Warp Tool

Relevant to Blender v2.31

The warp tool is a little-known tool in Blender, partly because it is not found in the EditButtons window, and partly because it is only useful in very specific cases. At any rate, it is not something that the average Blender-user needs to use every day.

A piece of text wrapped into a ring shape is useful when creating flying logos, but it would be difficult to model without the use of the warp tool. For our example, we'll warp the phrase "Amazingly Warped Text" around a sphere.

1. First add the sphere.

2. Then add the text in front view, in the Editing Context and Curve and Surface Panel set Ext1 to 0.1 - making the text 3D, and set Ext2 to 0.01, adding a nice bevel to the edge. Make the BevResol 1 or 2 to have a smooth bevel and lower the resolution so that the vertex count will not be too high when you subdivide the object later on (Figure 6.49, “Text settings” - and see the section called “Text”). Convert the object to curves, then to a mesh, (ALT-C twice) because the warp tool does not work on text or on curves. Subdivide the mesh twice, so that the geometry will change shape cleanly, without artifacts.

Figure 6.49. Text settings

Text settings

Switch to top view and move the mesh away from the 3D cursor. This distance defines the radius of the warp. (See Figure 6.50, “Top view of text and sphere”.)

Figure 6.50. Top view of text and sphere

Top view of text and sphere

Place the mesh in Edit Mode (TAB) and press AKEY to select all vertices. Press SHIFT-W to activate the warp tool. Move the mouse up or down to interactively define the amount of warp. (Figure 6.51, “Warped text”). Holding down CTRL makes warp change in steps of five degrees.

Figure 6.51. Warped text

Warped text

Now you can switch to camera view, add materials, lights and render (Figure 6.52, “Final rendering”).

Figure 6.52. Final rendering

Final rendering