3D Android Avatar Tutorial Part 1

Today I will show how to create a 3D Android avatar using only tools from Illustrator. Keep in mind that the steps won’t be basic and should only be done with sufficient experience with Illustrator. This will also be a long tutorial so I will break it in two parts.

What You’ll Be Making:


  • Illustrator
  • 3D Revolve
  • Pathfinder/ShapeBuilder
  • Symbols


1. A. Create a circle by using the ellipse tool and holding to constrain the proportions to a circle.

B. Make the circle green (RGB 158, 197, 76 or #9EC54C) and draw some segments (vertical and horizontal) that cross its center. I chose a black stroke for the segments so I could see them.

C. Select the circle and segments and click Shift+M to bring up the ShapeBuilder tool. Hold option or alt to turn the cursor into a Minus shape which indicates that you will remove objects instead of combining them. Simple click and drag your mouse across the pieces you want to remove then release your finger from the right mouse button.

D. Now you a single, green quadrant-shape.

2. A. Draw small squares from the corners of this quadrant. Draw lines that pass through the edges of the squares as pictured below. Also draw a circle with a center starting as the same one as the quadrant but let its intersecting arc be slightly lesser than the quadrant. Make sure the circle is also tangent to the squares’ “bottom” sides. Look to pictures below for help.

B. Delete some unnecessary pieces as pictured below.

C. Make sure to zoom in on your object and delete parts that go past your perfect arc as seen below. Remember to hold option or alt when using ShapeBuilder to remove objects.

D. Not add objects that you need together since we want a single combined shape.

E. You should get a shape like below.

3. A. Make sure the object is selected then go to Effect>3D>Revolve.

B. Make sure to check the preview box. Click More Options if you haven’t already. Set the shading to either plastic or diffuse shading. I personally will use Diffuse Shading. Make sure to change the blend steps to 100 but you can set it to the max (256) if you want. Then click OK.

4. A.  Now let us move aside from the previous object and work on symbols to use for future Art mapping of the 3D object. Create a rectangle of the same color with a ratio of 3:12. The ratio is important!

B. Create small black circles near the edges from the sides of the rectangle. Make sure the circles are the same distance apart from the edges of the rectangle.

C. Cut out the circles from the rectangle using either the Pathfinder of ShapeBuilder.

D. It should look as the one below.

E. Open your symbol window if you haven’t already. If unopened, go to Window>Symbols. Select your object then click the button right next to the trashcan button. Name the symbol anything. The type of symbol doesn’t matter as stated on the window. Name it anything then click OK.

5. A. Make sure the symbol is selected inside the Symbol window, if it’s not just simply click it. Then click the “New” button (the one next to the trashcan icon). Name it _____ 2.

B. Double-click your copied symbol to enter inside it to edit its features.

C. Flip your object horizontally. Then double-click anywhere on the canvas except on the object to exit the isolation mode.

D. Create a square of the same color and then make it a symbol. Name it anything.

E. Now you should have one square symbol and two rectangle-with-holes symbols.

6. A. Go back to your 3D object and go to its appearance  window and simple click the 3D Revolve effect.

B. Make sure to check the preview box. Click the Map Art button and click the right arrow button to scroll to the 2nd  surface as you can see below.

Note: The red highlighted surface indicates the current surface you are working on.

C. Select your first symbol from the symbol-selection drop down list and it should be automatically placed in the center.

D. Check the boxes for Shade Artwork and Invisible Geometry.

7. A. Go to the first surface (1/5)  by clicking the left arrow button. Then select your square symbol.

B. Make sure you click Scale to Fit button. You will need to do this for all the surface mapping.

C. Go to surface 3 and insert the square symbol again and click Scale to Fit button again.

D. Map the fourth surface with the square symbol and click Scale to Fit.

E. Map the fifth surface with the second symbol we created and click Scale to Fit.

8. A. Drag the cube around with your right-mousing button. Drag the cube around till you see the holes that go through the surface and to the inside.

This is the end of Part 1. I will conclude with Part 2 where you will create a body, arms, and legs for your Droid avatar.


About Fadi G.

I am a digital artist and I hope to push the bounds of creativity. I will produce videos, illustrations, animations, and more interesting things.

Posted on August 25, 2011, in 3-D, Effects, Experiment, Icons, Illustrations, Layouts, Pathfinder, Paths, Projects, Realistic, Shape-Builder, Shapes, Tutorials. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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