Converting and importing images to 3d Models

Converting an image to an svg file, then importing it into Blender3D is not difficult at all.  It does take some external tools that you don’t have within blender, and today, I want to walk you through the steps that I used to get an image from a customer, and turn it into a 3d Model that we can make into a gold pendant.

You will need an image editor for which ever operating system you have, and you will also need a way to transform the image, once you have modified it, to an SVG File.

For those of you who have these tools, you are probably all set.  The difficult part, is taking the black and white image, or a grey scale image and converting it to SVG…  For this, I’ll be using a free on-line site that will take almost any image and turn it into an SVG.

What the tutorial here.

Image modifications first

First, there are some things you should keep in mind before you take just any image from your computer, and try to convert it to an SVG file.

The image should be either Black and White, or a high contrasting grey scale image.

In this example, you saw in the video that I took my time to reduce the colors within the photo, and first convert it to grey scale, then to black and white.  I didn’t need much detail, only to get sharp lines.

As you convert images down, you may notice artifacts within the file.  Pixels that can not be converted easily or in my case, needed to be removed.  You can re edit the brightness and contrast settings a second or third time to remove these artifacts or cut them out of the photo all together.

The artifacts will convert over to SVG dots…  These dots may mess up the conversion to 3D.

Black and White images work best, but, you may need more detail, in which case, practice and play with the settings, and then perform the conversion to SVG…  Once converted, see if the svg file has those artifacts or errors, and if so, go back and re-edit the photo as best you can.

You can, if necessary, remove those artifacts in Blender, but it will take some time to get all the extra vertices that may be created.

Remember, we are looking for a clean sharp image for conversion.

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Convert to SVG

So, once we have a clean black and white image that is free of artifacts, the next step is to convert it to a Vector Graphic or SVG image.

If you already own software that can do this, great, if not, you can use some free online sites that will take your images and convert them to SVG format, after which, you can download them.

The site that I used for this tutorial is called 

www.convertio.com

This site is free to use, so, enjoy.

After the conversion, simply download the file using the download button on the website and put the file where you can get access to in using Blender.

Importing into Blender3D

The next step is also easy, and involves opening up blender and using the import menu option, “import SVG file”.

If this is not active in your menus, check Blender Preferences to make sure you have turned this option on and activated it properly.

Once you import the SVG File, you will note that it isn’t centered on the screen.  Typically, the first thing I do is to check that the SVG file in Blender is not broken up into multiple parts.  If it is, you may want to select all the parts and Join them together using the Keyboard shortcut…  CTL-J.  That is the “join” tool.

From there, you can right click on your SVG and use the set origin, then center it into blender’s 3d viewport.

SVG Files are not models, they are Curve objects, so modifying them is just like using the modifiers and controls for Curves and Text.  Go play.

To make your model thicker, use the extrusion settings for curve-geometry.  To make it bulkier, use some of the other settings…

Once you have modeled it the way you want, you can simply right-click and convert it to a mesh…  From there, normal blender modeling can be done.

My last notes on this

Once I have the SVG converted from a curve object to a mesh, I usually use the RE-Mesh modifier on it, this way I can use it with other 3d models, bend it, twist it, align to curves, etc.

Thanks for checking in…

 

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