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Illustrator can be used to accomplish many different design tasks. For this reason, Illustrator CS4 Essential Training teaches core concepts and techniques that can be applied to any workflow for print, the web, or assets that will find their way into other applications. Mordy Golding explains the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of Illustrator's drawing tools. He demonstrates how to combine and clean up paths, and organize them into groups and layers. Mordy also covers text editing, working with color, expressive brush drawing, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.
The 3D Revolve effect inside of Illustrator takes a profile of a shape, and then revolves it at 360 degrees around an axis. It does so from the left most part of the object. In this particular example here, I have a file opened called 3D_revolve, you will find it in Chapter 14 of your Exercise files and the goal here will be to create a Frisbee. Hey! If you are out in the beach and you want to throw something around, why not let it be a Frisbee? So just to give you an idea of what I did here, I started by first creating a guide. Now, I have added this guide here just so that I get a visual representation of where that axis is going to be. The shape that I create is now going to be on the right side of that particular guide, and it's going to bud up right against it. That way when it is revolved, I'm going to get a full 360 degrees around that particular axis giving me the shape of a 3-dimensional frisbee.
I'll go ahead, and I'll select this particular shape. Again it's a profile. Imagine if you have kind of sliced a Frisbee right through the middle, you will basically see this and all I need is half of it because the 3D effect is going to create the entire 360 degrees of it automatically. So I'll go up to the Effect menu, I'll choose 3D, Revolve. Let me bring the dialog box out over here, and I'll click on the Preview button. And you can see that now, I have that Frisbee automatically created. Just like I was doing before with Extrude, I'm able to click on this icon right here and adjust that 3D shape in 3D space. I can view it from different angles. For example, like this or if I want to view the bottom of it, I can kind of see the bottom of that as well.
And again, it's a true 3D object that I can see right here being generated inside of Illustrator. I can of course, at any time add additional lights to control the highlights in the shading. Let me move some of this around, a nice little highlight in the end over there, and then click OK, and that's how you can create a 3D shape using the Revolve effect inside of Illustrator. Now, it's important to remember that the 3D Revolve effect works by taking the profile of the shape and revolving it. For example, you wouldn't be using the Revolve effect on text because that just wouldn't make sense as far as whether it works. But of course, the Revolve effect works the best on objects that are cylindrical in nature. For example, a bowl of water or a can of soda, so on and so forth.
You may even find that the Revolve effect is great for working on little tiny illustration items, for example, a straw or maybe a pencil or a pen. Just one thing to keep in mind, again in this particular shape over here that I created, if I go into Outline mode, you will see that that's what that particular shape looks like. The appearance of that is 3D, but remember this shape itself had a red fill but no stroke applied to it. So you want to make sure that when you are working inside of Illustrator, especially when using Revolve Objects, to stay away from using strokes, and only using dills in your objects.
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