Create a 3D Pie Chart Using Adobe Illustrator

Jul 17 2013 Extras, Featured Content, Tutorials

Ever wondered how those nifty 3D tools in Illustrator can be put to work? Take a look at our latest tutorial to learn how to make a sweet 3D pie chart using Adobe Illustrator CS3+!

Final Product – What We Will Create:

Final Product

Step 1

  • Open Adobe Illustrator CS3+ and create a new file.
  • From the left toolbar, click and hold the graph tool icon and select the “Pie Graph” tool.

Step 2

  • Click and drag diagonally across the canvas to create the base pie graph.

Step 2

Step 3

  • Once the graph is created, a data entry window will pop up.
  • Enter your chart values horizontally along the row.
  • Once you have entered your values, click the apply check mark icon, located within the pop up window’s toolbar.

Step 3

Step 4

  • Click the red “x” in the top right corner of the pop up window to close it.
  • From the left toolbar, click the “Direct Selection Tool”.
  • Click on each section of the pie graph and apply a swatch to each to change its color.

Step 4

Step 5

  • Next, we will knock out the center of the chart to give it some style.
  • Switch to the “Ellipse Tool” and draw a circle on the canvas, aligning it to the center of the pie chart.
  • Select the pie chart, then navigate to “Object > Flatten Transparency…”
  • Choose the “High Resolution” preset and then click “Ok”.
  • Switch to the “Selection Tool” and select everything on the canvas.
  • Navigate to the “Pathfinder” panel and select the “Trim” pathfinder.
  • Select the center circle with the “Direct Selection Tool” and delete it.

Step 5

Step 6

  • Switch to the “Selection Tool” and select the entire graph.
  • Navigate to “Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel…”
  • Click the “Preview” checkbox to see a preview of the graph as you make edits.

Step 7

  • Under the “Position” heading, enter in the following values for x,y,z and Perspective:
    • X: 35°
    • Y: -12°
    • Z: 2°
    • Perspective: 0°
  • Under the “Extrude & Bevel” heading, enter in the following value:
    • Extrude Depth: 60pt
  • For “Surface” choose “Diffuse Shading”.
  • Click the “More Options” button and then enter the following values:
    • Light Intensity: 100%
    • Ambient Light: 57%
    • Blend Steps: 256
    • Shading Color: Black

Step 7

Step 8

  • Click the “OK” button to apply the settings.
  • If needed, you can edit the 3D settings for the graph by navigating to “Window > Appearance” and double clicking on the “3D Extrude & Bevel” layer style.
  • Finally, lets shift a few slices to emphasize the chart values.
  • Navigate to the “Direct Selection Tool” and select each of the smaller slices, while holding down the “Shift” key.
  • While still holding the “Shift” key, slightly drag the selected slices diagonally toward the upper-left area of the canvas.
  • You can also add shadows, highlights and texture with Photoshop to give the chart some more style, if needed. Enjoy!

Step 8