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Projection onto surface - fail





Watching this wonderful VW Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GXyERElldk) video on projecting onto a surface to engrave, my sample comes up as a fail every time.  the original "1" was a letter from vector art that I imported.  It's be converted to a NURBS.  Attached is the file that fails.  I have a logo that I'm working on that I currently have in AI, that I would like to import and engrave, similar to that of the video. Any help would be greatly appreciated.  





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Having another version of the same problem.  I'm trying to project some text onto a curved surface, same as the above mentioned.  The issue is that the text file is originally in AI, EPS, PNG or PDF.  All that to say, I can import the text, but it's always some sort of image.  It's a custom font so I can't re-write.  See the attached file.


I'v e tried to export the text from AI as a DWG and imported it that way....still bubkiss.


Any thoughts from the helpful blokes out there?


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@mattOC  This is rather a workaround to the problem of flowing objects or outlines onto a sphere. Not a perfect projection, but close.  Also cumbersome.


The Basics:

• Duplicate in Place the sphere.

• Shell the dupe to outside.  Shell depth is desired height of raised text.

• Work with the letters one at a time.  Best if extrude source poly has very few vertices (eg re trace the "N" & others).

• Extrude a letter to small height (your 1/4" is good here)

• In different views as needed, move and tilt the extrude until face of extrude is positioned correctly relative to the other letters AND tangent to the shell surface or parallel to the tangent plane. Another way to say this is that the letter plane is perpendicular to and centered on the sphere normal.

• Increase extrude height so it everywhere penetrates all the way through the shell.

• Select the shell and the extrude.

• Intersect Solids

Result is a letter with spherical surfaces located on the original sphere.

Repeat for remaining letters with dupes of the shell

Should be possible to cut all the letter extrusions into one shell in one go, but I couldn't make it work.


In the sample file mods, The N is completed intersection.  The O is tilted into position, extruded deep and ready to Solid Intersect with another a dupe of the shell.


I also tried a intersecting and/or subtracting the letter extrusion and original sphere (instead of a shell), then apply Shell to the resulting letter surface.  It refused to shell for reasons of its own.


Another similar approach would be to Move/Tilt/Rotate each letter as a planar NURBS or 3d Poly until tangent to sphere, then use the Project Tool.  But the subsequent shell might not work.  I didn't try.


Good Luck!




TEXT_TEST_4_VW BMods.vwx


Edited by Benson Shaw
Dupe in Place
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Hey @Benson Shaw 


What's the advantage of a shelled sphere as opposed to a normal solid sphere?  I'll try this later today and get back to you.  If I / we can get the "letters" to be outlines, why does the Project tool fail?  Feels like I'm working harder than I need to, not to take anything away from your work around!


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Hi, @mattOC 

No real advantage, just preference.  In my workflow, the completed letter is intersection of the shell and the extrusion.  Letter is separate from the original sphere. Its "back" surface is coincident with the original sphere.  The shelled sphere gives thickness to the letter.


I thought I could just extrude into the original sphere, intersect to create a letter on the surface, then shell the letter to provide thickness.  But it wouldn't shell.  Hence resorting to intersecting with a shelled sphere. Maybe should look at that again.


The project tool does offer working with standard 2d shapes (they don't have to be NURBS or 3d polys). And, today anyway, I am able to shell the trimmed letters formed this way.  But for me, it is not as good for this because it only projects perpendicular to the screen.  That means lining up each letter for perp to the sphere normal, setting the view along that normal, then project.  The project tool>add mode is the way to go to prevent punching all the way through. Raised letters will need to capture that surface at the intersection and shell it outward.  so, the Split or Trim mode may be more useful, then replace the base sphere with a new one.


It is easier for me to manipulate the extruded letters than to manipulate a view and the planar letters. I admit readily that my workaround has drawbacks and others may prefer the project tool workflow.


Neither of these workflows produces an accurate mapping of the letter onto the sphere. We need Rhino's Flow to Surface or similar mentioned in other threads by @Kevin McAllister, kind of a rubber sheet effect. There is not much distortion in these vwx workflows if the letters are small relative to the sphere diameter and projection direction stays close to sphere normal.  But if the letter is almost same size as sphere or far off of normal, it distorts radically.  Then the workflow gets really stoopid - Convert letter to NURBS Surface, bend/ move vertices to the sphere surface, each on the normal.  Still kind of hit or miss! Non spherical surfaces are even worse because, where's the normal???

Edited by Benson Shaw
Project >Add mode
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I guess as big of an issue as far as this specific project is what to do with type/text that is imported as an image.  If this were native text in VW, none of this would be an issue, but it's an image.  What's the proper workflow from illustrator or InDesign?  How is graphic design best integrated into 3D design?


I dig your work arounds to make it operational!



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