The new 3D effect in Illustrator CS is perhaps one of the biggest upgrades in the product’s history. Using this tool, you can now add the illusion of depth to an otherwise flat illustration in just minutes. While many 3D effects were possible in previous versions of Illustrator, they often required a great deal of time to create. In addition, the quality of these effects was often lacking the professionalism required for commercial illustration. Third-party plug-ins were also available but none were native to Illustrator in the way that the 3D effects within CS were. These effects not only give you new creative possibilities but they are all live effects. This means that you’re never “stuck” with an effect. If you see the need to change your 3D settings later, you have the same flexibility as you have with Illustrator’s other live effects such as Drop Shadow or Outer Glow. In this chapter, you’ll learn several techniques and tips for creating 3D illustrations within Illustrator CS. You’ll be quickly introduced to the basic settings within the 3D Effects dialog boxes. You’ll then move on to more advanced techniques where you’ll learn to create objects you never thought possible in Illustrator.
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