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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.
I've saved my progress as Bad-looking apple.ai found inside the 29_3D folder. In this exercise we're going to make the apple look much, much better. We're going to get rid of this weird gray edge between the Fill and the Stroke and we're going to do that in part by getting rid of the Gradient Fill, because Gradient Fills really cause problems with the 3D commands. We're going to set that fill aside because we're going to bring it back later in the form of a symbol as you'll see that we'll map onto the artwork. And then we'll also adjust the settings, and we'll correct any additional problems that may occur. All right! So if you're working along with me, press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac to switch to the Outline mode and then go ahead, and scroll over beyond the left side of your artboard.
I want you to the grab that path outline with a Black Arrow tool and go ahead and clone it. Now, I'm pressing the Shift key as I move this path to constrain the direction, but that's not really necessary. What is necessary is that you press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac before you release, so that you have a copy and then I want you to go to the APPEARANCE panel and grab 3D Revolve, and throw it in the trash because where this path outside is concerned, we don't need it and we don't want the stroke either, we're just trying to preserve the Fill. So go ahead and grab that stroke, and throw it in the trash as well.
Now, press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac in order to switch back to the Preview mode, and you'll see there is a sort of radioactive ear shape here with just the Radial Fill and that's it. All right! Now I am going to scroll back to my apple and I am going to go ahead and select that shape as well, and then we're going to get rid of the Gradient Fill and I am going to do that by just pressing the Comma key and the reason I'm using the Comma key in order to switch to a Flat Fill is because I can't see the bottom of my toolbox. But if you can, then you just click that little Color icon there underneath your Fill and Stroke controls.
Anyway, however you get to that Flat Fill is fine and then I want you to dial-in a color of 50% yellow, and everybody else 0, and then we'll end up getting this kind of yellow interior going here which looks more like cheese than an apple, but it'll ultimately work out nicely. All right! Now let's change the 3D Revolve settings. I am going to scoot my apple over a little bit, so I can keep an eye on it, and bring up the 3D Revolve dialog box. I want you to enter a few values here before you turn on the Preview check box and these are just values that I came up with, that work for this piece of artwork; so -162 for the Pitch Control, -29 for the Yaw control, and then 179 for Roll.
And then I am also going to increase the Perspective a little. Actually, let's go ahead and turn on the Preview check box so we can see what Perspective looks like. The shape is working out pretty nicely as you can see. Now if you click on the left- pointing arrowhead that's associated with Perspective, then you're going to see the Wireframe Preview and as you increase that value, it goes as high as 160 degrees. I don't know why that's the top limit. But notice that we're going to be pretty well inside of this apple at this point, and you get a fairly ludicrous looking shape out of it. This is what you get at 98 degrees.
So I think that's a pretty floppy horrible looking apple at this point. I am going to go ahead, and take this value down to 25 degrees let's say. So we have just a little bit of naturalistic perspective associated with this shape. Now, you may end up seeing some degree of problem here. I can see just this tiny little edge cut out at the top of the apple, but I've worked through this project a few times and I've seen more than this on different machine and even on this machine actually. So it's a little bit tricky. In other words, Illustrator has a tendency of providing you with different results every time you choose one of these commands.
What we're seeing, if you see a little bit of yellow showing up, what that's telling you is that the stroke is growing so thin at that location that the Fill is showing through and that happens a lot. With 3D effects the various strokes may end up showing through each other, a stroke may drop out at a point, a Fill may show up. Anything that you're seeing in the Preview mode my experience is shows up in the final results as well. So in other words if you print or if you rasterize your artwork, that's exactly the way it's going to appear.
So there are two solutions; one is to just sit here and mess around with these numerical values, just change them in 1 degree increments until the problem goes away. Another solution is to adjust that stroke and let me show you what that looks like. I'll go ahead and click OK in order to accept those values and then I am going to reduce my Stroke weight for a moment just so that we can see if the problem gets worse. If I take the Stroke down to one point, we should still uniformly cover the apple with that stroke but that doesn't always happen. In our case it really didn't happen, a few holes opened up over the course of the outside of that apple.
That's interesting. Let's see what happens if we take that value up to 2. I am just trying to give you a sense of what's going on here because it is a function of the Fill showing through the stroke, and at 2 points, the apple is almost entirely covered except for this mysterious area right there where we just don't have enough stroke for some reason, even though this is an entirely uniform stroke, I didn't use at the Width tool in other words on it. If I take this value up beyond what it was before, it was at 6, if I take it up to 7 let's see what happens then. I imagine we'll almost completely cover up that area.
We still have a little bit showing through right there, a little bit of a ridge. But let me show you what else we can do. I am going to go ahead and restore this value to 6 points. All right, I am going to go ahead and zoom in on my apple here and I'm going to scroll to this location, and notice that we have a little bit of a break in the action there and you might think well gosh, what we need then is a round joint in order to finish that off nicely, now we need a round cap, because these are two endpoints that are coming to terms with each other and their meeting is Butt Caps.
So in other words they are not really rolling into each other. So I am going to go up to the Stroke option in the Control panel ,and I'm going to turn on the Round Cap and that'll go ahead and finish off that problem area right there and it also ends up fixing that problem at the top of the apple. Why is anyone's guess? I am not exactly sure what's up there, but my experience has been working with this apple that it does take care of that specific problem. Again, some other solutions are to mess around with the numerical values there inside the 3D Revolve options dialog box or increase the Stroke Weight.
In any event this is the apple we've got, and it's looking pretty darn good. We still need to adjust some Light Settings, we need to map some artwork onto the apple, and we'll be doing all that in the following exercises.
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