What method best to trace lettering from photo and fill with hatch?


I need to recreate some rather poorly defined lettering in a photo, a few lines of text as such,
with 90 degree corners to the characters.
Lacking a graphics prog I am up to speed on which has a decent trim command, I am using Rhino.

method 1. draw the centres of the strokes and then pipe command them.
How can I best convert the pipes into outlines so as to use hatch solid fill command before exporting as tiff ?

else what better method can you suggest ?


When you say poorly defined, do you mean you cannot determine if the character shapes are close to an existing font?
Or, you know they are not close to an existing font and you need to recreate it from a fuzzy or low quality photo?

I am asking because you could spend a lot of time on this, if an existing font would be good enough. There are some tools that can determine the font from an image.

they are ill defined, I need to trace them, there is no font that matches, it will take me longer to try and find a font for a WW2 item that exactly matches them than simply draw them.

at the very least, how do I convert pipe command result to outline only ?


Command: _make2d

I am working in TOP view.
ran that command selecting the letter R, then wondered where it had been made to.

it was top left of the picture I am tracing, not behind the R, but displaced as such.

Any way to get it to occur where the pipe of the R is ?

I have other elements of the photo I need to relate to the text so wish it to remain where I drew it if poss.


After you have the pipe you can run Silhouette then maybe project the resulting curves to the CPlane. It won’t move like Make2d.

Hi, thats better.

is there a way of getting blunt ends on pipe as my A ended up very pointed at top !!!

I might have to tidy up the angle lines at their ends after silhouette is done.

Unless there is a better way of tracing text and filling with hatch


What I see, “Make2d” packs these new objects in a frame(BoundingBox) and moves them to position 0,0
So there are two more steps: Use command _BoundingBox on old and new and move make2d objects to old position, takes a two…five seconds.

Correct me, but _Silhouette creates 3dcurves and no automatic trim, so clean up takes much longer
and Rhino help says: To create two-dimensional curves from the silhouettes, use the ProjectToCPlane command.

Perhaps, here’s an FYI

Hi, That might work if my image had good contrast on the text, here is a portion that explains my predicament.

silhouette doesnt trim, so yes now I have control over the results of make2d , make2D is better :slight_smile:

Wish I knew how to have a W line given pipe and for it to end blunt and not very pointed at the V ends.

as such I have some editing to do of separate pipes to tidy up, as only separate pipes avoided ends of V shapes that were hyper sharp.


I think the font type is Avus pro condensed : klik

Hi, I think you are right :slight_smile:

was that in use in WW2 by Germany ? (Military)
However on the item this is on, all the strokes are uniform thickness, so I would haves to edit each char to be so.


Here is some article about fonts in Germany : klik

Apparently may also be know as GulimChe Regular http://fontsgeek.com/fonts/GulimChe-Regular
Fonts rarely have uniform stroke thickness, even if they superficially appear to be uniform.

Here’s an enhanced contrast version of your image. The original did not work very well for the automated identification as you suspected.

EDIT, its not a good match, the “d” does not match, and the “q” and “a” probably wont either.