Learn the step-by-step process for creating a realistic 3D pill in Adobe Illustrator using shape tools, gradients, and 3D effects in this comprehensive tutorial.
Use the Ellipse tool and draw a circle. Hold the Shift key to make the circle proportional. Select a colour of your choice for the fill. Don’t choose a stroke colour.
Use the Rectangle Tool to draw a rectangle. Make sure that it overlaps the circle. To line the shapes while drawing make sure that the Smart Guides are on. Make sure it is selected by going to View > Smart Guides.
Now we are going to merge the shapes together. Use the Selection Tool (the black arrow) and select both the shapes. Hold the Shift key to select multiple shapes. To open up your Pathfinder palette go to Window > Pathfinder. While holding the Alt key, click on the “Add to shape area” option.
We have done the bottom half of the pill. Now let’s concentrate on the top half. Select the bottom half of your pill using the Selection Tool (the black arrow) and then navigate to Object > Transform > Reflect. Choose “Horizontal” and then
click “Copy”. You have just created a second shape. You have to move this shape so that it meets quite nicely with the bottom half of the pill (See the figure below).
I filled the top half of the pill with white colour with no stroke.
Since we are going to create a 3D image using the Revolve feature, we only need half of each shape. To cut the shapes into half we will use the Rectangle Tool to draw a rectangle over the two shapes.
Before we cut the shapes, we need to keep a copy of the rectangle shape in memory. In a second you will find out why. Select the rectangle shape and got to Edit > Copy or hit Control + C. Now with the help of the Selection Tool (the black arrow) select the rectangle and bottom shape. Hold the Shift key to select multiple shapes. To open up your Pathfinder palette (if it isn’t already opened) go to Window > Pathfinder. Then hold the Alt key and click on the “Subtract from shape area” option. You will get the following:
You can see that the rectangle shape is now gone. We still require it to repeat the process to the shape on top. This is why we made a copy. Go to Edit > Paste in Front and the rectangle will be available again. Use the Selection Tool (the black arrow) to select the rectangle and top shape. Hold the Shift key to select multiple shapes. Hold the Alt key and click on the “Subtract from shape area” option on your Pathfinder palette. You will get the following:
I selected both the shapes and grouped them together. You can do the same by navigating to Object > Group or hitting Control + G.
Let’s make it 3D now! Select the grouped shapes. Go to Effect > 3D > Revolve. The box given below appears:
Check whether the “Preview” option is selected. Make sure the Offset is set to Right Edge. Since the shapes we are using are on the left we need the Revolve to go right. You can play around with the Position and Surface.
Another thing to note is the “Map Art” option. If you have already clicked OK in the previous step all you need to get back to an effect is by navigating to Windows > Appearance. This will open the Appearance palette. For editing, double click on an effect. The “Map Art” option allows you to place a symbol on your 3D shape. For example, I want to place a logo on the 3D shape. But first I need to make sure that the logo is a symbol. Then go to Window > Symbol to open your Symbol palette and then drag the logo in:
Select the “Map Art” option. Choose the surface area of the pill on which you want the logo to appear. I chose surface area 5 and then selected my logo from the drop-down box:
Then position the logo where you want it. Select the “Shade Artwork” option to give shade to the logo:
This is the final result:
Just now you have created the pill for curing all your design headaches!