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3DTutorial

Adding perspective to maps

Mark Mayers shows you how to give flat maps a third dimension by using the Free Transform tool and a custom perspective grid.

Maps are all around us. They appear in both print and online, and sooner or later every designer has to produce one. A map graphic should be basic enough to provide recognisable road structures, without extraneous detail which could confuse the viewer. It must also be legible at the specified reproduction size.

Illustrator has many features that help you create maps. In the first part of this tutorial you'll learn how to draw a 2D map from a sketch. You'll use type on paths, utilise Symbols and discover how global swatches can be a real time-saver. Finally, you'll take an everyday brief a stage further by creating a faux-3D effect with a perspective grid, and master Illustrator's precarious Free Transform tool to achieve predictable results every time - rather than relying on the built-in 3D Effects.

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