Lots to unpack here, so before people go into lazy conclusions I want to offer some things to consider from my point of view and experience:
Tsplines sucked. It was slow, unnaceptably crash prone, dealt terribly with creases, failed to convert convert most subD friendly models that where more complex than a fork or a surfboard. Most of these limitations still exists today in Fusion360 sculpt (Tsplines engine). They show plenty of examples of how to model a BS knife handle or a door knob. Not a car interior, or a full motorcycle, not even a full laptop with all vents, details, splits and keys. We have prlent if fully detailed models in Modo that just trying to import and convert in Fusion360 Sculpt (Tsplines) is a non-starter.
Plugins sucks. Especially when they are there to ‘augment’ functionality already existing in the main products. I call SubD (and it’s stupid coursing Tsplines) an augmentation because it does the same thing that Rhino’s main tools: modeling. I know a few hundred nerds like us think this is very different, it’s a completely new thing, a new paradigm, not just an augmentation: …the market gives zero fucks to what we think. As we have already seen.
Plugin developers are unfit to sell products to humans. Their licensing schemes, their tone answering questions to users, their aspergian tendencies to dela with humanity Malen their their own enemies. Just look as some of the new nerds trying to do modeling plugings for Rhino. They are passioanate about math. They are incapable of even grasping what real world problem they could solve for us they users. Just look at some of their examples showcasing technology. This si not a complain about Tsplines folks, but about the idea with dealing with plugin developers in general. Matt and Tom were GREAT in this regard, way better than most, they visited customers, they hired designers, they were nice, they were extremely proactive in support, I think having Bob as a board member was a key cause for that. But in their case their product could not hold up to their (and our) standards.
I also think that TDM, the makers of Clayoo are in this league above the rest of plugin developers, but we’ll see if they can maintain that approach post-acquisition by Stuller.
No one was able to make a subD workflow designer friendly yet. I think the curve-based creation by Clayoo and the Meshfusion tools in Modo (although with a horrible UI and extremely unreliable) show what’s posible of someone that’s been not a complete nerd and knows what she/he is doing can design a sensible workflow. Otherwise Rhino’s SubD will be another obscure, unused and under-supported feature for a few hundred cube-extrusion-slappers.
listening to the current SubD userbase is a horrible mistake. I’ll expand here on my last sentence of my point above. I think the sobering reality of that for design, the only significant group of SubD users is one: Non-consumption. I’ve tried to implement Tsplines and Modo across large teams of designers. It was a complete failure. Even Rhino surfacing is mostly a failure for some because it’s so obscure and complex to get good results and that’s why most people are using limited engineering/MCAD tools these days. But leaving that 80% of the modeling market aside, I think SubDs need to be designed to be friendlier and more intuitive. Right now they are voodoo.
There’s a reason why Sketchup is so popular: there’s no tab key, they stuff does not subdivide (no nerd, don’t post me the link about the SubD & smooth script, you are missing the point). If all those Sketchup models out there were to be smoothed by users hitting the tab key they would be so confused. So they made a product that’s relevant by limiting functionality.
I’m afraid that McNeel will try to make some shit proof of concept that’s not worth the time of people that can benefit from well designed software, and all the nerds here will chime in why how you want the SubD tool to work more like (Splines, Blended, Cinema, Modo, etc) and orb they listen to us this will be an EPIC market adoption fail.
I’m hoping @dalelear @brian and @bobmcneel know better. My gut tells me they do, If not all they have to do is look how the rendering in Rhino flicker fuck they have been living for the last 15 years because they ‘listen to their customers’
/end of rant. And upping my prediction that from today, March 2018, it will be probably another 3 years, meaning, March 2021, until something useful is developed. If ever. In the meantime we will continue to work in nerd Modo and hope that at least the conversion tools get improved quickly, they are re a good start but still give lots of errors, so we can get our work done. Because you know what my grandmother said about software: “the best software is the one you have with you know” …and considering everything else in the market, Rhino with a humble SubD conversion does an amazing for for us.
(Typed from a phone, while sitting on a bench in China, after a crazy long week of SubD work, excuses the bad writing and typos)