View Full Version : 3d Lettering. Need help

04 April 2007, 01:40 AM
Hello, I am trying too reproduce the lettering in this image in maya and I'm having a hard time getting the desired effect. It is not so much the materials that I'm having trouble with but the actual geometry behind it.

I modified a font in photoshop too achieve the blocky text with the angled corners. I saved out the layer as a selection too a new channel and made a new work path which I exported out of photoshop as an AI (illustrator file). I then imported that file into maya and used the curves too produce the desired 3d text surfaces.

However the problem is, The work path I save out doesn't match the lettering accurately enough and produces not so straight curves in maya. The curves aren't horribly off, They just aren't quite straight enough. I'll upload a picture of the resulting curves.

Oh and when creating the work path from the selection, I'm using a .5 tolerance which is the lowest I can set it. Any higher and the resulting paths are worse.

Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

I'm looking for either a font that matches this style pretty close or a better way too export the custom shapes that are made in photoshop. Thanks in advance.

06 June 2007, 12:03 AM
Im a noob in maya, so I don't know about fonts and such, but it looks like it would be easiest just to manually model the letters using a mesh. It would be easy to take a cube and extrude it into the correct shapes.

07 July 2007, 03:08 AM
For text I would say it's easiest to create the text in Maya and use the Bevel Plus (Nurbs Menu -> Surfaces ->Bevel Plus) command or some manual patching/lofting/rounding with the NURBS toolset (or poly if you're more comfortable).

Have you looked at

07 July 2007, 05:03 AM
I'd trace the sign in Illustrator, using the pen tool and save it as an Illustrator 8 file. Then, as said above, use the Bevel Plus tool. It's under the Surfaces menu.

You needn't go into Photoshop at all. Save yourself a step.

If you're going to also model the neon tubes in the sign, you can use the same Illustrator curves to extrude a Nurbs circle along.

Actually, if you're doing that, add one step when you prep the Illustrator file. Select the outlines you drew with the pen tool, then go to Object > Path > Offset Path. That'll give you a properly offset 2nd curve that'll look way better than anything you do with scaling up a copy of the curve. Use the original as the path for the neon extrude, use the offset curve for the main sign geometry.


07 July 2007, 01:13 AM
If you've got the font installed/activated then use Create>>>Text □ select the option box, and the font you have.

Choose whichever output type you want, or try them all and mess about with them. Presuming the font you've modified is clean, I'd choose curves, then bevelPlus them manually, letter by letter (including counters - the middle bits). Any surfaces you create that are inverted just select the curve and reverse it's direction, should sort them out.

Quick job on it here, with incorrect font of course - selected output NURBS:

Those figures are 0.2 0.3 and 0.5 btw.

If your font doesn't work, then as barrymcw suggests - redraw them yourself. I'd even cut out illustrator and make it in Maya using a screengrab on an image plane in one of your orthographic camera views (select camera>>environment>>image plane>>type image file) with the Create CV Curve (on degree 3). If you're not used to this, then make sure that on tight corners you use 3 points, and use open/close curves to finish each letter, a bit like this (although i've not set up the image plane here):

Hope that's helpful.


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