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How to Create a Medieval Paper Scroll

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Read Time: 5 mins

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a medieval paper scroll with the 3D Extrude & Revolve tool. Using texture, you will also learn how to make an object look old and how to map artwork to a 3D Vector object.

Step 1

Open a new document and select the Pencil Tool (N). Create a similar swirl shape to the one you see in the image below. Set the stroke to white.

Step 2

Got to the 3D Extrude & Bevel tool and apply the settings you see in the image below. This will be the first step to our paper scroll. You can already see the shape evolving.

Step 3

Create two small circles (L) and one tall rectangle (M). Select all three (a), align them to the middle of the rectangle (Align Palette) and apply the Add to Shape Area in the Pathfinder Palette. Then select the Cut Tool (C) and click on the path points on the circles (b). Once cut, delete half of the shape (c). Set the fill to none and the Stroke to a dark brown.

Step 4

Go to 3D Revolve and apply the settings below. This will give us the shape for the wooden poles that we will add to the paper scroll.

Step 5

Our first wooden object.

Step 6

Repeat Step 4 but change the settings slightly (see below).

Step 7

Below you will see how the two wooden pieces will be added to the paper scroll. I've also changed the stroke color of the 3D paper to a beige. This is really easy since we didn't expand the appearance and the effect is still live.

Step 8

Let's add some text for the paper scroll. Select the Text Tool (T) and with the mouse button pressed, drag a rectangle on the art board. This will give us a text area and we can easily add text. I chose a script font (Jacoba Bold), added some lorem ipsum place holder text and a title.

Step 9

Drag the text into the symbols palette.

Step 10

Go back to the scroll and in the Appearance Palette double click the 3D effect to modify it. Open the Map Art window and select surface 3 and from the symbols drop down, choose the just added text.

Step 11

With he scroll still selected, go to Effects > Stylize > Drop Shadow and apply it.

Step 12

This is what we have so far. Pretty sweet for just a few steps. But we need to work on the wood objects a little more.

Step 13

Select the wood shapes and expand the appearance (Object).

Step 14

Make a copy of the 3D paper scroll. and put it aside. Then expand the original paper scroll. Place the expanded wood shapes on top.

Step 15

We need to cut the shapes at the red arrows so it looks like the wood is below the paper.

Step 16

We will use a little trick that Illustrator has. The Eraser Tool! (Shift + E) Select it and erase along the paper scroll where we want to make a cut.

Step 17

Repeat the previous step and erase the wooden shape on the other side of the paper scroll.

Step 18

Now you can select all the middle part of the expanded shape and delete it. What will be leftover is just the outside.

Step 19

This is what it should look like. Of course it is not a nice way, but it does the trick. Repeat this with the top shape.

Step 20

So far so good. I placed a brown background behind all shapes.

Step 21

Let's give the wooden shapes a wooden look. I chose an image from stock.xchng. Place it on top of the wood shape and set the blending mode to Overlay.

Step 22

Make a copy of the wood shape and select the wood image and the just copied shape and apply a clipping path (Command +7).

Step 23

Place the clipped shape on top of the wood shape.

Step 24

Repeat this previous step with all the other wood shapes. You can easily move the image around once you've applied the clipping mask. All you have to do is double click the object (or go to Object > Clipping Mask > Edit contents) with the mask and in Illustrator CS4 you will be able to edit the clipping mask contents.

Step 25

I also chose a grunge image from stock.chng. Make a copy of the expanded paper scroll (we will use it again for a clipping mask), place it on top of the image, then select both and apply again a clipping mask. (Command + 7). Set the blending mode to Multiply, 71%. Place the clipping mask on top of the paper scroll.

Step 26

I didn't like the greenish look, so I took the copy of the original 3D paper scroll and set the stroke to a darker brown and the blending mode to Multiply and placed it on top of the clipping mask. Now we have a nice golden brown looking paper scroll.

Step 27

I placed another copy of the grunge image on top of the brown background and set the blending mode to 50% Multiply..

Step 28

To give a little bit more drama to the paper scroll., we can add a big circle filled with a linear gradient with a blending mode of 100% Multiply. Place this circle on top of all shapes.

Step 29

This is the final paperscoll. Quite dramatic looking for a semi vector illustration.


I added some basic red ribbons, but feel free to add anything you like. You can even try to create a wax stamp or ink signature using some of the techniques outlined in this tutorial. I hope you enjoyed this tut.

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