Wrapping Text Around a Sphere
Maya 2012 Tutorial
How to Wrap Text Around a Sphere in Maya
As you create text in Maya, the text objects there is no option to have the text follow a curve or shape. A quick work-around is to apply a Deformer to the text object to make it follow the shape of a sphere.
In this example, we will add two Bend Deformers so the text follows both the latitude and longitude lines of the sphere.
Add a NURBS sphere to the workspace by choosing Create > NURBS Primitives > Sphere (include options).
Set the Radius to 10 and press Create.
Add a text object to the workspace by choosing Create > Text (include options).
Enter your text and set the Type to Bevel. Choose your font and adjust the bevel settings. Press Create to add your text.
Select the text and resize the text with the Scale tool (r key).
In the top view, use the Move tool (w key) to position the text slightly outside the sphere. The text should be centered with respect to the sphere.
With the text selected choose Create Deformers > Nonlinear > Bend from the Animation menu set.
Click the bend tab in the Attribute Editor and adjust the Curvature setting. By viewing your object in the perspective view you can see that the deformer needs to be rotated along the y axis. Reset the Curvature value to 0.
With the bend selected open the Channel Box and change the RotateY value to 90.
You may also need to adjust the Low Bound and High Bound values in the bend tab. They should be adjusted to the bottom and top of the object.
Return to the Attribute Editor, bend tab. Adjust the Curvature slider and notice that the text now curves to fit the sphere in the side view.
Repeat steps seven through eleven and add a second Bend Deformer. This time set the Channel Box, RotateY and RotateZ values to 90.
In the top view, adjust the second deformer to curve your text object to match the sphere.
At this point you may want to make your text a bit thinner. Select the text and open the Attribute Editor, bevelPlus tab and adjust the Extrude Distance.
Add textures to the sphere and text, then click the Render Current Frame icon to view your object.
Having Troubles Selecting the Deformer?
The bend tab in the Attribute Editor can be quickly found by selecting the object, then clicking the bend tab in the Attribute Editor.
Order is Important
If you add multiple deformers and get unexpected results, try changing the order that you add your deformers.
Removing the Text and Deformer Nodes
If you plan to leave the deformer and text as static nodes, this might be a good time to delete the object's Construction History. To remove the history, select the object and choose Edit > Delete by Type > History.