Transparency in Illustrator 3D and Materials

In this 3D illo done in Illustrator I have been trying to reduce the opacity of the green and yellow Matrix parts to around 40% set to Multiply to make it translucent. If I make this change to the drawing before rendering it’s fine obviously, but once I hit Extrude it’s lost. You can see bottom right the original profile to create the 3D illos. Is there any way this can be achieved where the Opacity is honoured?

Have you tried Expanding after extruding? Illustrator’s 3D engine is pretty much crap so good luck isolating the shape, but it should be do-able.

Thanks Print. I tried Expand Appearance but no change.

Well, Expand Appearance alone wouldn’t do it. You’d then have to work through getting all the yellow (or green) elements selected and apply the opacity change. The possible hang-up there is that it will be a long stack of many separate objects and the transparency will expose that, producing another unwanted result. And of course, the moment you expand, you no longer have a live 3D object.

If it were mine, I’d consider that the elements targeted to make translucent are still quite simple shapes after “extrusion,” so it wouldn’t be difficult “tracing” them and replacing them with 2D objects, which could then be filled and opacity-adjusted as desired. Again though, continued 3D validity is sacrificed.

When I have to select parts of a 3D extruded object, I do the extrude with the lighting effects turned off and color in the whole thing after expanding. That would give me solid planes to work with.

Yes, thanks guys. I think the 2D approach may be the way to go. Until Adobe fixes this, if they ever do.

What do they have to fix?

You can report bugs/feature requests here

Yes, thanks Smurf. I have already posted on there to request a Preserve Transparency feature when Extruding, but it may not possible.

Do you mean like this?

When you’re doing the extrude on all objects - you can also select the elements individually and the crosshairs show which object is selected.
And you can add a transparency to the object separately.

Thank you Smurf, much appreciated. It seems Grouping elements causes the Transparency to break and Extruded individually puts elements on different planes but honours the Opacity. In this sample pic, the top image is Extruded separately, but as you see the Locator is at the back. If brought to front you get the middle image where a corner of the left hand Matrix is covered by the Locator. The bottom illo shows Ungrouped Left and Grouped Right then Extruded. You can Group after but not before to keep Opacity.

Perhaps I should try Dimension or Blender.

Yeh, Illustrator 3D is very basic, and I’d imagine it’s a limitation of the software.
I think a real 3D program would have no issue with this. Blender, 3dsMax, Sketchup.

I think you’re fighting a losing battle with Illustrator.

1 Like