You can create text directly in Cinema 4D, which is great so definitely have a play with that first. The next step would be to try to importing typography or logos from another application.
In most 3D software the starting principles are the same – create your typography in Illustrator, this enables you to easily mock various designs and layouts quickly using whatever font you like – plus tons of control!
Outline your artwork using View>Outline and then save down as an Illustrator 8 Version.
If using Cinema 4D, drag and drop this new .ai file into a new scene; and there you should see your outlined spline typography.
Plug each spline into an Extrude. If you do this, you get a thickness to your type as well as enabling you to add fillet caps, which gives a nice bevel around the edges of your typography.
This is a quick and easy process for beginners who want to create 3D typography. As your skills start improving you can then move on to manually building your type faces in 3D from scratch, by filling your outlines with planes, creating clean quads and extruding and bevelling from there.
This is a much longer process but your meshes will be cleaner and of a higher quality – this is the goal but it’s good to start with the easier solution and work your way towards the more complex, time-consuming process.
Expert tip: Practice makes perfect
Import all the characters of a particular font from Illustrator, and build them from scratch. Start with the easier boxy fonts, like Helvetica.
Fonts are hard to build from scratch when you’re first starting but the basic principles of building type will put you in good practice for building much more complicated structures.
Words: Fabian Malovo