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Adobe Illustrator CC - Advanced Training

Introduction to 3D in Adobe Illustrator CC

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hey there, in this video we're going to do some introduction to 3D. We'll look at the Revolve along the top left there, and a couple of Extrude, and the 3D Rotate. Let's go and learn that now in Adobe Illustrator. 

Let's get started, let's look at the various 3D options we've got. I'm going to start with 'Type'. That's the first thing we want to make 3D, right? I'm going to use the letter X, and make it super big. I'm using a font called Rocket font. It's a free font to download, it's actually in your exercise files if you want it. You don't have to outline it but to get that kind of full 3D effect it's best not to use black. The shadows don't highlight, just don't appear. So pick any color, and what I'm going to do now, let's go up to 'Effect', '3D' and we're going to start with 'Extrude & Bevel'. Let's move it out of the way. Let's turn Preview on. And that's how to kind of extrude a letter. Doesn't have to be obviously Type. It can be any shape as long as it's a vector. 

Now we're not going to do every setting in here, but the basics are, Extrude Depth is probably one of the big ones you want. To see how far and back it goes. The easiest way to move this in 3D space is not to grab the whole thing, gets a bit kind of crazy. The trick is to just grab these edges. So this edge here, you can see, just starts doing the rotation. The X, Y, and the Z. I find this is the easiest way for new people to work out how to do it in 3D. Rotation is anywhere around the outside so just click in here, get the way you want it. Awesome! 

What you might not see, is you might be on fewer options. So click on 'More Options'. And this is where the light is hitting this particular object. You might decide to shine the light from a different way. Just drag this top around here. You can play around with the settings, we're not going to go through all the surface and ambient lighting. This is more just an introduction, we'll look at some more advanced stuff in the next video. 

I'm going to turn down my Extrude Depth to something a bit lower, and click 'OK'. Now a couple of things, is to edit this again once it's done because it's editable type, right? I can double click on it with the Type Tool, and call this one 'xd'. Click out. It's a bit weird way of working out in that mode. Just wants to be 3D, but also flat. The easiest way to do it is to go to Outline mode. So 'View', and go to, 'Command Y', 'GPU Preview' or 'Outline Mode'. It's easier just to work this way. To get in to edit to 3D, is with it selected you need to find your Appearance Panel. Now here in this new version of Illustrator you can just click on it there. It opens back up, turn Preview back on, and you can make your adjustments. If you're in an older version of Illustrator you might have to go to 'Window', and find 'Appearance'. Do the same thing here. 

One of the drawbacks of 3D in Illustrator is that if you want a separate thing they don't-- you can't like, put everything into the same effect. So watch this, if I hold on this guy they're not connected in the same 3D space now. If I go into this guy, and change him there's no way of having different groups interacting together, casting shadows, but for kind of simple vector stuff it's kind of cool. I'm going to make a duplicate of this, send it to the back. Change the color. For no reason, just jumped out, to make it look cool. 

Let's have a quick look at the other two options for 3D. The next one is Revolve, so I'm going to draw some-- I'm going to use the Pencil Tool and draw a-- what am I going to draw? I'm going to draw something like that. It's got no Fill. Basically what you want is, you want a Stroke and no Fill. So I've got a Stroke of blue, and I want no Fill. The Stroke, doesn't really matter, it can be black but it looks better with a colored Stroke. Now we're going to revolve it. So we're going to go up to 'Effect', '3D', 'Revolve'. Make sure Preview is turned on. It's kind of does the opposite of what I wanted to. Depends on which side you draw. So you draw on kind of a cutaway of the object you want to draw. I'm going to switch it from Left Edge to Right Edge. That was my terrible-- whatever it is. 

When I was preparing for this video, I tried to draw a wine glass but every time it came horrible. But if you have the time, you spend some time with the Curvature Tool or the Pen Tool, you can draw something quite nice. So that is the Revolve Tool. One of the nice things about the Revolve Tool and the Extrude Tool is, there's two things in here. The Offset, you can break it. So how far apart they are in the middle. So it's different thing for this one. Just kind of separates them out to make them wider. The other thing you can do is the Revolve Angle. So in here, I can lessen it, so it's kind of a slice cut away. Let's do that one. I'm going to revolve it around so you can kind of see, I've got kind of a chunk. 

One of the other things I like with Revolve is the surfaces have plastic shading. If you can't see it click on 'More Options'. Down here we want to go to 'Wireframe'.' I like it, it's just kind of a cool effect, just looks kind of-- I use it kind of as a visual, like maybe a big splash graphic around the back. Cool. I'm going to turn it back to 'Plastic Shading'. Click 'OK'. Let's look at the last of the fellows. Again, 'Command Y' for outline. I'm just going to shrink this down, maybe move it across. It's still trying to do the 3D thing so it might freak out, like it's running a little bit slow but at least it's easier to manoeuvre. 

The next thing we're going to look at is Type. I'm going to type in Dan. The last option is not very exciting, but we're going through them all. Like Extrude, except there's no depth to it. It's called Rotate. You might find a good use for this. I'm going to turn Preview on. You can see, same kind of thing, but there's no extruding. It's kind of adding a bit of flat depth. Now the reason I've run through this one a little fast is that, it's just a couple of better options for you to use. Like, we love Illustrator, that's why we're here, but there's just some things that just look purposeful for 3D, and there's two of them. Adobe has one and a half. Let's look at the first one called Dimension. 

So this is Dimension open, it's pretty-- like, what it's for is, it's for doing stills in 3D which could be perfect for use. I'm dragging out just some premade stuff I got here. It's a coffee cup. Remember that fox we made earlier? It's just in my CC Library. I'm just going to drag it and attach it to it. Really quick and easy, this program, I love it. I can move it around, wraps another shape, it's all very exciting. I'm not going to go through the whole course on Dimension now. Just giving you kind of a teaser to say, "Go off and do a course." I don't have one yet, I plan to do one really soon, so check that out. 

Adobe Dimension; one of the coolest thing about this is, watch this, you can drag in backgrounds. Like, your own background, or this one. It's trying to map the Hex on the ground here to the floor here. It says, "Would you like to match the image?" and you say, "Yes, please." This coffee cup hopefully now match the Perspective of the table. Pretty awesome, huh! I'm going to scale this one down. Bring him forward. Cool. It's a little bit big. You can see, what's really cool about it is it tried to mimic the lighting. It hasn't quite got it perfect, you can adjust it, but it tries to mimic the image where the lighting is, and how it positions in the world. That's pretty convincing, right? It looks like it's part of the same kind of world as the base there. So that's the super quick and dirty version of Dimension but you can just see how much nicer it is. 

You can start with some of these premade objects. You can buy them from stock.adobe site. And then there's lighting templates, and backgrounds, you can add your graphics. Pretty cool. Now, again the biggest drawback to this one, it's not meant to be animated. So it's just for stills. So where animation comes in, and maybe more motion graphics is-- that's why it's kind of 0.5, it's not really Adobe's product. It's from a company called Maxon, it's called Cinema 4D. It's separate from your Creative Cloud license, kind of. There's a sneaky trick you can do. Like if you want to get into Motion Graphics and you want to start getting into 3D Motion Graphics, which I love go to, Cinema 4D, it's a great product. And what you can do is you can open up a Lite version inside After Effects. So whatever way they've decided to license the product from Maxon you can't just open it, right? You can find it on your machine, fair enough. It's called Cinema 4D Lite. But you can't open it, just won't open. 

So what you need to do to open it, is you open up After Effects just the blank document, go to 'File', 'New', and open it here. It's not the full version, not the full studio version but it does a lot what you need. Most of it, especially if you're new. Open it up, and from here, as long as After Effects stays open Cinema 4D opens. Now it's obviously not an Adobe product, looks completely different but if you do want to get into 3D a bit more, and it excites you, I found this is such a good transition for somebody who's doing kind of more still graphic design and wants to start animating it. The learning curve here is high enough, but nothing compared to something like Maya, or 3D Studio Max, or Blender. 

This one here, my advice is, yes, it's a great start. Again, I plan to do a course on this, I don't have it yet. What's really cool about it is you can animate it. Just make sure my Play Head is back here, at 0. I'm going to set a Keyframe there, and fill it along. And after maybe a few seconds, 60 seconds, I'm going to slide it along here. Add another Keyframe, drag it back, hit 'Play'. The cool thing about it is, you can see, it's got nice easing already. I know it's pretty simple animation but yes, it's super quick and easy to learn. I can throw a flow in. I'm going to stop now. I'm going to stop in a second, I really want to try and-- I'm not trying to sell Cinema 4D, I guess, I'm just kind of saying it's a lot easier, like-- trying to learn this one, then say something like—

Maya is amazing, and way better than Cinema 4D but if you're just looking for Motion Graphics it doesn't have to be that hard core. I'm trying to think of what the nice shapes are. If I render this one, 'Command R', you can see It's kind of an ugly 3D thing, but at least it's animated and that's the kind of the real big difference between say something like Dimension, and say something like Cinema 4D. 
Dimension's all about premade stuff and Cinema 4D is all making stuff from scratch. There are some models and stuff you can use. That's my interaction to 3D using Illustrator. 

Let's get on to doing some more kind of practical 3D stuff. Some semi flat design. Next video will be a little bit more exciting, or at least finished product. All right, let's jump into it now.