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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final part of the comprehensive Illustrator One-on-One series, author and industry expert Deke McClelland shows how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic effects in Illustrator CS5. Deke explores Illustrator’s powerful Gradient Mesh feature, great for creating photorealistic airbrushing effects. He also covers graphic styles, the liquify tools, envelope-style distortions, the new Bristle Brushes, 3D text, and perspective drawing. Exercise files accompany the course.
All right, we are still in Photoshop for a moment here looking at the final version of our artwork which is called Rasterized apple.psd, and if you take a look at the very top of the stack inside the layers panel, you'll see this folder which is a group of layers call text. Go ahead and turn it on, and you'll see some 3D text. Now that drop shadow in back of the text was created inside Photoshop, but otherwise the text itself, the 3D effect was created inside of Illustrator. Now I was telling you back in the Live Action introduction to this chapter that Photoshop's 3D capabilities are more powerful than Illustrator's, and that's true because Illustrator is limited to three dynamic effects and that's it, and Photoshop has an entire 3D panel.
However, Illustrator provides that unique 3D revolve function plus it makes very quick work of creating 3D text. So this is a really great use for 3D inside of the program. So let's go ahead and switch back to Illustrator, and you will notice that I have opened this file called Crying apples.ai and it is that 3D text. I will go ahead and marquee this text and make sure I have selected it, then I'll switch over to the Appearance panel and you can see how I've got a Warp function here, so that I'm warping the text with the Bend value of 20% it turns out.
I'm heaping that Warp Effect on top of the 3D Extrude & Bevel Effect, and if you want to check out the settings just click on 3D Extrude & Bevel and you'll see what's going on, or you can follow along with the next couple of movies here and I'll show you how to create your own 3D effect. Starting inside of this file here it's called Everyday spider-type.ai, go ahead and click on the baseline of this point type to select it and if you check out the Appearance panel you'll see that we've got a Fill that's turned on, and a bunch of strokes that are turned off. Leave the Strokes off for now, and go up to the Effect menu and choose 3D and then choose Extrude & Bevel.
You bring up a pretty familiar dialog box. We have a lot of the same options that we saw inside of 3D Revolve. Now what I suggest you do at this point is turn on Preview, so you can see what you're doing and so long as you keep your type simple, like we have it now just as a Fill attribute and that's it, this command is going to work very, very quickly. So for example, if you want to lean the letters back, you just go ahead and drag this bottom red edge in order to pitch them backward, like so, and you can also rotate the text back and forth around the vertical axis. When you're changing the Yaw by dragging the green bar, and then of course you can roll the text back and forth if you like by dragging one of the blue bars.
So the same rules apply as did when we were revolving the apple. Now, you can also change the Extrude value if you want to. This is going to be the depth of the letters, and so if I go ahead and increase that value to something ridiculous, we'll get a ridiculous extrusion as we are seeing right here. Incidentally, if you see some sort of sloping going on, on the edge of the S or one of the other letters, try rotating it some more, try pitching it to a different level like, I don't know what, just try something different and that should resolve the problem. Basically these 3D dynamic effects tend to be a little wonky at times.
Apparently they are calculation intensive, but I think they're also a little bit old these days. You can probably use some fine-tuning, but in any event just change some settings and you should resolve your problems. I don't want that much extrusion I don't think. I think I'll just go ahead and back it off to something a little more tasteful like 96, my gosh! If you don't want to see the letters, if you want to see through the letters and just see the extrusion, then you go ahead and turn off the Cap by clicking on the second icon over there, that's going to look dreadful of course, but you could still do it if you want to.
I am going to turn the Cap back on. Perspective works really great, when you're working with an Extrude effect. So go ahead and try adding some perspective and you'll get this incredible perspective type, like so. I would argue in fact that Perspective type is something you're better off doing inside of 3D Extrude & Bevel or using the 3D Rotate command as opposed to going to the trouble of creating a Perspective Grid. Perspective Grid is great for setting up an entire drawing, but if all you want is perspective text, this is the way to go.
Then I might go ahead and change my lighting. For example, if I pitch the text down, it's going to get very dark. I'll go ahead and drag that guy again, and if you have to drag twice on one of these bars, it's just because one of the options is active, and Illustrator is not quite paying attention to you. But notice that I've darkened up my text considerably. Well, that's because I'm lighting the text from the top, so I would just change the angle of the light like so in order to better light those letters, and you just do that by dragging the light around the sphere down here at the bottom of the dialog box.
If you want a more dramatic effect, then you go ahead and reduce the Ambient Light value. You could also take up the Highlight Intensity in order to make your letters more reflective. You could increase the Highlight Size too to 100% in order to spread the highlight. I'm not seeing that much difference where this text is concerned right now, but I might if I were to move the light to a slightly different location, like so. All right, so then of course if you decide to pitch the letters back again, like this, then you need to move the light to accommodate it or you could have some under lit letters if you prefer, it's entirely up to you at this point.
Let's see what happens if I take that Ambient Light value down to zero, then we get some very, very intense contrast. Now, the final thing you might try out, although I have to say I don't really recommend this one, but you've got some Bevel options and that's going to give your letters beveled edges, and so for example, you could switch to a Classic bevel and everyone of these icons are here showing you a cross-section of what that bevel effect looks like. I definitely don't recommend you go with some of these, like jaggy, and some of the others makes for some extremely complicated effects, because well just check this out.
I'll go ahead and select Jaggy and we'll see if Illustrator survives the process. Actually that looks pretty wicked cool, I have to say. But if you wanted to map any art on to your letters or on to the extruded edges or anything else that you might extrude, check this out. If I click on Map Art, I'll see that I am now looking at the first of 952 surfaces. So that's going to make mapping art a lot more complicated, and that's totally a function by the way of having that jagged bevel going on.
Although, if you don't want to map any art, my gosh, it looks pretty darn cool I think. So you can experiment with these other beveling effects. There is your Classic Bevel right there, it's just going to add some beveled edges to the letters, and then you might go ahead and take that Height value a little bit down in order to reduce the size of the bevels. Totally up to you, how you want to work. Go ahead and check out those options and feel free to play. As long as you're working with very simple type like this, you can get away with just about everything. It's once we start adding a few other effects that this becomes very complicated, and that, wouldn't you know it, is exactly what we are going to do in the next exercise.
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