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I'm just trying to create a 3b ribbon effect by drawing a curved line with the pencil tool, then going to extrude and bevel. What the heck are those gray shapes in the ribbon???
Is it a single path with no fill and only a stroke?
Expand the stroke (Object > Path > Outline Stroke), tehn apply the 3D effect.
I don't think you need to expand, just a single extruded stroke will do.
Can you share your problem file? Dropbox, CC file sharing, WeTransfer...