Are joints in figures possible in Rhino for Mac


Hi I was wondering if it is possible to create a figure whereby you can make the joints moveable i.e. if I had a figure in a standing position and then wanted to make that figure sit, how would I do this in Rhino?

I have used Cheetah in the past and this was a straight forward operation, however, I am self taught and do not know all the correct terminology. I am willing to wrangle through the process if anyone can give me a hint as to where I would start.




This probably depends on your expectation of “possible”.

Cheetah3D seems built to be primarily an ANIMATION program. As in other animation programs like Maya, modo, Lightwave, Messiah, etc one of its included components let you rig your model with imaginary bones – often with defined constraints on how far something can twist or bend. The model deforms its mesh in those areas. The end-product to most animation programs are media for visual consumption.

In another part of the spectrum are solid parametric modelers like Autodesk Inventor or SolidWorks. These treat your model as if it were solid in the virtual world. Objects collide with one another and can be defined by constraints but not the type of imaginary bones you get in an animation program. This allows engineers to create hinges and gears and levers that operate and interact in the software like it would in real life. There would be an opportunity here to create a character that has the old-school articulated joints like an old GI Joe doll – This is because the end-product to most solid modelers are object files intended for real-world manufacturing.

Rhino has a narrower focus on being a strong, general modeling program. It has IMO the best range of direct tools to let you define the precise shape of a model. This level of precision lends itself well to most manufacturing industries where a standalone part is needed. Rhino objects are allowed to overlap one another in space. Rhnio for Windows has an architecture that welcomes plug-ins. SpaceClaim is one such plug-in that seems to offer some level of solid modeling. To my knowledge, no one makes a plug-in that rigs Rhino models. That wouldn’t prevent you from exporting a Rhino model into an animation program for rigging.

One of the approaches that answers your original question would be to model a figure with intentionally separate segments (head, neck, torso, limbs, etc) All these parts would overlap one another. Model it such that there’s an actual Point Object positioned at every pivot juncture. With the help of the Point Object-Snap, you’ll be able to select multiple segments and swing it by the point pivot. Once the character is positioned using this kludgy method, the segments can all be booleaned together. This of course leads to compromises whether using this posed model for visual or manufacturing.


Bongo (for Windows-Rhino)!



Thanks for that carterTG, now you have explained this, it makes perfect sense as to why I could not find anything on the subject. I think the best solution for me is to export the model to Cheetah and work within that program as I only need the model to obtain a visual concept of the room available and optimum driver positioning.


Hi Philip, unfortunately I have not used windows for about 15 years now and although I did look at purchasing a new computer, I just had to go with the new iMac instead. Maybe a bad choice in respect that there is not much support for Mac bit I do think it will come in time.


Hi Paul! A new iMac is not a bad choice at all :smiley: The Mac version of Rhino doesn’t have any plug-ins yet, but they’ll get there. I use the Mac version (and also the windows version) myself on my Mac at home (MacBook Pro, bootcamp) - here at work I’m “stuck” with windows… I’m eagerly waiting for the Mac plug-ins for Maxwell and Bongo :smiley:



Philip, I would not know where to start setting up a windows version on my Mac. I recalled seeing Boot Camp Assistant within my Launchpad and on checking I found it again but I’m not sure if I should try to set it up or continue as I am doing because I am still learning to use this version.

I too am eagerly awaiting the plugins for Mac, I’ve wanted to tryout T’splines ever since watching a youtube video several years ago now.



If you don’t have a desperate need for a plug-in right now - and since you’re used to OS X, I would stay away from Boot Camp. Installing Boot Camp and Windows 7 made my MacBook much slower starting up OS X - strangely enough…



…and Grasshopper, of course :smiley: