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Drawing on a Curved Surface

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I'm creating a model with curved walls and need to draw/ design a mural on them.  Using the "Polyline Tool" with the "Set Working Plane" tool is perfect for drawing on a flat surface but not practical for a curved surface.

Does anyone have an idea how i might approach this?  I thought about creating it on a flat wall, taking a screen shot and then applying it to a textured, curved wall as a decal.  Not sure if that's going to work though.

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That would probably work.


Or use a texture and don't let it repeat.  That way you could map it exactly where you want it.


You can also use the Extract tool in the 4th mode (Extract Surface Mode) to extract the nurbs surface and you could use Subtract Solid to get exactly the shape you need.



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You could try using the project tool in the 3d modelling tool set.   Draw closed polygons on a plane facing towards your object.  Make sure your view is changed to look directly onto the plane (the projection goes in whatever direction you are looking).  Select the polygon then select surface to project it onto.   Pay attention to the mode options at the top of the screen,  the object will either extrude to the surface,  project onto the surface or subtract from the surface.


Project 2.jpg

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A texture is good because it actually wraps without distortion, but bad because is pixel’s rather than vectors, and because scale is iffy.


The Project tool puts vectors on the surface, but distorts because the projection is perpendicular to working plane.  

If working with cylinders, one workaround without distortion is to create a rectangle of same dimension as the cylinder surface (or extract and unfold the cylinder surface), draw the graphic, clip graphic into the rectangle, and convert to NURBS. Bend into cylinder with the Deform Tool. Shell to give thickness or  Align onto the source cylinder.

note: the bend function does not like to make a full cylinder, so if Bend fails, split things into segments or bend shy of the full diameter by a minuscule amount. 



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Having done this many times I would recommend the following method -


- figure out the length of your curved wall (if you draw a matching curve the OIP will show you the arc length for example).

- draw a flat rectangle the correct length and height.

- design your backdrop.

- rasterize the design to make a bitmap (I often just take a cropped screen shot).

- create a texture using the image you just created.

- map the image onto the surface. You will need to use cylindrical mapping for an arc. If the curve switches directions, you may need to build it in two pieces. The new UV mapping in VW2022 may also be able to do this - not sure, I haven't played with it yet.


Your painter will likely want to work from the flat version. You may need to add a radial grid equally spaced along the curve.


If you really need to polylines/NURBS to bend to the surface for raised details, I would recommend using Flow Along Surface in Rhino.




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