Images do not migrate to Illustrator or any other application

I have been using the “FlowAlongSurface” command and the “Decals” button in the “Properties” tab to generate a mapped image to the surface (eg: a rectangular image of the earth to cover a sphere) BUT the image will not export out as the mapped surface - only the surface itself exports out. How do I export the file(s) WITH the image in place (embedded). My desire is to be able to flatten a surface ALONG with the image (or vector data) as I need to flatten 3D date to 2D. If any one has any solutions, thoughts or opinions please feel free to post. Thank you

Hello - you can use the Bake command to generate a single texture for the object.


Did not work. This image is wrapped around a sphere. when I baked the image disappeared from the file. Will this technique work with a spherical surface?

Hello - I guess I do not have a clear enough idea what you are doing, can you post an example file?


I wrapped a sphere using the Decals button in the Properties tab. I would Like to bring this into:
Illustrator and the mobile app. It doesn’t show the image in either. I would also like to be able to slice into gores and flatten with the image in place.

Hi @sthode66
How are you envisioning bringing a textured 3D object into Illustrator (I’m assuming you’re talking about Adobe Illustrator)? And what mobile app - the iRhino app?
Also, since your texture covers the entire sphere, you might as well apply it as a texture instead of as a decal.
Are you looking to unfold your geometry inside Illustrator? Didn’t know that was possible, but if it is, my best bet would be export as *.obj. I know that Adobe Photoshop imports obj files with textures.
If you are looking to unfold the sphere inside Rhino, look at UV unwrap.
It’s a good idea to be precise and specific when asking questions - it makes answering them a lot easier and eliminates all of these back-and-forth questions.
HTH, Jakob


Good afternoon Jakob - apologize for the lack of specificity - I am trying to get it as specific as I can! Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know!
I do not know what a texture is as opposed to a Decal. I have used the FlowAlongSurface command, but again, I cannot use this image itself…it’s as if Rhino only uses it as a placeholder and one cannot actually morph the image itself. The morphing (wrapping around a curved shape) is what I want to do. I want to be able to morph the image in Rhino (this cannot be done to any degree of accuracy in Illustrator…yet anyway).
I wrap a surface (a sphere) and then I want to extract individual gores with the image in place and then flatten to a 2D surface.

Hello - there is a rather convoluted workaround which may or may not do it for you:

  1. make a material with the image as a texture
  2. Slice up the sphere with say a polar array of lines.
  3. ShrinkTrimmedSrf on the slices.
  4. Select all the slices and apply spherical mapping to them, all with the same sphere (Bounding Box option)
  5. Select a slice and run Bake - bake out the texture with a useful name and approppriate size to disk.
  6. UnrollSrfUV the slice
  7. Apply the baked material to the unrolled slice.


Keep in mind that unrolling a compound curved surface will not and can not be accurate. You may want to do all of this with straght lofts between the gore edges to eliminate the compound curve.


I will give this technique a try. I appreciate you getting back to me so quickly on this!
And yes - I understand about the compound surface and yes I have applied the straight line at the center of the gore to get it to flatten. Thanks.

I should have asked first - How does one make a “make a material with an image as a texture”?

Hello -


Good afternoon - I am struggling with “make a material with the image as a texture”. I can make a material from the image OR I can make a texture from the image but I don’t see an option on Materials to make from a texture. Sorry for my lack of understanding. I’m just unsure how to proceed.

You make a basic material, then in the area where you pick the color for it–called a “channel” in rendering parlance–you can swap that out for the texture.

I can make the material easy enough but it does not show when I bring up the Textures palette. How do I use the material I made as a texture. Sorry this is all new to me! Thanks in advance for all the help!

materials_texture.pdf (1.8 MB)

No it doesn’t show because(well long story short) a texture is something you use IN a material, which is what you assign to objects. You don’t need to make the material a texture, you use the material.

Thank you for the response Jim. So do I warp the sphere with using “flowalongsrf”? Or do I use a different technique? The end game being that I want the image to have all the morphing applied to it when I flatten. So that I can export to illustrator and use for output at a printer. make sense?

I am not sure how to proceed. I can have wrapped surfaces before using FlowAlongSrf. Using this shows the images how I want it but it will not export wit the image in place. I have tried making a material but I don’t see any option to use a material to wrap the. In do see an option in the “Properties” tab to “Apply Spherical Mapping” but I do not see any option to use a material (like the one I just saved) it simply gives options in the command line like “center of sphere”, “radius” and then nothing. Where do I apply the material to the sphere wrap?
properties_spherical wrapping.pdf (1.7 MB)

Hello - have you got as far as creating a material that has the image as a texture map?
Select all the slices at once and assign that material to them - you can do that in Properties, or from the Materials panel
Then with all the slices selected in Prooperties > mapping page, poke the spherical mapping icon. At the command line use BoundingBox then World and Enter etc to finish the mapping.
If I understand what you are trying to do, FlowAlongSrf does not need to come into it at all.


This is where I’m not understanding - I have made a material from the image I want to use to wrap.

I do not know what it means to “create a material that has the image as a texture map”. What I did do was:
In the materials palette I selected “assign to object(s)” and I selected my sphere surface. This did map the material to the surface:

I am doing this correctly so far?