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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 kids here is what you have to look forward to, we're going to start with this underwhelming path outline right here, which looks like nothing so much as a poorly executed radioactive ear, but it's actually half an apple, go figure. And we are ultimately going to apply Illustrator's 3D revolve effect in order to create this volumetric apple right there. And notice that what we have is a 3D form with all sorts of highlights and shadows that are executed automatically by Illustrator. This is a dynamic effect incidentally, quite easy to apply as well.
The only problem with it is that it looks pretty fake, it look like a candy apple. And that's because I executed it using the plastic shading, which gives me these very bright highlights and harsh shadows. However, I wanted something a little bit organic, so we'll ultimately take this illustration into Photoshop to create this final artwork. And it's all based on that poorly executed radioactive ear. So let me show you what's going on. I'm going to switch back to Illustrator and the document that I have open here is called Half an apple.ai it's found inside the 29_3D folder.
Now, something I want you to note about this path outline, a few things actually. First of all, note that it's an open path, so the end points are not connected by a segment. Also by the way the two end points are exactly aligned with each other. And I did that by marqueeing the two end points like so, and then going out to the control panel and clicking on the Horizontal Align Right icon. Now, the reason this is so important is because you're going to be rotating the apple around a vertical axis, and so you don't want any gaps to show up. And you will have gaps, if your points aren't perfectly aligned.
Also notice that we have a fairly thick, it's actually a six point stroke and it's red, and that red stroke will form the outer rim of the apple. So the stroke will actually serve as the peel of the apple. This radial gradient on the inside will theoretically serve as the inside of the apple the meat. However, it's actually just going to cause this problems, because 3D revolve doesn't like gradients very much. And I'll show you how to put the gradients back in there later, but for now let me introduce you to the command.
I'm going to press the V key in order to switch to the Black Arrow tool and I'm going to click on the path outline in order to select it. Then I'll go up to the Effect menu and choose 3D. Now, Illustrator offers three varieties of 3D effect. You've got Extrude & Bevel, which adds extruded edges, so 3D edges to your path outlines, really useful for type affects. I'll show you how that works in the future exercise. We've got Revolve, which is command we're about to use, which allows you to revolve essentially half a path around a vertical axis.
And then finally we've got Rotate and rotate is the least interesting of the bunch. We saw it back in chapter 15 actually. All it does is take a 2D object and rotate it in 3D space. So it's as if you're just taking a piece of flat poster art and putting it up on the billboard or something along those lines. As I say, we already saw in Chapter 15, there is no sense dwelling on it, we're going to focus on these two commands right there. I'm going to go ahead and choose the Revolve command in order to bring up the 3D Revolve Options dialog box. And what I recommend you do, just because this dialog box is a little bit off-putting at first, these are really great controls you just have to come to terms with them.
So what I suggest you do is turn on the Preview check box, and notice, as Illustrator is generating the preview and doing such a bad job of rotating the object, we'll address that in the second. Notice this warning that says the Gradients will be rasterized. That's no never mind. That really doesn't matter at all, but what it is saying is that any gradients that are inside the object, that Gradient Fill for example it's going to be converted to pixels, because that has to happen before Illustrator can apply its 3D computations. Anyway, what we're doing right now is rotating the apple around the wrong side.
So instead of rotating the apple path around its right side, which is what we want Illustrator is deciding to rotate it around its left side. So we're getting this just weird effect right here, but we can change it very easily by going down to this Offset option and saying, instead of Left Edge, we'll switch it to Right Edge. And then of course you have to wait for the preview to update, and you'll get this affect right here. So right off the bat, Illustrator has done a pretty stellar job, that is, with one modification of course, and we're getting this completely enclosed apple, which is pretty thrilling I think.
Now at this point you can start dragging the object in 3D space and you do that by dragging this box around. So notice, if I drag one of these edges, I see a wireframe preview of the apple in the background, and then when I release I'll go ahead and see the preview update as well. So you're going to spend a fair amount of time if you had the Preview check box turned on, waiting for that preview to generate. So what I recommend you do is just try playing around with this wireframe preview, see how it works and then join me in the next exercise, and I'll explain exactly what's going on with the three controls associated with this rotating cube.
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