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Vertigo Software 3D PopArt 2.0

3D extrusion plugin for Adobe Illustrator By Dave Nagel
This is our first review of a piece of software from Vertigo and a fitting place to start. Vertigo is the maker of several 3D plugins for Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop for Macintosh and Windows. This one, 3D PopArt 2.0, is the company's first full release for Mac OS X. It's also a solid piece of software that's simple to use, quick and easy to understand.

What it does and how well it does it
3D PopArt takes path-based objects, including text outlines, and extrudes them in 3D space. It applies highlights and shading from a configurable light source and allows you to set the rotation of your object, as well as perspective and depth.

It's an extremely straightforward plugin that appears in a floating window within Adobe Illustrator, providing controls for X, Y and Z rotation; extrusion depth; perspective; and lighting position.

As you can see from the interface above, all of the parameters are represented in a small preview window that updates in real time to show how your settings would look on a cubic object. If you're working on an object other than a cube, you sort of have to extrapolate this information to imagine how the extrusion will look on different shapes, but this simplified preview does have its advantages in terms of speed.

Several of these features are new to version 2.0, including Z-axis rotation, perspective and 360-degree rotation of the lighting source. The new version also allows you to save settings to a file for future use or to perform a quick save for recall during the current session. (The little "Load" button in the main interface recalls the last saved state from the current session, while a "Load from File" option in the flyaway menu provides access to previously saved settings.)

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