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Final Thoughts

A part of Illustrator since version CS, Bevel & Emboss and Revolve are excellent medium-grade 3D tools. Their results will wow a client and any audience. However, if your needs extend beyond basic extruding, beveling, embossing, and revolving, investigate robust 3D applications like ZBrush, Cinema 4D, 3D Studio Max, Bryce, Poser, Maya, and LightWave 3D.

Working in Illustrator's 3D tools is extremely RAM-intensive—especially with complicated designs or live effects. If you have difficulty with rendering time or out-of-memory errors, try rasterizing your labels prior to making symbols of them. Another technique is to use symbols within symbols: Anywhere an element might repeat, make it a symbol and simply use instances of that symbol in all the necessary places—even inside other symbols. Examine the 12-pack case - artwork.ai file to see how I reduced a 48MB file to 6MB just by using symbols instead of duplicated objects.


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