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Covering a wide range of topics, from advanced masking to chart creation, Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics reveals a whole new level of power, creativity, and efficiency with Illustrator. Instructor Mordy Golding explores how to work with Live Paint groups, get the most out of the Live Trace feature, and take advantage of Illustrator’s wide range of effects. He also discusses advanced transformation techniques, powerful 3D functionality, and important color concepts. Exercise files accompany the course.
So we have already applied a 3D effect called Extrude to an object. An extrude basically take a two-dimensional object and extends it back into space adding depth to it. Another type of 3D effect in Illustrator was called Revolve and that basically adds a third dimension to an object by revolving or rotating this particular object around an axis. So to describe this feature I'll show you one of very basic shape, like a regular rectangle first, and then we'll quickly move into a much more complex shape. Using my Rectangle tool, I'll simply draw out a small rectangle about this big. I'll set its stroke weight to None, and I'll go ahead and I'll change the color over here to red.
Now with my object selected, let's move it again just over to the side here, so that we should be able to have some room to look at the dialog box here, and I'll choose Effect > 3D and then I'll choose Revolve. I just want to focus on this section here on the top here. So I'm going to click on the Fewer Options button. I'll also check on the Preview button. Now you will see what happened here. I took my regular rectangle and instead of extending it back into space it basically defined the left most side of my object as an axis and then it revolved that shape around that axis to create a 3D shape. To be able to visualize this more clearly, I'm going to change this Angle setting right here. Currently it is set to 360, but I could change this by just dragging this around over here.
Now you will notice that you only see a section of that particular area. For example, you can see over here that part of that is cut away. So it didn't revolve a full 360 degrees around the axis; it only revolved a certain amount, in this case, 229 degrees. I could also choose just like I was working with the Extrude setting, I could either choose a cap for a hollow appearance, where I can see the inside there. Basically it just closes off the area that will be here, or it makes it hollow so that I can see to the inside of it. I'll choose the Cap option to close it here, and I'll set my angle back to 360 degrees to create a full revolve.
As with Extrude, I also have the ability to use the track cube to adjust how that object sits in the 3D space. I can click on the edges of the cube to basically rotate an object locked to particular axis and I can go back to any basic rotation, like I see over here, using this pop-up menu. I also have the ability to change Perspective, and again, here I'm holding the Shift key down, as I do this so I can see this happening in real-time, as I adjust the perspective on this particular shape. But only let's set it to zero for now. As we'll see more and more with the 3D Revolve setting, one of the most important aspects of the 3D Revolve is the axis.
Now we don't see the axis, but as I said before, the axis is defined by default as the left most part of your object, and you can see that clearly from this setting. It says here the Offset is set to zero points from the Left Edge. So that means my axis or the point where my object is revolved around, now lives at exactly zero points from the left edge, which is the left edge. Now the reason why the Offset is important is because I could change that value, and by doing so adjust exactly where that axis is. For example, if I were to increase this value, then what would happen is it would take my object, but moves the axis further away.
Now the object would revolve around that axis, but the object itself wouldn't change in shape or size. So if my axis was say somewhere at over here, and yet I would revolve the shape, this particular shape would go all the way around that area, basically creating a hollow center. To see that, I'm going to change the Offset value here to around 50 points. I'll hit the Tab key to accept that, and now you could see that I have created a hole right now in the middle. That's because my shape exist here, but yet my particular offset exists 50 points away from that edge of the shape creating this particular hole.
If I click over here on the track cube, and I rotate this object, you can clearly see right through the center of the object. Illustrator also allows me to choose a left edge or a right edge, as the point from my axis should be, but my suggestion is to always use the left edge, because again, it's easier to visualize in your mind where that axis is as almost to keep a consistent idea in your head of what that is. If you're constantly moving between Left Edge and Right Edge you may become confused. So now that we see exactly what Revolve setting does, let's Cancel out of this and I'm going to switch to a much more complex example. I have here a file called revolve.ai. What I have created here is the profile of a Frisbee.
You know, our whole theme over here is working with surfing. So they were on beach. What better thing can there be to do on the beach than toss around the Frisbee? So what I have done over here is I basically visualized the profile of what a Frisbee would be if I would slice it through the middle, and then I would cut it in half? Remember that when we create a revolve we have an axis on the left hand side of the object. What I have done here is I have actually drawn a guide in my document, just to help me visualize where that particular axis is going to be. I have simply drawn a regular shape here and I have given it a fill with stroke. So now what I'll do is I'll go ahead and I'll move this let's say over here.
I'll go to the Effect menu, choose 3D, and then Revolve. And I'll click on the Preview button, and I can see that now I have turned that regular plain little shape that I had before, into a real Frisbee. It's taken that object that I created, and revolved it around the axis to create this shape. Using the track cube, I can adjust exactly how that particular Frisbee sits in 3D space. Again, just to show you if I were to actually add an Offset value, maybe 100 point for example, I would be cutting out a circle out of the middle of that particular Frisbee. But in this case, let's return the Offset to zero, so we get a nice Frisbee without a hole in it, and I'll click OK.
So the Revolve setting is incredibly powerful. It's different than the Extrude setting. The Extrude setting lets me take a regular plain flat object and give it some depth, whereas the Revolve effect allows me to take a regular plain profile flat object, and completely revolve it to create a 3D shape.
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