AI (Adobe Illustrator) Paths 2 Max
This tutorial will show you how to use AI paths to
make splines in Max. Much easier than tracing a background image. You don't need Illustrator, just Photoshop and Max. This tutorial used Photoshop 5.0 and Max 3.0.
Open your selected image in photoshop and select the
area you wish to make a spline shape from. Most times it's easier to select the background
and then do an inverse selection to select the
If it's not already, promote your image to RGB. The image above shows the
background selected before the inverse operation. Select or
outline the outer area of the image. Press Shift-CTRL-I to select the inverse.
Go to 'paths' and select 'make work path'.
Set the smallest tolerance that you can. .5 is the smallest but my screen
cap utility wouldn't let me select it here.
Select 'Save Path'.
Accept the default 'Path 1'.
Go to FILE-EXPORT-PATHS TO ILLUSTRATOR
Save file to hard drive location.
In Max, go to FILE-IMPORT and select AI, find your file and use the
default import options that appear.
Your spline should come in as above. You can then apply an edit spline
modifier to stretch the shape around and an extrude modifier
to give it depth.
Here's a finished render with the original graphic applied. I had to go
into edit mesh/vertex mode and move the mesh around a bit
to fit the graphic. I also went back into photoshop and made a greyscale
of the image and applied it as a bump map.
There are tons of uses for this technique and I'm sure there are ways to
make it even easier.
First I heard of this technique was on the Kinetix board, can't remember
who brought it up but my hat's off to him!
Makes for a really easy way to get a spline shape off of a grahic.
Many thanks also to Kim Deters, photoshop guru!
Enjoy! and hope it helps!!