I love the 3D shapes. They're not new in 2.0 but a lot of people don't use them, plus you can convert lots of stuff to 3D, like text. So here's what I think are the juiciest, most fun, most useful parts of the 3D features.
Note: I don't know Phong from Gauraud from a hole in the ground, so I'm going to skip over the 3D Settings toolbar. Also, they don't seem to be working right now.
The Prefab 3D Shapes
Here's your 3D palette. Just click the 3D icon on the Drawing toolbar.
(On the Basic Shapes palette of the Drawing toolbar, remember you have these shapes. They're not really 3D but they might be what you want sometimes.)
Rotating and Changing Shape Angle
Green handles on a 3D object let you change proportion and size, as usual. Click on an object once to get the green handles. Click again and you get the red handles. Grab one of the red handles and move it; you'll soon get the hang of it.
Here are the red handles.
And you get this.
Converting Polygons to 3D
You can get some interesting results by drawing a rectangle, circle, anything really, and converting it to 3D. Select the shape, right-click on it, and choose Convert to 3D (NOT 3D Rotation Object).
Here's how to do the conversion.
This is what you get, for a few different shapes.
Converting Graphics to 3D
It's not always what you want, but you can convert any raster graphic like a GIF or JPG to 3D the same way. Insert it by choosing Insert > Picture > From File and find the picture. Then right-click on it in your Draw document and choose Convert > to 3D. Here's a sample of the original, and the 3D version (the picture is from skiing at Copper last winter).
Converting Text to 3D
This is a fun effect.
1. Use the text box to type some text, and make it the font you want.
You'll get this; black doesn't work that well so you'll change the color.
3. Apply different colors.
4. You can get particularly interesting
effects by using a bitmap fill.
5. Rotate it or change the angle the same way you would a regular object, with the red handles.
Combining 3D Objects
I did the bowl of fruit in the graphic at the top by putting the objects in the same group. You'll see Enter Group and Exit Group options when you right-click on 3D objects. I like to do it using the keyboard.
1. Draw two or
more 3D objects.
2. Select one and cut it (Ctrl X).
3. Select the other one and press F3. (Or right-click on it and choose Enter Group.)
4. Paste the first object (Ctrl V).
5. Move the pasted object over to the other object.
Note: Solar System, anyone?
I trained some actual rocket scientists recently, and they were quite interested in the 3D shapes. Not that you can model, to scale, the solar system in an 8.5 x 11 document, but you can definitely get some moon action, and other space-related representation. If you're not a rocket scientist, there are a lot of other round things to model--if you're a teacher, they've got to come in handy sooner or later.