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I've tried multiple times to import a SVG file from illustrator CS5.5 to Blender 2.71 and 2.73. However, I do not see a mesh, curve, or anything pop up in my "Outliner" window. So I know its not so small I can't see it. I even made sure under user preferences that the "import and export of SVG 1.1 format" is "checked." I've tried even just importing text from illustrator and I'm still getting no where. What can I do to resolve this problem? If this is common error with this version of Blender, then what can I do to transform an image into a 3D object in Blender?

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    $\begingroup$ Is it possible you could upload the SVG in question? $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Jan 14 '15 at 0:57
  • $\begingroup$ related: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/8016/… $\endgroup$ – cegaton Jan 14 '15 at 1:56
  • $\begingroup$ Make sure you are not saving embedded raster graphics in your SVG file. Blender can only use the vectorial information. $\endgroup$ – cegaton Jan 14 '15 at 2:01
  • $\begingroup$ How do I not save the embedded raster graphics? I don't see that as a clear option in Illustrator. $\endgroup$ – zpdufour Jan 14 '15 at 2:26
  • $\begingroup$ Below is a dropbox link to the illustrator file: dropbox.com/s/8keu64jllhhiag3/Fist.ai?dl=0 $\endgroup$ – zpdufour Jan 14 '15 at 2:29
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This is a very common error with a simple solution.

The error:

Just because you saved your file as SVG, it doesn't mean that the information is in vector format, and blender's SVG importer expects vectors (paths) to create curve objects.

Long winded explanation:

Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is defined as

a modularized language for describing two-dimensional vector and mixed vector/raster graphics in XML

What that means is that the SVG format can contain three types of graphic objects:

Vector Graphics (made from the 2D representation of paths, points, lines, shapes, fill etc. )

Raster graphics (bitmap images, as pixel information)

Text (using fonts, and XML character data formatting information).

Currently the Blender's SVG importer can only read paths (vectorial graphics). Raster and text information will not be imported.

So how do I import SVG files correctly then?

In this particular case your illustrator/inkscape file is just a bitmap image contained within the SVG file, but is not an object made of paths.

To convert a raster image (pixels) into vectors (paths or curves) it has to be TRACED

In illustrator select your graphic, and form the menu select: Object->Live_Trace->Tracing Options. Then trace.

enter image description here

In Inkscape select Path->Trace_Bitmap (or press ShiftAltB)

enter image description here

Once the image has been properly traced and saved as SVG, the file should import correctly on Blender.

enter image description here

Random tips to deal with SVGs

When exporting from illustrator un-check this box:

enter image description here

On newer versions of there is an option to save as Adobe CEF when saving as SVG. Do not use that, but SVG instead. (see this question)

enter image description here

To import Text.

Text in illustrator doesn't get translated into outline curves automatically when you save as SGV either: You have to select the text and go to Type->Create Outlines first. Once is converted to paths, it's easy to create a SVG file that blender can deal with.

Filled Paths.

In Illustrator you can have paths that are filled but not closed. Those paths might not translate correctly in blender, so make sure to close your paths in illustrator before exporting.

Scale:

The scale in which the objects where created might not match blender's scene scale (Read this post). Upon importing you may see that there are new curve objects in the outliner but they might not be visible in blender's 3D viewport because they are too small (or sometimes too large). If that's the case you might need to zoom in on the viewport to find your objects, or you might also need change the clip point for the viewport. You can fix scale/visibility issues re-scaling the imported objects or re-scaling your scene.

For more on this topic please read this and this:

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  • $\begingroup$ i followed the answer of saving the svg properly but blender still won't import the files. They were originally emf files from powerpoint with no raster graphics in them at all, all shapes inside the emf were basic shapes filled paths, i imported them to AI and cropped extra artboard space ands saved them as the answer above specified, please help, what else should i do? :| $\endgroup$ – Pow Jun 14 '16 at 12:43
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    $\begingroup$ @Pow please post this as a new question. The best way to help you is if you upload your file somewhere on the internet and add the link as part of the text to your question. $\endgroup$ – cegaton Jun 14 '16 at 15:02
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    $\begingroup$ This is an extremely comprehensive answer, and has helped me SOO much on my current project. Thank you so much for taking the time. $\endgroup$ – Kaninepete Jul 8 '16 at 18:04
  • $\begingroup$ I'll add that saving the .ai as a .pdf, closing and reopening the .pdf, and then saving an .svg from the .pdf (all within Illustrator, or Inkscape) is one way to get a cleaner file that is less likely to have compatibility problems. I haven't done enough testing to give more detailed advice than this, but since I noticed nobody had mentioned PDF yet, I'm going to leave this here for anyone who may still be struggling after trying other methods. $\endgroup$ – Mentalist Sep 28 '17 at 4:29
  • $\begingroup$ I was getting an import error when exporting->importing from Inkscape to Tinkercad. This solved my problem. (Note: The tracing in Inkscape created a traced copy, rather than modifying it in place, so after tracing I deleted the original bitmap from the SVG file.) Thanks! $\endgroup$ – arr_sea Aug 31 '18 at 19:43

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