3D Effects in Illustrator
There are so many tools in Illustrator that designers don't really use — maybe because they don't need them, but I might guess there's also an element of the unknown. Today I'll show you how you can easily create a 3D tube effect in Illustrator using a simple path and the not-often-used Blend Tool. Although this effect can be used along any path, for this tutorial we'll focus on how to apply this 3D effect to a hand made text path to create an eye catching effect.
Open Illustrator and make a new file at any size you want. In this case, I will setup mine at 1800 x 1200 px.
Select the Ellipse Tool (L). Be sure to set the fill to "gradient" and the stroke set to none.
Draw a circle.
Go to Window > Gradient and set any color you want for your gradient. In this case, I will setup mine from #c94b4b to #4b134f.
With the circle selected, press Ctrl+C and then Ctrl+F to paste it in the same place.
Drag the pasted circle to the right while holding the Shift key on your keyboard as shown.
Select the Blend Tool (W) and click once over the first circle and then once over the second circle.
Go to Object > Blend > Blend Options. Set the Spacing to "Specified Steps", the number of steps to 900 and click OK.
Using the Pen or Pencil Tool draw a path with your text. In this case, i will simply write "feel".
To finish the effect, press Ctrl+A on your keyboard in order to select all and then go to Object > Blend > Replace Spine to apply the 3D effect to the path.