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Mapping Artwork onto 3D Effects in Illustrator CS4

Article Description

If you're not using Illustrator's 3D effects, you're missing out on some exciting possibilities. David Karlins, author of Adobe Illustrator CS4 HOW-TOs: 100 Essential Techniques, shows some of the cool projects you can create with these effects - particularly how to map (attach) artwork to a rotated 3D effect, in this case literally painting a map of the world onto a sphere.

3D Rotation

Along with extrusion and revolving, Illustrator offers a third 3D effect—rotation. I won't include a tutorial here, but briefly, the interesting thing about 3D rotation is that it's 3D rotation.

You've undoubtedly experimented with rotation:

  • You can rotate a photo by 90 degrees in any photo-editing program.
  • You can rotate a 2D object in Illustrator by using the Rotate tool—or simply by hovering over an anchor point until the two-headed rotation arrow appears, and then clicking and dragging to rotate the object clockwise or counterclockwise.

What's different about 3D rotation is that you can rotate an object on its z axis; that is, from front to back.

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