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In Blender 2.93 I want starting from a text image to create stencils that I can print in 3D and use to spray paint text on a real flat or curved object. I understand Blender can accept my text as a .bmp file that I may create in MSPaint. It seems the Blender function I need is Import ImageAsPlane. But from the on-line manual I can find only that this requires an Add-on which as a beginner I am unable to find. Please give step-by-step help.

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  • $\begingroup$ @moonboots The tutorial video describes the stencil texture mapping function. That does not help me create a real stencil that I can print in 3D and use to spray real paint. $\endgroup$ Jul 22 at 19:14
  • $\begingroup$ @moonboots I think not. This defines what I want to make in a 3D printer: STENCIL n. a piece of card or plastic with a shape or letters cut out of it. You place it on a surface and paint over it to make a design on something. $\endgroup$ Jul 22 at 19:30
  • $\begingroup$ oh ok I completely misunderstood what you meant, so if you have b&w bitmap images you can convert to curve then to mesh $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Jul 22 at 19:36
  • $\begingroup$ @moonboots As a beginner I may manage this with step-by-step help. Thank you for your patience. $\endgroup$ Jul 22 at 19:42
  • $\begingroup$ is it what you're looking for? youtube.com/watch?v=9zkJC1LJycc $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Jul 22 at 19:46
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From the Edit menu, select 'Preferences' then the 'Addons' tab (1). Type 'image' into the search field (2) then check the 'Import Export: Images as Planes' entry (3). enter image description here

You'll now find the 'Images as Planes' entry at the bottom of the File > Import menu.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, I have imported my .bmp image. It appears in the 3D view as a plain plane. How do I drill out the black areas and leave the white areas as solid (or the other way round) ? $\endgroup$ Jul 22 at 19:37
  • $\begingroup$ There's a YT video by 3D Tudor here which should show you the technique. Although the start of it uses Photoshop, you can just as easily use Gimp or Krita to actually produce the initial image. $\endgroup$
    – John Eason
    Jul 22 at 22:15
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You can convert your b&w image to svg in an image editor, then import the svg, then convert to mesh, etc...

Another method is to fully convert within Blender:

  • Add (CtrlA) an Image > Reference, AltR to reset the rotation if necessary.
  • Header menu > Object > Convert > Trace Image to Grease Pencil.
  • Move the result and right click > Convert To > Polygon Curve.
  • Again move the result, select the outline object and right click > Convert To > Mesh.
  • Switch to Edit mode, select the mesh and fill with F.
  • Extrude with E.
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