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Deke's Techniques is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.
Hey, gang! This is Deke McClelland here to welcome you to Deke's Techniques. This week we'll be embarking on the process of creating a 3D pie chart with all these highlights and reflections and shadows, the whole works. Now, most of this work is done in Photoshop CS5 Extended. You will need the Extended version of the program to take advantage of the 3D features, but we need Illustrator's help in order to get things started. So this is what will be making in Adobe Illustrator. Now it doesn't take long to make something this incredibly boring. Once we have made it, we will copy the graph, we'll pasted into Photoshop as a shape layer, we will extrude that shape player, and we'll end up coming up with this effect here in which the faces of the pie chart are set to 50% opacity so we can see through to those extruded edges.
Here, let me show you exactly how it works. Photoshop CS5 Extended offers this wealth of 3D capabilities and this amazing ray tracing engine that ends up delivering great results, as seen here. However, it has no concept of charts and graphs, no graphing tool whatsoever. Why would it have one? It's Photoshop after all. But there is a program in the Creative Suite that does let you graph data and that's Adobe Illustrator. So I'm going to switch over to Illustrator here. This is a very old feature in the software, and I don't mean old as in venerable or wise.
I mean old as in creaky and run-down. And you can get some really great results out of this tool actually, because Illustrator is so awesome. There is so much you can do with graphs after you create them. But initially, they look quite drab as you're seeing here. Anyway, what I'm going to do is show you how I created this graph. You can go ahead and click on it to select it, and then just delete the graph by pressing Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac. And then I'll drop down to this list of Graph tools right here that starts with the Column Graph tool. I'm going to go ahead and choose the Pie Graph tool obviously. And then I'll just draw a rectangle inside the document window.
It doesn't matter how big that rectangle is; any size will do. And you'll end up getting a black circle. All right, next you move over to your little spreadsheet window here, and you click on Import data if you have some data to import. Or you can just enter data into the spreadsheet if you prefer. I'm going to import, however. And I've got this tab-delimited text file that I've set up in advance, so I'm going to click on it to select it click the Open button. Now notice that I've gone ahead and listed my pies because we're graphing pies in a pie chart. I mean how clever is that? But I've gone ahead and listed America's favorite pies here in opposite order of their popularity, because as soon as I click on the check mark in order to apply my data, Illustrator goes ahead and reorganizes the data so that inside of the legend Apple is on top, even though it's the last pie listed. Why it does that? I have no idea.
It's like a lot of things where graphing is concerned. Only some engineer that probably doesn't work at Adobe anymore knows the reasons behind what's going on here. But anyway, I'm going to go ahead and close that spreadsheet window. Now we have managed to very quickly graph that data. You can even extrude the data inside of Illustrator if you want to. You can create 3D effects in the program, and let me just show you that briefly. If you want to do such a thing, then you go up to the Object menu and ungroup that graph, which goes ahead and busts up the graph, by the way, so you'll get this alert message telling you that you're not to be able to modify the data anymore, which is just fine by me.
So I'll click the yes button. And then, strangely, you want to go up to the Object menu and choose the Ungroup command a couple of more times in a row, because graphs include groups inside of groups. They are quite complicated, and we need to bust up that group. All right, now I'm going to grab my Black Arrow tool here at the top of the toolbox and marquee this pie, just to make sure the pie and only the pie wedges are selected. They are, that's great. Now I'm going to get rid of the stroke by going up to the second icon in the control panel, clicking on it, and switching to None. All right, and the reason I'm getting rid of the stroke is otherwise we would have these black edges because when you extrude strokes inside of Illustrator, the stroke is all you see. Before you apply 3D > Extrude & Bevel, unless you want your pie wedges to fly apart from each other and extrude independently, you need to go back to the Object menu and choose the Group Command.
I know. We did all that ungrouping and now we've got to group, but that's the way it works. So choose Group or press Ctrl+G or Command+G on the Mac. Then go up to the Effect menu, choose 3D, and choose Extrude & Bevel. Now the great thing about this dialog box here is it's very easy to use. Turn on the Preview check box and then just start dragging this cube here, and you just drag those sides in order to rotate this object in 3D space. However, despite its ease of use, you don't have any ray tracing going on inside of Illustrator. After all, it doesn't deal with pixels; it deals with factors.
So ray tracing is not really going to work inside this environment. So the upshot is even though I could recolor this object, which would obviously give us better results than these gray wedges here, we are not going to get the kind of results we saw in Photoshop a moment ago. So what I propose we do--I'm going to cancel out of here. I just want you to see that that is possible. What I'm going to do is go up to the Edit menu and choose the Copy command, or press Ctrl+C, Command+C on the Mac. Now I'm going to switch back to Photoshop here, and I have prepared this other version of the image here with just the background stage and this FPO object, just so that I can match position of that graph we saw a moment ago. And then I'm going to go up to the Edit menu and choose the Paste command, or press Ctrl+V, Command+V on the Mac.
Now, normally when I am pasting an Illustrator graphic into Photoshop, I go ahead and paste it as a Smart Object. That way you can keep all your fill and stroke attributes, and you can modify the artwork inside of Illustrator any time you like. However, in our case, we don't have any fill or stroke attributes that are worth keeping. All we have and all we need are those pie wedges. So I'm going to say Shape Layer and actually Smart Object wouldn't work for this example. So I'm going to select Shape Layer, click OK, and you get this little guy here all filled with black. That's it. Now, you definitely want to take a moment and rename this layer. Instead of having it called Shape One, which is how it will come in, go ahead and rename it something like Pie, and that way all your materials later on down the line in the 3D panel will say Pie on them instead of Shape One, and you'll see that in a moment.
Now I'm going to go up to the Edit menu and choose Free Transform Path or press Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac, because this guy is way too little. And I'll Shift+Alt+Drag or Shift+Option+Drag-- maybe not that far--but Shift+Alt+Drag or Shift+Option+Drag one of those corner handles in order to resize that object. Then I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to apply my changes. And the reason, by the way, that I Shift+Alt+Drag, that I had those keys down, is Shift constrains the scale so it's proportional and Alt or Option scales from the inside out.
All right, having done that, the next step--and this is very important--if I go up to the 3D menu, choose Repousse, and then choose Selected Path, which is what we're going to do in a moment, the way things are, Photoshop will go ahead and fuse all these pie wedges together and we'll just have a circle, which isn't going to do us any good. So we need to move every other wedge apart, and we're going to do that by grabbing the Black Arrow tool down here at the bottom of the toolbox--the Path Selection tool, as it's known-- and then I'll go ahead and click on this top left wedge and just kind of drag it up a little bit like so. And then I'll grab this wedge, the bottom-right one, and I'm going to press Shift+Right Arrow just to move it to the right a little, and then I'll grab this guy and I'll move it upward like so.
I will just drag it upward, and that way there's space between each one of the wedges and its immediate neighbors. They're touching in the middle, but that's okay; that doesn't cause a problem for Repousse. All right, now what we want to do is go up to the 3D menu, choose Repousse, and then choose Selected Path, and that's going to grab that entire vector mask, even though just one sub-path is selected right now. Now Photoshop of course is going to tell us that it needs to rasterize this object. So I'll click Yes--there's nothing else to do there--and then a couple moments later you'll find yourself inside the Repousse dialog box.
Now I'm going to change all materials right there, so I'm going to click that little All icon, and I'm going to change them to Metal Copper. Now if you can't find Metal Copper, then click the right-pointing arrowhead and choose Default (for Ray Tracer) and then click the Append button. But in my case, it's already available, so I'll go ahead and choose it. And that's going to change the color of the pie graph in the background. It's not going to look good or anything--it certainly doesn't look like it's made of metal--but it's a start. But that's because we haven't rendered it yet, so it's fine as is. I'm going to change the Depth value here to 0.2, and then I'm going to change each of the Bevel values, Height and Width, to two, and I'm going to change the Contour here, so instead of having a flat bevel, we'll go with this half-round beveled edge.
All right, so that's it. Now I'm going to click the Apply button in order to apply my changes. Now I want to move and rotate this object in 3D space, so I'm going to drop down here to my little Object Rotate tool. And also, by the way, you might want to go up to the 3D menu and make sure Auto-Hide Layers For Performance is turned off, because otherwise you not kind of able to see your other layers for reference as you work. And then I'm just going to drag around a little bit in order to move this pie graph into a better location. And from this point on I can continue to rotate or drag the object, but what I prefer to do is use this widget; it gives you more control.
So I'm going to drag on this red arrow here to move the object to the right, and then I'm going to drag down on the blue arrow to move it downward like so, and I might drag on the green arrow a little bit to move the backward or forward, as you seeing me do here. And you can even, if you want to, I might even go ahead and drag on this little edge right there on the green arrow in order to rotate the object in 3D space a little bit. I think he belongs right about there. It's little difficult to tell. I might move it in FPO just to make sure that I'm better matching it.
Now I'll go ahead and drag this red arrow a little bit again. And that looks pretty good. It looks like the graph is a little big at this point, but we can solve a problem later. Now one more thing I want to do at this point. I want to bring up my 3D panel and I'm going to do that by double-clicking on the layer thumbnail, and then I'll click on pie Front Inflation Material. Notice that everything says pie. That's because we took a moment to rename this layer; otherwise everything would have said shape one. And a couple of different attributes that I'm going to apply here. First of all, I'm going to click on the Diffuse color swatch, and I'm going to change the color to a Hue value of 35 degrees-- not that different--and a Saturation value of 100%, and a Brightness value of 100% as well, so, very vivid shade of orange.
And then I'm going to reduce the Opacity value from 100% to 50%, so that we can see through those faces to the beveled edges below. Now later, we're going to change everything. We're going to change every single element of this graph to 50% opacity. But that's going to be good enough for now. And now I'll hide that 3D panel, press the M key to switch back to my Rectangular Marquee tool, and go ahead and drag that pie up above FPO and turn FPO off for a moment. And that, my friends, is how you graph data inside of Illustrator and successfully extrude the data into 3D space here inside Photoshop CS5 Extended.
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