Wrapping Text Around a Sphere

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.


Step One

Add a NURBS sphere to the workspace by choosing Create > NURBS Primitives > Sphere (include options).

Step Two

Set the Radius to 10 and press Create.

Step Three

Add a text object to the workspace by choosing Create > Text (include options).

Step Four

Enter your text and set the Type to Bevel. Choose your font and adjust the bevel settings. Press Create to add your text.

Step Five

Select the text and resize the text with the Scale tool (r key).

Step Six

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.

Step Seven

With the text selected choose Create Deformers > Nonlinear > Bend from the Animation menu set.

Step Eight

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.

Step Nine

With the bend selected open the Channel Box and change the RotateY value to 90.

Step Ten

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.

Step Eleven

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.

Step Twelve

Repeat steps seven through eleven and add a second Bend Deformer. This time set the Channel Box, RotateY and RotateZ values to 90.

Step Thirteen

In the top view, adjust the second deformer to curve your text object to match the sphere.

Step Fourteen

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.

Step Fifteen

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.