty: Beginner;
  • Estimated Completion Time: 45 minutes;

Step 1

Take the Rounded Rectangle Tool and create billboard advertising space. In the process of creating a shape you can change the radius of rounding the corners, by pressing the arrow keys.

rounded rectangle

Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a rectangle, align the two created figures vertically and horizontally with the help of the Align palette.


Step 2

Select both shapes and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder palette.

Minus Front

With the Rectangle Tool (M) create two rectangles that will be a stand of the billboard, and align all the objects vertically with the help of the Align palette.

stand of the billboard

Select and group up all the created objects (Cmd / Ctrl + G).

Step 3

Keep the group selected, go to Effect> 3D> Extrude & Bevel and set the angle of rotation around the axis Y in the dialogue window, the angle of perspective and the Extrude Depth.

3D> Extrude & Bevel

Step 4

Now go to Object> Expand Appearance.

Expand Appearance to 3D objects

Step 5

With the Direct Selection Tool (A) select three objects on the side of the billboard and press the Unite button from the Pathfinder palette in order to unite them.

Unite vector objects

Recolor the surface of the billboard in different colors, it needs to be done so you could see what other objects need to be united and if the objects are in the right sequence relatively to each other in layers palette.

recolor vector objects

For example, that’s how I found that the objects of the upper surface of the ground of the billboard needed to be united.

Unite vector objects

Step 6

Open the layers palette and select all the underlayers in turn, watching in the workspace, which objects are selected. This is a so-called objects audit. This way I detect and remove unnecessary objects.

detect and remove unnecessary vector objects

Step 7

Billboard stand is usually wider than the advertising plane. Let's extend it. We are dealing with an object located in the linear perspective. For further constructions, we need to find the vanishing point. This can be easily done with the help of guides. Create a horizontal guide and place it at the intersection with one of the billboard’s angles of inclination.

horizontal guide

Take the Rotate Tool (R) and set the rotation center into the intersection point of the guide with an angle of a billboard, now turn the guide so that it could coincide with  edge of the billboard.

rotate the guide

In the same way create and rotate another guide, so that it could coincide with another edge of the billboard.

rotate the guide

The intersection point of these guides will be the vanishing point.

vanishing point

Step 8

Now create the guides that will limit the basis of the billboard across the width. Create a new horizontal guide and move it to the intersection with the vanishing point.

intersection with the vanishing point

Take the Rotate Tool (R), set the center of rotation into the vanishing point and rotate the guide towards the supposed boundary of the basis.

rotate the guide towards the supposed boundary

The coincidence of the guide with the lower edge of the base in the picture above happened by chance. Using this technique, create another guide, which will limit the billboard stand across the width on the back.

limit the billboard stand across the width on the back

Step 9

Lock the guides in the Layers palette, take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and begin to move the anchor points of the A-surface towards the intersection with the guides. While moving the anchor points you should not move them from the already existing direction.

move the anchor points
move the anchor points
move the anchor points

Take the Pen Tool (P) and delete the points 1, 2, 3 and 4.

remove the anchor points

Using the same technique, create the sides of the basis of the billboard.

sides of the basis

Step 10

The basic elements of the billboard are created; now get down to the coloring of the image. First create a background. Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a rectangle filled with linear gradient from blue to dark blue color.

create a background

Now create another rectangle and fill it with the same gradient.

create a background

Step 11

To add volume to the image, will be using a linear gradient containing gray and black color, while locating it at different angles.

add volume to the image
add volume to the image
add volume to the image
add volume to the image
add volume to the image
add volume to the image
add volume to the image
add volume to the image
add volume to the image
add volume to the image

Step 12

Take the Pen Tool (P) and create the shape of glass. Move the underlayer with the shape in the layers palette so that it could take the right position. Now fill this shape with linear gradient consisting of rotating gray and black colors.

vector shape of glass

Now set the Screen Blending Mode for the glass shape in the Transparency palette.

Screen Blending Mode for the glass shape

Step 13

Create light bulbs of the billboard. Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a circle. Fill the circle with radial gradient from red to gray.

vector light bulbs

Create glow from the lights. Create another circle and place it in the underlayer under the bulb. Fill this circle with radial gradient from red to black.

glow from the lights

Set the Screen Blending Mode for this circle in the Transparency palette.

glow from the lights

Group up both objects created in this step.

Step 14

Holding down the Shift key and the Opt / Alt, drag the group down.

move glow from the lights

Select these two groups and go to Object> Blend> Blend Options and set the blend step equal to 2, then go to Object> Blend> Make.

move glow from the lights

Step 15

Light bulbs will not be visible on the left side of the billboard. Just create the glow from them on this side, using the technique described in step 13.

glow on the left side of the billboard

Step 16

Proceed to the creation of the billboard reflection. With the Pen Tool (P), create two black shapes, so that their boundaries were a little beyond the basis, and place them below all of the objects, but certainly above the background.

billboard reflection

Now create a new shape and fill it with linear gradient from black to black with 0% opacity. Two vertical guides will help us to set its width accurately.

billboard reflection

Create a reflection of the side of the basis of a billboard.

billboard reflection


Now you can add advertising text on the billboard glass using 3D effect with the same parameters that we used to the entire billboard in step 3.




Final Image
vector advertising outdoor billboard

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