Best Nurbs to Mesh Tool

Hey All,

My team has been getting a lot of requests to bring our Nurbs 3D models of footwear into animating softwares such as Modo and Maya for animation purposes. We have a small team on both end so we have tried our hands at learning Modo as well to help better translate the files from one software to another.

The issue we are continually running into is the transfer of files from Nurbs to Polygon/Meshes and keeping even polygons for the UV creation process. This is especially important because footwear parts are very difficult to flatten and an even polygon count seems to greatly help the UV process.

I’ve been looking through a lot of grasshopper forums on Kangaroo tools such as Remesher and other Nurbs to mesh options in Rhino but haven’t found any solid solutions. So I’m curious if we should invest in some external softwares or plugins for the remeshing process. The best I’ve seen in my opinion so far is from ExactFlat

I would appreciate if anyone else has any opinions or advice on the topic as well.



My go to, and am pretty sure is the best there is for equal, non spiraling, quad mesh’s is ZBrush. Usually convert NURBS to mesh in rhino, then bring to Zbrush and run the Decimation master and ZRemeshers. They are really fast and really robust with essentially no setup.

Do you only want to animate and render your shoes in Maya / Modo - or do you want to apply textural artwork and unroll these patterns for cutting your upper materials?

Exact Flat is a program geared towards physical production and least possible distortion. Their triangulated meshes are not a particular good choice for rendering and texture work. As already mentioned by others Zbrush offers an easy to use and high performance automatic remesher, but the whole program is quite unconventional. Another automated option is 3DCoat, but here the process is not quite as robust.

That all being said - shoes parts can also quite easily get remeshed by hand inside Maya, Modo and any other mesh modeller. This gives you the best control and doesn’t take very long. If one has many parts one may work with preset meshes which get adapted to the individual shoe topology.

Thanks for the input! One of the reasons I was looking at ExactFlat was that the type of remeshing it uses seems to be very efficient at getting pieces correctly flattened, which is basically identical to what we try to do when we create our UVs, so I thought perhaps one was good for the other. We have a lot of single piece upper shoes and we scan our physical uppers to provide the textures for the shoe. This means we need to create a UV that is identical to our flattened physical pattern so you can see how this led me to look at a software that was good at creating flattened pattern pieces.

But the quality of the meshes need to look good for animation and rendering, so if the triangulated meshes won’t serve that purpose well I will keep that in mind. We have a trial of Zbrush floating around so I will look at what it can do as well as check out 3DCoat.

Thanks again for your response.

Looks very promising, I actually have a trial of Zbrush here I can work with. I will check out this tool and see how it goes.

Thanks for the feedback and response.

The ExactFlat workflow looks very good, but it does not seem like they provide any help in UV unwrapping from the 3D model to the flat. It’s too bad because they have done most of the hard work to have an accurate unwrapped UV space. But probably the lack of quads makes it impossible?