Maya 8.0 Tutorial
How to Create a 3D Object from Illustrator Artwork in Maya
Shapes created in Illustrator can be imported into Maya and used to create extruded 3D objects. This tutorial works with Maya 8.0 and Illustrator CS. For more current versions of Illustrator, the steps are similar except to save your file as Illustrator 3.0, you would choose File > Save As instead of Export in Step Four.
Create shape(s) in Adobe Illustrator. Since multiple objects will be merged into one during importing, you may want to export multiple objects one at a time by creating a separate document for each object.
If you created text, select it and convert to outlines (Type>Create Outlines).
To create objects with holes in Illustrator, shift-select multiple objects and choose Object>Compound Path>Make.
Delete all guides. Export the Illustrator artwork by choosing File>Export and choose Illustrator Legacy(ai) for format. Save the file in your data folder for your Maya project.
In the next dialog box choose Illustrator 3 for the version. Remember that Illustrator 3 is different than Illustrator CS3.
Returning to Maya, choose Create>Adobe (R) Illustrator (R) Object. Be sure to select the options box.
Select Bevel for type, adjust the Bevel value sliders and Extrusion slider. Also set the bevel style. Press the Create button to accept settings.
Navigate to the data folder where you saved your Illustrator document and choose Open.
Using the Pathfinder Panel to Create an Object
In addition to compound paths, you can also create objects with holes with the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder).
For instance, to create an object with a hole, draw two overlapping fill shapes in your document. Select both objects and choose Object > Group. Then choose Effect > Pathfinder > Subtract. You could also press the Minus Front icon in the Pathfinder panel.