help!

Hi there,

Am a graphic designer and never really used any 3d program so everything here is very new to me. For one project I have been asked to create something very simple and not really original (but i was asked to do it…) It’s for a calender and I need to make some sort of 3d numbers like shown on the first image bellow it looks so simple but as i have no clue how do it and therefor it’s seems to be very complicated, while it’s probably not…

So I have some questions regarding to how to create these kind of images and I hope you guys can get me on the right track : )

  • First of all I want to know if it’s possible to import any illustrator vector image into Blender. All the numbers in the calender will be made from a pixel kind of grid like shown on the second image.

  • And if it is possible, can I then easily make cube’s from them in Blender?

  • If not, is there a way to recreate the pixeled number in Blender and align cubes so they all will look even and structured?

  • And how can I change the hight of the cubes (like shown on the first image)?

  • And is it possible to change the colors of the cubes after I made the image, not having to change all of them one by one, but all in one go? The idea of the calender is to have the color pallet from the first image (white, grey, black and red) but all numbers should have a different placing of colors and different image crop and angle.

That’s about it, I hope you guys can answer my questions. Because I tried to do it in illustrator but it took a lot of time and it didn’t work out… (see the bottom image…)

Thanks in advance,

Sunita

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Hmm it’s an easy task but it would be nice if it could be done with displacement mapping so you create a greyscale map of the numbers (e.g. with “Render clouds/Mosaic effect” in Photoshop) and apply it in Blender.

I’d love to see if some can do this here.

…Blender can import AI/SVG vector files but it won’t help I think. The “ugly method” is that you’ll have to use the image of the number as blueprint and “rebuild” it completely using cubes (adjust EVERY single cube in height/color). This would be a loooong task I guess.

When I’m at home tonight, I’ll check out Illustrator. There should be a method to do it in Illustrator with 3D bevel/extrude. Illustrator can also handle grids which can be combined with the number shape I think.
I did something similar in the past but this is a bit more complex.

Hey Phareon,

Thanks for your quick reply!

I have tried some things in illustrator with the extrude and bevel but somehow it didn’t work, the cubes changed not in high to the sides and with an other attempt using more effects, illustrator ignored what was in front and back creating interesting images but not really what i was looking for… But yeah if you could have a look in illustrator it would be great! There are many things i haven’t discovered yet so it might as well work : )

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What if you were to draw the image as a grid, save to .svg, import into Blender, convert to mesh and extrude selectively…?

Well I can get you part way there with the modeling. I am at a loss as to how to add the orange color to only one side. I would guess using colored lamps would work, but I can’t think it out right now. As for the numbers here is what I got with a few minutes of work:


How I did it will take longer to write then to actually do in Blender. I added a Test object with the numbers 0-9. I then added a Grid mesh set to 128 x 32. It is important that the grid you created will have perfectly square faces. So, make sure the X and Y numbers are evenly divisible. Now, center the grid over the text object and use Retopo All to drop the faces of the grid on to the text. This will leave some faces sticky out away from the text. Select all these faces (side view Box select works well) and then Delete Faces. Now all the unneeded faces are gone, but some of the remaining faces are warped. To fix this, select all and press S (scale) then the axis that your objects are oriented on (in my case Y) and then press 0 and enter. This will flatten all the faces onto the given plane (Y).

Now, select one of these faces, shit-D to copy it and P to separate it. tab into object mode, select the new single face you separated, tab into Edit mode and extrude that face to form the longest of the cuboid shapes you will want in the finished piece. Tab, back to object mode, select the single extruded face object and then Shift-select the grid object and parent them (Ctrl-P).

Add a material to the Grid object and to that add a Cloud texture. Now, add a Displacement Modifier to the Gird object and set it to use the Cloud texture. This will warp the faces on the grid. Finally, Turn on Dupliverts on the grid object and magically the extruded face (cuboid thing) will be multiplied over each vertex on the grid. And will be displaced by the cloud texture. The only other things I did, was add a black plane to cut-off the back-ends of the objects and set my camera to Ortho to get the orthographic render.

Well I hope that made some sense. If not, let me know.

Here is the Blend:
NumberDisplace.blend (55 KB)

huh, interesting technique, Dichotomy.
Susu, as far as getting a font like the 6 you have shown. You should be about to use any *.ttf font. So, find a font that looks the way you would like it to, make sure it is a true type font and then use the text tool in Blender. Have you used Blender before? If not, you should start here: http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Manual
I’m not the best person to answer your texturing questions, but you might be able to change the colors of your numbers using nodes. I don’t really know very much about the node system though…

My idea is also based on the grid mesh as initial object.
Create a number in Top View - give it some 3D depth by extruding beveling or sculpting.
Place the Grid over the number. Delete as much a possible faces of the grid that arent covering the number. Separate all remaining faces of the grid and extrude them to form elongated prizms. Separate all loose parts into individual objects. Move the pivot in the center of each prism. Now use Drop Onto Ground script (in Object menu) and use the number as “ground”. Delete all prisms that didn’t drop. Join the rest and flatten the bottom ov the “voxcelized” number.
If you have the “ground” number already made - the rest of the above mentioned will take 2-3 minutes to complete.

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First of all it’s great getting so much help in such a short time! I really didn’t expect it!

Soter:
Yep, it’s the first time i am using the program : ) so am still spending a lot of time searching small things in manuals and tutorials.

The font I have shown is actually a grid of squares i made on top of a Helvetica Condensed CE as this is the font used with all the other calendars of the same company.

DichotomyMatt:
Wow thanks man, you even made something! thanks for that! But it’s a bit more complicated though for me as I don’t know where to find certain things which u described…I am really a beginner in this program… and it doesn’t look like any program i’ve ever worked with before… (so… sorry for any seemingly obvious questions…)

  • how to add a test object (with the numbers 1 to 12)?
  • (grid mesh set I found even though i don’t see any grid appearing (after adding the 128 x 32) I just see plain rectangle)
  • Where to find Retopo all?

Maybe it’s easier first to get this right and then see if i can do the rest you described
But i am sure there will be some more questions coming up ; )

Organic:
I tried to do what you said imported the grid of number but somehow i didn’t manage to get the number 3d… or is the some extrude button somewhere (like in illustrator?)

Phareon:
Anything found in illustrator?

My housemate is an industrial designer and she is using the program Rheno Ceros. It’s mainly for Windows she said which is quite a shame as I use a mac… Anyway she managed to create the images below, but still we had the coloring problem. She didn’t know how to change the colors of the cubes in one go, just piece by piece…so that’s not really handy…

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ok so were are those extruding and beveling buttons hiding?

For the colors you can use Toon shading with increased specularity.
Edit: Extrude and bevel for Text objects are in Curve andSurface pannel in Buttons window.
It seems that you are new in Blender. Become familliar with Blender basics as quick as you can :slight_smile:

Hey Syziph,

Yeah i am new here… just started 2 days ago reading some manuals and watching tutorials… am more used to make things by hand or using photography (I even made a 3d dummy from paper from a number as i was struggling with different 3d programs) and then play with it on the computer in illustrator, photoshop and indesign… so it’s a bit of a struggle… It seems such a easy thing to build this thing in a 3d program, but it’s almost like leaning a new language, everything is new and unfamiliar…

Anyway your image starts to look like what I have to create! (except for the black outline). Thanks for the explanation!
I got to the part where i can import the flat pixeled number as a .svg into blender.
I will try now if i can make it 3d with the extruding and bevel.
And How can i move the pivot?

Ah I had problems with my computer yesterday so I couldn’t fire up Illustrator. I’ll try it today.

The result of Rhino is very nice! I played around with this NURBS-sickness a while but I went back to SDS-modeling :wink:

I would completely adjust the colors in Photoshop. Or do you need the colors in the 3D-files? Those Rhino-images would be predestinated for coloring because it’s quite easy with some adjustment layers.

Aaah! I think i start understanding it with the the help of all you guys! thanks so much! will post an image a bit later (am still playing around a little : )

So yeah this is where I am at now thanks to you all! It took me quite a lot of time but i am very happy with the result so far! This is what I did in the end.

  • I Made the number grid in illustrator on top of a excisting font. Saved at as a .svg and imported it in to Blender.
  • Then I used the extrude option selection on like 20 to 30 squares at a time (joinin these the objects beforehand). And after while is was done!

The only thing i am still playing with is the colours. What i did now was change the colour of the light into red, but this isn’t yet what i want…

Syziph
“For the colors you can use Toon shading with increased specularity”
where can i find this?
: ) : ) : )

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Nice result! Congratulations!
You can find it in Materials Buttons window.
I am sending you the blend file with the settings that I’ve used for the second image in my post.

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voxel-number.blend (324 KB)

Aaaah thanks Syziph! It looked very complicated when I opended the file hahaha. You send me the file of the red 6, but could u maybe also send me the file of the other one (grey/white.red)? So i can see the differences and look how you did it : ) I still haven’t managed to change the colors myself so am just working on all the numbers now (1 to 12) getting them all 3d like the 3 I showed (1 with the shortest sticks and 12 with the longest). Last question for this moment, is there some option to export it as a vector image in the end?

Not complicated - just too much windows :slight_smile:
Press SHIFT+Z with the cursor over any 3D Window or just F12 to render :slight_smile:
The window on the right (with the small sphere) displays the material settings for the effect you want to achieve.
To your question:
Blender cannot export to vector image directly.
But this script may help:

http://www3.sympatico.ca/emilio.aguirre/

http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=49984

Edit: If you want to try with my material. Open your file -> Shift+F1 to append -> locate my file click on it, right click on Materials and press Load Library button. Select your object and in Material buttons window choose my material to be applied.

How about UV mapping the colours?
Go into side view (NUMPAD 3), select all the faces facing you and unwrap U => project from view and in the UV Editor window load an image the colour of your choice. Repeat for other orientations. Remember to select UV in the Map Input panel in the Material settings and load the image as a texture. F6 => texture type - image and browse to the image.

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hmmm I am still not there yet…

Organic
I’ve tried to do what you described but somehow I got stuck already with the first step.
The unwarping didn’t really work yet as I had to join like 20 to 30 of the cubes beforehand so I could extrude more of them in one go. But do you or anybody else know how to ‘un’ join objects? I found this somewhere “To split one object into two separate objects enter editmode, select the vertices to split off and press P (for seParate ;-).” but somehow it doens’t work for me, beacuse when I do this the objects disappear from the 3d view and the program seems to freeze not reacting on anything anymore…

Phareon
I hope you comp is working again : ) Am still curious if it also works in illustrator eventhough i am quite happy with the result here in blender : ) Am slowly getting to the right result : )
Am trying to get the colour adjustment done in Blender, as that would be the easiest sollution i suppose (if it will work in the end : ).

Syziph
I managed to play with the lights in your file, creating the result shown on the image. I am really getting there! I still want to try also to color the sides instead of using the lights to give the color.

ps it’s quite funny to see everybody being so creative with their names hahaah

hmmm I am still not there yet…

Organic
I’ve tried to do what you described but somehow I got stuck already with the first step.
The unwarping didn’t really work yet as I had to join like 20 to 30 of the cubes beforehand so I could extrude more of them in one go. But do you or anybody else know how to ‘un’ join objects? I found this somewhere “To split one object into two separate objects enter editmode, select the vertices to split off and press P (for seParate ;-).” but somehow it doens’t work for me, beacuse when I do this the objects disappear from the 3d view and the program seems to freeze not reacting on anything anymore…

Phareon
I hope you comp is working again : ) Am still curious if it also works in illustrator eventhough i am quite happy with the result here in blender : ) Am slowly getting to the right result : )
Am trying to get the colour adjustment done in Blender, as that would be the easiest sollution i suppose (if it will work in the end : ).

Syziph
I managed to play with the lights in your file, creating the result shown on the image. I am really getting there! I still want to try also to color the sides instead of using the lights to give the color.

ps it’s quite funny to see everybody being so creative with their names hahaah