What is the best way to create a good shape from a 2D point outline?

I am designing an elephant in blender and have come up with a good 2d outline of the shape but want to bring it into 3D. I tried dividing the shape into little other shapes with four pints each but got some wack geometry. What is the best way to take a point outline and make it 3d?

This is one of the trickiest problems in 3D modeling- there isn’t an easy or “one size fits all” answer. What I would recommend, after lots of trial and error myself, is this: use your 2D outline or object as a background image while you model over it. I totally get the urge to just easily convert 2D to 3D, it would be amazing if that was possible. You’ll save yourself a lot of headache using your outline as reference and modeling separately from it.

The tutorial below shows how it might be done to create ‘low poly’ animals (but with patience I guess you could make higher poly versions too??). The tutorial is in 2.79, but the principles will be the same.

Might be helpful?

Hi James,

I would agree with Lazlo if it’s a full 3D elephant you want, especially if you are a beginner (like me), the method outlined in the tutorial is very helpful with getting you started. Also, this addon (Blender Blueprint AutoSetup) can help you setup the reference images.

Another option is using a model from someplace like Blendswap. It’s a great way to see/explore how things are made. Here’s a couple of examples (note some are old so mileage might vary):

  1. https://www.blendswap.com/blend/3449
  2. https://www.blendswap.com/blend/17275
  3. https://www.blendswap.com/blend/6124

Now if you only want a 2D outline made into 3D like a pendant or logo type of thing then I’d suggest converting your mesh to a curve then extrude it. Here’s the basic steps.

  1. Backup your mesh.
  2. While in object mode, Select Object > Convert To > “Curve from Mesh/Test”.
  3. Then go to the Object Data Properties.
  4. In “Shape” section change setting to 2D.
  5. Set Fill Mode to Both.
  6. In Geometry section change Extrude to desired value.
  7. In Bevel section change Depth to something that looks good (you can change the Resolution if needed.

Cheers and happy blending!

if you can another way would be to find on the web
some reference drawing with top side and front view

then you can start modelling in 3D with 3 reference view plans


elephant reference dwg - Bing images

good luck
happy bl