I'm just getting into Illustrator, is there a way to easily increase the size of triangles by decreasing quality? I know that belongs in the Illustrator discussion boards, but they might not understand the specific problem.
I jumped online to find a stock .ai file to test this with. Here's a Coca-Cola logo that delivers the same result http://all-free-download.com/free-vector/vector-logo/cocacola_logo5_28563_download.html
Thanks for the help Dave. I appreciate it!
You are trying to make shape layers from illustrator files that have thousands of paths. Many of them are very small. This happens when gradients and blends are expanded into paths in Illustrator. It's a common practice but it's NOT good for what you are trying to do.
Take a look at this screenshot of your Coke Logo:
I just selected View>Outline to show the paths. There are so many of them that they look like a solid.
From the Document Info window:
There are 80 open paths (open paths may cause problems) and 7,867 closed paths. That's a bunch of info to try and convert to a shape layer. The file it's self has 3 layers. Each layer has thousands of paths. Selecting all elements in a layer and simplifying the paths will foul up the shapes of this artwork. You'll still end up with something that is way too complex to convert to shape layers.
A very complex path, one with hundreds or even thousands of paths may be converted to a shape layer, but a single layer with hundreds of paths, some open, some closed, just won't work.
A likely way to create these multiple paths is to create a gradient in Illustrator and then select Object Expand. A simple black to white gradient will turn into as many as 256 individual paths. That's what has happened to this Coke logo. While it may be lovely, and may work just fine for print, it is a lousy way to prepare art for video.
Hope this helps.
Rick this is immensely helpful. I assumed it was the complexity of the logo, and now I know it's due to gradients. So I'm assuming the nature of gradients in vector artwork pretty much make this feature non-usable for a lot of logos. And here I thought CS6 had finally given me an easy option to extrude all my logos!
Thank you very much for such an informative and helpful post!!
There are ways around this. It will take a little work in Illustrator. The key is to make the basic shapes without gradients, Put each one on a separate layer, then use the top layer for the color gradients. Keep those Illustrator layers. Extrude the pieces and keep the gradients for the surface colors.
One other FYI, if an Illustrator shape has a gradient that's not been expanded and you convert that vector layer to a shape it will be filled with a solid color. If I get a chance tonight I'll put up a sample comp to show how it's done.
So I'm assuming the nature of gradients in vector artwork pretty much make this feature non-usable for a lot of logos. And here I thought CS6 had finally given me an easy option to extrude all my logos!
What would you do with those gradients, anyway? I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding here. Gradients in 2D artwork merely emulate 3D shading, but if you have a genuine 3D object that shading is calculated by whatever material properties and the lighting. I see no problem here. You just need to get into it and understand the differences.
I'm having a similar problem. I drew a grid in Illustrator, turned the grid into a shape, then used pathfinder to merge all the paths. When use the 'create shapes from vector layer' method, then After Effects gives me the stupid "triangles" message.
But when I paste the path from Illustrator into AE, then everything works fine.
As you might note, my path has no triangles in it--it's a grid!
Am I expecting the program to do something it can't do, or is there a bug?
This could be because of the way your grid was expanded with the path finder. It could be because of some wird things that sometimes happen when you merge or expand lines with strokes and right angles. Press Ctrl/Cmnd + Y in Illustrator and make sure that there are not a bunch of extra lines (like the Coke illustration above). Also, make sure that you didn't expand a gradient into a mesh.
It appears that when AE created my shape layer it created a whole bunch of paths that I never intended to create (and couldn't detect in Illustrator).
For me, it appears that the trick was to delete all those unnecessary paths from the shape layer before I turned it into a 3d layer.
Once I did that, everything worked well in ray traced 3D.
Your post got me on the right track!