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Creating 3D in Illustrator with the Revolve Command

The revolve command can take a vector line and sweep its path into a circular direction. This can be used to create a 3D object. For best results draw your line facing with its curve pointing to the right (the lines are anchored on the left edge). Once the object is created, you can reposition it with the same Position controls found in the Bevel and Extrude effect.

1. Select an object or line inside of Adobe Illustrator.

revolve1

A line or a shape is all you need to create a 3D object. By default, the extrusion will rotate around the left edge so position the vector object accordingly.

2. Choose Effect > 3D > Revolve. Check the Preview box so you can see the effect update as you make changes.

revolve2

With the Preview box checked, changes will update so you can experiment more easily. For complex objects, the screen may take a moment to redraw.
By default, Illustrator revolves objects around the left edge. You can change this to the right edge using the from pop-up.

3. If you object has a fill, you can use the cap command to make it appear solid or hollow.

revolve3

4. Use the Angle property to set the number of degrees to revolve the path. While you can use any number between 0 and 360, I typically start with 360˚.

With the Preview box checked, changes will update so you can experiment more easily. For complex objects, the screen may take a moment to redraw. You can use the Offset slider to expand the path to create a ring-shaped object.

Swirls

If you experiment with this effect, some pretty cool options are possible. Try using a dashed line and creating an irregular path. In this case a basket shape is possible and you can create abstract 3D objects for motion graphics work. Technique adapted from RC Concepcion.

From the new Adobe Press book –
Motion Graphics with Adobe Creative Suite 5 Studio Techniques


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