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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. Welcome to Deke's Techniques. Now, Photoshop, as you may know, is known as something of a photo editor. So, why would we use it to create this wicked-cool 3D pie chart? Because we can, and because it does a great job at creating awesome business graphics, if you have a mind to do so. Now, we left off in the last movie at this point here, where all the slices are exactly the same color. That's no good. We need to split those slices up. We need to move them back together, change their depth, so we come up with this stair-stepped pie chart right here.
You know what, let me just show you how it works. All right, here is the pie graph as we last saw it in the previous movie. In this movie, I am going to show you how to take this single 3D object and bust it up into its independent pie wedges, so that we have a mesh for each and every wedge. That means we can independently color each of these wedges, which after all is essential if we are going to create a pie chart. I've gone ahead and selected the pie layer, which is the layer that contains the 3D object. I will double-click on its thumbnail to bring up the 3D panel, and notice that we have a single wedge called pie.
All right, now I am going to go up to the 3D menu, choose Repousse, and choose Split Repousse Meshes. Now if any of these meshes touched each other along an edge, then we would have a real problem. They wouldn't bust up properly. They would be fused together. But because we took the time to move the wedges apart from each other just a little bit, we now have our six independent meshes, as you can see indicated by these little cylinders here inside the 3D panel. Now just for the sake of organization, I want to go ahead and rename each one of these wedges, and I just happen to know what each one of these meshes represent from having worked in this file several times.
So I will just go ahead and enter each one of these. If you have any concerns about which mesh translates to which wedge, then what you can do is go ahead and turn off one of these wedges. So I will go ahead and rename this guy. I believe this one is cherry, but I better confirm. So I will turn off cherry like so, and that goes ahead and turns off this wedge. So sure enough, they go together, and again I know this from having been the guy who created this graph in the first place. All right, the final one goes along with key lime.
So again, that is a little bit of an organizational step. You can skip it if you want to, but at your peril, because you are going to have to come back to these things again and again, and you don't want to be forgetting which mesh is which. All right, now we are going to change the colors, and we do that by modifying the materials. So I'll start by grabbing apple here. I will twirl it open, click on the Front Inflation Material, click on its Diffuse color, and I am going to change the Hue value to 210. So it is not an apple-like color of course, but I'm not really interested in matching the colors of the pies-- that is, the traditional pies. I'm more interested in making the pie chart make sense.
So 210 for Hue, 100% for Saturation-- that's what it was--and a Brightness value of 70%. Click OK. Now pumpkin is already the right color, so I can skip it. I will go ahead and twirl open. Tunafish here, not the most popular variety of pie, but we were actually very surprised it even made the list. I am going to click of its Diffuse color again, and I am going to change the Hue value to 55 degrees. Click OK and twirl that guy closed, and I keep twirling these guys close so that I can access these materials here. Twirl open pecan, click on its Diffuse color, and I will change the Hue value to 0 degrees this time around, and I am going to go with a Saturation value of 80% and a Brightness value of 90%.
Click OK. Then I want to go ahead and grab cherry and I am going to change it to a shade of violet here by dialing in a Hue value of 270 degrees, and I believe I want to take the brightness value down to 90%. Click OK, and then I will twirl that closed, twirl open key lime, and this is one of the rare pies that gets color that makes sense. So I will click on its color swatch there, change the Hue value to a shade of green, 120 degrees. 80% for the Saturation and 70% for the Brightness. Click OK.
All right, now if you ask me, that was a lot of tedium, a lot of busywork having to go in there and change all those colors. We've still got a lot of edges. We can see the Front Bevel. We can see the Extrusion. There is no Back Bevel, thankfully, but there is a Back Inflation Material that we are seeing through to because we have the Opacity set to 50%, which means I could sit there and change each one of them independently if I wanted to, if I wanted to go nuts. But there is a convenience tool that's available to us, and it's this guy right there, the Material Drop tool.
So what you need to do is grab that tool, move your cursor into the image window, press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, and click in order to lift a color. And it won't show up here inside the 3D panel; it will show up here inside of the Options bar. So notice I have a shade of blue now associated with the material. I will go ahead and click on this beveled edge in order to change it, and then I will click on the extruded side to change it as well. And you are going to have to wait a moment for it to update. Now, I want to do the same thing with orange here. Even though orange is the proper color for this pumpkin slice, I don't have the proper opacity established.
So I will Alt+Click or Option+Click inside of there. I will click on the beveled edge. With any luck, you're going to see your edges light up as you hover over them, but when Photoshop starts getting a little sluggish in the memory department it starts not necessarily showing you all the doodads here. Anyway, it is working, so that's good news. I will Alt+Click or Option+Click inside the violet area. I will click on its beveled edge, and then I will click on its extruded edge in order to apply that color, and then I will do the same thing for the red wedge right there. Alt+Click or Option+Click on the face, click on the beveled edge, click on the extruded edge, Alt+Click or Option+Click inside the green face, click on its beveled edge.
Hey! It lit up for me. Great! And then click on its extruded edge. So apparently Photoshop is suddenly getting with the program, maybe because these are smaller wedges. Alt+Click or Option+Click on the yellow one, click on its beveled edge, and then click on its extruded side. Now, isn't that wonderful? Goes lickety-split, but here's the problem. We are seeing through to the back, to the back of the pie slices here, these wedges, and they're all orange, and we can't get to them with this Paint Bucket tool here.
So what we need to do is take the entire pie and spin it around. So I'm going to switch over to this Object Rotate tool. Just click on it. Don't start dragging inside the image window because you will make a mess of everything; instead, just go up to the Options bar and note the Z value. Write it down. Very important because who is going to remember -15.4, so write it down and then change that value to 180. So you flip that guy all the way around. It is going to look terrible. It is going to be too far away, and of course it is going to look like it has this opaque back associated with it that's made of cardboard or something.
Well, we need to change that out using our trusty friend here, the Material Drop tool. So I will go ahead and grab it, Alt+Click on one of the edges there that you can get to, click on the back of the wedge, Alt+Click on yellow, click on the back, Alt+Click or Option+Click on green, click on the back, Alt+Click or Option+Click on red and then click on the back. So Photoshop is little sluggish in this department. It has to go and update everything. Alt+Click or Option+Click on the violet edge and then click on the back and then Alt+Click or Option+Click on the orange edge and click on its back.
And now though, it looks great. It is too far away and it is backward, but it looks great. So I will switch back to my Object Rotate tool and I am going to dial in that Z value that I wrote down a moment ago, -15.4, press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac, and just like that, we reestablish just like that--meaning in a few seconds here--we reestablished our original orientation for this pie chart. All right, another thing that you can do with these independent meshes is move them independently. So first of all, I need to squish them back to where they go so that each one of the wedges is touching, and then I want to move them forward and backward.
So armed with this trusty widget right here, first of all, if you want to move these wedges into each other so they're flush, then you use the blue arrow for up and down and you use a red arrow for back and forth. Then when we decide to move them forward, we are going to use the green arrow. So I will go ahead and move up to the blue arrow and drag down like so, and I'm dragging the entire thing because I have the wrong tool selected. I will press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac in order to undo that movement there.
And what I want to select is this tool right down there, the third tool down inside the 3D panel. Go ahead and grab it and then make sure that you're working on the right mesh. I wanted to modify the apples, so I will go ahead and select it, and now I will try the same maneuver there. Go ahead and move it down like so, and then I will drag the red arrowhead in order to move it over like that. And I might have moved it a little too far down. You don't want these guys squishing into each other. You want to be able to see those beveled edges and allow room for them. So if you start seeing the colors kind of merge with each other, then you know you've moved them too close.
All right, so I will go and drag that down, drag this guy over just little bit. That looks pretty good. All right, let's grab key lime now, and that's a green wedge that's out a place. So we only have to do this with three of the wedges. That's the good news. But we do have to do with those three wedges. That's the bad news. All right so I will go ahead and drag it to about there. It looks pretty good, I think. It is hard to evaluate. You have to do a little back-and-forthing sometimes, and now I will go ahead and drag the red arrow-- oh look at that, I got it. All right, and then am I the only person who is reminded of Trivial Pursuit during this.
I am going to go ahead and click on cherry this time, because that's the purple wedge, and I will go ahead and drag this over, like so. And this time because I was smart enough to just move this wedge horizontally back when it was flat, back when it was a shape layer, I only have to drag the red arrow. Yay! Gosh thank you, previous self. Anyway, now I am going to grab apple because it still doesn't look quite right. I am going to drag it over just a little bit just like a pixel, and then I am going to drag it down just a pixel, if I can.
Here we go. No, move back it up. I was saying no because I could see that I was a little out of kilter between the blue wedge and the yellow one. All right, now we want to move these guys forward and backward. And I am going to turn on my FPO object again, so I can see it, my FPO layer, which is helping me with placement, and it is not exactly right because I changed some of the numerical values a little bit when I created the graphs, but that's okay. I'm going to go ahead and grab pumpkin. Apple stays where it is. And now I am going to drag up on that green arrowhead to move that wedge toward us like so, so it's leaping out a little bit.
And then I will go ahead and grab cherry because it's the purple one, and I will drag up on the green arrowhead like so to move it up even farther, so it sticks out like this. And then I'll go ahead and select, which one? Pecan is the highest of the various wedges. I will drag up on the green arrowhead in order to move it to about this location looks pretty good to me. And then next I will select key lime, and I will do the same. I will go ahead and drag it up, but not as far, so that it sort of splits the difference between the violet wedge and red wedge. And then finally I am going to grab tunafish right there, which is the yellow edge and I'm going to drag up on the green arrow again to move it up just slightly, like so.
And that does it. That actually takes care of it entirely. I am going to go ahead and turn off that FPO layer. I am going to switch to my Rectangular Marquee tool, hide that 3D panel, and that my friends is how you go about splitting a 3D object into its independent meshes and modifying those meshes independently of each other here inside Photoshop CS5 Extended.
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