Newbie questions


Hey ya’ll,

Chugging along on the steep part of the learning curve. I’m trying to make a quick logo animation for my company. I have the logo in a Photoshop file and I would like to put it in the scene and extrude it. At first I put it on a polygon with an alpha channel for transparency, but it’s so, well, flat. Is there a trick to pulling in an image and being able to make it into an extruded solid?

Also, anyone have tips or a tutorial on using letters with Thinking Particles? I’d like to have particles blow together and form the name of the company. (Maybe it would be better to animate the letters blowing apart and then reverse it? How do you reverse a chunk of the timeline?)

LOTS TO LEARN!! ((hair pulling!)) :eek:



try using a grayscale bump or displacment map to give your letters depth.

as for the TP question you will have to wait for the Xpresso gods to anwser your question I.e mdme saide or srek


to extrude a logo you should have it as illustrator paths instead (photoshop will only give you a bitmap which really you can’t do much with, you can try to use a “relief” object, but that’s more likely to turn out pretty cruddy, you can also use cinema’s own trace bitmap function to get splines out of a bitmap, but again it just wont be a clean or good as having the original logo in illustrator paths, then importing them, and just putting them into a NURBS Extrude object.

I would recommend reading the tutorials in the manuals that come with the package as they wiull guide you through doing these sorts of basics.


Sadly I don’t have access to Illustrator. I’ll have to figure it out some other way. It’s a simple logo, and perhaps using the bitmaps as a spline guide will be easy enough.

Sadie, I am working through the tutorials bit by bit, but I also like to strike out in the direction that I’d like to go and stumble through. That way when I read the manual and tutorials I find applications for what I’m reading that moment. It can be a frustrating way to learn, but works for me. Sorry for the dumb questions. I appreciate ya’lls help.

On that note, something else that I can’t figure out: how do you cut text into a polygon shape? I can extrude text in a way that it appears to coming out of an object, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how to cut. Is there something as simple as a subtract feature that I’m missing somewhere? I’m used to solid modeling with Solidworks, but modeling here seems quite different.



No really, I’ve been digging at this a lot of the weekend, and I can’t figure out how to cut text into an imported polygon cylinder. Any input or pointers greatly appreciated. Thanks!



your last post interested me iggy so I gave it a go. this is with a standare cube subdivided like mad on one side and then extrude nurbs text made editable and then placed on the surface of the cube. to get it to stick I use optimize (structure/optimize) and set it to 5. then I droped it into a wind deformer to see if it would work. its a little nasty looking but thats cause extrude/make editable gives you tri city which deforms/bends like glass under a hammer. but there are probibly better ways of making text that give you all quads.

oh iggy sorry this isnt an imported object.



Although a simple task for any solid/Nurbs modeler, unless you are working on planar surfaces, doing this with geometry using Cinema’s current boolean tool is a waste of time… you will end up with a mess of triangles and shading artifacts. Look for the Boolean operator under the Objects menu: Objects/Modeling/Boolean … again, it will work well on planar geometry,
but anything with curvature will likely cause problems.

There is an improved boolean on the way, but for now you are better off using a highly subdivided mesh and your logo bitmap in the displacement channel.

This tutorial by Rui shows a good working method:

Alternatively, you could just do your modeling in Solidworks and then export an STL, VRML, or OBJ (8.1’s new vertex smoothing should ensure an artifact-free render) and go from there.


i thought there was a plugin for this? (aligning to surface…is it dpack or something like that maybe a paul thing)

i agree boolean is a messy way to do the text cut thingy.

edgeextrude plugin may do this…but since i haven’t got it…someone else maybe able to help me out…Oooh guys…:scream:


I have continued to fool with this. I extruded text and bent it and then boolean’d it into a cylinder. Haven’t had time to try it with my real components yet, but this is what I got using primitives. Chris_B, is this what you and flingster were talking about in terms of artifacts and triangles? I mean it looks okay, but I haven’t had time to try and fix it yet. Hope to try this with my real cylinder tonight and see what happens.

Another question that leaps out from this exercise (NEWB ALERT): Can you bend an object to a defined radius? Or is it all just sort of freehand? This was my first time working with the bend tool. I’m sorry if all this is right in the manual!! I haven’t been able to dig through it all yet.

Thanks again,


yep … those are the shading artefacts. You can minimize them by increasing the level of subdivision on your cylinder

(tip: Cinema’s current Boolean tool works best when the two objects have similar polygon resolution)

A little while ago, Srek mentioned that a new Boolean tool was in the works, and the results looked quite impressive. Unfortunately, that won’t help you today, but it may in the future :shrug:

Have you tried the displacement method yet?

Also, you can adjust the Bend tool to a specific angle by using the controls in the Attributes Manager (in R8) or by double clicking the tool (in R6-7)

… now if only we had Ngons


I haven’t tried the displacement method yet. Wanted to follow this through and see the boolean for myself. Here’s a pic on the imported cylinder. The cylinder has been subdivided once, but still shows edges. I may have to tweak my import settings. How many times can you subdivide an object like that before you slow yourself way down?

What sucks about this, is that it is also nearly impossible to do this in Solidworks. I would build it there and import it, but there’s really no way to do it on a curve.

And the bend angle I knew, but I’m trying to match a radius. Still haven’t found a good technique for that.

I will try displacement soon and report back on that. Thanks Chris.



If your just doing stills you can subdivide to infinity (just my opinion) the thing that can really slow render times is the textures. I have a 80,000 poly scene right now that renders just fine. But use SLA to much and man you cant even move with out a slow down.


the updated bools thread is here:

there was a good old thread on here and dvgarage but can’t find it they seem to have been removed…sorry:shrug: seemed to covered alot of the areas youre having problems with (bsbarnes i think was the original poster so he might have a copy).

this is why people used edge extrude which leaves the mesh cleaner with less triangulation as far as i can tell…without the plugin dunno what your options are…but i’m sure someone can come up with some tips for ya. the samir plugin i think allows the text to sit on the surface as opposed to carved out… (get the english manual for dpack or i think might be description on site)
edge extrude link is

what about modelling around the text…as opposed cutting out of surface…dunno a thought but could be a real pain in the ass!


Edge Extrude is a great plugin, and works well for cutting shapes out of polygonal objects, but its usefullness is limited to relatively simple cuts.

It would be very time consuming and impractical to remove a complex text shape from the surface of an object using EdgeExtrude. Even if you managed to do it, you would have a hard time capping the inside surface (Sticher might be of some use here).

The fact is, this is a task that is very difficult to accomplish easily with geometry, using Cinema’s current suite of poly-editing tools. :annoyed:

Conversely, I know that in Rhino, this would take me 2min. and I’d have full control over filleting the resultant edges.

When I have a minute I’ll give it a go with EE to see if I can get it to do this cut…

Anybody else here want to give it a try?


cool…thanks as i said wasn’t sure about it.
i know its a toughie…i’m hoping a much clever person than myself on here can give us a few tips…cos i’d like to see some decent results from a task that in principle should be very easy…and as you point out is easier in rhino etc. Also would like to see as Iggy points out the bend angle included in the carving…this would be a far better result.

so come on guys…cough up da tipz.



Thanks for all the input on this. It’s funny, I figured when I started with this question that it would be something simple, just a learning curve. Who knew it would grow up into such a robust thread? flingster, thanks for the ref to the new bool thread. Can’t wait for that to come around. I’m more used to parametric modeling, and cutting shapes with other shapes is one of the main ways to create your models. I’m a little at a loss, not having that ability as handy anymore.

And chris, you think that this could be done in Rhino? I’ve never touched it, but I have a friend who works with it some, maybe I can get him to do the cut for me. I just need it for one animated sequence…

I’m also looking forward to the tips on this one. Anyone got any insights? I’ll buy ya a beer… :beer:



its coming shortly

…bcbarnes…thanks man if you followed my link.


i think there is a free demo of rhino if you want to try it out.


one way that would be very time consuming but might work would be to do it with points. create a text spline. go to structure manager export ASCII, then data go to the object you want to import ASCII data into it then make sure you have enough poins so you will not get tris. then weld the text points into your shape.

this would work but it would take tons of time.


Hey Iggy,

hope you still have some hair left :wink:
… i gave it a go in Rhino and although it wasn’t a one-button solution,
it did work very well. Here’s a brief description of my workflow:

  1. import your geometry into Rhino via IGES or STEP (you will need a solid in order to apply Boolean functions later) and your vector art via illustrator (text can be created directly in Rhino)

  2. extrude your text until it intersects the geometry you want to cut into and then use the split tool to cut the geometry using your extruded surface and delete the geometry outside the cut. (work on a copy of your geometry and hide the original in a layer somewhere)

3a) offset the split surfaces to the depth you desire
3b) loft the split surfaces and run JoinSrf to make them solids (run a check on any solids you create in order to ensure there are no errors/cracks). At the end of this stage you should have clean curved solids with a slight draft.

  1. unhide your duplicate geometry and move the solid text so that it intersects with it.

  2. Boolean subtract your text solids from your geometry

  3. export OBJ file with vertex normals and import into Cinema R8.1

  4. … at least go have a pint before setting up your scene in C4D :beer:

This .ZIP contains both Rhino and C4D files for your perusal:

PS. you can download a 25 save enabled version of Rhino from the website.