Adding dimensionality (Instant 3D)

Using the Instant 3D feature, you can easily transform flat shapes (shown) and text into three-dimensional objects.

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PagePlus provides control over 3D effect settings such as:

  • beveling: use several rounded and chiseled presets or create your own with a custom bevel profile editor.

  • lighting: up to eight editable and separately colored lights can be positioned to produce dramatic lighting effects.

  • lathe effects: create contoured objects (e.g., a bottle cork) with the custom lathe profile editor and extrusion control.

  • texture: control how texture is extruded on objects with non-solid fills.

  • viewing: rotate your object in three dimensions.

  • material: controls the extent to which lighting has an effect on the object’s surfaces (great for 3D artistic text!).

An always-at-hand 3D context toolbar hosted above your workspace lets you configure the above settings—each setting contributes to the 3D effect applied to the selected object. For on-the-page object control you can transform in 3D with use of a red orbit circle, which acts as an axis from which you can rotate around the X-, Y-, and Z-axes in relation to your page. Look for the cursor changing as you hover over the red circles’ nodes or wire frame.

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X and Y rotation

  • Transform about your 3D objects’ axes instead of your pages’ axes by holding the Ctrl key down as you transform using the nodes.

You can also adjust the angle and elevation of each “active” light on the page by dragging the light pointer to a position which simulates a light source.

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  • After any transformation, the underlying base object remains editable.

To add dimensionality:

  1. Select an object and click the PagePlus tbr attributes instant3d Adding dimensionality (Instant 3D) Instant 3D button on the Attributes toolbar (or choose Instant 3D… from the Format menu). The object immediately adopts 3D characteristics with a red orbit circle displayed in the object’s foreground.

  2. Click a 3D effect category from the first drop-down menu on the 3D context toolbar; the bar’s options change dynamically according to the category currently selected. Options in the various categories include:


The Bevel settings let you carve or sculpt the edges of the extruded region, for a convex, concave or slanted appearance.

  • When Bevel is selected, the adjacent drop-down list lets you select a preset single or double bevel profile. Double profiles include both an outer and inner region: “Round” means convex, “Chiseled” means concave. For custom bevels, select “Custom” then click the Edit button (see the sub-topic Editing profiles). For preset or custom profiles, the following settings can be adjusted.

  • Depth: Click the up/down arrows, or click the right arrow and drag the slider, to adjust how much thickness will be added to the object’s extrusion.

  • Inner: Use the arrows or slider to chisel away the upper corner.

  • Outer: Use the arrows or slider to add a “lower lip” to the edge.


Dimensionality depends on shading, which depends in turn on one or more light sources. Adjustments here determine the direction and quality of each light source as you model the object on the page.

  • Drag your crosshair cursor away from the object’s center origin (shown as PagePlus inst3d06 Adding dimensionality (Instant 3D)) to show a light pointer which defines the light direction. Drag the pointer around to set the light’s Angle and Elevation (or use the context toolbar).

  • To change the color of the light, click the Color button from the context toolbar, then define your color in the Color Selector dialog. The object is lit with the chosen color.

  • The Invert
    button reverses the lighting effect so that darker areas become lighter and vice versa.

For multiple lights, select a new light (e.g., Light 2) from the context toolbar’s second drop-down menu and enable it by clicking Active. You still need to set the light’s angle and elevation (see above). Repeat for the number of lights required (up to 8) and activate each as required.     


Instant 3D lets you shape the length of an object’s extrusion, to create symmetrical contoured objects (spindles, bobbins, bottles, corks, vase shapes, etc.).

  • With Lathe selected in the first drop-down menu, click the Edit button to design your own lathe profile (see the sub-topic Editing profiles). The profile that is drawn will be adopted along the length of the object.

  • Extrude determines the added thickness or Z-axis dimensionality. Even with a “0″ Extrusion setting, Instant 3D adds a slight depth effect but for best results a reasonable amount of extrusion will be required.

  • Outer determines the scaling of the added thickness or Z-axis dimensionality.


A non-solid fill—for example, a radial or bitmap fill—contributes texture to the object’s extruded surfaces. You can vary the Texture settings to determine how this texture gets projected onto the object.

  • From the second drop-down menu, select Front to project texture through the object from front to back. This is the default; front texture is always shown.

  • Select Side (and choose Horizontal, Vertical, or Both) to project texture onto the object’s sides from one or both directions.

  • Select Wrap (and choose Horizontal or Vertical) to apply texture like a tape around the object, in either orientation.

  • If you enable the Tile button, the texture pattern repeats on the object’s surface; if unchecked, the texture stretches to fit the surface.

  • Enable Axial to reverse the texture pattern left to right, or Radial (with a Wrap projection) to wind texture around in the opposite direction.


  • The Lens setting widens or narrows the field of view, like a wide-angle or telephoto camera lens.

  • X: Click the up/down arrows, or click the right arrow and drag the slider, to rotate the object around its X-axis (left-right). Drag up or down on the preview object.

  • Y: Use the arrows or slider to rotate the object around its Y-axis (up-down). Drag left or right on the preview object.

  • Z: Use the arrows or slider to rotate the object around its Z-axis (in-out). Shift-drag on the preview object.
    The X, Y, and Z settings alter as you transform an object on the page.


To vary the effect of one or more lights on an object’s surface, adjust the Base (overall) and Highlight (hotspot) intensity values.

  • Shininess determines how the object responds to the Highlight component.

  • Ambient adds general background lighting.

  • Click PagePlus tbr attributes instant3d Adding dimensionality (Instant 3D) Reset Defaults on the context toolbar to revert to the object back to its initial transformation.

To switch off 3D effects:

  • Click PagePlus tbr attributes instant3d Adding dimensionality (Instant 3D) Remove 3D on the context toolbar. You can always click the Attribute toolbar’s Instant 3D button at any time later to reinstate the effect.

To edit base properties of a 3D object:

  • Select the 3D object, then click the Edit button at the bottom right-hand corner of the 3D object, i.e.

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The original object’s shape is shown, allowing its selection handles to be manipulated for resizing and rotating.

Editing profiles

Profiles can exist in PagePlus for two separate Instant 3D effects: Bevel and Lathe Effects. To get started quickly, several bevel profile presets are available to the user from a context toolbar’s drop-down menu. However, custom bevel or lathe profiles can be created by designing your own shape in a Custom Bevel or Custom Lathe dialog, respectively.

To create a bevel or lathe profile:

  1. Select a 3D object.

  2. Select either Bevel or Lathe from the drop-down menu, Click Custom in the second drop-down menu (for Bevel only), then choose the Edit button. You’ll notice a flat bevel is applied as the Custom option is chosen.

  3. In the dialog, a straight turquoise line runs across the profile chart representing the previously applied flat bevel. Hover over this line (the cursor changes; see below), click to create a red node, then drag the node into your chosen position. You now have a blue curve with a single red node which directly represents your bevel or lathe effect.

  4. Repeat the process for the number of nodes that you want to add to complete the profile, creating an increasing more complicated profile as you add nodes. Again, hover over the line and click when the cursor changes (see below).


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  5. (Optional) Fine-tune the positioning of nodes, including end nodes, by dragging.

  6. To delete a node, click the node to select (it turns red) then press the Delete key.

  7. Pay special attention to the orientation of your profile. The Front and Back indicators on the chart (above) reflect the front and back of your 3D object as it is shown on your page.

Rendering control

To improve performance when redrawing 3D objects, PagePlus intelligently takes advantage of hardware-accelerated rendering if your computer is fitted with a 3D accelerated graphics card with DirectX 9 (or above) or OpenGL support. To see if hardware-accelerated rendering is invoked, and to make any modification to print or screen rendering settings, choose PagePlus options.

To view or modify 3D effect rendering:

  1. Navigate to Options on the Tools menu, then click Drawing Quality>3D Effects.

  2. For screen rendering, the Renderer field can show “Software”, “DirectX” or “OpenGL”. The last two options will not be shown if 3D acceleration is unavailable. “DirectX” or “OpenGL” may also not be shown according to card specification.

    Choose “Software” if you want to avoid hardware acceleration.

  3. For print rendering, the above also applies but when printing to paper or PDF.

  4. For either rendering type, the Anti-Aliasing slider affects the number of times smoothing is applied to the object—so “Full” anti-aliasing take proportionately more time.

  5. Click OK to close the dialog.

Adding dimensionality (Instant 3D)