Rhino newcomer

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Hello there!

At once want to apologies for many words and too many comparations / whishes. 

My story.

For many years I’ve been working in several applications such as Rhino with T-splines, if required – SolidWroks and standalone renderer Keyshot. On the one hand, I like Rhino for its super-fast workflow, flexibility and power, on the other – I hate it for its fillets/chamfers really pathetic abilities with huge restrictions – so it is much faster to throw a model into SolidWorks and do any fillets (you call it rounds here) and then export it back. Also, I loved Rhino for T-splines. Indeed, this is not 3D Max which I find a king of poly-modeling with super-duper convenient tools which I have never seen in other applications but… what really attracted my attention in Solidthinkin is a hybrid modeling, so you can combine polynurbs with other operations, other nurbs tool and always be able to go back to polynurb and edit it. Make a base shape from polynurbs, trim it, cut holes in it without having to think about topology, brilliant! I like the sort of parametric modeling techniques in the application. Actually, it is smth in between of SolidWork browser and 3D Max stack tree. But I like it. Also, the interface looks as Rhino, uses some similar curve and surface tools and I thought I would get a hand in it quite fast. But having played around with it for a few days I have a bunch of questions. I am really at stupor at some of them and not sure I am ready to leave Rhino for keeps in favor of ST (SolidThinking).

  1. Why there is no absolute coordinate input in Translate properties? Only relative one. You can only change the pivot point location relatively world axes but not the object
  2. Selection window has ONLY crossing effect?? I spent 2 hours searching in the Internet to find how to make the boundary selection (non-crossing). Max has a switch, Autocad / Rhino – depending on the angle where you start it. I just can’t imagine it doesn’t have it! I’d rather be with non-crossing selection – would be easier. I will not explain why I need it, I think it is very much clear that in most of the case you don’t want it to be crossing. Ctrl+alt+selection has some strange effect but it is not it.
  3. World tree. Maybe it is a matter of habit but I find it really hard to work with. A mix of all possible uninformative object names. Could you maybe at least make a different icons for surface, curves, solids etc so it would be easier to navigate through? SolidWorks has a really nice and clean tree. In ST it is a mind blower for me. Maybe it is a lack of practice, but when I first run SW it was all clear to me. Here it takes time to understand. Sometimes when I hide smth I have difficulties to find it in the tree to unhide.
  4. Fillets (rounds). Works fine but why can’t you add interactive radius? Now you only can type it. Not interactive at all.
  5. Texturing. Where is UVW? Where is UVW unwrap? Is it possible to work without it to make texture mapping for complex surfaces the way a user wants?
  6. Polynurbs – was really my hope since Rhino 6 supports T-splines no more, Fusion 360 is really limited and not flexible. And I am really missing some features
    1. Weld. Why only boundaries? Weld and target weld is a main principle of polygonal modeling, of retopology (3D max, Rhino T-splines, Fusion, Blender, Cinema4D – all have it!)a. And you propose to delete entire face to free up the edges and then weld it? And what if I want to weld only the upper vertexes of the face and leave bottom one intact? Delete a face, weld upper vertexes and append a new face that I have to build/close hole? This is really a huge question for me.
    2. No grid snap when extruding faces, sliding edges? Snaps works only when translating them, But I want to extrude with snap – have to extrude, then go to translate and snap, then again go to extrude and again snap. Either pls make it snap, or maybe add the ability to shift+translate = extrude/copy as in many applications.
    3. No edge constrains. Related to this 3D max is super precise in mater of retopology, you can move vertexes around with edges restrictions! Here you have to either draw a a helper nurbs-line to snap to it, or make it on sight, roughly. Why no snap to edges? It could be sort of edge move restriction.
    4. Do you know such a feature as flatten vertexes? It approximates a selection of vertexes into a flat surface. If the pivot point and local coordinate could adjust to the selection normal it would be possible, but it can’t so I see no other options
    5. Chamfers. In polygonal modeling you very often want the ability to delete edge loops, that is why the correct chamfer is the one that doesn’t remove the edge – it has it but just adds 2 extra loops adjacent to it. So in case you want to remove the chamfer – you select these loops and delete them, leaving the corner as it was originally. What do you do if you want to remove a chamfer with 2 edges, with corner edge gone? You have a headache. You will lose your shape! Rhino, Max and other apps has the option to “keep the face”, so the original edge remains where it was. I really want it here!
    6. backface culling/ignore backfacing - I want to be able to have the ability not to select vertexes that are on the back faces. Again - standard feature.
    7. keep shape when inserting an edge loop - enable/dsiable the automatic shape adjustment when inserting a loop, so it remains the shape in subdiv mode and the shape is different in low-poly mode.

Well, that’s it for the moment. I am sure I might continue but this is the main points I can’t understand. Maybe in some of them there are solutions or instruments to cope with, so I am sorry than. Just as I said I’ve been working with Solidthinking for a few days. It has a huge potential and I think Iif I could find the answers to above questions I would move to it for keeps!

PS. It has a really cool renderer! Not Keyshot/Vray but still very-very nice and can be used in most of the cases!

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Hi Alexus,

First of all thanks for your interest in Evolve, it is really appreciated, and more than this we appreciate your direct feedback and questions.
I'll try to answer them point by point:

1- We have both Local and World axes reference (two icons in the main top toolbar), you can switch between them and this will change the reference values in the coordinates for Translation for example.

2- The selection is only crossing, the only combinations are to add/remove/intersect the selection.

3- The world browser is all you have in the scene, it can be tricky sometimes, that's why you also have layers you can create and also the construction tree to maybe help you find the objects you used in the history

4- Actually every handle of the radius has 2 points, one of them for position and the second one for the radius handle size, and you can drag them both.

5- No, there's no UVW and unwrap. We have a mapping type called UV that follows the isoparametric curves of the object for mapping.

6- Polynurbs:
A- Yes, the weld vertices only works with boundary edges for now. I guess you could create a new point on an edge and then delete the other two, but I think this is also too manual for your preference.
D- This can be achieved by selecting the Face, activating the Scaling and scale the Z direction down to 0, same thing for edges.
B,C,E,F,G - These are features that currently we don't offer, and as far as modeling goes, these can be seen as limitations of course, but when comparing to 3DSMax or any other pure polygonal modeling software, of course they have much more experience and focus on polygonal modeling than we do.

A lot of the features that you are missing are already been reported as feedback for developers, and our developement is really fast (1 new version + 3 updates a year).

I would like to add that we are on the verge of a revolution in terms of code and UIX with the next version, Evolve 2018, coming out in Q1 2018, so you can expect some major changes in both interaction with tools and functionality, with this I'm not saying you shouldn't learn Evolve 2017, but 2018 will be much better!

Nevertheless we find your feedback very precious, and for sure we will report your points to our developement team.

Thank you,

solidThinking Team


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Hello Francesco!

Thank you for your reply. You have answered some of my questions but I would like to clarify some points and appreciate if you would be able to answer them!

1. Example. I drew a circle somewhere. Now I can move it to 0,0,0 world coordinate with use of the translate command. Changing world/local axis changes only the location of the pivot point of this circle. I am happy with it to be where it is but I want to move it TO 0,0,0 world. Now the fields of TO X,Y,Z show only the relative change of the translation coordinate, not the absolute world coordinate which I want. Or maybe I am missing smth? In Rhino I assign the 0,0,0 Absolut coordinate to a shortcut. So I run move (translate) command, pick ref point of the subject (circle's center with osnap) and press a shortcut. Very easy and fast. Here I am really missing that I cannot pick ref point on the subject to be moved. Say quadrant.

2. This is really I can't understand. Say, there is a sweep feature, and undersees a profile. I want to select it but I cannot see it so I don’t know where to click. The easiest way is to select it with a non-crossing frame. What I have to do here - select it (will select all) and then start to deselect other things with the same crossing frame. Can you imagine how many clicks I have to perform if the desired profile is surrounded by many objects? At lease 4 - over it, under it, left and right. I think it is primitive but MUST have instrument. Furthermore, when I try to combine objects - the crossing section just doesn’t work - it pops up with the particular item to select from. It wants me to select items one by one but why? Why cannot I cross select items I want to combine, what tech process/algorithm it violates?

3. Yes, layers are what I use to distribute items in Rhino and keep them organized. Will do here as well, because World tree is not smth what is associates with world organize to me  And I am missing features such as - copy object to layer (Rhino). Now I have to make a copy/instance and then manually drag it to the new layer. Would be much easier with copy to layer feature (an in options I would add - copy to layer as an instance or a copy)

4. Thanks

5. UV follows isoparms, but it doesn't mean I want to map it accordingly. I didn’t spend much time on it and will have to check more. Thanks.

6. Not sure. I see when I select the set of edges the scale axis doesn’t change for approximated normal direction. It scales it down to flat polygons in not desired direction. Face select seems to orient the axis correctly, but with few of them selected again the direction seems to be wrong.

As for the other instruments for Polynurbs. I agree, 3D max is a top pro and polymodeling is its main purpose. I don’t consider it as solid modeling app, or nurbs (it has it but to just consider it is just there). But take a look at Rhino's T-splines. Not as what they turn it in the Fusion 360, but in Rhino 5. They are a way more flexible and powerful. I really took a huge interest to Solidthinking for this superb combination of poly+nurbs modeling. At what I see polynurbs features here is really week, but I do hope you will develop it to more powerful and precise instrument in future! Really wish you luck!

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Hi Alexus,

1 - In this case the Inspector tool can be used to see the coordinates in X,Y,Z and set them to 0 to go to origin.

2 - The selection process in Evolve changes from tool to tool: for the combine we don't allow cross selection cause our code (parasolid) doesn't allow it.
The core code in Evolve had some old logics that are hard to modify, and this is one of them, I can assure you that it's what we would like to do as well.
I can anticipate you that this will change in Evolve 2018 since we rewrote and optimized every single tool.
For the Sweep profile selection, you could press 1 or 2 while selecting to lock curves or surfaces selection, and pay attention to the pre-highloghting to see what you are selecting.

3 - Yes, you have to copy the object first in order to put it in a new layer, but you can also right click on the object ans say "Move to Layer" without dragging.

6 - Face select is the most accurate one, and if you select multiple faces the modifier will adopt the normal to the last face selected.

Again, you came to Evolve probably with the best (or worst) timing, since all you may learn and get frustrated with at the same time will be probably changed/improved in Evolve 2018.
I suggest you hang on a little bit as we roll out a beta version, and see for yourself if we are on the right path!

Thanks for now, and don't hesitate to write more questions as you have some!


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Hi Francesco.

Thanks again for your answer. As I said I see a great potentioal in this application and understand you have an absolutely new product to come in the next version. So I will be waiting for it with anticipation and hope!

I forgot to sent the post I made yesterday, so it is below. Maybe you shouldnt bother unswering if lots of things will change in next version. Bet nevertheless I leave the post as I wrote it.

Thanks again for your hope and kind answers!


Hello guys!

Was trying to find but most likely there is no such a setting. I don't want to see any isoparms. They really make a mess in a wireframe view and it is hard to see the edges. Also it would be good to have individual settings for edges and isoparm colors. But it seems you can turn it off only in shaded view. Look at the screenshot. Do you think it is comfortable to percept this view and clearly see the edges? For me it is really a mess, no clear picture, especially when you don’t see any objects. To find a requited profile there which corresponds to the shape is a challenge. Only in the World browser which is also not very much informative. So I distribute objects to layers - all solids/surfaces in 3D layer, important original curves taht correspond to the shape into shape layers, other dependant curves made of original ones into curve layer, or smth like that.



Then, why the center of this revolved object below looks as if it was modeled with triagonal poligons convergin in a "star" point? How to solve it out?



Then I am having difficulties with lines. I cannot explode lines into segments to simplify some of them. The application treats it as a single line (therefore it is sort of a polyline that consists of segments). And I cannot split it into segments. Neither can I collapse the construction tree, nor can I uncombine entities. What is the process of simplifying curves? Say when my straight segment consists not from 2 but from 20 nodes? Yes, I can divide the curve with corresponding tool, then collapse the construction tree, simplify segments and join it again, and then collapse the stack. Not sure if it is correct, too much actions, but see no options. Then I want to join that manually split 20 segments and I have to add it one by one without the ability to select them all with the selection window. Very weird.

Also, I found no points drawing. Sometimes they are helpful, don't know why they are not here. 

When smth fails to be created you nevertheless get the blank item in the world browser. Why does it necessary for empty objects?

I am very much used to first select entities, then perform any operations. Most of applications allow you to do first change and then run command, or vise-versa.

I really want to get the hand in this application, I think I got to know most of the features for this week of trying. But there is really lack of information, whatever you Google in the internet you end up with only help link. Looks as if it was just developed so few info on that.

A Hybrid modeling is a perfect tool for me, I really dreamt of such an application while switching front and back between bunch of 3D software. At one moment I thought that I found the perfect one, but I think I have to high expectations. For now, I think I will have to put it away but I will keep an eye on 2018 and will be waiting for it with a huge hope.

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  1. For wireframe resolution settings use CTRL+SHIFT+D and click custom. Here set the max and min to 1.
  2. To explode single lines and bodies. Use Edit - Collapse construction tree then separate entities. 
  3. To explode combined lines and bodies. Use Edit - Collapse construction tree, then Uncombine bodies and then separate entities. 
  4. To simplify curves, it must have no history. Use rebuild and simplify curve tools.
  5. To add segments together, use join curve entities. For surfaces, use combine.

Can you please share the file causing the rendering issue? The problem is most likely due to bunched vertices after the revolve. One way to solve it is to not align the center vertices of the Rounded poly line along the revolve axis. Yes, this will create holes on the top and bottom which can be patched using 'Patch'. Once patched, use combine to add all the surfaces together into a single body and then assign material. 

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