How to Create Symbols for Mapping Artwork to 3D Objects in Adobe Illustrator
There are different techniques for creating three-dimensional renderings of art work in Illustrator. This is particularly useful for packaging and environmental designers. In this tutorial, the Extrude & Bevel effect will be used.
While mapping art to the Bevel & Extrude effect is possible in previous versions, the technique detailed here for creating the symbols is specific to Illustrator CC 2017.
- Here's the packaging layout:
- The first step is to divide the artwork into individual panels and turn each panel into a symbol. There are different ways to do this. One easy way is to create new artboards sized to the dimensions of each panel and then export them. Select the [ ]. Create a new artboard anywhere on the pasteboard outside the current artboard, then go to the and set the and to the dimensions of a panel.
- Position the artboard over the first panel in the layout.
- Repeat Steps 2 and 3 until you have six new artboards for the front, back, left, right, top and bottom panels. You may want to name your artboards as you create them, which can also be done in the .
- In the , turn off the visibility any non-art layers, such as dielines.
- Go to .
- In the dialog box, set to . Check , then set the . Click .
- In the next dialog box, set the to , the to and the to .
- Create a new document ().
- Go to . Select the six panel images and make sure none of the options are checked, then click .
- Click to place each of the six images.
- Now it's time to turn the images into symbols. Open the and click the menu to choose .
- With the default symbols selected click the button.
- Drag each of the panel images into the , naming them appropriately in the dialog box that opens.
- Once all of the panel images have been turned into symbols, the images can be deleted from the artboard.
- Select the and create a rectangle the same size as the front panel. Set the to white and to none.
- With the rectangle selected, open the . Click the button and go to .
- Set the and to the desired angles, then set the to the width of the side panel. (Tip: You can enter the dimension in inches, just be sure to type the at the end.) Check to see it take effect in the art.
- Uncheck , then click . The Map Art dialog box maps symbols to surfaces.
- Select the top symbol from the menu and turn on .
- Change the to and select the bottom symbol from the menu.
- Change the to and select the right symbol from the . The previewed art will be upside-down. Hover outside one of the corners of the displayed symbol in the dialog box so that the cursor changes to the rotate icon. Click and drag to rotate the symbol. Holding down the key will constrain the rotation to 22.5° angles.
- Continue mapping the other three surfaces to the corresponding symbols, even the surfaces that won't be visible. Rotate symbols as needed.
- Once the surfaces have been mapped, lighting effects can be added by turning on .
- Click OK to close the Map Art dialog box, then click OK again to finalize the 3D effect.
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tut: ArcGIS to Illustrator
Return to SAL Cartography Tutorials page
Return to Sal Tutorials page
Exporting Maps from ArcGIS (10.2) to Adobe Illustrator (CS6)
ArcMap has many cartographic tools and abilities. At the same time, a lot of professional cartography is done in a graphics package such as Adobe Illustrator (and/or an image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop). The main reason for using Adobe Illustrator is that it is a more robust graphics software package and provides tools and effects not available in ArcGIS. These allow you to access and manipulate each and every object on the page as a graphic object, even the individual vertices of the text letters. Many of these effects can be employed relatively simply to enhance your final map in ways that would be difficult (or impossible) in ArcMap. The steps below outline the process of exporting a map from ArcGIS for use in Adobe Illustrator.
There are two basic philosophies for combining ArcMap and Illustrator:
- Some people attempt to do as much of the work as possible (up to 90%) in ArcMap, using Illustrator for only the final polishing of the map, or to get the map ready to be professionally printed
- Others use ArcMap as little as possible (basically only to organize the data layers), doing as much as they can (up to 90%) in Illustrator
The decision on how much to use ArcMap vs. Illustrator (and/or Photoshop, etc.) depends both upon the map itself (what effects are desired) and the expertise of the cartographer (similar to ArcGIS, Adobe Illustrator is an extremely complex and somewhat intimidating piece of software). This page is intended for GIS students and thus assumes that Illustrator is fairly new to most of us. Thus we will create a simple map (in ArcMap where we are fairly comfortable) and then focus on the process of getting the map out of ArcMap and into Illustrator. Finally, we’ll look at a few simple ways to use Illustrator to enhance our maps (with links to more).
Note: In Illustrator lines are called “Paths” and polygons are called “Closed Paths.”
Detailed Steps for Exporting from ArcGIS to Adobe Illustrator
NOTE: These instructions are tailored for the ENVS-321 (Cartography) class, but should be generally applicable for anyone going from ArcGIS to Adobe Illustrator...
Next: Part I: Prepare and Export an ArcMap .mxd for Adobe Illustrator
Part II: Open the Map with Adobe Illustrator
Part III: Prepare the .ai File for Editing
Part IV: Create a (Graphic) Mask Layer
Part V: Editing Symbology and Text in Adobe Illustrator
Part VI: Cartographic Effects Using Adobe Illustrator
Part VII: Exporting and Printing from Adobe Illustrator
Incorporating Raster Data (coming soon)
Adobe Illustrator Keyboard Shortcuts
Get started with ArcGIS Maps for Adobe Creative Cloud
Previously, you opened your map in Adobe Illustrator and styled it to your specifications. Next, you'll configure a map legend or map key and add a title for the map. Then, you'll export your artwork as a PDF file.
Add a legend
You'll run a process to create a legend that matches the map and explains the symbols for the buildings, disposable income, and market opportunity layers.
- Open the Processes window that you docked earlier. Click Map Legend.
This process will add a map key to your Illustrator file based on its layers.
- Click Create Legend and collapse the Processes window.
The legend is added below the map in your Manhattan Electronics Stores Illustrator file. A Legend layer is added to the top of the Layers pane containing Labels, Icons, and Border Grid.
- Scroll down to see the legend beneath your artboard.
The legend was created based on the visible layers in the Compilation window. You'll change some text and move the legend to align it with the map.
- With the Selection Tool, select and delete the Legend and Market Opportunity heading text and the background label.
- Select and delete the grid paths in the Border Grid layer.
- Select the rest of the legend text and increase the font size by clicking Type > Size > 14 pt.
- On the toolbar, click the Type Tool.
- Double-click the Buildings text and type Current Stores.
- Change Median Disposable Income to 2018 Median Disposable Income Exceeds $100,000 and add a line break so it appears on two lines.
- With the Selection Tool, move the bottom symbols and text up to distribute them evenly.
Next, you'll create a background in the legend for better contrast.
- In the Layers pane, select the Border Grid layer.
- With the Rectangle Tool, draw a rectangle around the legend content.
- Change its fill color to a dark gray (#858585).
- Use the Selection Tool to select and move the legend inside the artwork so that it's in the map's lower right corner.
Add a title
Next, you'll add an informative title to the upper left corner of your map.
- In the Layers pane, add a new layer named Title.
- Use the Rectangle Tool to draw a rectangle in the upper right corner of the map. If necessary, change its color to a dark gray (#858585).
- Use the Type Tool to add the following title: Block groups in Manhattan where demand exceeds supply for electronics stores.
- Use the Selection Tool and Properties tab to rearrange, realign, or resize the title and title rectangle as you want.
Your map is now complete.
- Save the map.
Now that your map is finished, you'll export it as a PDF file that you can share with members of your company. (See the result link at the top of this page for an example PDF.)
- From the File menu, choose Save As.
- In the Save As window, for Save as type, choose PDF. Choose a location and name to save the file and click Save.
In this lesson, you used ArcGIS Maps for Adobe Creative Cloud to create a map that shows areas of Manhattan Island where the demand for electronics stores exceeds the supply and where median disposable income exceeds $100,000. You then saved and opened your map in Adobe Illustrator to finalize the map with graphic design tools. Your result is an informative, appealing map that you can present to your employers.
You can find more lessons in the Learn ArcGIS Lesson Gallery.
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