Which type of AI File Import

Using Mac OS 10.5.8
Blender 2.48a
I’m trying to import paths from Illustrator CS3. I’ve tried standard CS3. Tried to export a Illustrator 8 version and 3 version eps from CS3 but that doesn’t import into Blender either.

What’s with the two choices of Import on the Blender side ie:
Blender > File > Import > Paths > Illustrator AI or Postscript (See attached)

What file format and what menu option in Blender do I use?

What’s with every time I go to import in Blender I have to re-navigate to the new folder. Blender seems to remember the file path of my old project. How do I get Blender to stay in the directory I last visited?


Don’t use AI.

In Illustrator save your AI file as SVG and then import SVG into Blender.

It’s not working so well. I notice the tool tips pop-up says the import path function is (still experimental). It’s imported a double path with the letters filled in. It’s imported some strange dot pattern. Is this is as good as it gets?


The import .ai tool is for the old-school ai files. The pre Illustrator 9 files were based off of postscript. Then newer ones are based off of PDF.

SVG is by far the best format to use for 2D vector import. Illustrators SVG support can be sketchy though. SVG is Inkscape’s native format so it works great with SVG. You might need to use it as an in-betweener.

You’re letters are not filled in. They are just imported as multiple paths. If a letter consists of more than one path, you have to re-join them into a single object or they will continue to look “filled in”. Can’t really tell what the “dot pattern” is but it’s probably a multiple path object as well. To fix this select the paths that should be in the same object and hit CTRL-J.

Thanks! I see a pattern of excellent usability here in the Blender answers. I like that Blender people answer with a simple key command like hit CTRL-J. I suppose that’s due to what I’ve heard about Blender’s focus on keyboard shortcuts. It’s been how I work. Get the hot-key card and start experimenting. I can remember the muscle memory of a hot-key years after I’ve not touched a program and forgotten everything else about it. Addtionally, this community is strong evidence that the profit motive is evolving to something more unified. Double Thanks.

I always throw away those illustrator grid array things.

Also, another tip is to select what you want to save out as SVG, copy it to the clip board, create a new illustrator document,paste, and then save as SVG from that clean new document.

deleted message. Because I have an idea how to fix.

This thread might be helpful.

(and yes I know it’s your thread Atom, lol.)

Great RooFoo. It was very helpful. I think it’s working OK now. We’ll see as I learn more about modeling and animating the logo. Thanks very much.

Here’s the problem I had earlier. When I recenter the axis on the CTRL-J’ed letters they turn black. I think this is because the polys are now non-planar and Open GL turns it black due to it’s lighting/render limitations in the viewport. This time it didn’t cause a render problem, maybe because I haven’t moved it around yet. Is this going to be a problem downstream?


Sometimes imported paths are not totally flat in the Z-axis. (Don’t know why…)

To make sure all the verticies are flat in Z, select the object, press TAB to enter sub-object mode. Press “a” to select all verticies. Press “s” to scale and then press “z” to limit it to Z-axis. Move your mouse in to scale Z while holding CTRL to snap values. Click when value (shown in lower left corner) is 0.0 Hit TAB to exit sub-object mode.

The black is from intersecting faces. (Faces are created on both the back and front.) This is generally only an OpenGL issue. To get rid of it, in the editing buttons window (F9), within the Curve and Surface panel, set the extrude value to a very small number. Shouldn’t show black after that.

Thank you for the awesome answer! I don’t think there’s a way to google such an answer. : )

have you tryed the wings method ??

No I have not tried Wings 3D. Don’t know much about it.

Why can’t I select all the vertices for all the letters and icon shapes at the same time? I can only select one letter at a time to do this process. I’ve included a screen shot. I renamed all the letters so they sort in order in the Outliner Panel.


You can only work in sub-object (edit) mode for one object at a time.

If you want to join them all into the same object, you could then access all verticies at the same time in edit mode.

Select all and CTRL+J

I CTRL+J joined everything. Then did the constrained scale on the z axis to put all the vertices a 0.000. But the entire logo turned black. So I tried to extrude the logo and nothing happens. I tried extruding by selecting all in both edit mode and object mode. Nothing happens in the 3d view although the extrude button shows a value much higher than zero. Can you take a look at my file?


motionista logo 01a.blend (147 KB)

I looked at your Blend, something is wrong with it. It would be better to start from scratch. Post the SVG. Rename the SVG as a BLEND and upload it.

I’ve uploaded both the ai file and the svg file. The version of ai used to convert to svg is CS3 v.13.0.2
The ai file is: Motionista font type and icon1.blend
The svg file is: Motionista font type and icon2.blend


Motionista font type and icon1.blend (187 KB)Motionista font type and icon2.blend (5.58 KB)

I re-read the Atom - RooFoo thread but it doesn’t seem to come up with a resolution. The thread then changed to become more general in scope as to whether Blender is for hobbyist or can deal with the deadlines in professional motion graphics. I too am arriving at that same question. I need to know if Blender can reliably work in the motion graphics workflow. Character development seems to have a different workflow and it seems to be the focus of development for Blender not motion graphics. Does anyone have anything to say about this?

This thread might be helpful.

(and yes I know it’s your thread Atom, lol.)