A complete UI overhaul of Rhino would be a much welcomed move

it probably does need to be ‘sexed’ up a bit, made visually appealing to new designers entering the industry, yet keeping the functionality which Rhino users enjoy :slight_smile: , and no I don’t have any idea of how to do it or what it should look like :blush:

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I like the Rhino interface - especially on OS X, with the ‘active’ screen edges. It works well and the icons are also simple and nice. Less is more.



You are not alone.
Which doesn’t mean it couldn’t be better.

The appearance is relevant especially to attract prospective users.

Functionality of the Rhino interface: User preferences depend on workflow and preferred methods of working.

In this respect the UI is quite good.
It offers several methods to start and handle commands.
You can use the short methods (typing, aliases), and you can use menus and icons.

There are some crude things in the UI that should be improved as soon as possible - not in V7.
E.g. holding Ctrl or Shift while hovering over the Osnaps.
And the click count in the cascading toolbar system.
And the large empty areas in the UI.
And and and.

UI and appearance are not bad.
As always, there’s room for improvement.

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Yes, they are very good.

Less is more.

Unnecessary stuff always leads to confusion.


In my opinion a true support for a “dark mode” would be good.


Yes, and at best easily accessible and not hidden in deeper options.

I would like to see something like this:

Charles wrote: I only need to hover the mouse over such a button, and the toolbar pops out automatically.

Yes, this is good idea. Another good idea is filling entire Rhino screen with icons. Most icons would disappear when you press the space bar or run any command. Right-clicking an icon would display context-sensitive help.

When you hover cursor over an icon (button), a tooltip (short text) appears and displays name of the command.

Do you think I didn’t know?
It has nothing to do with icons in menus.

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For the sake of this discussion, I’ve invited my neighbors from across the street, /graphic designers/, to give me their opinion on Rhino.
Their comments were a bit harsh, but this is looked at with a “fresh set of eyes” since they have never heard of or have ever seen Rhino.
disclaimer - these dudes have always used, exclusively, the Adobe Suite.

I’ve shown them the white skin that comes “out of the box” and my customized - not fully - “dark” skin.
The first guy went:

Looks like a Windows 95 program. This looks very bad man. I’ve always been critical on what Adobe is doing with its UI, but come on…

The second guy took his time looking around and told me:

Looking at everything inside the “working area” [what we call the viewports] things look very nice and sharp.
I know that it’s a combination of what the software does and on your end, but still, it looks very good. [I was preparing a project for printing, so everything was neatly organized and set up]
But looking outside the borders everything looks outdated.
3D software’s always looked confusing to me, but the look at everything here is just bad.
The side panels are awful. The iconography as well [pointing out to the “save” toolbar collection].
It just gives me the feeling of a very old program ported to Windows 10.

This is what I wanted to point out from the start and exactly what I was talking about.

As some said already:

I honestly doubt that a new user, that’s just getting into 3D, on his/her own, will choose Rhino straight away.
I know I didn’t. I knew about Rhino since I started Architecture school, but the whole interface and the lack of resources [back then], to get me started and understand the basic workflow, just took me in another direction. It was many years after, I understood the potential of Rhino, and took upon myself to switch completely.

‘’ We hate because we love’’. I’d love to see Rhino get a better looking GUI.
The enjoyment I feel when working on a project, cos of its capability would be increased, with a better looking piece of software infront of me.

I’m preaching to all of my colleagues that they need to switch to Rhino.
Some are comfortable where they are [it reminds me of the people here, that don’t want to hear of chage]. Some say looks way too complicated. I bet, after they look into Rhino, the interface is a huge drawback, which keeps them from even trying it out. These are the same as the previous ones, but at least they are willing to try it.

We can’t just compare Blender to Rhino as freely as that. Blender is open-source and its built in a completely different way - mostly by the community [in their spare time].
McNeel is a private company that charges [more and more with each new release] for its product.
It’s small, true, but none-the-less, I’d go as far as saying that they have a greater responsibility to their customers to keep their software relevant, “under the hood” as well as in keeping with the times and the design trends. After all, this is a creative piece of software, used by creatives, and those people deserve a better-looking interface.

Nobody here is saying that they want the capabilities of Rhino to change, due to getting a better looking “screenshot”. They can make the best looking interface design, but if the function of the software suffers, it would be a complete waste.

Rhino will go into version 7 by next year [probably] - /please, please, don’t switch to an annual release cycle/ and the interface hasn’t changed since version 3.


“Perfection is attained not when there is nothing left to add but when there is nothing left to take away.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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I know (remember, I have typed for a decade on Blender code). Also, a lot of the development is no longer just pro bono, nor spare time. Many developers are paid - even I made a living out of Blender development for several years.

But from my perspective as developer on both Blender and Rhino I think Blender dev community had, and still has, the greater freedom of actually breaking forward and backward compatibility big time as compared to Rhino, precisely because there is no charge, and change comes inherent to the open source model - people are more inclined to accept bigger breaking changes. (No, I don’t mean just the visual part of the program that faces the user).

Again: yes, we strive to improve.

:open_mouth: and I have yet to start typing on v7 code

It actually has already in many places, you just don’t see it yet. Maybe when that work is completed some unifying styling could happen. We’ll see.

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I’ve just noticed that you are from McNeel. Hi! :grinning:
I read that somewhere. It felt strange, but official. I hope that we have few years to get out of v6.

Please explain further. What has changed? I agree, some bits and pieces have, since the “old days”, but let’s be real - It wouldn’t matter if you open v3 or v6, everything is basically the same.
Of course, there were changes along the way, but all-in-all, Rhino has always looked and felt the same - with it’s good and bad sides.

So, will we see anything on this front? Are there any plans on dedicating some time and resources on revamping the UI?

Bforartists is a project that might be inspiring in this discussion. It is some kind of UI-modification for Blender.

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Hi all,

Now that you guys are discussing the UI…I have to point out that after a lot of years of teaching and introducing new users to Rhino, some of the icons need a little re-work.

Just take the “Lines” toolbar as an example:


If you can perfectly see those white lines over a light gray background and that size…you are lucky. That’s one reason why I end up recommending people to install a dark theme (not only because the icons…).

About stream-lining the UI and improving the UX, I think that minimalism is your friend, without ending up in interfaces like new windows 10 apps in which you don’t know if certain texts are clickable or not because the lack of visual features giving you a hint about it.

So yeah, I would say that little improvements can be done, as little by little as you want to don’t disturb developers too much.


P.S.: I’m one of the group of people thinking that the “band-aid” logo was a really nice missed opportunity of bringing some fresh air into RH image :stuck_out_tongue:

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Hi there, I would say that for me the user interface is quite “useless” an ugly, but then again I don’t really use it that much, I would be pretty happy only with a flat dark version of the Viewport, the command line like a text editor similar to Sublime, the Main Menu, and Grasshopper with simpler icons as the main UI.
I tend to use rhino more like a presentation tool instead of using pdf or videos, In this way I can maintain the functionality of the scripts without having to work on a presentation file(a big waste of time). In these way the software is at same time the presentation.

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Interface is gradually moved to using a cross-platform GUI library (Eto.Forms), this is so we can work towards feature parity between the Mac and Windows versions of Rhino. Under the hood more and more of the GUI is replaced with WPF, but it is generally done so that you don’t see (big) changes in the user facing part.

With much of the effort focused on bring the Mac version of v6 up to speed I don’t think there are plans in the near future. But GUI work is being done all the time.

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Well, I think everyone agrees that improvement in GUI is nothing wrong. But I think you exaggerate.
In the end its a tool, and if you want to saw metal, you cannot chose a wood saw, just because they have newer, better design. This is exactly what you are doing. You comparing apples with oranges and quoting people who probably never had any need using a Nurbs platform. I constantly use 3 different CAD platforms and all of them have old UI. So what… And let us not to forget that Rhino is extremely inexpensive for the diversity and quality of tools it has.

Not even talking about the newish policy of many companies (often starting with the letter A) of charging yearly fees and all you get are bugfixes and a “better” experience (UI) as they constantly advertise…


Rhino icons are miniature pictures of objects. It seems that colors of the objects are random. About two years ago I proposed a few rules: points are red, lines are green, surfaces are blue, isocurves are yellow, meshes are magenta, imaginary lines are cyan, solid edges and text are black, background is white. Original objects have light colors. Final objects have dark colors.


No, they are not… https://wiki.mcneel.com/rhino/rhinoicons