I've got a project that requires Illustrator and its 3D tools. Essentially, I need to just turn a shape into a 3D cutout, which is fairly easy using its extrude tool and turning off end caps, so you can see the inside of the shape. I've got this working, and it's pretty easy to reproduce, but I need to apply a texture to this, and that's where I'm running into trouble. It seems as though Illustrator wants to set the texture individually on each surface of the shape. On the first shape I tested, I had over 100 surfaces, and each one wanted to apply the texture differently because they were not all the same size, so some were squished, and it just looked terrible.
Here's a screenshot of what I'm working with.
The texture I want to apply to the 'flesh' (the orange areas) is very simple. I just want some grungy, not so straight lines around to emphasize the flesh, and drive home the 3D visual. I did something similar last year, but I manually drew in the lines, which looked good, but it was so time consuming. I'm looking for a quick and dirty solution here.
I guess the question is, is it possible to do what I'm trying to do in Illustrator? If not, is there a better method for this? I need to use this technique to produce a number of t-shirt designs, so I either need to keep things vector (best case) or high resolution in Photoshop or something (worst case).
I'm willing to pay for someone to create this effect for me, or at least just guide me on how to do it properly. I've been all over Google trying to find a tutorial or something, but I can't find anything.