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3D in Illustrator CS, Part 5

Revolving multiple objects around a common center By Dave Nagel
We've explored just about everything there is to explore in terms of 3D in Adobe Illustrator CS, from bevels to texture mapping extruded objects. However, there's on area I haven't covered yet: wrapping one 3D object around another. (Think Saturn's rings.) It's a fairly simple technique, but one that has its quirks. It's also  one that's sure be of use to many of you in your illustration work.

For our example today, we'll look at how to place multiple rings around a planet. Now, obviously, there are few of you out there who would have a need to build a 3D image of a planet, and even fewer who would choose to do it in Illustrator. But there are other uses as well, probably the most popular of which will be revolving text around a company logo. We'll show you how to do that as well.

Before we get started, if you haven't already, you'll want to go back and read up on some of the basics of using 3D in Illustrator CS. We have four previous parts in this tutorial series, which should explain just about anything you'd want to know.

  Part 1: Extrusion and Bevels
  Part 2: Custom Bevels
  Part 3: 3D Revolve
  Part 4: Transparency and Texture Mapping

Creating the object

I'm sure there are many of you who've tried to do this already, and probably wound up with something like this.

That is, each of your elements revolved around themselves, rather than around one another. So let's take a look at how to do it right.

Begin by creating five object: a semicircle and four short, horizontal lines. Set the stroke of the semicircle to none and the fill to whatever color you want. For the lines, set the fill to none and the stroke to whatever color you want.

Select all of your objects, and click the "Vertical Align Center" button in the Align palette.

Now group your objects (Command-G for Mac, Control-G for Windows).

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Related Keywords:adobe illustrator, 3d, revolve, vector, planet, how to, saturn, logo

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