Bubble Letters

Hi everyone

I want to know if are a quick way to do bubble letter in Rhino



Here you go:

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Thanks John, i have to do a more than one, so i mean if the ir a better way and faster to do that.



There isn’t. They have to be done one at a time.
The reason is the font characters were never intended for clean surface modeling.
Generally, they will need to be fixed so they will work for the unintended purpose of modeling.

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Thanks John i have made it with patch command.



For doing a lot of bubble text, I take the Rhino’s font polysrfs into 3D Coat and smooth the crap out of it.

I would do the same but with Bodypaint instead of 3D Coat.
This is why hopefully sometime in the not too distant future Rhino will have a sub d component. Many of us go back and forth between Rhino and a sub d program for precisely this sort of task.

You can try with Relief.

Write the text in Photoshop black/white, and apply gaussian blur.
Like this:

Save the file uncompressed, e.g. BMP.
Use this file for Relief and select polygon mesh.

Sample result:

It depends on the image.
Play with it.


If you are looking to automate this, you might want to consider using Grasshopper. One obvious approach would be to use a single line font and then one of the isosurface plugins to generate the “bubble” form from this (say Cocoon). You could even implement Kangaroo to simulate the physical inflation of the resulting mesh. Sounds like a fun project actually!

Edit: A quick example:

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FilletEdge can also work if you are careful and figure the width of the letters maybe using some which are equally thick and extrude them only as wide as the letters are thick, then this is a very fast way to achieve it. and even if they are a bit unregular you still can unlink the handles and adjust them individually, in case its bubbly enough this could be a fast option.

and it works with all letters at once

My take:



how does one make a uniform mesh? i fiddled around now for a while i also noticed on some other point that even increasing isocurves i dont get to get a straight mesh, maybe thats because i use a mac version. can you briefly explain how you get there?

Hi Richard

I’m on my phone now so it’s without proper naming or a screen shot.

Choose custom mesh settings and set the aspect ratio to 1 , min and max edge lengts to the desired mesh rectangle faces dimensions.
The rest can be set to 0.

And uncheck the simple planes checkbox

This is from memory it might not serve me right.

Does this help?


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hmm must be a mac bug.
do you increase the iso density at all?

Iso density has no effect on the meshing


on mac unfortunately yes… anyway thanks.
will go and make a new bug report in that case.

OK, did not know.

Interesting, are we talking about the surface Isocurve density ?


yup… on mac i have to explode the surfaces of a polysurface increase the iso curve density and rejoin it again, only than meshing works accordingly.


since you say you explode, do you mean you “increase the isocuve density” by rebuilding your surfaces and adding more knots to it ?

Isocurve density normally is understood to be a display only thing, thus it does not affect the geometry and the meshing at all.


Yeah, I was just going over to test that on the mac- I can’t imagine the iso display itself requires explode to modify…