Design insights & tutorials.

Create A 3D Vector Book Icon

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We use icons every day, but usually they are made by others. So when we know exactly what we need, it is better if we make our very own icon. Here is how to make a 3D book icon, that we can use more times, with some modifications.

Open a new document, i’m working with a 800×600 px workspace, and CMYK colors.
Draw a shape with your Pen tool (P), as you see in the image below (1). If you’re not familiar using the Pen tool, than you can try to create a rounded rectangle with the Rounded Rectangle tool, and with the help of a rectangle you can cut out a shape that you need (Window > Pathfinder > Alt + Subtract). Add a point to the right side of the shape, and delete it. So you have the shape. As you can see, it’s more easier to draw with the Pen tool. The final shape has a 115px width, and 26px height.

Set the stroke size to 4px. Go to Object > Expand, and click OK. Now the outline transformed into an outline + a shape you just need to ungroup them, and delete the outline.
Go to Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel, and set these settings:

Go to Object > Expand Appearance and press OK. So you converted the 3D object into a simple grouped object. Ungroup this group of objects, until you have all separated.

Create a rectangle with the Rectangle tool (M) with sizes: width=105px, height=22px. Go to Object > Envelope Distort > Make with Warp, select the Squeeze  style and set the Bend to 10%. Press OK. Go to Object > Expand, and press OK. Now we have the inside part of the book.

Go to Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel again with this object selected, and set the same settings, you used on the cover. When you have the 3D object, expand it, and ungroup the resulted objects. You only need the margins, so you can delete all others. We have the papers from the book.

Group and place this to objects over the book’s cover. Now we have to make some modifications on the cover.

Select the left part of the cover and merge it (Windows > Pathfinder). Do the same with the front part of the cover too.

We want to hide the papers (Green object) below the cover. Select the front side of the cover (You can select more object while pressing Shift). When you have all objects selected, bring them to the front (Alt+Shift+]).

The papers are covered by the book's cover.

If you need, you can adjust the paper’s position to fit the book’s cover perfectly. We need a book that has  rounded corners. To round the corners, select the book’s front part, and duplicate it (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+F). Select the new objects right corners with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and move them to left.

Now you can select the first object. Select it, and go to Effect > Stylize > Round Corners, set the Radius to 5px, and press OK. Go to Object > Expand, press OK. Now you rounded all 4 corners of the object, but luckily we made a copy of this, that covers the other two corners from the left side. Now you have to merge these two together.

We have to take care the margin of the book and we need to round this too. We will do this with the help of the Pen (P) tool and the Direct Selection Tool (A). With the Pen tool add two points to the margin.

Select the two anchor points from the right side, and move them up. When they are on the right place, convert them to  curved anchor points with the Direct Selection Tool.

We need to make these modification on the bottom side of the cover  too. To do that select the bottom side of cover, and add two point with the Pen (P) tool. Convert the anchor point from the corner to a curved anchor point, and move it to get this effect as you see on the image.

Make the modifications on the border as we did on the front part.

Here is the final form of the border:

Hurray! We’re done with the book :)

We just need to color it so let’s start.

Select the paper and color it with gradient from white to black, to get this nice, smooth effect.

Let’s color the left side of the cover.  Select and fill with gradient from white to black.

You can play with the color settings, to get the effect you like.

Select the front cover, and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Set the offset to -1px, and press OK. we have now a border.

Fill with radial gradient the cover. I used a gradient from light blue to dark blue, and placed the center in the upper right corner.

Don’t forget about the bottom border of the book.

Select and resize the cover. After you resized it, place on the upper right part of the book.

Drag this object down, while pressing the Alt key. So you can duplicate it. Make as many tabs, as you want, and fill them with bright colors. Select all (Ctrl+A), and group them (Ctrl+G).

So we have a book icon, and with small modifications we can reuse in our webpage, presentation or print.
Look at my ideas with this 3d book icon on my iStockphoto portfolio.

Let’s make a magnifying glass!

Create a circle with the Ellipse tool (L), duplicate (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+F), and resize it. Select the smaller circle, and Copy (Ctrl+C). Select the two circles and go to Window > Pathfinder, and press Subtract. So you get a ring. Now paste the smaller circle (Ctrl + F) back to its place. Duplicate the ring (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+B – Places the copied object Behind the original) and move it down.

You can set the transparency (Window > Transparency) to 75% on the smaller circle to see the lens effect.
Create two rectangles, and place them below the circles.

Select the second rectangle, go to Object > Envelope Distort > Make with Warp. Select the Shell Lower style, and set the Bend to -18%. Press OK.

Create another two circles with the same size (Create the first, and duplicate it, then move it to right), and Window > Pathfinder > Subtract.

Create a rectangle and repeat the last step subtracting from the other object.

Add some colors to the magnifier. I’ve used gradients from white to black, and for the lens I’ve used a radial gradient with white to blue.

Place the magnifier over the book, and duplicate it. Delete the lens from the duplicate so you have only the frame.

Select the frame, and merge all its content (Window > Pathfinder).  This will be the shadow of the magnifier. Fill with a linear gradient with white from black, and set on the Transparency panel (Window > Transparency)  the blending mode to Multiply.

Place the shadow to its place, select the magnifier, and bring to front (Ctrl+Shift+]). We only have a little problem. The shadow is bigger then the book, but we need it only over the book.
Select the book’s cover (if it is inside in a group, so double-click on that group, until you get the cover), make a copy of it (Ctrl+C), (get out from that group, clicking twice outside the object), and paste it over the book (Ctrl+F).  Shift + Select the shadow and Intersect (Window > Pathfinder) the two objects.

This is how it looks after this:

We’re done! Good work! I hope, this tutorial was helpful.

About the Author, Zoltan Ordog

I am a designer for Miniweb, a Romanian webdesign company. With over ten years of experience in vector graphics, i discovered the possibilities in micro stock photography, and i started to make illustrations for micro stock sites. You can check my works on my webpage, at ordogz.blogspot.com.
Discover More by Zoltan Ordog

Discussion

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  • Simon H.

    Neat use of the 3D objects functions.

  • Floris

    Great tutorial, but the magnifier doesn't magnify?

  • Adam

    Interesting point about the magnifier, Floris. Probably wouldn't be too hard to add a slight magnification & offset effect through the glass. Still, sharp attention to detail = cool!

    • http://ordogz.blogspot.com Zoltan Ordog

      You’ve right about the magnifier, but when it is too close to the object, the magnifying effect is too small. The truth is, i forgot this :)

  • ordogz

    You've right about the magnifier, but when it is too close to the object, the magnifying effect is too small. The truth is, i forgot this :)

  • http://twitter.com/aaronharlow Aaron Harlow

    Great tut Ordog. Good example of utilizing powerful tools and attention to detail to get the job done.

    My only critique – I think the mag needs a little something, the metal gradient isn't as solid as the detail on the book. I also think the glass reflections could use some tweaking.

    Here is an example of some metal detail that I did last year – not much to it, but I think it really pops. http://cl.ly/1WrS

    • http://ordogz.blogspot.com Zoltan Ordog

      Thanks for the critique, Aaron. I like the effect on the link, it is more realistic, i will try to use it next time. :)

  • Ben Stokes

    This is just an ace tutorial – thank you for explaining it so well . . . I need to come on this site more often. Keep up the good work guys :)

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  • ordogz

    Thanks for the critique, Aaron. I like the effect on the link, it is more realistic, i will try to use it next time. :)

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  • Romeady

    Nice work.
    I am also from Romania.
    Keep up the good work
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    Thank you Romeady. Please continue to check my website on ordogz.blogspot.com for news about my work :)

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    Another great Illustrator tutorial

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