A 3D Studio
The most time-consuming here will
be preparing the strokes. As initial object you can use the
Text shape, but sometimes it is faster to make letters yourself.
The key here is that the stroke must be one, single path. Most
Windows fonts produce outlined shapes. So if you start from
the Text shape, apply Edit Spline to it. To make the strokes
we need all paths in separate objects. Go into subobject/spline,
select one spline, and click Detach. Then select next and next
and detach them until you have all splines separated. Below
you see what I mean:
Now you have to prepare the strokes
paths. Select first detached spline - it is Editable Spline
object so you don't have to apply Edit Spline to it, just click
subobject button and in vertex mode select vertices where you
will cut the spline into a few parts. See picture below, this
is an example how you cut the "A" letter:
You have to do it, because only
one part of the spline is needed. So, when you select the vertices,
click Break button. Now switch the subobject mode to Spline
and select splines like on picture below:
And hit Delete key. After deleting
them you have a few holes in your stroke path. Switch back to
vertex mode and click Connect button. Now drag from one vertex
to another to connect them and in this way connect two disconnected
The final strokes for A letter
should look like these:
As you see sometimes it will be
easier to draw these stroke paths yourself instead of preparing
them from Text shape. You can use Text just as reference shape
instead of base object.
Now it is time to fill the strokes.
Create cylinder primitive, pretty high but with small radius.
Use about 20-30 height segments. Apply Path Deform modifier
but remember to use space warp modifier (it is preceded with
an asterisk, it is *PathDeform) and pick path - the first stroke.
Then click Move to Path button. You also have to find correct
axis for path deform, sometimes you have to rotate the deformed
object (Rotation parameter).
When axis and rotation is ok, change
the Stretch to 0. Now move the time slider, press Animate button
and increase the Stretch, this will fill the stroke. Now if
you play the animation you will see the cylinder deforming on
the path, forming the stroke.
If you find the cylinder too angular,
just increase the Height Segments count.
Now clone the cylinder, pick another
path for path deform and adjust the Stretch amount for keyframes.
The final result is below:
For better result you can offset
keys for Stretching, and add some visibility tracks. It is all
set up in the sample scene, just download it and take a look
Big thanx to Karen for suggesting
me the idea for this tutorial.
MAX 2 scene ~9 KB