Importing Illustrator shapes, and converting to a usable form in Blender

I am fairly new to Blender, but am excited to dive into the vast realm of possibility. My question is hopefully a simple one. I am used to using Illustrator for creating shapes, as I have familiarized myself over time to its features working on posters and T shirts. It also has the handy option of converting hand drawn pieces into vectors, which can be easily edited with the bezier curves.

I would like to take advantage of all that, and import shapes created in Illustrator to Blender. From what I have read, I would save the Illustrator file as an SVG to import it, and I have done this. I notice 2 things when I do this.

  1. It imports as a very small shape (not necessarily an issue, though if there is a workaround for this I’m all ears.)
  2. When I import a shape, my goal would be to have a shape this edges, and vertices, and 2 faces-one for each side. I would think that it would look like that because it is importing as a 2 diminutional object entering a 3d world. This would be ideal because I could then simply extrude the face and essentially create any shape I want. However, when I try doing this, I end up with an immensely complicated shape that does note behave as I would expect it to. It would seem to be a composite shape composed of hundreds of smaller slices, each of which seems to be counted as a face instead of the program recognizing the shape itself as a single face.

Is it possible to import, or to convert and imported Illustrator file to be extruded as a single face?

I have included an image of the problem I am encountering when trying to extrude one such face. Any suggestions would be immensely valuable.

Thank you!

If you just want to add thickness you can just extrude all those faces at the same time, it would give the same effect as having one face.
In this case you cannot have just one face, you cannot have a face with a hole in it, you would need at least 2 faces

Tools to use
Select edges and W / Limited Dissolve
Select two vertices and press J to connect them
Select an edge and X / Dissolve Edge (This will give an error if it would create a face with a hole in it)

Garbage in equals garbage out in this scenario. So make sure your Illustrator work is top notch or you will be fixing it in Blender later. Some Illustrator features will not import at all like gradients across shapes, un-outlined fonts etc…

Also, unless you really need to convert to mesh, don’t. Just leave it as a curve for future changes to extrude or bevel.

After I import a SVG shape I type S10ENTER to scale it up by 10x.

2 quick follow up questions.

  1. Thank you for the methodology for simplifying faces. I didn’t know a face couldn’t have a hole. If I want to move the sections as one, is there a way to make several segments act as one entity, sort of like a group where clicking on one segment would select all members of that group?

  2. Model, thank you for the tips, both on resizing and on maintaining the object as a curve. Is there a way to extrude a curve? I tried going to edit mode and pressing e.

thank you for the good suggestions!


Extrude is part of the data context of the curve or font objects.