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I have a text object, which I am converting to a mesh; later I want to apply a shrinkwrap modifier to project the mesh-text onto a curved surface, so I would like to avoid very large faces (e.g. when converting letters like I or L, with long straight edges).

I am subdividing the resulting mesh to work around this, but this creates lots of unnecessary faces (as it is subdividing the small faces as well)

Is there an adaptive-subdividing tool which I can use to subdivide faces that are larger than a given threshold?

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Try a remesh modifier with an octree depth of about 7. Uncheck "remove disconnected peices".

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Make sure you have converted to mesh first. This only works if the mesh has some substance to it (solidify modifier, or edit mode, select all, extrude). Apply modifier to see results in edit mode, or check "display modifier in edit mode".

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