Import from PhotoShop To Rhino

I have a couple of questions. A friend, who used to design at Tiffany, asked if I can help get her jewelry business off the ground by making 3d versions of her jewelry for casting. I’m very new to Rhino and 3d but decent at Illustrator and PhotoShop. I have use of Rhino 5 for about 4 hours a day which gives me enough time to really become dangerous.
She gave me PhotoShop files of words created with a chick font. She creates the words by overlaying a bunch of white lines and dots to modify the font. I going to find out if she modified the text spacing as well. I believe she did.
Would it had been better if she did it in Illustrator? I am trying to get it into Rhino. I’ve copied and pasted, saved as every format, and imported it into AI and exporting them as a .dwg or .dxf. My problem is the word comes in with a background I played with all of the layers and merged etc. I also tried saving without the background. But again the export from AI background.
There are two times I was actually successful and of course saved the 3d file. I can give it the depth and dimension she’s looking for so I’m pretty sure I can be successful helping her. But I can’t for the life of me remember how I did it.
Another question is please point me to any resource I wouldn’t have thought of myself ie: You Tube basic searches.
So can someone help me to figure out the best way to transfer these words to Rhino?
Thanks in advance,

Photoshop is a raster (pixel) program. Rhino is a vector program, meaning its entities are not defined by pixels but instead by mathematical and geometrical objects. The only thing you can really do with raster (image) data in Rhino is use either BackgroundBitmap or PictureFrame to import an image as a background image to trace over.

You might try something like LiveTrace in Illustrator to get some vector graphics from the letter outlines, but the result is usually pretty “dirty” - you are almost always always better off making new, clean curves by tracing.

HTH, --Mitch

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Hi Mitch,

Thanks so much for the input. I agree that vector is the way to go. I’m trying to convince her to redo the words in Illustrator so the export is cleaner and more accurate.


I find the Rhino drawing tools far easier to use than Illustrator. As Mitch mentioned, bring in her artwork using the PictureFrame command and a high-resolution PNG/JPG … and then lock that layer. Trace all of the lines and then you will have the maximum quality master.

You can then extrude/loft/etc. the curves later, but always hang on to them for the highly likely many rounds of changes. I’m guessing that your friend, seeing the work for the first time in 3D, will be making quite a few tweaks.

BTW: I have seen many Illustrator imports come in with either too many control points or have disconnected segments all over the place. The clean-up can take longer than just doing it cleanly one time in Rhino.

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You can also ask your friend the name of the font she has used, and install it on your system.

Thank you all for your input. I am going to learn to use Rhino for tracing. If anyone knows of videos or tutorials for doing this I’d appreciate a heads up. I can’t wait for the day I can get my own copy of Rhino. If I’m successful with this I will get myself a printer so I can make the models for casting too. I’m having so much fun :smile:

Thanks again for all your help

FYI: You can make vectors and vector masks in Photoshop and import those into Rhino.