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  • Nov

    3D Effect without the 3D Command


    by Chad Neuman

    The 3D Effect in Adobe Illustrator can create some interesting shapes. But you don’t have to use the Effect>3D command to create a 3D-looking effect. Here’s one way to create a neat 3D design using the Transform Each command.

    Step 1
    In Adobe Illustrator, use the Rounded Rectangle tool and click-and-drag to create a long shape like this. Set the Stroke to None and set the Fill to a gradient. With the Gradient palette open, click-and-drag colors from the Swatches palette to change the two sides of the gradient.


    Step 2
    Go to Object>Transform>Transform Each.


    Step 3
    Change the settings to the settings seen here in the Transform Each dialog. Be sure to press Copy and not OK.


    Step 4
    Next, press Cmd-D (PC: Ctrl-D) to repeat the same transformation to the new copied object. Press it a few times to create something like this.


    Step 5
    With a Selection tool, click the original shape. Press the left arrow a few times to separate it from the second shape to so it doesn’t touch. Next, click-and-drag around all the shapes to select it. Go to Edit>Copy, then Edit>Paste in Front. We have the new pasted objects in front and selected.


    Step 6
    Go to Object>Transform>Rotate and change the angle to 180 degrees.


    Step 7
    It should look something like this.


    Step 8
    Holding down Shift, press the right arrow a few times to move it so it’s next to the original shapes but not touching.


    Step 9
    Optionally, go to File>Place (de-selecting Link) and place the image we created in the “layered threshold” tutorial. Go to Live Trace options and use Photo High Fidelity.


    Now we have a cool 3D effect with traced art for a website, newsletter or band gig poster.

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