With this tutorial I will show you how to make a 3D logo from an existing vector designed in illustrator. We are going to use 3ds Max 8 and Illustrator CS2 but any version will do just well. Let’s go on…
Build a 3d logo from an Adobe Illustrator shape with 3Ds Max
First thing is to design the vector logo. In this tutorial i am going to use mine which is not too complex. Keep in mind two simple things.
First, keep your logo as “clean” as possible meaning that you’ll have to check for closed paths and not too complex fills. Use outlines to describe your logo’s form.
Second, you’ll have to “optimize” the logo after importing it into the 3ds Max, so the more job you’ve done in illustrator the less you’ll do in max. Next you will understand this clearly.
So this is the logo in a vector form, btw it’s the logo of my post production studio www.krama.tv
and this is the final 3d logo (with no materials).
Ok, let’s get into business, shall we?
When you finalize with the design save a copy as an illustrator version 8
File->Save as->Illustrator 8).
3dsMax doesn’t allow the import of newer version but only the legacy ai file (ver 8). If your logo is a simple one this won’t be a problem for 3ds Max. Again, I assume that you use illustrator cs2. Anyway, if your vector design software has option for .ai 88 this will work too (i thing CorelDraw does this, i am not sure though).
Then launch 3ds Max and import the ai file.
In the next dialog choose Completely replace current scene (but it’s up to you which option to select)
and Import Shape as a SINGLE OBJECT.
Selecting Single Object versus Multiple Objects helps you in better cleaning of your shape.
Now you have to Scale up the logo in order to give it proper dimensions. If you leave it this way and apply for eg. an extrude modifier, setting the extrude value to 1 the logo will extrude very much. So scaling up by 1000 is a nice value to apply.
Select the logo shape…
The logo shape will scale up. Zoom out the scene.
For a quick test apply an extrude modifier and play little with the extrude values. Check if you are happy with the 3d object. You’ll have to be kinda familiar with the Editable Spline modifier if you want to optimize the logo shape but you can check that the shape has a closed path and no double vertices causing troubles (if so welding the vertices will solve the problem and will close the path).
The final 3D logo of Krama studio.
If you are familiar with vector drawing you will find that drawing a logo shape inside 3ds max is an easy job to do. But illustrator is a very powerful tool for you to ignore, i just hope that in the new version of 3dsmax 2009 a new ai import option will come up.
Please leave a comment for this tutorial (liked it or not) and share this link, it’s free!