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Showing the hidden faces of a 3D object

From: Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics

Video: Showing the hidden faces of a 3D object

There is somewhat of a paradox that lives inside of Illustrator. If you think about it, Illustrator itself is a two-dimensional program, but yet the 3D feature allows you to create 3D objects and somehow on an Illustrator artboard these 2D and 3D worlds collide. Let me explain to you exactly how this works. I'm going to create just a simple print document. Choose regular basic settings. I'm going to use my Rectangle tool to click once on my artboard, because I want to draw a rectangle. Let's say I choose specifically 3"x3". I'm going to click OK to accept that value. One of the things that I really love about working with 3D in Illustrator is that it allows me to be as precise with 3D as I am with anything else inside of Illustrator. I'm going to fill my objects here with a red fill and I want to give it no stroke at all. I'm going to select the piece of artwork, go to the Effect menu, let's move it to the side just a little bit here, so we can see this better. Click on the Effect menu, choose 3D > Extrude & Bevel, and because I want to create a perfect cube, I can actually change my Extrude Depth to exactly three inches.

Showing the hidden faces of a 3D object

There is somewhat of a paradox that lives inside of Illustrator. If you think about it, Illustrator itself is a two-dimensional program, but yet the 3D feature allows you to create 3D objects and somehow on an Illustrator artboard these 2D and 3D worlds collide. Let me explain to you exactly how this works. I'm going to create just a simple print document. Choose regular basic settings. I'm going to use my Rectangle tool to click once on my artboard, because I want to draw a rectangle. Let's say I choose specifically 3"x3". I'm going to click OK to accept that value. One of the things that I really love about working with 3D in Illustrator is that it allows me to be as precise with 3D as I am with anything else inside of Illustrator. I'm going to fill my objects here with a red fill and I want to give it no stroke at all. I'm going to select the piece of artwork, go to the Effect menu, let's move it to the side just a little bit here, so we can see this better. Click on the Effect menu, choose 3D > Extrude & Bevel, and because I want to create a perfect cube, I can actually change my Extrude Depth to exactly three inches.

By the way the default setting here is always going to be in points, but I can type in any other value, by typing let's say 3 in for inches, or mm for millimeters, cm for centimeters, so on and so forth. Hit the Tab key to accept that value and click Preview, and I can see that I have created a cube. Now here is the important distinction inside of Illustrator. What I'm seeing in my artboard right now is a two- dimensional object that looks like it's 3D, because Illustrator's artboard itself is two dimensional, not three dimensional. However, when I have the 3D Extrude & Bevel options dialog box open, I'm now living in this real 3D environment and I can actually click and spin on this particular track cube to change the rotation or to see how my artwork looks like when I rotate it in 3D space.

But each time that I change a different position of my object, Illustrator takes that and creates a two- dimensional object that appears on my artboard that looks like it's 3D according to the settings that are defined here. Now I know that sounds somewhat complicated. But let me show you exactly what's happening and you will understand. I'm going to change the Position back to the Off-Axis Front. We'll just leave it as a regular cube. I'm looking straight at it over here. I'm going to click OK and I'm going to go over here to the Object menu and I'm going to choose Expand Appearance. Now what that does is it basically breaks apart the 3D shape as a regular plain object; it's no longer a live effect. And you can see here that I have this object that is now two-dimensional. It's look like a 3D, but it's only 2D.

In fact, it's made up of these sides. But you see the back of the cube is not even here. All I see are the three faces that are part of my object. I'm going to press Undo two times to go back to my original shape. Now my live effect is still in effect. I'm going to go now to the Appearance panel. I'm going to go ahead to Extrude & Bevel to click on it to edit it. Preview it so I can see it. And now I'm going to click on this button here called More Options. Illustrator is very much aware that when I go ahead and I adjust the rotation of my object, that right now I'm in a 3D space, but it knows that eventually my artwork is going to need to be displayed on this two dimensional artboard.

Now a cube, a 3D cube for that matter, always has six sides. It has a top, a bottom, a front, a back, a left, and a right side. But in the world of 2D, at any one time, I'll only be able to view up to three of those sides. I can't see the other sides. Illustrator is a very smart program. It knows that rendering 3D artwork can take some computing power and therefore since it knows it will never see three of those sides of the object, Illustrator to save rendering time never renders those sides. That's why when I expand my object, I only see the three surfaces that I'm looking at right now. It doesn't bother to draw the other parts of the artwork because it knows I'll never see it.

However, if I take a look over here at the bottom of this dialog box, because I clicked on the More Options button, I now see some additional options here, including this option called Draw Hidden Faces. That particular setting allows me to force Illustrator to actually draw and render all the sides of the cube. In this case here it would be six sides, not just three. Even though I will not be able to see it. So if I click on the Draw Hidden Faces option right now, I don't see any change at all in my artwork over here because again, in this world of 2D I can only see three sides. Illustrator has drawn and rendered the three objects that are at the back of this option. To prove that, I'll click OK and now I'll go choose Object and I'll expand the appearance and you can now see that Illustrator actually rendered all of the side to that object, not just the front three, but the back three as well. Why is this important? Well, two things come immediately to mind. First of all, we know that in Illustrator I do have the ability to apply transparency attributes to an object.

Well, if I were to make the cube transparent, if Illustrator doesn't draw the back sides, I won't be able to actually see a true transparent cube where I can through the front of the cube to the back of the cube. The reason is because if Illustrator doesn't draw or render the back of the cube, how do I see it through the front of the object? So if I am working with transparency, I do want to make sure that the Draw Hidden Faces option is chosen. Secondly, I may be using the 3D effect so that I can later on expand it and work with the shapes like I have done over here. In that case if I want to make sure that all the geometry for the 3D object is here, I want to make sure that the Draw Hidden Faces option is turned on.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics
Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics

137 video lessons · 29060 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
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  1. 2m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 41s
    2. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 33m 20s
    1. Introducing Live Paint
      38s
    2. Drawing in Illustrator
      4m 21s
    3. Creating a Live Paint group
      2m 54s
    4. Using the Live Paint Bucket tool
      3m 17s
    5. Using Live Paint with open paths
      2m 29s
    6. Detecting gaps in Live Paint groups
      4m 17s
    7. Adding paths to a Live Paint group
      3m 41s
    8. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      5m 44s
    9. Releasing and expanding Live Paint groups
      2m 55s
    10. Understanding how Live Paint groups work
      3m 4s
  3. 49m 36s
    1. Introducing the trace options
      39s
    2. Setting expectations: Live Trace
      2m 26s
    3. Using the Live Trace feature
      1m 51s
    4. Understanding how Live Trace works
      5m 41s
    5. Making raster-based adjustments
      5m 52s
    6. Tracing with fills, strokes, or both
      2m 55s
    7. Making vector-based adjustments
      6m 12s
    8. Adjusting colors in Live Trace
      4m 39s
    9. Using Photoshop with Live Trace
      5m 22s
    10. Releasing and expanding Live Trace artwork
      2m 58s
    11. Saving and exporting Live Trace presets
      2m 36s
    12. Tracing in Batch mode with Adobe Bridge
      1m 35s
    13. Turning an image into mosaic tiles
      2m 28s
    14. Tracing an image manually
      4m 22s
  4. 1h 24m
    1. Introducing 3D
      33s
    2. Setting expectations: 3D in Illustrator
      2m 53s
    3. How fills and strokes affect 3D artwork
      4m 43s
    4. Applying the 3D Extrude & Bevel effect
      6m 25s
    5. Applying a bevel
      5m 40s
    6. Showing the hidden faces of a 3D object
      4m 49s
    7. Applying the 3D Revolve effect
      5m 22s
    8. Visualizing the revolve axis
      3m 5s
    9. Applying the 3D Rotate effect
      1m 35s
    10. Adjusting surface settings
      9m 33s
    11. Understanding the importance of 3D and groups
      3m 24s
    12. Preparing art for mapping
      10m 19s
    13. Mapping artwork to a 3D surface
      14m 21s
    14. Hiding geometry with 3D artwork mapping
      4m 0s
    15. Extending the use of 3D in Illustrator
      8m 7s
  5. 44m 37s
    1. Introducing transformations and effects
      32s
    2. Using the Transform panel
      12m 37s
    3. Repeating transformations
      5m 23s
    4. Using the Transform Each function
      3m 48s
    5. Using the Convert to Shape effects
      5m 49s
    6. Using the Distort & Transform effects
      5m 12s
    7. Using the Path effects
      6m 58s
    8. Using the Pathfinder effects
      4m 18s
  6. 28m 23s
    1. Introducing graphic styles
      33s
    2. Applying graphic styles
      10m 8s
    3. Defining graphic styles
      8m 46s
    4. Previewing graphic styles
      2m 10s
    5. Modifying graphic styles
      3m 30s
    6. Understanding graphic styles for text
      3m 16s
  7. 22m 49s
    1. Introducing advanced masking techniques
      32s
    2. Understanding clipping masks
      7m 15s
    3. Using layer clipping masks
      6m 30s
    4. Creating opacity masks
      8m 32s
  8. 1h 6m
    1. Introducing color
      40s
    2. Considering three types of color swatches
      7m 7s
    3. Managing color groups
      2m 58s
    4. Understanding the HSB color wheel
      3m 57s
    5. Understanding color harmonies
      2m 57s
    6. Using the color guide
      3m 54s
    7. Limiting the color guide
      3m 17s
    8. Modifying color with the Recolor Artwork feature
      6m 25s
    9. Using the Edit tab to adjust color
      5m 44s
    10. Using the Assign tab to replace colors
      8m 37s
    11. Making global color adjustments
      2m 17s
    12. Using Recolor options
      7m 3s
    13. Converting artwork to grayscale
      3m 23s
    14. Simulating artwork on different devices
      3m 18s
    15. Accessing Kuler directly from Illustrator
      2m 7s
    16. Ensuring high contrast for color-blind people
      2m 42s
  9. 53m 19s
    1. Introducing transparency
      40s
    2. Understanding transparency flattening
      2m 31s
    3. Exercising the two rules of transparency flattening
      10m 53s
    4. Understanding complex regions in transparency flattening
      4m 50s
    5. Exploring the transparency flattener settings
      8m 37s
    6. Using transparency flattening and object stacking order
      6m 39s
    7. Using the Flattener Preview panel
      6m 31s
    8. Creating and sharing Transparency Flattener presets
      2m 25s
    9. Working within an EPS workflow
      5m 3s
    10. Understanding the Illustrator and InDesign workflow
      5m 10s
  10. 50m 1s
    1. Introducing prepress and output
      23s
    2. Understanding resolutions
      8m 27s
    3. Discovering RGB and CMYK "gotchas"
      5m 42s
    4. Using Overprints and Overprint Preview
      7m 43s
    5. Understanding "book color" and proofing spot colors
      8m 1s
    6. Collecting vital information with Document Info
      2m 28s
    7. Previewing color separations onscreen
      1m 12s
    8. Making 3D artwork look good
      2m 16s
    9. Seeing white lines and knowing what to do about them
      2m 41s
    10. Creating "bulletproof" press-ready PDF files
      3m 45s
    11. Protecting content with secure PDFs
      2m 48s
    12. Using PDF presets
      2m 47s
    13. Moving forward: The Adobe PDF Print Engine
      1m 48s
  11. 35m 43s
    1. Introducing distortions
      27s
    2. Using the Warp effect
      4m 20s
    3. The Warp effect vs. envelope distortion
      3m 48s
    4. Applying the Make with Warp envelope distortion
      2m 45s
    5. Applying the Make with Mesh envelope distortion
      2m 41s
    6. Applying the Make with Top Object envelope distortion
      3m 45s
    7. Editing envelopes
      5m 0s
    8. Adjusting envelope settings
      4m 2s
    9. Releasing and expanding envelope distortions
      1m 44s
    10. Applying envelope distortions to text
      1m 27s
    11. Using the liquify distortion tools
      3m 5s
    12. Customizing the liquify tools
      2m 39s
  12. 28m 56s
    1. Introducing blends
      32s
    2. Blending two objects
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting blend options
      5m 47s
    4. Blending anchor points
      5m 36s
    5. Blending three or more objects
      2m 9s
    6. Replacing the spine of a blend
      4m 32s
    7. Reversing the direction of a blend
      2m 15s
    8. Releasing and expanding a blend
      1m 47s
  13. 46m 54s
    1. Introducing charts and graphs
      35s
    2. Setting expectations: Graphs in Illustrator
      3m 19s
    3. Creating a chart
      8m 2s
    4. Importing data
      3m 34s
    5. Formatting data
      5m 1s
    6. Customizing a chart
      10m 21s
    7. Combining chart types
      2m 40s
    8. Creating graph designs
      6m 0s
    9. Styling and updating graphs
      5m 33s
    10. Ungrouping graphs
      1m 49s
  14. 26m 36s
    1. Introducing Gradient Mesh
      23s
    2. Understanding the Gradient Mesh feature
      9m 34s
    3. Using Gradient Mesh to add contoured shading
      6m 14s
    4. Using Gradient Mesh to create photorealistic effects
      10m 25s
  15. 8m 18s
    1. Introducing flare effects
      25s
    2. Drawing a lens flare
      3m 28s
    3. Modifying a lens flare
      1m 27s
    4. Using a mask with lens flares
      2m 58s
  16. 29s
    1. Goodbye
      29s

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