Importing Ai files as mesh

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  06 June 2013
Importing Ai files as mesh

Hi All,

Can someone point me in the right direction, I'm looking tocreate a realistic looking sign which is made from clear plastic. I have donethis in the past with images, but to be honest doesn’t look great. So I wantedto see if I could use the vector ai file to product a more realistic lookingrender.

I have managed to import the artwork, this comes through asa spline, I need it to be a solid so I can apply materials to it. I have triedthe extrude modifier which just produces a mess.

Does anyone know the best way to achieve this?

I will post some images up to try and illustrate what I'mtrying to achieve. The solid fill is what I am trying to achieve.

Thanks in advance.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg solid fill.jpg (71.1 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Extrude.jpg (64.8 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg spline.jpg (85.8 KB, 15 views)
  06 June 2013
Try the bevel modifier, it might be worth having a look at the splines and making sure they are all connected. If you have max 2014 I believe you can use vector images as a map that might be another way to do this.
  06 June 2013
First of all select all your vertices in the EditSpline modifier and weld them all (but make sure to only weld the ones that appear to be in the same place... we don't want to remove any other vertices, so set your weld threshold accordingly low). That's usually the first problem regarding imported shapes.

Apart from that, it's not too hard to just fill in some holes and connect some edges with the EditPoly modifier afterwards. Don't always look for a one-click solution - sometimes it's not too hard to fix up the problematic areas yourself. Your second screenshot already looks good enough to fix it up in a matter of minutes. Just deactivate the "capping" in the extrude modifiert and add the caps yourself with an EditPoly modifier.

BTW, the way your sign is set up, you will need two separate pieces of geometry... one for the green part, one for the white part. But after all the white part is just an "inversed" version of the green part.

Last edited by Laserschwert : 06 June 2013 at 09:26 AM.
  06 June 2013
That is interesting regarding 2014 taking vectors straight in.....but this is through mapping, does it support transparency?

I must confess I am not familiar with the modelling and editing functions in max, as I'm more from an Engineering background so not entirely sure how to do what the second post is referring to.

I must also add that what I am try to end up with is a very thin film of green, I do not actually want any white, as this will need to be a transparent part showing whatever the underlying material is.....if that makes sense...basically to replicate the manufacturing process.
  06 June 2013
I think it would if you used a black and white version of the exit sign.

I am not sure I follow do you just need to create a thin plastic object? without any of the painted graphics on it?
  06 June 2013
Basically this is the standard printed colour of a sign....I would like the white area(s) to be voids, so that they show whatever is behind.
  06 June 2013
[QUOTE=Just deactivate the "capping" in the extrude modifiert and add the caps yourself with an EditPoly modifier.[/QUOTE]

Just wondering how you do this?
  06 June 2013
I have managed to cap all there a way of subtracting i.e. in the text to subtract the centre of the 'e' away to reaveal the letter properly rather than assigning different materials?
  06 June 2013
You could try booleaning just that bit or fix it manually. Do you have it as an editable poly object now?
  06 June 2013
Yes I have it as an editable but would have to extract all the elements as seperate objects I think to do a boolean..........
  06 June 2013
How would you fix it manually, because I'm trying to boolean and its very tedious, this is a very simple sign, I have some which contain more text so seperating all these out as objects would be a nightmare.
  06 June 2013
Its hard to tell without an image or a file. I can have a look if you want.

What is the end use for these? do you just need them as images. I would try the mapping method but it really depends on what need it for.
  06 June 2013
I could do this in AutoCAD easily..thinking maybe I import and model on there.....if you can imagine a piece of vinyl film this is what I want to model. Then I can apply it to various rectangles of plastic in max...... Its really because I'm pretty crap at modelling in max that I cant do this and find it very frustrating as I'm sure its pretty easy....I usually work with maps, but this will give a much better result...if I can work out how to do it
  06 June 2013
Then you could export back as obj or something compatible and just render it in max. Usually when I have to use splines to create geometry it rarely works 100% usually we end up re modelling the parts that have issues.
  06 June 2013
The boolean doesnt acutally appear to work looks as though I have to go through AutoCAD.
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