February 22, 2021 at 2:00 pm #5070Rick JohnsonKeymaster
Today’s new beta includes an option to extrude path art in a Transformations object. At the bottom of the Transformations panel is a field to enter an Extrude value. This is early in the process, but you’re welcome to comment. Here are some notes on its current status.
- If this value is non-zero, either positive or negative, art will be extruded.
- This is a brand-new extrude function, so negative values still work a bit wonky. Is “wonky” a technical term?
- Only path art will be extruded.
- If compound paths are extruded with smart layering as they are with the Extrude tool, it crashes Adobe Illustrator. I’d like to overcome this, but can’t promise anything. In the meantime, would you prefer to see it extruded in the messy form you see in this beta, or should the plugin just leave the compound path as-is?
- When a path is rotated in the Transformations panel, then expanded, it’s tagged with information on its tilt, turn, and spin, so in a near-future version the Extrude tool can extrude it in the direction of its calculated axis.
- Should the Extrude option be moved above the orientation radio buttons, or does it make more sense where it is?
- As you rotate extruded objects (it’s really fun to watch them turn in real time!) you’ll likely notice some angles where the object jumps between a forward and backward extrusion. When Ron developed the math for this, it was never intended as a 3D tool, so this is pushing the system way beyond its original intent. Ron and I are working on this, and are sure we can at least make it work better than it does now. The projections from compound rotations are correct, though. Thanks, Ron!
- The shading feature for extrusions is currently disabled until it implements a new system using gradients and lighting settings.
Another small change is the addition of a preference for the color of the help text. This color will be stored in Illustrator’s preferences and will be read by other Graffix plugins on startup.
Another preference lets you change the “snap” distance for tools. The usual default is 2 pixels, but this plugin’s default is 3 pixels. Depending on the resolution of your monitor, you can change it to any value that works for you. Using SmartGuides, however, will make your cursor even more likely to snap to art.
Part of this new Extrude function to be added soon is better shading of fills, including gradients on curved surfaces.
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