Spline Objects

edited March 2016 in Carrara Discussion

More and more these days I find it necessary to import complex vector images into Spline Objects to convert into a 3D object. We make awards and medals and I often have to convert logos or custom shapes into 3D. I create the image in Illustrator or Corel then import it as a Spline Object. Sometimes they work great but other times, if the image is more complex, it doesn't like to cooperate. I've tried simplifying the image and checking the original art to make sure that the anchor points and lines don't intersect or loop over themselves. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn't. Does anyone have any insight on the subject.

Attached is a sample image.

 

Render_Sample.jpg
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Post edited by insomnia_5c322be5d8 on

Comments

  • DUDUDUDU Posts: 1,941
    edited March 2016

    I think if you export/import in .obj, it is easier to map the textures via the UV mapping feature.

    There are a few specialists here, but not me...

    Sorry !

    Post edited by DUDU on
  • otodomusotodomus Posts: 324

    Hi! I work very often with vector images that needs to be modelled in 3D, my process is to model to SketchUp and then get the renders in Carrara, if you are interested in this process let me know and I can give you my work-flow in the process, as you I have seen some issues importing directly as spine objects, the way I do work with SketchUp is really nice and models are 100% compatible with Carrara at the point that any component created in SU is saved by name that you can see in the shader room of Carrara.

     

    Regards

     

    Otto

  • otodomusotodomus Posts: 324
    edited March 2016

    Some samples done using SU+Carrara:

     

     

     

     

    CLiRK avance 3D.jpg
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    Clirk Logo 3D.png
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    La Petite-1.png
    800 x 480 - 221K
    Menu Board French-Render2.png
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    Milenio Radio Sketch2.jpg
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    Logo Expo XV Logo Detail.jpg
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    Post edited by otodomus on
  • otodomus    A work-flow would be great. I've been struggling with this for a while and haven't found a solution. Thank you.

     

    otodomus said:

    Hi! I work very often with vector images that needs to be modelled in 3D, my process is to model to SketchUp and then get the renders in Carrara, if you are interested in this process let me know and I can give you my work-flow in the process, as you I have seen some issues importing directly as spine objects, the way I do work with SketchUp is really nice and models are 100% compatible with Carrara at the point that any component created in SU is saved by name that you can see in the shader room of Carrara.

     

    Regards

     

    Otto

     

  • otodomusotodomus Posts: 324

    OK, first off you have a big step by using Ilustrator and Corel, I do usually do my vector art in Ilustrator, the next step is to get SketchUp, there are some versions that are free, SketchUp Make, and you can also run the free trial Pro version, maybe you can have a friend that can get you some Pro version the 2016 is the newest.

    https://www.sketchup.com/products/sketchup-pro/new-in-2016

    In Ai you can export your files as AutoCad Interchange File (dxf) 

    Depending on the complex of your vector art you will get basically a file with your vector art grouped in components, what you need is to explode those to get the lines that will be modelled.

    Once you have exploded all the components you will need to fill out the lines of the vector art, you can have some like this:

    And then you can extrude the parts you want to be solid:

    Sometimes you have a dragged lines that aren't smooth at all, this is because you need to add some paths to the vector lines, but before that try the above steps adn tell me if you have some questions.

     

    Regards

     

    Otto

     

     

  • otodomus   Excellent. Thank you.

  • cdordonicdordoni Posts: 579
    edited March 2016

    The Pathfinder functions (aka 2D booleans) in more recent Illustrator versions can produce duplicated shapes you may not be aware of. I always use Expand appearance and check the objects prior to exporting to be sure I dont have any duplicates that would cause issues similar to what you show. I also recall this was a particular problem with using Live Trace. Basically, operations that make objects that appear to be compound shapes (shapes with holes) may actually have a shape with a background color instead of a hole, so its not really a compound, or may have a compound with a shape in a background color. So when you go to extrude it the holes actually get filled in.

    Also, Disabing Auto Add Delete (in Preferences) can sometimes help with similar issues, as that relates to how Pathfinder functions. Don't ask me to explain it, its been a while and I'd have to go back to figure it out. I distinctly remember having to Disable it to get some things to work the way I wanted with Pathfinder.

    Another issue is that the Spline modeler does not give you any control over how the object is triangulated, and typically will throw in long spikey triangles which can cause rendering issues. I've used Hexagon to extrude Illustrator files and get an N-gon for the face, which you can then cut up into sections and tesselate them separately to get a better result. I never used Cararra's vertex modeler, but I imagine you can probably delete all the face triangles and replace it with an N-gon, and hopefully Carrara has some similar tools as Hexagon to give you control over the tesselation if you are having issues.

    Post edited by cdordoni on
  • otodomusotodomus Posts: 324
    edited March 2016

    Hi insomnia, I really hope that you can solve your needings modelling your medals, I am currently working with a logo for some signs, the process is how I have said before I only want to show you how the components are saved in SU and how they are opened in Carrara:

     

    The illustrator file:

     

    The SketchUp model, I have made components for every part of the logo this way I can assign a shader domine to each part:

    This is the window where you can see how Carrara recognises the components made in SketchUp, the highlighted parts are the logo ones:

    And this is a quick render:

     

    hope it helps

     

    Regards

     

    Otto

    Post edited by otodomus on
  • otodomus  Unfortunately none of my friends have access to SketchUp and I can't afford the Pro version so I'll have to make due with the free version. I'm also not familiar with SketchUp so I'll need to take some time to learn how explode group components and fill lines.

  • rob_krrob_kr Posts: 1

    Hi, hope this is useful.

    I suspect that the true answer is simply the code time gap. I think code ages in dog years ... leave it alone for a while and suddenly you find it no longer does what you expect, and Carrara's import code was written, I suspect, a long time ago in a galaxy far away. Also I dimly recall a rant from yesteryear about Adobe removing some backwards compatibility ai formats deliberately.

    Try this as a bridging program ... Creature House (Now Microsoft Epression) 3.3 ... be careful to get the right one ... not Microsoft Expression, you want Microsofts release of the old Creature House Program. This is a very competent vector program that still seems to work well (tried on Vista, 7,8.1). Microsoft has it for free (well you have to sign up for a free account). For those interested in art this produces beautiful paint simulations using vector brushes that remain editable. But if you switch off the brushes and leave on solid fill it exports to old ai formats very well. AI3 and 5 are very node heavy when they come into the spline tool and are difficult to do anything with. AI7 comes in very nicely with a minimum of nodes/points.

    I prefer it this way because then the spline object plays nicely with the other bits of Carrara e.g. modifiers like bend and twist. Bringing in models seems fine if you just want to shade them, but starts to fall apart the more you want to do after that, particularly applying modifiers and bones, you seem to get a lot of polygon popping in the shading.

    I used this route to bring in various cross sections for this part finished robot hand.

    The history of it is all up on Wikipedia for those interested. 

    Regards, Rob.

    handTestRender1.jpg
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  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,392
    edited March 2016

    Wow. This is Super-Cool stuff... stuff that I'd never known until I came across this conversation, and I think it's so awesome!

    Sorry to have been away again for so long. I'm hoping that it'll be worth it in the long run. I still check my PMs regularly, but haven't been able to visit the actual forum for some time due to heavily focusing on learning new things in regards to graphics in general, but gearing my focusing thoughts towards how it pertains to Carrara. 

    I think this is incredible. Does an artist actually need Illustrator to import vectors as splines? How do we do that? Like, can a person use Creature House bypassing AI entirely? I think that's what you're saying, isn't it? Hmmm... I can really see myself becoming immersed in this process!

    Edit: I mean also: can we do this without SketchUp?

    rob_kr, I could really see that hand model set up with faba's cool example of using Fenric's ERC for Carrara tools! Beautiful work!

    Otodomus, beautiful work and workflow info as always! Love it! Thanks ;) Thank you, too, insomnia and cdordoni! Most appreciated to all of you!

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • What might help is braking up the complex illustrator file in several parts and save them seperately. As long as you keep the original position of each part when saving it it is quite easy to put it together again in carrara, just copy/paste the first spline object and replace the imported ai element by the next one....and so on. When the the imported element is no compound you can even ad points to stabilize the form. (Sometimes the spline modeller imports even simple ai forms as compound  -  just brake it apart although there is nothing to brake apart.)

  • otodomusotodomus Posts: 324

    otodomus  Unfortunately none of my friends have access to SketchUp and I can't afford the Pro version so I'll have to make due with the free version. I'm also not familiar with SketchUp so I'll need to take some time to learn how explode group components and fill lines.

    Hello I am sorry as I have been a bit busy but is quite easy to explode the components, what you need to do is to select the imported file in SketchUp and do right click then there's an option to explode it, it would be useful to explode one by one and renamed to get organized.

    Also if you are working with the free version you eventually will need a plugin to convert your model to DXF that could be opened in Carrara, it will depend in your PC an operative system but usually this works:

     

    http://www.guitar-list.com/download-software/convert-sketchup-skp-files-dxf-or-stl

     

    Still in touch if you still needing guidance.

     

    Cheers 

     

    Otto

  • otodomusotodomus Posts: 324

     

    Otodomus, beautiful work and workflow info as always! Love it! Thanks ;) Thank you, too, insomnia and cdordoni! Most appreciated to all of you!

    Thanks Dart, it took me some very hard work to find how to work in those two programs and now is kind of my way of model when I need logos or other vector art. But believe me that is very efficient and you can afford good models.

     

    Regards

     

    Otto

  • cdordonicdordoni Posts: 579

    Otto,

    Do you have any control over the number of segments ( or resolution) of the curves coming from SketchUp, or is that determined when you import the AI into Sketchup?

    Maybe Sketchup has changed in the last few years, but as I recall it was not very easy to increase the resolution for some things.

  • otodomusotodomus Posts: 324
    cdordoni said:

    Otto,

    Do you have any control over the number of segments ( or resolution) of the curves coming from SketchUp, or is that determined when you import the AI into Sketchup?

    Maybe Sketchup has changed in the last few years, but as I recall it was not very easy to increase the resolution for some things.

    Hi! No, SketchUp can not maneage the resolution or increase the number of the segments, what you can do is to add anchor points in Ai this way you can have smooth curves after importing in SU, is something that not always happens it depends in how the vector image is done, but if you have a dragged image you can back to illustrator and by adding those anchor points you can solve the issue.

    The Mickey Mouse above showed was one that needed to add the anchor points, the following image was before that, notice the bad curves:

     

    image.jpg
    768 x 503 - 61K
  • otodomusotodomus Posts: 324
    edited March 2016

    And there's one thing that you can do in SU and is to smooth edges, when you add anchor points or in all the curves imported from illustrator you always will see those at the time you extrude the faces by selecting the geometry you can select the smooth edges option for the coplanar faces adjustment, the "Le Petite Pome" logo was done this way.

    Post edited by otodomus on
  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited June 2016

    I've always taken a bit different road to get there... here is what I do using TypeTool 3 for Windows/Mac, relatively inexpensive about $48, from Fontlab who also owns Fontographer. First I crank up Type Tool and create a single vector font character or even a logo Next save it out as a truetype font. After that simply load it into Carrara as a font.

    Type Tool has control handles which are much easier to use than Illustrator even Corel Draw. For a program which has full DTP features much better in some ways than Illustrator named PageStream - Professional DTP for Amiga, Macintosh & Windows, check it out at www.pagestream.org  It has a nice vector drawing feature and can export as different Illustrator versions which I've loaded into Illustrator later for further conversion. Type Tool will also load characters for fonts if you keep them fit to a certain size.

    Note that the WDG I use in my picture is only part of an entire font/character set I designed which I started on the Amiga computer in the 90s saving as a postscript font there and importing into Type Tool on my Windows computer. I've also designed several others for different symbols and character sets saving as Truetype and Postscript fonts.

    Below is a single font character containing a logo I rendered in Carrara tonight. I didn't work on it long to get it to not look too rough, IMO. I re-created the logo on my Amiga in the 90s.

     

    FordLogo.png
    640 x 480 - 91K
    Post edited by wgdjohn on
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