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MissDivaGirl
animating text
on May 23, 2005 at 7:07:37 pm

Hello Everyone!

I am wondering if there is a simple way to "morph" one type of font into another in Maya. The letter shapes will be the same, but trying to morph from a thinline font to a nice jumbo font. I am only familiar with doing this using Blend shapes but obviously the geometry will not be the same. Any ideas?

Thank you!!!
Angelina


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Steve Sayer
Re: animating text
on May 23, 2005 at 8:27:53 pm

I have a feeling this could be quite tricky to automate. Different fonts will produce curves with different numbers of spans and so on, which will make it problematic to use any CV-matching deformations such as blendshapes. Hmmm.

How much text do you have to do? You might honestly just want to create both versions, then duplicate one and manually sculpt it into the other. With 'snap to curves' on it should be pretty quick work. Then you can just blendshape the original text into the manually-adjusted duplicate.

Sorry I don't have anything better to offer.

-Steve


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Sean Fennell
Re: animating text
on May 23, 2005 at 9:40:23 pm

one possible way to semi-automate this task is to resample the resulting curves to an equal number of spans. Then you only have to worry about where the start of the curve is, which is much easier to change than remodeling one letter to look like another even with curve snapping.

If you use rebuild curve on both the source and target curve and resample to some high number of CV's like 50, then you'll have matching CV index's as long as the start CV is in the same relative place on the curve the blend shape should work pretty well.

If the start CV is not in the right place a simple detach then attach could put it in the right place. Just remember that attach can resample the curve so you might be better off lining the start CV's up first, then do your rebuild curve command last.


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Steve Sayer
Re: animating text
on May 23, 2005 at 10:34:50 pm

Sean, don't you think that differences in fonts (serifs, etc.) would most likely end up making the letters swim around unpredictably, even with an identical number of spans? I had done a quick test before replying, and didn't see much promise.

If DivaGirl is after a smooth transition, then she doesn't just need to worry about the number of spans overall, but the number of spans in each segment (straight line or curve between two sharp corners), right?

Mind you, I'm using quite different fonts. If the two fonts are very similar, perhaps it would work better. In any case, MissDivaGirl, certainly experiment with a few different methods, but my guess is that whatever you end up doing, it's going to take a fair amount of fine-tuning by hand.

Good luck.

-Steve


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Sean Fennell
Re: animating text
on May 23, 2005 at 10:39:41 pm

I threw the idea out without investigating. After a simple test I found that it probably wont work very well. For the reason you mentioned and because the rebuild doesn't handle sharp cornered curves very well at all. we need some overhauls to our toolset. A rebuild tool that can respect hard edges seems like a rudimentary tool after working with maya for so long.


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Thomas Rydberg
Re: animating text
on May 23, 2005 at 10:54:53 pm

That's a tough one. The only other idea I had is perhaps using a curve blend
feature in a 2d illustration program like Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw to generate blend curves and then take those curves into Maya to loft or extrude into 3d. Still, I'm not quite sure if this method would go anywhere--some experimentation needed here.

- Tom


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MissDivaGirl
Re: animating text
on May 24, 2005 at 9:29:26 pm

Thank you for all of the ideas and tests you spent time on. I am going to try and create the text curves in Illustrator and change them there. I am wanting to take the word "fair" and start with it skinny then inflate it into big puffy letters. After I posted, I created text and assigned a lattice to each letter and had nice control with it. It isn't exactly what i was hoping for, but it seems to be the easiest way so far... using one text and sculpting it.

this is my first time posting and want to say thank you for the replies back.

you rock!
angelina


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