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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.
One of the coolest aspects, in my opinion at least, of the 3D feature inside of Illustrator is its support for something called Artwork Mapping. Now as we know, Illustrator itself is a two- dimensional application; the artboard that we are looking at right now is 2D. We also know that 3D is applied as a Live Effect. So that means that when I'm inside of that Live Effect dialog box, I'm living inside of this 3D world. What Artwork Mapping allows me to do is basically combine these two worlds together. I can take a two dimensional piece of artwork and wrap it around the surface of a 3D object.
Now, because we only live inside of this real 3D world, when the 3D Effect dialog box is open inside of Illustrator, I'm only going to be able to do this Artwork Mapping when I'm inside of that dialog. Now, as we are soon going to see, the only way for me to get two- dimensional artwork into the 3D Live Effect dialog box, I need to turn my artwork into a symbol first. So let's take a look at this example right here. I happen to have these two water bottles here. What I want to do is I want to basically wrap a label around the center part of this bottle right over here. Also take a closer look over here at the top of this bottle, and you could see that I have this kind of cap that exists right over here. Right now this cap should really have some kind of a thread on it. So what I would like to do is simulate some kind of thread effect on this particular cap here to make it look that much more realistic.
By the way, take a look at this transparent cap over here that I have on the top of the bottle; I'll show you how I created that in just a moment. But first, I'm going to come over here, open up my panels here and see what exists inside of my Symbols panel. I currently have two symbols here. Let's look at the first one. I'm simply going to double-click on a symbol. We know that in Illustrator if you double-click on a symbol in the Symbols panel, it actually allows you to edit that particular symbol. So what I have created here is just a simple series of lines, these are all stroke lines. What I have done is I have basically colored them just a shade darker than the color that I have applied to that particular cap.
By wrapping this piece of artwork around that cap, it would simulate the look of some kind of thread or grip that appears on that cap. I'm going to go ahead and click on the arrow here so I can go back to my artwork here. I am also going to double-click on this symbol. This symbol is actually the label that I have created. I'm going to zoom out just a little bit more so you could see this. Again, it's just a simple, regular piece of art that I have created. There is nothing fancy or different about this. It's regular artwork. You can have Photoshop artwork. You can really take anything at all that you would ever want to create into a label. What's important here is I have actually created this label actual size. As we are going to see, when you start working with Artwork Mapping inside of Illustrator, because we can create our 3D shapes to begin with, with very precise measurements, I'll always create the artwork that I want to map with the same measurements, so that way I know that when I map it onto the surface, I don't need to do additional scaling or rotating or so on and so forth. It just makes it that much easier for you later on when you start doing the Artwork Mapping itself.
Once again, I'll go ahead and simply double-click on any blank area to exit the Symbol Editing Mode and go back to my artwork. Now, to define a symbol all you need to do is create any art inside of Illustrator, any piece of artwork, you don't have to group it if you don't want to, simply select all that artwork and then go over to the Symbols panel and click on this button right here to create a new symbol. The keyboard shortcut to define a symbol is the F8 key on your keyboard, and that's the same for both Mac and PC. So that's all that you need to know right now about how to create your artwork. You now know that you have to define your artwork as a symbol. Once you have defined that it's a symbol, you will be able to then wrap that artwork around the 3D object, which we'll get to in just a moment.
But let's talk for a minute more about exactly how the Artwork Mapping feature works inside of Illustrator. Now, as you see over here, I have two bottles that I have created. I have actually created this with the same artwork but with different attributes applied to them. Let me explain to you exactly what I mean. I am simply going to go ahead and click on this object right here. It's a group. I have been able to actually go ahead and revolve all this as one united object here. If you look over here in my Appearance panel, I have here the 3D Revolve that I have applied. But I'm going to simply just turn off the eyeball. One of the things that I love about the new Appearance panel inside of Illustrator CS4 is the fact that you can toggle these effects on and off without actually having to remove them and then reapply them.
So I'm just going to simply go ahead and click on the eyeball here to remove the effect, and see how I have actually created the shape here. I used the guide here as a visual reference to know where that axis is going to be. Then what I have done is I have actually created this shape right over here, one shape over here. I have created another shape for the cap. I have another shape over here. This is actually-- if I click on this right here, I'm using my Direct Selection tool, you will see that I have a shape that's over here that is actually filled white, but that has an Opacity of 50%. That's why I have been able to create this transparent plastic looking cap, because what I'm basically seeing is that shape there, but I'm able to see through it because its transparent.
Whenever you are working with objects inside of Illustrator that you are applying a 3D effect to, as long as you are working with a group of objects, you can basically assign an Opacity level to any object within that group, then that opacity will basically show through in the revolved object. But in this case, you can see that all the objects that I have created have fills but they have no stroke attributes applied. I'm actually going to go over here to this shape. I'm going to click on this one. I'm going to turn its 3D effect off. You will see that I have built the exact same shape, but in this case, all the artwork is made up of strokes but with no fills. I'll go ahead and I'll click on this object, for example. Right here, click the entire object. Notice that I have over here a stroke applied but I have no fill applied at all.
This is an important thing to realize about Illustrator. For some reason the 3D effect does a better job at rendering when you are working with strokes and not filled objects. As we'll start to see about how we create these complex objects, a lot of self-intersection starts occurring when you have filled objects. Basically, the over result just don't look nearly as good. So for example, if I go back over here to this object right here; let's turn the 3D effect back on again; this is actually a good example of how when you start to get complex, this is all real 3D rendering that's happening, it takes that much more time for Illustrator to do its job.
I will go ahead and I'll click on this object here and I'll go ahead and I'll turn its 3D effect on. You notice that the one on the left over here, where I used the strokes, looks better. Take a look over here at the transparency. This looks better. There is some kind of odd kind of reflection going on in this. You see how it's kind of not really a round shape but it's kind of like boxy as opposed to this one, which is really smooth. The overall effect in the appearance of the stroked artwork looks far better than the one that is currently working with the fills. But this is kind of one of those kind of things where you have an either/or kind of experience. What I mean by that is, as we'll soon see, the Artwork Mapping feature takes a look at my artwork and creates these surfaces. What I can do is I can apply artwork to a particular surface.
Now, when you are working with artwork that is working with fills; in this case here I have no strokes at all, because the artwork is filled, the entire object is solid, there is no inside, there is just the outside of the bottle. But because this has a stroke attribute and not a fill attribute, Illustrator is rendering both the outside and inside. When I start thinking about how many surfaces I have to work with; if you think about this shape right here, because there is no inside, its a solid fill bottle, think of it as just made up of one big piece of plastic, there is no inside of it, I only have the outside surface to work with, so that's just one set of surfaces.
However, if we think about this shape right over here; so this is hollow inside, which means, even though I really can't see it right now, Illustrator will allow me to put artwork around the outside of this bottle, or I could map artwork along the inside surface of the bottle. What does that mean to me? So let's take a quick look and I'll show you. If I click on this artwork first right here, this is the one with the filled objects, I'm simply going to click on the 3D Revolve effect, open up the dialog box, and I'll click on this button here called Map Art. This is the area where we are going to start applying the artwork that can actually wrap around the surface of these 3D shapes. So you can see over here I have this Surface setting. I currently have 1 of 28 different surfaces that I have, and we'll talk about exactly what makes a surface inside of Illustrator. But again, because there is no inside or hollow area of the shape right now, I have 28 surfaces to work with.
However, I'm going to click on Cancel here. Let's click on this shape that appears right over here. I'm now going to go ahead and click on the Revolve effect here, click on the Map Art button, and you can see that I now have 1 of 95 surfaces. So I have that many more surfaces to deal with, and that makes my object a little bit more complex, and as we'll soon see when we actually apply the Artwork Mapping, it can make my life a little bit more difficult. So it's an either/or kind of thing, what do you prefer, do you want to work with fewer surfaces but not get as good of a rendering result, or you can get a much better rendering result but have to deal with more surfaces? Unfortunately, we really care at the end of the day what our artwork looks like.
We don't really care about how we get there. In my opinion, when you are working with these kinds of shapes and especially these kinds of complex pieces of artwork, you really want to get the possible result out of Illustrator. So what I'm going to end up doing is being forced to work in the world basically of these stroked objects here; again, without any fills inside of them. I'll ultimately get a better result, but at the same time, I'm going to have to work that much harder to make sure that my mapping is done correctly. So finally, let's talk for one moment about just the surfaces themselves. We know that we can take now a symbol that we have defined inside of Illustrator and we are going to be able to wrap that around an object, or better yet, let's talk more about the terms that we are speaking with here. We can actually apply a symbol to a surface inside of Illustrator.
Now, you notice when I had this particular object selected, it had about 28 surfaces. The way that it works inside of Illustrator is that I can take one symbol and I could map that one symbol to one surface at a time. Now, I can apply different symbols or even the same symbol to multiple surfaces, but at any one time I can only take one symbol and apply it to one surface. In other words, I can't have two symbols or two pieces of artwork on a single surface. Now, if we think about this shape right here, and I have here a surface, which is the area that I have defined here as a label, kind of an indented area in the plastic. So this whole area circled around the entire shape itself is considered one surface.
So I couldn't have, let's say, two labels; like a label that I put on the front and a label that I put on the back. I only have one label that I can work with. I could create artwork that just looks like two labels that are stacked side-by-side and then wrap that around my piece of artwork, but I can't actually apply one label to the front and then another label to the back as two separate symbols. They would need to live as one symbol. Likewise, I cannot take a single symbol inside of Illustrator and have it wrap around multiple surfaces. For example, as we are soon going to see, this area of the bottle, this area of the bottle, and this area of the bottle are three separate surfaces. So I couldn't take one piece of artwork or one symbol and actually have it display across all these three surfaces at once. What I would need to do is I would need to actually define three separate symbols; one symbol that I would want to go in this area, one symbol on this area and then one symbol on this area, and then I would map them all on to it individually.
So now that we have a better understanding of what we need to create in order to apply this Artwork Mapping feature, and now that we have a better idea of exactly what these surfaces are, we'll now, in the next movie, talk about how we actually apply these artwork to these objects in a way that we can basically turn this now to something truly spectacular.
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