This tutorial will guide you through the process of taking a 2D low-res logo taken from the web, altering it into a vector shape and giving it a 3 dimensional look in Cinema 4D.
1. This is the Shadowness.com logo that we’re going to be tracing over using the Pen Tool in Photoshop. If you already have the paths made for your logo, you can skip straight to Step 4.
2. Since the logo that I’ve chosen to use is very small, I have zoomed up on the image. Now in order to trace the object with the Pen Tool, we need to lay down the anchor points on any edges and corners of the logo. I have shown where I’m going to lay my anchor points with the red dots. Once you lay down the anchor points, you will have something that look like this:
3. Now, click and hold on the Pen Tool icon. Select the “Add Anchor Point” option, click on the edges and drag the points to where you want the curves to appear. You might have to do a little bit of tweaking here and there to get the the curves right. Here’s what the logo looked like after this step:
4. Now that you’ve traced your logo, go to File>Export>Paths to Illustrator then save it as “logo.ai”.
In this tutorial, I used Cinema 4D to make the logo 3D. This tutorial can really be adapted in any other 3D program if you have basic knowledge of using splines and deformers.
5. Open up the “logo.ai” file in your 3D program (most 3D programs have .ai support). The pen lines you made in Photoshop have been made into a spline object. The imported file looks like this:
6. Go to Objects>Nurbs>Extrude Nurbs and drop the logo spline under the Extrude Nurb object and put in the same setting as the image below:
What you end up with is an extruded spline object.
7. You probably noticed that the object looks very linear and a bit jaggedy. So click on the logo spline, and change the spline setting to this:
However, you notice that you’ve lost some of the hard edges on your logo. So press “K” on your keyboard and you will get the knife tool. Drag the knife tool near the edges where you want that hard edge. You will notice that once you knife the spline, the edge will become more pronounced.
8. Here you’ll probably want to smooth out the logo a bit. Click on the Extrude Nurbs object, then select the Caps sub menu, and change the settings to the image below:
9. Next, I went up to Objects>Primitive>Tube in order to create a ring around the logo. These are the settings I used on the Tube Object:
10. I thought that the logo looked a bit boring without any bends, so I put a wrap deformer on it. I placed the Extruded Nurbs (the logo) and the Tube in a null object (and easy way to do this is to select both the Tube and the Extrude Nurb and hit Alt+G). Then I clicked Objects>Deformation>Wrap and dragged it into the Null Object we just created. Here are the settings I used on the Wrap Object:
11. Now, we have to prepare to render this. First I created an enviroment object (Objects>Scene>Enviroment) and checked on the Enable Fog option in the Enviroment settings. Next, I put a material onto the logo. The material I used can be downloaded HERE.
12. Go to Render>Render Settings and click on Output in the submenu and set it to whatever resolution you would like to have. Then click on the Save submenu and click on the Alpha Channel, Straight Channel, and Separate Channel box. That way, when you open up the logo in Photoshop, you can go to your channels Menu and delete the background from the logo. Now go to Render>Render to Pictures Viewer, and you’re done!