View Full Version : Text on a curved path?

07-25-2007, 02:49 PM
Hi everybody-

Been looking at the LW forums for awhile now and have learned an incredible amount from reading what folks have to say. But now I'm stumped by what ought to be a very simple thing to do in LW. How can I make text align with a curve and rotate it around a sphere? Read where Dan Alban refers to a textcurve command but I don't see it anywhere.

Appreciate the help.


07-25-2007, 04:43 PM
VideoTutorial (ftp://ftp.newtek.com/pub/LightWave/Tutorials/Vidz/textsplineguide.mov)

this may be what you're looking for. hope it helps:thumbsup:

Geoff Vane
07-28-2007, 11:26 AM
It's one of the things LW isn't very good at, animating things over a curve.

Especially things like snakes or power cords that connect themselves to a socket. There is a snake plugin that is far to slow and sluggish. There is also another plugin, forgot the name, but it gives just as unpredictable results as animating over a bone chain, which is option numer 3.

However, animating text around a globe is not so very difficult. If the text may be completely flat, you can model a cylinder that goes around the globe. Then you make a texture in Photoshop, just a black and white banner that shows your text. You put the banner as a cylinder map on the transparancy channel of you cylinder. Only the text will render, the rest of the cylinder can not be seen. It is as if your text circles the globe. If you make the texture double sided, you see the back of the text too, else you will not.

If the text must have thickness, it is more difficult. Model the globe. Create the first letter and put the first letter on another layer. Look from the top, and put the first letter in front of the globe (the globe should be your background layer so you see both objects.) Press Y to activate the rotate tool. Stand in the middle of your globe, in top view. Carefully rotate the first letter a bit. Create the second letter and put it in front of the globe. Then rotate both letter one and two, so room is made for letter three. Etc. etc.


07-28-2007, 02:53 PM
Alternative to techniqye suggested by Geoff Vane -

Create your text in text editor. Drag it out to the needed distance on the z axis then center it on the x and y axii.

Cut and paste the leftmost character into a new layer and center it on x axis. Do a circle array using y axis and however many copies it takes to get the correct spacing.

Delete all but the original character.

Repeat for all characters by cutting/pasting into a fresh layer, doing the array, then deleting all except the character that is in the proper position to be the next character. Cut/paste that charcater into the layer that has the completed portion.

Once that is done copy that layer. bevel/smooth shift all the charcters to get the thickness desired. You can use either straight shift or shuft and inset if you want a tapered look. Paste the faces you copied back into the layer and merge points to complete the job.

This has the advantage of eliminating the guesswork on how much to rotate the leters to get the correct spacing.

Also - if you want the faces of the characters to be curved create a vertical cylinder in a layer then hollow it out by boolean subtracting a cylinder or smaller diameter and heigth from it. Tjen use that in a background layer to boolean intersect with the characters.

If you want the characters on a twisty path create a curve, center each character and rail clone it in turn then cut/paste the correctly spaced character into a 'cpmpleted' layer.


07-29-2007, 12:43 PM
Could you not use the 'bend' tool in this circumstance? If it needs to animate, could you not use a morph as well? I'm not entirely sure of the specifics...

Prehaps I'm missing something quite obvious...

07-29-2007, 01:38 PM
Maybe something like this ?

Text in fglayer
curve in bglayer

Modify -> Transform -> More -> Spline Guide

Numeric:Spline Guide
Get BackgroundCurve
Keep Edit

Tom Wood
07-29-2007, 02:22 PM
Center your globe on the origin and put the globe and the text on separate layers. Use the Bend tool in Modeler to bend the text into a circle, then use Center to get it at the origin. Then use Rotate in Layout to rotate the text layer around the globe/origin.