Beginners guide to 3D text

Curved Text

The most simple method is to extrude (or thickness) text into 3D and create the curved text, so although this method has its problems we’ll start with that.

In (1) below the text is extruded or given thickness as previously discussed, the curved object is just a cylinder cut in half with a smaller cylinder subtracted, now it needs something to intersect with, so another half cylinder if produced, with its thickness the same as the thickness of the text required (red item in (2) below), the text was moved so it is fully through the red item.

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The next procedure is to intersect the text with the red object, note if the text has been exploded into separate letters then select the red object and create copies in place equal to the number of letters, (3) below shows the result (note text has not been added to the base object), the reason I said at the start that this causes problems can be seen in (4), if selected for blending there are a large amount of nodes that have to be considered due to the original text being a polyline.

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To get round this problem it is better to create the text with curves or arcs using convert to curves / arcs or drawing from scratch as discussed previously, this will provide clean edges and allow blending easier as shown below, (the text below was converted to curves).


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The next problem with this method is the shape of the text, the picture below show how the text appears after intersecting because of the curved surface the text is elongated on the curve, on large curved surface or small text this may be acceptable and almost un-noticeable, but where it becomes a problem a different approach is needed.

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There are numerous ways of achieving the same result, here is just one method, the basic approach is to angle the text so it points towards the centre of the curved surface, start with the text reasonably close to the required intersect object (in red below), and vertical ‘dotted’ line drawn from the centre of the text. From this move the letter closer to the object as below.

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The for this exercise a circle was drawn where the inside of the text would be, and also boxes were drawn the width between each of the original text characters, these were then angled towards the centre of the circle for guidance.

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Next the text / curves were moved to just inside the circle and angled towards the centre on the circle using the boxes as a guide to the distance apart

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The curves / text were the extruded (with compound profile turned on) so that they will be proud of the intersect object (in red), when extruding the ’e’ select the outer curve, hold down the shift key and click the ‘hole’ curve, this should extrude it as a single object without needing the hole subtracting.

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In the picture below one can see that this method doesn’t elongate the text as it does by simply extruding the flat text (shown in red)

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As previously stated there are many ways of achieving similar results,

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Conclusion.
Basically use whatever method you feel comfortable with and that suits your needs, each method has its plus and minus points but TC allows the option of choosing the method which will produce your desired effect, have fun and experiment.

See also Guide to 3D curved text

The End




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Contributors to this page: AndyUK .
Page last modified on Monday 18 of June, 2012 08:17:40 PDT by AndyUK.