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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.
When using the 3D feature inside of Illustrator, it's important to remember that it's a live effect, and that means that 3D, which appears here in the Effect menu, abides by the same rules that all these other effects do, and this is especially important when you think about groups. Let's take a look at the artwork that I have here on my screen. It's the same profile that we have been working on over here to create a frisbee. But if I zoom a little bit closer here, what I have done here in this example, if I go to Outline Mode, is I have actually chopped it up into pieces, I have sliced it in certain areas. If you think about this as the profile of a frisbee, I can imagine that maybe this is all colored red right now, but if I colored this and this area over here as a different color, I might introduce the stripe of a different color inside the frisbee.
So let's see exactly what I mean. I'll go back into Regular Preview Mode. I'll click on this object right here, and also click on this object, let's say, right over here. So now I have these two objects selected, and I'll change them to a different color, let's say yellow. So now what I would like to do is l would like to have the frisbee be red, but have a yellow stripe around this part of the frisbee, and a thin yellow stripe around this part of the frisbee. So if I go ahead now and I select all these, again, I think I see over here where my particular axis is going to be, I can visualize how this will rotate around, and I'll got those stripes that are there.
However, if I look over here in the upper-left hand corner of my control panel, it currently says my target is Path. That means that each of these right now are targeted on their own. When I'm working with 3D, 3D applies to each path individually, and that means that each of these objects will get their own axis. That won't help me, because that will actually create four circular objects, which I'll show you in just a moment. What I really want to do though is I want to create a group. By creating your group, that will go ahead and allow me to have this be treated as one object. Let me show you exactly what I mean.
I am actually going to go ahead and just select these four objects. I'll zoom out a little bit so we can get a better look at this, as we apply it. I'm going to go to the Effect menu, I'm going to choose 3D, and I'll choose Revolve. Now, watch what happens when I click on the Preview button. Each of these objects because they are not grouped together, they just are individual paths that I have selected, each revolve around their own axis, and again, this happens because Illustrator treats each object in their own 3D environment and each of those get their own axis. If I go ahead and I rotate them, they all basically are rotating together, but on their own axis, which really doesn't help me out on this case, because I want to create one cohesive frisbee shape and what I end up getting is four separate shapes.
So let's go ahead and click Cancel. I'm going to take these same four shapes that I have created, and I'll go to the Object menu and choose to Group them. Now take a look at what my target is. My target is now my Group. Now when I apply the 3D effect, the 3D effect is not being applied to the individual objects. Instead it's being applied at the Group level. So I'm now going to go ahead and choose the same one. Effect > 3D and Revolve. Now I move down the dialog over here, click on the Preview button, and now you could see that the frisbee that gets rendered has the stripes the way that I intend them to be, and now when I go ahead and I rotate this, it's one object.
So again, this is happening strictly because what I have done is I have actually created a Group. What I'm doing is I'm not applying the 3D effect to each of the objects that are within that group. Instead I'm applying the 3D effect to the group itself. When you grasp this concept, when you really understand how you can actually take several objects together and group them and then apply this 3D effect at the Group level, you can quickly see that you can create extremely complex graphics but without really working too hard to get to that particular point here inside of Illustrator with the 3D effect.
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