Adding an image(jpeg) onto cylinder surface Rhino 5 (OSX)



Hello Rhino friends,

I am sort-of a newbie at Rhino. I have followed several step-by-step creations and have succeeded.

However, I’ve been trying to do something for work, very unsuccessfully.

I have created a basic cylinder (not sure if it’s a surface cylinder or not) and I would like to place two images (jpeg) on it’s surface. So that the cylinder could rotate 360 degrees on a short clip displaying the two images while it rotates around itself.

The cylinder is created, the images are placed on the board, but I don’t find how to stick the .jpeg images to the cylinder so that it could keep them stuck on it’s surface while it rotates 360 degrees.

I have also spent three constant days online searching for videos or tutorials, but none explicitly describe how to fulfill my requests.

Thank you for your assistance in teaching me how to resolve my issue.


on mac there are 2 options i can give you, if the cylinder is a surface and not a mesh, if its mesh it may be different, but i suggest you create a cylinder from the solid Creation bar. first you unroll the surface with UnrollSrf you get a surface which you can save as pdf, go to print save as, or you export it whatever. you now have the surface (proportions) you need which you open in any photo editor and combine both images onto one texture. in rhino you click on your cylinder and go to material on the right side bar chose assign by object and click on edit a new viewport opens. create a new model material unfold Textures/Colors load the image you have created (png, jpg) and drag and drop it onto the cylinder.

2nd method kind of a decal version, on the windows you have something like decal but i never used it. anyway you use the same unrolled surface which you have done before and place your images with the command picture frame exactly on the surface you can use png with transparent background as seen below, just elevate it very very slightly that it does not clip with the other surface and use FlowAlongSrf. it will ask you to select the object you want to role up then hit space or enter and click on a spot the surface you have put the texture on and click on the same spot in relation on the cylinder.

mac rhino is not for animating, there are some workarounds with grasshopper but thats not recommendable and i am not sure if you can render it out with textures no experience there. you rather use another software for this… something like blender if you want a free tool or whatever you wish.


Thank you very much for your explanation RichardZ!!

I followed your simple steps to getting closer to my goal.

Since I’m at it, playing around with Tiling & Offset while injecting different numbers to view its location on the solid item gets nerve wracking. I’ve tried to find a “logic” on what numbers to input for a “center location” of the imputed image along the three different sides of the Truncated Pyramid… phiewww no luck!!

Maybe you know of a tutorial on how to understand the logic behind the numbers to input?

Once again, two thumbs up Richard and thank you for your help!!


you can use MappingWidget with the gumball together you can scale and move it in realtime. this only works when you set the texture mapping (below the materials on the right panel) to custom, try planar or box or anything you like, surface does not activate it. also try equalize which changes the image to its natural proportions.


Thank you for teaching me new techniques such as MappingWidget and texture mapping.

So I followed your steps in obtaining for “custom” and tried all the 5 options excluding ‘surface’. I also checked the ‘equalize’ option.

Very often I get a ‘DETAIL’ explanation which removes all the options under MappingWidget. But by pressing cancel and selecting the diagram, I get it back.

Below, I attached a visual snap of the diagram I am trying to place the image on so that you can have an idea of what I’m trying to do. The diagram is a 3D equilateral triangle where I need a logo placed on the three sides while it rotates 360 degrees displaying the image (logo) continuously.

Like I previously said, the image I uploaded to Rhino displays it in an unproportional manner and does not put it on the three sides of the 3D equilateral triangle.

The images uploaded are a new Rhino page I have created to once DONE, I will copy paste to the initial final base project.
Any suggestions?


hi H. the problem with mac rhino is currently that we lack on some essential tools for texture mapping like uvunwrap and uveditor, still it may be possible but i did not get behind it myself, i am sure @BrianJ could help out if he has time, you may have to wait a few days till he responds if he is not around.

for now if its just for some simple logo representation you can explode that prisma, all surfaces will become disconnected and then - assuming they are equal in dimension - you unroll one of the sides which you want the logo on or you use CreateUVCrv then print/export as explained placing your logo in an image editor like photoshop and apply the logo to each side separately with standard surface, no need for messing with offset or tiling (which one cant deactivate anyway at least i never managed) and then just group the surfaces together instead of joining.

below i used 3 different images for each side deleting the caps you can leave them and group them back together with the sides. if this does not help you have to wait for Brian.


Hello RichardZ,

I understand that Mac Rhino does not have all the capabilities/facilities that the Windows version has. I will give your explanations a try.
But even though I could try to put all sides with the same logo each one at it’s own pace, the problem I’m having is centering the logo in the middle of the surface using the Tiling & Offset, since when entering numbers, I keep getting parts of the logo that are tremendously zoomed in and other sides of the triangle having other parts of the logo, making it unproportionally visible.
I will look into standard surface and see if it makes it easier. Don’t understand what you mean by “group the surfaces together”. Placing each side of the triangle at it’s own rhythm, you mean join the whole ensemble of the equilateral triangle with the images placed on its three sides, to make it ONE?

“you unroll one of the sides which you want the logo on or you use CreateUVCrv then print/export as explained placing your logo”

  • to unroll one of the sides of the three and just place it on it’s surface? Because the initial image was photoshopped and ready to be placed on one of the surface. I tried to choose the side I’d want to unroll from the 3D piece, but it selects the whole ensemble, don’t let me pick out which to unroll.
    – Sorry I don’t seem to fully understand this part of your message. Using CreateUVCrv I can export (even though I normally need to import not export) an image from my hard drive into the triangle.
    Kind of lost here …

Once again RichardZ, thank you very much for taking time in helping and giving me tips.
Also Thank you for giving me @BrianJ’s information so that he could hopefully be helpful as well.

** Is there anyway I can give you some credit (*helped/*solved) on this site for the assistance you have been giving me throughout our chats?


to access only one side of the prisma you have to use Explode, enter it into the command line when you select the prisma. you then have 5 separate surfaces. which you can texture.

CreateUVCrv is just an alternative to Unroll, both are also commands which you enter into the command line and are meant to give you the exact dimensions of one of the sides as an outline after exporting. while CreateUVCrv creates a rectangular curve Unroll creates a surface, both export as an outline only when you go to print and there save as pdf.

you say you have the image already on an exact dimension if thats exact as you need and represents the entire area of one of the sides then exporting the outline is naturally obsolete but be sure its exact otherwise it will distort the dimensions and you then would have to use the 2 described options to get the exact outline.

Join will create a solid (again) after you exploded it or when you want to create a sold from other derived surfaces which you might need for some other project, but if you join your prisma back together now it will distribute the texture over all surfaces which you dont want, since you want to keep the surfaces together for your rotation or whatever you want to do with them use Group instead.

(Brian James) #9

Apologies, I’m late to the party here… If you can post a 3dm and any 2D textures you are using in it I can take a look. Your initial question was about a cylinder but most recently it’s been about a pyramid form. Post which ever one shows where you’re at now and make any screenshots to illustrate the problems you’re trying to fix as well please and then I can try to help.

Update: UnpackTextures might be what you need here.


Hello RichardZ,

I’ve been trying to reach you through McNeel Forum with no success.

Have you changed your @RichardZ user name?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you

  • HB

(Wim Dekeyser) #11

Richard has left this forum…