How to Make Realistic 3D Text in Illustrator

Now that 3D modeling functionality has been removed from Photoshop, a replacement has appeared from an unlikely direction: Adobe Illustrator. Its 3D tools are slowly evolving, but they’re already in a state where they can provide workable solutions to common problems. Here, we’ll see how to use Illustrator to add realistic 3D text to an image.

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Steve Caplin is a freelance photomontage artist based in London, whose satirical illustrations have appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world. He is the author of the best-selling How to Cheat in Photoshop, as well as 100% Photoshop, Art & Design in Photoshop and 3D Photoshop. He writes regularly for CreativePro and is an instructor at LinkedIn Learning. His YouTube channel 2 Minute Photoshop is a library of over 100 Photoshop tutorials, each just two minutes long, hosted at When he’s not at his computer Steve builds improbable furniture, which can be seen at