I have some 3D sand in a bottle and I'm trying to map a sand symbol to it, but it's coming up way to large. Illustrator will not let me duplicate the image when I try apply it through 3D extrude & bevel - map art option. It doesn't seem like this should be a difficult task and I'm sure anyone who's used AI for a while can help me in ten secconds. Basically, my sand picture is 1000px x 1000px. I saved it as a jpeg, then imported it into my swatch gallery in illustrator (pretty sure that's the correct way). When I try to apply it to my sand using "map art" I have the option to "scale to fit" which distorts the image horribly. I want it to be a 1:1 ratio, if that makes sense, only smaller and duplicated 10x or whatever to cover the whole object. It's not a seamless picture that I'm mapping, so if there's a filter that I can apply that would make it less noticable, please let me know about that also. I'll attach a screenshot of the sand to show you what I'm talking about. The top layer of sand looks almost perfect, but the bottom one looks terrible because I had to stretch symbol to cover the whole object. If you can tell from the image, each grain of sand is stretched horizontally by like 10 so it doesn't even look like sand. Thanks in advance for the help!
No, you cannot automatically tile artwork in 3D Effect's surface mapping. Pattern Swatches cannot be mapped to 3D Effect surfaces, only Symbols can. So to create a tiled effect, you would have to manually assemble repetitions of the flat artwork, store the whole set of them as a single Symbol, and then map that Symbol.
But in your sand-in-the-bottle attempt, that is just going to "paint" the artwork onto the surfaces of the bottle; you will then have to manually draw the volume (the horizontal surfaces) of the sand, water, etc. on top of the rendered 3D Effect result. You are trying to use 3D Effect for things it can't really do.