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This course 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! This week is an idea that was suggested to me by one-time Lynda.com author, and now essentially my boss, Mordy Golding, and the idea is that we're going to create three D doughnuts in Adobe Illustrator. But see these two characters, here? Notice their heads... Their heads actually make up the doughnuts! That's right! (voice quivers) It was people! Listen to me, Hatcher! Ya gotta tell'em, three D doughnuts is people! Here, let me show you exactly how it works.
Alright, here's the final version of those wonderful three D vector-based doughnuts, here, inside of Illustrator. Just so you have a chance to see them onscreen, I'm going to go ahead and switch over to the starter document, which contains the two heads. Which are also going to serve as the shapes that make up the three D doughnuts. Now, I drew them, of course, as circles. You can see we have a couple of base circles that I drew with the ellipse tool, and then we have these lumpy shapes in the background, one brown and one pink. And, if you want to draw these kinds of things, the best tool is the pencil tool, which works a little differently, and better, in the most recent version of Illustrator CC.
I'm going to go ahead and double click on it to bring up the "pencil tool options" dialogue box and for these blobs, here, you want to set the fidelity, if you're using the same version of the software as me, to one tick-mark over from accurate. Then click "okay" and then you basically just draw your lumpy shape, like this. You want to give it a little bit of variation, and then to connect the end with a straight segment you press and hold the "alt" key, or the "option" key on a Mac, and then, presumably, you want to go ahead and fill the shape with some other color.
I'll go ahead and press the "i" key to get to my eyedropper, which is located down here, in the toolbox, by the way. And I'll click on this brown shape to lift its fill color. Now, you can see that we've got an awful lot of points, and to get rid of a few of them you go up to the object menu, choose "path" and choose "simplify," this command, right there. By default, the curve precision value, is set to 50%. You want to turn on the preview check box, of course, to see what's up and you can see that that's way too much.
We're getting rid of just about everything interesting. So, what you do, is you just click inside that curve precision value and press "shift up-arrow", maybe a couple of times, to raise that value to either 70 or 80%, is probably going to do the best for you. Notice that I've managed to reduce the number of anchor points from 13 down to nine, which is good enough for what we need. Then I click "okay" in order to accept that change. Anyway, I've already drawn the shapes in advance, so I'm just going to press the "backspace" key, or the "delete" key on Mac, to get rid of them.
Then, I'm going to get my black arrow tool, and to pull off this effect, we need each pair of these paths to be a group. So, I'll marquee these two, and then I'll go up to the object menu and choose the "group" command, or you can press "control g" or "command g" on the Mac, and then I'll marquee these guys and just press "control g", or "command g" on the Mac. Now what we want to do, is duplicate these guys because we need to keep them as heads for our characters. So, I'll marquee both of the groups, and you can see they're groups on the far left side of the control panel.
Then, with that black arrow tool selected, you just have to press the "enter" key, or the "return" key on the Mac, to bring up the "move" dialogue box. If you're working along with me, you want to set the horizontal value to zero, and the vertical value to 500 points. Then go ahead and click the "copy" button in order to create copies of those two groups. Alright, let's go ahead and start with this guy, right there I'll just go ahead and marquee this group in order to select it independently of the other one. Then, you want to go up to the effect menu, choose "three D" and choose "revolve".
Revolve is what you want anytime you're going for a volumetric symmetrical form, like an apple, for example, or in our case, a doughnut, of course. So I'll go ahead and choose the command. Then you want to turn on the preview check box, and you're going to pretty much, right away, get some form of pastry. It's not really a doughnut, because it doesn't have quite the hole through the center of it. Now what you want to do is, play around with your cube. So if you drag this red edge, you're going to see that you rotate this form that you're creating around the X-axis, so around an axis that's running this way, if you're seeing the motion of my cursor.
So, of course, you can mess around with these guys. I came up with an X value, right there, that very first value, of negative 42, which I just managed to get, right away, that's interesting, and then I want the Y value to be negative 26, which it is by default. And I'm going to take the Z value down to two degrees, like so. So we're looking for negative 42, negative 26, and two. If you see things fall apart, like this, don't worry about it, we'll take care of that problem in a moment.
Alright, now notice that we're revolving this shape. We don't want any perspective, by the way. We're revolving this shape around the internal axis, 360 degrees. Now, you can take that to a lower value. For example, if I just rotate 180 degrees, I end up with this kind of, half a doughnut, right here, which is, most certainly, not what I want. But it helps to demonstrate the offset value. Notice, right now, we are rotating around the left edge, this edge right here, we're rotating around, like so.
You could rotate around the right edge, if you prefer, but then, you're going to get a different effect. We'll stick with the left edge. Now, notice that these two edges, as they wrap around, are touching each other. That's because there is no offset. If you take that value up to, say, 300, then we're going to have a huge offset, like so, and that's going to result, ultimately, in kind of a ring, or, in our case, a doughnut. What I'm going to do, is take that value down to 150 points, at least, where this piece of artwork is concerned.
And then I'll crank the angle value back up to 360 degrees, and we have ourselves a nicely glazed doughnut. Now, notice that by default, the surface is set to plastic shading. That's what you want, the others aren't going to give you the right effect, at all. So just go ahead and leave that selected. You may, if you like, click the "more options" button in order to see these various lighting values. What I'm going to do, is take the light intensity value down to 80%, just so that we have a little less in the way of glossy reflections.
All the other settings are fine as by default, so, ambient light is set to 50%, we've got a highlight intensity of 60%, the highlight size of 90%. You can adjust those, if you like, of course, so that things are a little bit smoother. I'll go ahead and take that value up to 100, let's say, and that's it. Otherwise you just want to go ahead and click "okay" in order to create your very first doughnut. Alright, now it's kind of hard to get to the second doughnut shape, because it's covered by the first one.
So I'm going to go up to the view menu and choose the outline command. You can also press "control y", or "command y" on the Mac, an old shortcut, in order to switch to the outline mode. Now I'll go ahead and select this group right here, and now that it's selected, that's all I really needed to do, I'll press "control y", or "command y" on the Mac, to switch back to the preview mode. Now let's create another doughnut. This time, what we can do, is twirl open this doughnuts layer, right there, and notice that we've got ourselves a group.
And this is the chocolate doughnut, so I'll just go ahead and call it "chocolate". Then our next one is the pink doughnut, whatever flavor it is, but notice, right here, that we have got different meatballs. This is what these little circular targets are called, internally, in Adobe, and the one for pink, the guy who's selected right now, it is hollow, whereas the one for chocolate has a little depth associated with it. That's sort of gradient in there, that indicates that there's some kind of dynamic effect that's been applied.
And, of course, the dynamic effect is "revolve". If you want to copy an effect from one object to another, then press the "alt" key or the "option" key on the Mac, and drag from that little volumetric meatball down to the other one, in order to copy its settings. Notice that I have a little plus sign, next to my cursor, and that's because I have the "alt" or "option" key down, and that will go ahead and copy those exact settings. So, we've got ourselves another doughnut, just like that. Now, of course, this isn't the doughnut we're looking for, so I'm going to go ahead and twirl close this doughnuts layer.
Notice, by the way, if I twirl it back open, now we can see a proper preview. Those thumbnails sometimes take a moment to update. Anyway, I'm going to twirl this guy back closed. Now, what I want to do, is modify my settings. To get to those settings, you have to go up to the window menu and choose the "appearance" command. That switches you over to the appearance panel. Now we can see 3D Revolve, right there. Click on it in order to bring up the dialogue box, complete with the last applied settings. But notice we immediately lose our preview.
That's because the preview check box... When you bring the dialogue box up, the preview check box is off by default. Go ahead and turn it back on. We want to leave all these lighting settings alone, so you can click on the "fewer options" button in order to simplify the diaologue box. In fact, the only changes we're going to make are to these various rotation values. So, I'm going to change the X value to negative 19 degrees, and then press the "tab" key in order to see to object update onscreen.
Now I'll change this Y value to negative 25 degrees, so not a big change there, and then I'll change that Z value to eight degrees in order to produce this doughnut that's just sitting there, on its side. Otherwise, everything's great. We still want the revolve angle to be 360 degrees, we want the offset to be 150 points from the left edge, so go ahead and click "okay". Alright, now we want to create some shadows. Now, it's tempting to use a drop shadow, but it's not going to look right, at all, because you're going to be casting...
For example, if I apply a drop shadow to the chocolate doughnut, I go up to the effect menu, choose "stylize" and choose "drop shadow". Then, I'll just go ahead and enter some arbitrary values. How about 10 and 10? Turn on the preview check box and notice, it becomes even more evident if I change the X offset value to negative 10, let's say, so that I'm casting a shadow down and to the left. You can see that the shadow does get cast onto the pink doughnut, but it also gets cast onto the background in exactly the same manner, and that doesn't make a lick of sense.
It looks totally wrong. So here's what we're going to do. We're going to cancel out, obviously, and we're going to make our own custom shadows. Now, I've cheated by creating the shapes for you in advance, but let's see what that looks like. I'll go ahead and switch back to the layers panel. Notice I've got this layer called "shadows". I'm going to go ahead and turn it on and I'll turn off the doughnuts, for just a moment, so you can see the shapes that we have. We've got these two guys, right here; they're just skewed ellipses, frankly, that fit nicely behind the doughnuts.
To see what that looks like, I'll go ahead and turn the doughnuts layer back on. With those two shapes selected, those two skewed ellipses, I will drag this little green square up to the doughnuts layer, so that these shapes are now a part of this layer. Then I'll right click on these objects, right there. I'll choose a range, and then I'll choose "send to back," so that they go to the back of the layer. Now what we need to do, is group them together. Because, after all, we're going to be reducing their opacity and if we reduce the opacity values independently then we'll get a mix when they overlap, and we don't want that.
We just want one uniform shadow. I'll go up to the object menu and choose the "group" command again, or press "control g" or "command g" on the Mac. Then I'll go up to the effect menu, choose "blur" and choose "Gaussian blur". We want to set the radius value to 10 pixels and if you want to see what that looks like, turn on the preview check box. Then click "okay" and then you want to go up to the opacity value, here, in the control panel, and take it down to 60% and press the "enter" key, or the "return" key on the Mac, in order to apply that change.
Then I'll click off the shape to deselect it. Now we need to create a shadow around the pink doughnut that's being cast by the brown doughnut. So to see what that looks like, I'm going to select the brown doughnut, just by clicking on it. Then I'm going to hide it by going up to the object menu choosing "hide" and choosing "selection". Now I'll turn off the doughnuts layer, for a second. I'll click on this item that I've created in advance, this red item, I'll turn the doughnuts back on, the doughnuts layer, and I'll drag this little green square up to the doughnuts layer, so that we've got this guy in the right position.
Now I'll throw that shadows layer away because we don't need it. So, I'm just dragging it down to the trash. Alright, so this guy, still selected, here, inside the document... I'm going to go up to this red swatch, in the control panel, and change the fill to black. Then, I'll go up to the effect menu and I'll choose this second command, "Gaussian blur, dot, dot dot," which brings back up the last applied effect, which, of course, is Gaussian blur. I'll change, this time, the radius value to eight pixels, turn on the preview check box to see what that looks like.
Looks pretty good. Click "okay" and then I'll take the opacity value down to 40%, up here in the control panel, in order to create that effect, right there. Then I'll click off the shape to deselect it. Now, if I go up to the object menu and choose "show all", then I'll bring back the hidden doughnut, and we've got this nice interaction, except for the fact that the shadow is in front of the brown doughnut! That doesn't make any sense, so I'll click on that shadow, once again, and I'll press "control x," or "command x" on the Mac, in order to cut it, then I'll click in the brown doughnut to select it and I'll press "control b" or "command b" on the Mac, to paste it in back of the brown doughnut.
And we end up with this effect, here. Now, of course, we'll turn on the other layers. I've got those bodies layer, right there, and this faces layer, as well. And that friends, is how you create a couple of three D doughnuts, starting with a couple of cartoon heads, here, inside Illustrator. See, food made from people is good! Now, personally, I find 3D Revolve to be sufficiently entertaining that we're going to stick with it next week, and we're going to use the effect to create one of the most famous rings ever fictionally forged.
Deke's Techniques, each and every week. Keep watching.
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