Cloudswimmers Alphabet, the Process
In January this year, I launched my new design studio Cloudswimmers. For the identity of the studio, I designed a custom 3D font with Processing and Hemesh. The individual characters were printed at Shapeways. The 3D prints are 40 x 50 x 20 mm in size. This is what they look like in real life.
The word “Hello” is used on the home page of the website to greet visitors. There are about ten different images, and they are randomly displayed. One of the images is also used on the business cards.
In this article, I’m going to show you all different steps in the design process to give you an idea of how the alphabet was created. More pictures of the final characters can be found in the “Cloudswimmers portfolio”:http://www.cloudswimmers.com/work/alphabet/.
I’ve started with designing a pixel font. The characters are four by five pixels.
Next up was Processing + Hemesh. I’ve started with a HEC_Grid of four by five units, the same resolution as the characters from the pixel font.
The white pixels from the font were removed from the HEC_Grid so it starts looking like a character.
The next step was extruding the mesh into the third dimension.
I’ve added a copy of the HEC_Grid to the back to close the mesh..
And I removed white pixels from this one too.
Next thing was copying both meshes into a new mesh. I had to flip the faces of the back mesh so the normals were in the right direction.
Apparently, there were still some unused vertices inside the new mesh, these had to be removed.
After removing these vertices, the mesh was valid, and could be subdivided. I’ve used the Catmull-Clark subdivision algorithm to create the smooth shapes.
The next step was using the HEM_Lattice modifier to create a more open shape.
Final step in the process was applying the Catmull-Clark subdivider again to create a really smooth surface.
Finally, this shape was saved as an STL file and printed at Shapeways.