2012-10-23

Creating 3D logos from a jpg

Lately I've been creating quite a few seals in my renderings, and thought I'd share a really fast way to bring 2D logos and seals into your 3d models.  To do this well, you have to have illustrator, but there may be other vector programs out there that do this that I'm not aware of.  Typically I look first for a vector version of a logo, usually I find them embedded in pdf files such as handbooks with a logo on the title page.  However, if I can't find a vector image, then I can still work with a raster image.






 So I start off with an image, typically found off the internet.  I use Illustrator to convert a 2d image to vector, and it does the job fairly well.  There are several things to look for when picking your image to get this to work well:
• Choose the highest resolution image you can find
• Images with strong contrasts in color work better







Simply open the image in Illustrator.  With the image selected go to Object->Live Trace->Tracing Options.  In CS 6 this has moved to Window->Image Trace.  I always check "Preview" to see what my image will look like when it's converted.  I also check "Ignore White" to remove white as an object and simply use the lines.  The advantage to this is that you can get true holes in your logo, which is an effect impossible to create with opacity and bump alone.  Text can be a bit tricky with the conversion and often doesn't look quite right, but you can adjust some of the Trace Settings to tweak them.  Then hit Trace.




After it converts the image to vector, don't forget to hit the "Expand" button to bake the shapes in.  Now I simply save the file as an .ai file.  I use version 8, so Max will import it correctly, but newer versions of Max may handle newer .ai files.






.ai imported into Max

 Why .ai files?  Your initial thought may be to export from Illustrator as a .dwg.  The problem with doing this is you get thousands of vertices in your spline, and it makes 3ds Max angry.  Importing .ai files reduces the number of vertices and makes Max happier.





.dwg imported into Max

Now that I have a spline in 3dsmax, I simply add an Extrude modifier to the spline and watch the magic happen.  You will notice that the result isn't perfect, but modeling something with this detail could simply take hours, and using this technique gets the job done in minutes!



7 comments:

  1. Could you do the same thing with a Bump map instead of having to trace it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The bump map will only work if you have a back to the logo. The example I posted may not be a good image, I'll try to update it and perhaps it will make more sense.

      You can definitely use a bump in some situations, though.

      Thanks

      Delete
  2. Great very nice post Thanks a lot for such a nice blog post and .I am going to follow your blog. thanks for sharing.


    trademark law in india
    trademark litigation

    ReplyDelete
  3. Gracias Ramy...siempre un placer aprender de un grande.Saludos

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi, Is there a way to do it with Photoshop CS5?
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think this can be done in Photoshop...sorry.

      Delete
  5. thank you very much, for sharing this. I find your work is amazing & your blog is very helpful, thank you for sharing your thoughts.
    Hazem

    ReplyDelete