Category Archives: Perspective

“3-D Text” Part 2

Welcome back to the second part of  the 3-D text tutorial. In this part, we will add a faded shadow to our 3-D text.

What You’ll Be Making:


  • Illustrator CS4/5
  • Blend-Tool
  • Gradients/Fills
  • Slight experience w/ Illustrator


1. A. Start out by locking our original text and not the blend.  B. Now you’ll be able to select the blended text.

2. A. Copy-drag a clone of the blend to anywhere else on the screen. B. Make sure that the blend is selected and go to Object>Blend>Release. C. You should see the blend being separated into different objects as you see below. D. Delete the larger text since it wouldn’t make sense for a casted shadow.

3. A. Copy-drag (holding option/alt) a clone of the new unblended text in any downward direction. B. Use the blend-tool again to make a blend with these two texts. C. Double-click the blend-tool from the tool bar to bring up the settings for the blend-tool. Give it a specified-steps spacing with 50 steps to make a smooth blend (go higher for more smoothness) so the computer doesn’t do too much work in making blends.

4. Give the most bottom text an opacity of 0% by first selecting it with the white arrow tool then adjusting it’s opacity. This will give faded shadow look. B. If the blend looks off, select one of the text and right-click and choose Arrange>Send to Back/Bring to Front. C. You should see something change. D. It is best to lock our original object before proceeding any further.

5. A. Move the shadow blend back onto our original object. B. If it’s not already behind the original text/object, then right-click and choose Arrange>Send to Back. C. You should see the “shadow” move to the very back.

6 A. Improve this blend by lower its opacity to around 50%.  B. Use the white arrow tool to move the text with 0% opacity closer to the solid-filled text. You will have achieved a 3-D effect as you see below.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and learned a new skill.

“3-D” Text Part 1

I wanted to post this earlier, but due to internet problems (finally resolved) I will finally post this today.

Today we will be making 3-D text as a request from a student I was helping earlier. Some applications of this tutorial can be seen here in my poster where you can see the 3-D text is combined with a faded shadow.

This tutorial will guide you in the first part of making the 3-D text. The second part is optional and only adds more interesting effects.

What You’ll Be Making:


  • Illustrator CS4/5
  • Blend-Tool
  • Gradients/Fills
  • Slight experience w/ Illustrator


1. A. Use the Text Tool to type out a text.  B. Give the text any color.

2. A. Copy-drag (by holding option/alt and then releasing it) the text twice to anywhere else on the screen. B. Give different colors to each of the copies but try to make them darker shades of the original text’s color.

3. A. Press W to bring up the Blend-Tool. Click one of the cloned text then click the other cloned text to make a blend. B. Double-click the Blend-Tool icon in the toolbar to bring up the settings. When the window pop ups, change the spacing to specified steps. Enter 50 for the steps to ensure a smooth blend but this will vary on how far your two blended objects are. C. You should get something like you see below.

4. A. In case your blend is facing the wrong way, adjust the arrangement of one part of blend by selecting (double-clicking the object) that part then right-clicking and choosing either Arrange>Send Backward/Bring ForwardB. You should see the blend change to your correct arrangement.

5. A. Scale one of the parts of the blend while holding option/alt+shift to maintain its proportions. This adds a sense of depth/perceptive.  B. Move the blended-objects closer together if you haven’t done so already (this insures a smoother blend).

6 A. Move the blend back onto our original text. B. Make sure the blend is selected and right-click and choose Arrange>Send to Back. C. Check to see if you’ve gotten something similar to what you see below.

We will continue off with Part 2 tomorrow.

Update 2

Sorry hat I haven’t posted in a while but I will make it up.

ZIPBUDS: So you’ve probably heard that I helped with the ZipBuds ad if you’ve read the Mac Lab post a week ago. I did help in a small part (helping make 3-D version of a company’s  icon vector file). I was asked if I could manage it to make a 3-D Extruded ZipBud icon by Steven Moyer  (alum). Though it was tricky to bypass the grey boxes you get from glows/effects, I saved day by using clipping masks. Phillip also tried to do an extruded Zipbud but failed (again grey boxes from Zipbuds) but he manage to make a good psd version. Either way, Steven Moyer still had a hard time impelling 3-D objects into Aftereffects so you won’t see it in the ad.

I didn’t just helped with the icon dilemma. I also helped in the practice shootings for the commercial in the Summer and the start of Spring semester. It was really fun shooting those silly scenes at school. At lunch time, we ate mostly pizza or just go to Alberto’s.

ELAC: I was also tasked with doing a poster and logo for  English Learner Advisory Council. Since I didn’t choose the job, only assigned, I procrastinated a lot (2 weeks) till I managed to make something good.  Just making a logo for something related to english learners was tricky enough.

DEVIANTART: I made my icons available to download on DeviantArt and I was slightly surprised by the outcome. Currently, each of my four icons (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Waterfox) averaging 50 70 downloads each. But I also fixed my icon shelves so it’s symmetrical horizontally and vertically. Download if you wish by clicking this link to my DeviantArt page.

Poster Update

The math poster has been fix and finished. All I want though, for these past days, is to get them printed. But Skocko has failed me in this request but I am partly to blame too. I gave him the file on Tuesday yet he forgot to print it. The next day, he opened the  file to find non-outlined text (and a missing embedded image) and so he didn’t print it Wednesday. He didn’t print the poster on Thursday since he couldn’t find the file even though it was on his laptop. I doubt it will get printed today either and I want to have it up before this upcoming Tuesday since that is the day the Math Club will meet again.

Hopefully, the poster will turn out alright.

Also, I’ll put up my vectored pencil if anyone wants it. Download via

Ma(c)th Clu(la)b

Working in Mac Lab Saturday School and today is way longer than before since the video team was shooting something. I spent my time fixing up my math poster. I would say it’s almost ready for printing. I pen-tooled everything except  the wrinkled paper texture, of course. I added a bunch of textures to the pencil as well as the eraser. I will present the finished piece to Mr. Anderson, hopefully, on Monday.

Perspective Grid Part 2

This is Part 2 of the Perspective Grid tutorial. Part 2 consists of making our grid into a realistic library.

Materials: +Illustrator CS5 +Perspective Tool +Stock Photos +Blend Tool


22. To leave off where we were before. We can draw some rectangles that represent the back of the shelves. Draw and group each rectangle in each row/column to fill all the “backs” of the shelves.

23. Let’s draw a black square that will be used for a clipping mask later.

24. Download some free stock textures and make sure they are wood patterns. I got these free stock textures from, go figure. I recommend download these items: and

25. In this step, we will make a clipping mask out of our front grid. To do this, send the grid to the back or front.

26. Bring the stock texture under/over our grid. Make sure that these two are both selected then right click and choose Create Clipping Mask.

27. Draw a similar black square anywhere on the screen. Stretch our second stock texture so it overlaps all of the black square. Select both of the square and texture and make a clipping mask.

28. Let’s drag our background text over our grid. Then, send this object to the back.

29. Now let’s have some fun and apply Inner Glow effects to each column/row of rectangles. Inner Glow is located in Effect>Stylize>Inner Glow. Set a shortcut for this effect or else keep clicking through the menu as we go through each rectangle. A good shortcut to set it to is PC: Shift+Ctrl+Alt+G or MAC: Shift+Ctrl+Opt+G. In the inner glow option box, choose a dark brown color, set the mode to multiply, set the opacity to 80, and blur to 15. These are recommended settings but feel free to change it.

30. Get through each rectangle and make sure they all have the inner glow effect.

31. Since we want the background texture to appear, let’s make all the squares that faces us, have an opacity of 50 or whatever you want.

32. Take some time to make sure everything is lined up and looking elegant.

33. Draw a square from one corner to another and apply a radial gradient.Make sure the color that is in the middle has an opacity of 0. See picture for reference.

34. Send this square to the back BUT in front of the texture.

And you’re down. Congratulations! This tutorial use some confusing methods but now you learned a lot more than you could’ve had.

The tutorial file will be uploaded via so you can play around with that.

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