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Extrude Text Along "Helix Spiral" Path issues

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Dear VW friends, 


I have been trying and failing at creating extruded text along a Helix Spiral, the text always seems to skew out 

and leave the path. I tried playing around with the rotation around path but it's still turning out wonky... My goal is 

to have the text extrude flat along the path so that it can placed on the outside of a cilinder. I feel its because the path is

rotating around itself slightly but can't figure out how to avoid this problem any thoughts? 


Thank you for your help!



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Hello Again VW friends!


So... I kept at it and I think I found a work around that gave me the result I needed....

The result is visually correct but it's hard to get it done in exact dimensions, so it took

me 4 tries to get it close to the size I needed... So maybe there is still a better way to approach this 

but I did it as follows:


1. In top view I created a line (path) at an angle (the angle that worked for me was 7.5 degrees)

2. I used the text along path tool to extrude the text along the line (scaling height and width to match the length of the path)

3. Using a 3d locus I marked the center of the "text along path" object

4. In front view I then used the Deform tool to bend to object into a helix spiral using the 3D locus as starting point ( deforming 270 degrees was about the right amount for me)


I will post images of my process below... I still think it should be possible using the 'text along path" tool directly with a helix spiral path but just couldn't figure it out...



Screen Shot 2020-03-18 at 10.28.55 PM.png

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Screen Shot 2020-03-18 at 10.29.37 PM.png

Screen Shot 2020-03-18 at 10.29.53 PM.png

Screen Shot 2020-03-18 at 10.30.01 PM.png

Screen Shot 2020-03-18 at 10.31.16 PM.png

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@Kevin Allen 


Hi Kevin thank you for your response, in the end that is what I ended up doing... but the it was hard to be precise.

I wanted the spiraled lettering to uniformly keep to a set diameter. After about 4 tries

with the deform tool I got pretty close... but not quite perfect

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Trying to recall, but I think you can use the floating data bar to be pretty precise with Deform.

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Posted (edited)

I agree that your process with Deform Tool best option.  Text Along Path bends the text string, like tiles on a curved wall, but does not bend or bow the individual characters. Letters end up as flat things, or flat faced extrudes projecting from the path. Also, the letters seem to orient perpendicular the normal to the curve (guessing).  The normal (or other scheme) is not constantly perpendicular to the helical axis, which is why letters tilt variously. This tilt is noticeable in Top and other views.  Adjusting the rotation about path can correct the text at a given point on the helix, but over compensates elsewhere in the text string.


Down side of the Deform process is that the result loses its PIO features, so keep a copy of the setup in case edits are needed.


In addition to use of the floating data as @Kevin Allen  suggests, when bending objects with Deform, I often make a 2d "forge". This is usually a line and/or arc or other shape with start/mid/end loci and maybe a point or two off the line to represent the extent or endpoints of the Deform bend.  This forge can overlay the target, perhaps on another layer, and provides snap points for the Deform process.  Forge can be reused for trials, and edited, too, if it is not performing to spec.


(wait until you try this on a sphere or other complex shape.  Yi, yi, yi!)



Edited by Benson Shaw
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@Benson Shaw Thank you for your input! It certainly explains in proper terms what I was suspecting was happening when I was trying the text along path along helical axis. 


I also very much like the idea of the 2D forge and will try make that practice a part of my usual workflow! 


I did get a minor anxiety attack when trying to think up how I would do this on a complex shape like a sphere as you mentioned... not touching that problem

for now.... lol


Thanks again!

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