Jump to content

Bend text on curved surface

Recommended Posts

Then there are a couple other ways to go within Vectorworks.

If the letters are attached to a curved surface, the Create Surface Array command in the Model Menu will get you part way there. Make an array of 1 in each direction. But the result is letters which are faceted NURBS curves. Since they are curves, they have no fill. And the letter is often buried in the surface, so its location needs to be edited in 3d via the Edit Array Items in the edit pane.

Create Surface Array gets even closer if the letters are NURBS surfaces before running the Surface Array command. Although the resulting Surface Array will probably need Convert to Group, then edit the curvature of each letter (see below). If necessary, convert the Array to group (CMD K) and Shell each letter.

Or skip the Surface Array and go directly to the NURBS Surfaces. Some of these steps can be applied to the whole text block, but the bending part requires editing each letter individually:

?Start in Top/Plan. Key in the text and draw the curve they need to bend to.

?Convert Text to Polyline (all the text in one go, then ungroup to work on each letter)

?Convert to NURBS - Result is a NURBS Curve or group for each letter. Enter the resulting groups or ungroup them.

?Convert each letter to a NURBS Surface (3D PowerPack>Convert Curve to Surface)

?For any letter with interior shapes (eg A or R):

*Convert perimeter & interior shapes to NURBS Surface

*Select them and Model>Subtract Surface. Result is a Solid Subtraction.

*Convert the SS to NURBS (Opt Cmd N). Result is a NURBS Surface.

?Letter is still a planar object on ground plane.

? In OIP set the U degree to 2. In edit mode the letter will have 3 handles top & bottom.

? Rotate 3d so it stands on the x axis.

?Switch view to display top edge of selected letter.

?Dbl click to edit. Set mode for Move U vertices only, and constrain to y axis

?Drag the middle vertex to bend the letter.

?Shell the letter if desired.

Refine by adding more U degree if the bend is not conforming to the desired curve. Also, this process "stretches" the letter. Rescale prior to bending if needed so bent letter has same plan view arc length as the flat version of the letter.



Edited by Benson Shaw
Link to comment

Why wouldn't you use text along path? Then your text remains editable.

- Extract the top curve of your surface.

- Create your text element.

- Select both the curve and the text and choose "Text Along Path" from the Text menu.

- in the OIP you can choose if the text is surfaces, curves or extrudes.

- set your "Rot about Path" appropriately in the OIP. **** this is the key

You can edit the path or text later by double clicking on your text later.

(Then go to the Wishlist forum and wish for being able to replace the text with any other shape you want to wrap around the path :-) )



Clearly there are a few bugs in Text Along Path (filled in shapes and difficulty holding styles)..... KM

Edited by Kevin McAllister
Link to comment


True enough. But you could easily use Text Along Path to create extruded text deeper than needed(ie. extends behind the original surface, and protrudes further than you need) by offsetting the curved path, then create a curved extrude the depth of the finished text and create the curved text using Intersect Solids. Its a few less steps. This approach still has the "stretching" you mention though.


Link to comment

Right, Kevin - slicing an extrude with a curved surface creates a curved letter face, but as you note, this is still not bending in the sense of taking a sheet metal letter with a certain dimension and bowing or bending it.

However, one can use the TAP command to reduce the number of steps in my list above. Within the resulting TAP object, all the letters are converted to NURBS surfaces (all the steps up to the Solid Subtraction in my list). Then Convert to Group and ungroup to work with the NURBS Surfaces. Resize, move and bow as needed. Letters with the interior "holes" may need the solid subtraction & convert to NURBS treatment.

I'm not trying to dissuade anyone from using Text Along Path. TAP is pretty easy. And if the text is small compared to radius of the bend/curve, the flat letters may be acceptable.

We should continue to wish list bending functionality within Vectorworks.


Link to comment

Thanks Mike. That's what I would do if if it were polylines, but here it's a Text Along Path object so you have no control over the interior knock outs. If you convert the text object to polylines the command fails. It's a half implemented "feature"...


Kevin to get rid of the fill in letters like O P and R you need to select the hole part in the 2D polylines, send them to the front and then Clip them from the background polyline objects. After deleting these 'hole' polylines your letters will extrude and fill properly.
Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...