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Creating geometric spheres/abstract sphere.

Hi guys, first post here.

I'll get straight to the point - I am looking to create spheres like this in illustrator.


Ultimately I would like to also be able to change the variables such as height (depth), frequency of points, smoothness/noise levels as I want to create multiple spheres, but each slightly different in its shape.

The only tutorials I can find are usually for 3d modelling software or they are spheres of different style or behaviour. I'm thinking maybe a mesh tool might be needed here? Or am I over thinking and simply drawing them manually is the best approach.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Staff member
I'm not running the latest version of AI but I think that may exceed its 3d capabilities.
It only has basic functions such as extrude, revolve and such.

Paul Murray

Staff member
3D software is what you need for this, especially if you want to be able to adjust number of points, etc. Illustrator has some 3D capability, but it essentially comes down to what Scotty said. Photoshop can import 3D models but it's limited to basically just compositing the image, you can't really manipulate it.


Staff member
you can do a 'flat' version (Geodesic dome) of that in illustrator but like the others said you are likely needing 3D software to do it (noise modifier or similar).
Thanks for the replies. So since then I tried just making one myself from scratch, using pen/line tools. I attached a screenshot of what I made below. As you can see i've made a Sun, planet, moon and tiny asteroid... I'm trying to simulate a nice gradient to infer a 3D dimensional sphere, but by just using flat colour. I haven't quite got the skill down yet. Still need practice (unless someone has advice or tutorial on how to make this easier/more effective?).

I guess creating this sort of shape in illustrator must always be done from hand... I will look into 3d software and how to do this (adobe product?), but I'm then wondering how easy it is to convert and create this as an asset for use in web, like a png, svg...god knows? I ultimately want to be able to make 1000 of these things and then use them in my designs.

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 22.16.44.png