Tutorial for Recessed Effect in Illustrator CS

Written by joy campbell
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Tutorial for Recessed Effect in Illustrator CS
Artists will use a light colour surrounded by a dark colour to make an item recess. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Creating a recessed effect in Illustrator CS is a matter of using art techniques of "light" and "dark." Dark areas surrounded by light will make the dark area appear to recede. Illustrator is able to change colours of an object with the stroke and fill option. Adding a 3D appearance will make the object recede further. The "3D Extrude and Bevels" tool, first released with Illustrator CS, allows shapes to be turned into 3D objects.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Select the star from the tool bar and drag across the art board. If the star shape is not showing, hold the mouse down on the rectangle tool and then select the star from the pullout menu.

  2. 2

    Change the stroke and fill colour to make the stroke lighter than the fill by clicking on the "stroke and fill" icon on the tool bar and then changing the colours. To bring up the colour swatches, click ""Window" on the main menu and then "Swatches." For example, choose a light grey for the stroke and an earth red for the fill.

  3. 3

    Click on the star to select and then click on "Effect" on the main menu. Go to "3D" and "Extrude and Bevel." Click on the "Preview" box to see how the effect looks.

  4. 4

    Leave the 3D effect settings as is, or play with the settings to adjust as needed. Turn the star by clicking on the blue box and rotating on the X,Y and Z axis. To move on just one axis, click on the white area.

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