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  • Re-render a 2D bitmap logo in 3D with extrusion?

     Peter Wu updated 10 years, 2 months ago 2 Members · 3 Posts
  • Peter Wu

    September 30, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I have a multi color 2D bitmap logo with transparency (.png file). What are some ways I can re-render it in 3D with extrusion (viewed at an angle to show the extrusion)?

    My understanding is that extrusion can only be performed on vector objects. I tried using live trace to convert the logo to vector, and it looks pathetic. In addition, extrusion takes a very long time to render. If I fine tune the live trace to make it look better, it generates a vector so complex that extrusion seems to freeze.

    I’m thinking a better solution might be to simplified the vectorized object by
    (1) take the logo and fill it with a solid color (easy to do in photoshop)
    (2) put this in illustrator and covert to vector. This would generate a relatively simple object because only the outline needs to be traced, and there is only 1 color and 1 area.
    (3) somehow, texture map the original bitmap logo onto this vector object
    (4) extrude the vector object

    The problem is I don’t know how to do step (3) or if it’s even possible in illustrator. I know texture mapping is a common feature in 3D apps.

    The solution doesn’t have to be in illustrator. If this can only be done in a 3D app (e.g. blender 3d), it’s ok although I’m more familiar with 2d software.

    I have not found alot of discussion on this topic on the web. But surely any graphic artist or web designer would run into this issue once in a while.

  • Vincent Rosati

    September 30, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    My approach would be to start in Illustrator – from creating logos, to creating components for use in 3D apps, to creating shapes and Smart Objects for Photoshop.

    Since you’re starting with a raster, you might want to redraw it in Illustrator so you have a nice and clean vector as your base resource.

    Illustrator’s 3D effects can be processor intensive, so you’d ideally want a very clean vector, as opposed to a traced vector. A traced vector can have a lot of unnecessary data in it, making the 3D stuff more difficult.

    1 – Skip this, don’t start in Photoshop. Unless you have vector paths that you can export.
    2 – Yes.
    3 – Yes.
    4 – Yes.

    Texture mapping isn’t exactly the same in Illustrator, as it is in a 3D app. You won’t be able to do any bump mapping or anything, but you will be able to apply a raster and manipulate it in a 3D space.

    Les has a good example of using mapping, here:


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  • Peter Wu

    October 1, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Thanks. Using artwork mapping I’m able to accomplish the task.

    However I still have to use photoshop because I don’t know any other way to turn the logo into a single filled color (like a mask) that I can put in AI to trace the outline, which I can then apply 3D bevel to.

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