Make a 3D Vector Film Roll, Drawn In Perspective

In this tutorial, I’m going to share with you how to draw a realistic film roll, drawn in perspective. You should already be familiar with using the Pen Tool, Ellipses and Gradients. Let’s begin!

Final Image Preview

Below is the final image we will be working towards. Want access to the full Vector Source files and downloadable copies of every tutorial, including this one? Join Vector Plus for just 9\$ a month.

Step 1

Create an ellipse, fill it with black and give it a stroke of 4 points with a gray color (K=50). Select the bottom anchor point of the ellipse with the Direct Selection Tool, copy and paste in front and delete the fill.

Use the half-ellipse shape to draw the rest of the cylinder, shown in the second image below. Give it a 4 pt stroke and color of dark gray (K=90). Now apply a linear gradient fill, as shown below. Move the bottom shape up until you form a cylinder. The colors of the gradient are various shades of gray (from left to right: K=70, K=50, K=90, K=90, K=50, and K=80).

Step 2

Next, create two more ellipses. For the first one use dark gray stroke color (K=90), and apply the same radial gradient, but this time set the angle at -10 degrees.

Make the second ellipse bigger, no stroke, the same radial gradient again, and set at -20 degrees. Move both ellipses up and align them in the proper order. Now we have the first part of the top of the film roll. The colors of the gradient are various shades of gray (from left to right: K=80, K=50, K=90, K=90, K=50, and K=90).

Step 3

Use the Pen and Ellipse Tools to create two identical crescent shapes. Rotate the bottom one to 180 degrees. Apply a radial gradient again to both of them, and give a stroke to the bottom one, again dark gray (K=90), this time 3 points. The colors of the gradient are various shades of gray (from left to right: K=80, K=90, K=50, and K=80).

Step 4

Send both shapes To Back and move them up, until they fit under the cylinder and the two ellipses, as shown below. One final detail to complete the top of the film roll – another ellipse with no fill, stroke of 4 pts, and a gray color (K=90). Adjust the ellipse with the Selection Tool by dragging each anchor point and match it with its counterpart of both crescent shapes below. Your final piece should look like the image below.

Step 5

Let’s move on to the bottom part of the film roll. Ready your Pen Tool and draw a shape similar to the one shown in the image below. No stroke, radial gradient fill with gray colors (left to right: K=0, K=80, and K=10). Set the gradient to -2 degrees to give it some perspective. Send to back and move below the other shapes.

Step 6

Draw another crescent shape (or copy and tweak one of those previously created) and place it underneath the roll body. Apply a fill of dark gray (K=90) and no stroke.

Step 7

Now, we need to draw the elements where the film comes out. Select the Pen Tool and start drawing until you have something similar to the shape below. Apply q radial gradient with gray colors (left to right: K=40 and K=80) and no stroke.

Step 8

Continue with the second element. It has to be on top of the previous one. Again, no stroke and fill of dark gray (K=90).

Step 9

We are almost ready. The last thing we have to do is add some text. I used the standard Arial font. For the “35mm film” line I rotate the text at 90 degrees and applied a Shear transformation (Object > Transform > Shear). Set the angle at 25 degrees and for axis choose Vertical.

For the “Max 24″ line, I repeated the shear, but entered 10. I applied it right after I used it on “35 mm” and since the tool is smart, it already sheared it to 25 degrees, so I applied 10 more to the total of 35 degrees. Repeat the same to “GT… 24 exp.” with total shear of 45 degrees. For “800″ I used the shear transform again, but this time I gave it negative vertical shear of about -5 to -10.

Conclusion

This wraps up this tutorial on creating a vector film roll drawn in perspective. Remember that all the shapes remain editable until the end and you can tweak and change strokes, colors and gradients until you’re satisfied with the look of the illustration. You can always try different colors of the film roll body.

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• aMs

the perspective is wrong

• Greet

Agreed, plus you’re not telling us how to create shapes that fit together (with Pathfinder) or that are symmetric (by mirrorring a half shape). And you’re using Arial (*cringe*). No offence meant though! Just some remarks. :)

• Greet

Oh, and I think the built-in 3D effects of Illustrator would be much handier to use in this case. :)

• Kamen

No, the perspective isn’t wrong. Besides, I’m showing how I did it. You can use different techniques if it fits your workflow.

• http://jhousedesign.com Jay

It really is wrong.

• grover

yeah really really wrong

• Petter

yeap it’s wrong

• http://www.aivault.com Asmaa

i guess for starters in illustrator , perspective issue is not a big deal . It the use of techniques , good job :)

• Oba

Looks awesome. Do think that very first ellipse could do with a slight gradient though. :)

• http://laranzjoe.blogspot.com lawrence77

Wow very nice…
Should try in my free time…

• http://www.grafpedia.com Grafpedia

Looks great

I didnt like it..
This doesn’t looks like a PSD tut.

Oops,
‘like a Vector tut.*

nice…

• massafakka

löl nice work man! is this the right perspective?
anyway good job… thx

• http://www.crearedesign.co.uk/ rory

Thats mental…
Everyday I come onto your page and there is a new spankingly awesome tutorial that looks awesome, so realistic, you guys are Gods!!!
VECTOR GODS!!!

• http://nikhilmisal.com Nikhil

Easy to follow tutorial

• http://www.clockpunkstudios.com/ Jeremiah Tolbert

Maybe you can teach us to make a buggy whip next? ;)

Great tutorial though, all jokes aside.

• http://www.dsaportfolio.com.br Diego SA

Cool!

• http://www.artwanted.com/davidfriedman David

Maybe it’s just me, cuz I’m still a noob with illustrator(more photoshop oriented), but I’m stuck at step one where it says: Move the bottom shape up until you form a cylinder.

I only seem to make the half circle bigger if I use the selection tool, if I use the direct selection tool I just make it a weird shape.

Help anyone?

Thanks :)

• skunkie

What you try to do is “explained” in the previous step, where it says “Use the half-ellipse shape to draw the rest of the cylinder, shown in the second image below”. The author assumes, that you are able to duplicate the half circle, move it up a little bit and then combine them to one shape (there are different ways to do that in Illustrator).

The step you are pointing to “Move the bottom shape up until you form a cylinder.” really menas just that: Move the (completed) bottom shape upwards, until it touches the ellipse, making the imprssion of a cylinder.

• m. gartsman

out of who’s pocket does the \$150 come? jeez.

• http://www.makepapereasy.com/blog ProjectCenter

Sweet. Good stuff.

• usegraphics.com

The perspective is not true!

• http://wraith0nol.deviantart.com nugie_nol

I’m a rookie in illustrator, but i guess the object perspective is right

The problem is Kamen using big stroke, if you create an object using offset path and move it with your keyboard cursor up or down then the end result will be great

• Tattoo girl

this person doesn’t have to put tuts on here, a lot of people seem ungrateful :(

• kunsimo

man, you deffinitely take a lot of C!@#\$@#%p when you write something. These people are mostly ruthless

• shobuj

so fine……………….n nice