Are there any good Blender techniques for modeling engraved text with a "V" shaped groove/depression? The image below shows what I am after:
To model this, I used GIMP to create the gradient below (using the "shaped" gradient function):
. . . then used it in a displace modifier. The limitations of this approach are obvious . . . it takes a high level of subsurf to show the groove cleanly, and at this point the limitations in the source gradient become apparent.
The "bevel" setting of the text object offers something intriguingly close, but as far as I can tell it will only bevel outwards. I don't know of any way to "collapse" the middle vertices into an angled groove, whether before or after converting to curve or mesh. The "offset" setting of the text does shrink the outline, but as with "shrink/fatten" the feature does not seem to do well at collapsing loops to a single edge.
If there is not a convenient way to model this, is there at least a clean way to automatically remesh the displaced text to something suitable? I wouldn't want to bother with manually remeshing a bunch of text.
EDIT: well I appreciate the assistance so far, however "manually retopologize" is not really the answer I'm looking for, I'm hoping for something a bit more automatic. I've gotten partway there I think. Some of this was suggested by the following topic:
Basically, if the text object is extruded, converted to a mesh, and the top and bottom planes are deleted, leaving only a tube in the shape of the letter, you can take the bottom edge loop and use "shrink/fatten" to completely invert it. This will create a self-intersecting mesh with grooves in the right places. One can then use the Mesh-->Faces-->Intersect (Knife) tool with Source set to "Self Intersect" to create cuts along those intersections.
While still not perfect, it's reasonably close to what I was looking for, and I'm hoping that there might be ways to tweak the process to get a "proper" mesh.
Edit 2: The addition of a subsurf helps iron out the strange areas, and it is actually not necessary to use the "Intersect (Knife)" if the back part of the text mesh will be hidden: