Comparing Rhino SubD modeling features with Alias 2021 and Modo 14

I’ve watched a new movie about Alias and Subd: Alias 2021 Deep Dive Session 01 - SubD workflow

I’m not Rhino user yet. I`m mostly Modo, MoI3d, and Zbrush user. I hope to buy Rhino in the following month.

Please tell me: Are those features with moving group of vertices/edges/polygons along directions (normal, tangent) taken from other edge/vertex/polygon) will be present in version 7 (or maybe it`s already there)?

I use those things in Modo all the time during SubD modeling and it`s super useful. I hope that is in Rhino Subd also (or will be soon).



In Modo it looks like that (moving selected polygons according to directions taken from an edge):

Same with rotate (up vector taken from vertex not from World Axis):

Same with scale:

I would like to post here also a few tools from Modo (very good polygonal modeling software). I would be grateful if someone also would tell me if something like this will be implemented into Rhino 7:

Those tools are not from Alias that`s why I’ve posted it in another post here. I think that those tools are needed to provide high-quality SubD modeling.

Sorry if some of them are already present in Rhino 7 but I don`t have one :slightly_smiling_face:

Move vertex with the direction of surrounding edges:


Push polygons/vertices/edges with normal directions:

Extend tangent:

Extend normal:

Select between (edges/polygons/vertices):

Straighten edge selection (linear align):

Add loop:

Edge bevel:

Relaxing distribution of edges with maintaining existing shape (Edge flow Modo plugin):

Falloff Tool which works with any other tool (with push tool in that case - there are present 4 easing modes - linear, easing-in, easing-out, smoothing):

Those tools I use everyday during SubD modeling works in Modo. I know that Modo and Alias/Rhino can`t be compared. I compare only SubD modeling tools.


To be clear. Please don’t get me wrong with that thread. Modo has got vary bad curve tools. Rhino shines with Nurbs. I will still use Modo for subd modeling but I`m curious which polygonal modeling features are covered with Rhino 7 update.

I hope I did not offend anyone with this thread and my GIFs. I would like only to share my workflow and see how it looks inside Rhino 7. I understand that Rhino is not a polygonal modeling software same as Modo is not surface modeling software. I hope to use them both. I’m curious which features are similar. Maybe I won`t be forced to go to Modo with some small changes.

I don`t understand overall Subd-Nurbs workflow in Rhino. May I blend nurbs surface with SubD surface?

Hi Marcin, I don’t think you are offending anyone. If fact your questions and examples are extremely useful and constructive.

We also use Modo for most of our SubD modeling, a couple(?) of weeks ago I asked some folks in my team, the ones with least experience in Modo, to try to design/model directly in Rhino SubD, to see if we can make it work, and provide feedback in the areas we can’t… they didn’t last for more that a couple of hours. Even for our less verse modelers in SubD, working it Rhino is just too slow, too limiting, too frustrating.

Many of the examples you showed on your gif files have already been shared. Several times. By many of us in the last few years.

I think people at McNeel already know their tools are very limited. I’m just not sure how much resources, time, focus and know-how they have to fix it. Especially when we we mention how other tools work we get answers like: ‘we don’t want to copy tool X’, ‘we don’t know how other tools work’, etc.

Hopefully we see a ton more focus added to SubD tools, otherwise they’ll end up as neglected as SolidTools, UTD, and other potentially useful things that never got full development and design attention.




Move a vertex along edges to neighboring vertices is nice! I’d be happy if we had this in Rhino.

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Linear align sort of exists in Rhino now, with the _Align command. But you can only do one line at a time.

There are a number of vertex alignment tools that Rhino could create or make quicker. A “circularize vertexes/points” tool for example.

Also: multi-gumball, aligning to selected sub-object normals by default. Please? This is one of the only things Clayoo SubD still does better than Rhino 7 SubD.


Thanks Gustavo. I like your posts :slight_smile:

Please tell me: How seamless is work with subd-nurbs in Rhino 7? You`ve already answered to my similar question on other thread. I know about importing ready subd models to prepare them for production. Is there something more to mix those both worlds?

What is the purpose of having Subd meshes inside NURBS world? I`m missing something obvious there. Is it worth to build Surfaces as SubD in Modo and convert them to NURBS with Rhino (I think answer is that subd modeling is faster)? May I build NURBS model and mix there some subd blend (mixing subd and nurbs together)? I have so many questions :slight_smile:

In other words: How SubD may help to experienced NURBS designer and how NURBS may help experienced SubD designer. I would love to see some mixed workflow.


How do you move meshes between Modo and Rhino. I know this plugin and it supports Rhino, Modo, Blender, Houdini, Zbrush. I think it should be a good way to move meshes between Modo<->Rhino: OD_CopyPasteExternal

With aligning transform tool to edge you can move not only vertices but also edges and polygons to near vertex.

The answers to those questions will different based on what kind of problems you are trying to solve. What are you delivering as output. To who. What level of design iteration your process/product/client/industry requires.

I’ve find Nurbs modeling a very limiting method to do quick iterations and form exploration for any kind of design work. You will always run out fo patience, fun, budget, and time before you run out of ideas.

On the other hard Sub-D are extremely tedious and messy to do detailed work. Adding simple things like a hole or a split in SubD is like trying to cut a soft clay model with a band saw. It can be done, and if you have a ton of skill and time you can make it look ok, but it will never be good, let alone editable.

Here’s an example from the gardening center I visited today, SubD vs Nurbs holes:

We used to do OBJ, but lately a super buggy in the Rhino side. We are having more success with FBX. I’ve tried Copy-Ex plungin but it was too complicated to install and I could not get it to work, maybe is better now? If so, I will take a look again.

Otherwise I was thinking writing our own temp-file routine to bring back-forth meshes into the active mesh item (Modo) / layer (Rhino). It would be great having proper Rhino-Modo interoperability support, but Rhino is not even watching enough their own work in OBJ exports, even Step files are broken very frequently. It would be unrealistic for me to expect them to develop, maintain and support yet another file format I/O.

Also Foundry has become a really weird company, and they are developing very little these days, I feel like Modo is in life-support, and probably not meeting the ambitious goals of Foundry’s always changing private equity owners. I wish we had a healthier alternative to Modo, but nothing good enough has come up as a viable alternative, yet. This is why I wish Rhino could be an excellent SubD modeler, but like I said earlier, don’t see this happening soon either.

I also feel bad because, like you, I keep asking for tools/options that are all part of a weird/geeky way to select and then slap around vertices, edges, polygons to make a form. I’m fully aware that Tsplines and Modo have high highly unsuccessful (commercially) in their attempt to becoming mainstream design tools. I’m also fully aware that this is not a smart way to work. So I also want to see what McNeel’s team can do with more drivable tools, like curve-based workflows. A super simple example of this: Loft w/history.

Proper curve-networks-based workflows (why to stop at the simplicity of lofts?!), with live Boolean (GH history) and simulation/collision tools like Kangaroo (make the SubDs between curves puffier, more/less concave/convex) and smoothing tools would go a long way. But this will be a ton of work. It will take many years. That’s why in the meantime I want a lot more ‘dumb tools’ like Modo has.

In summary: We want it all. We are terrible customers.



Not all tools are there yet, and no doubt polish is needed, but here are the things you can do already

This is done with the command Slide for both vertex and edge


Use gumbal to scale to 0 on the correct axis. Ensure gumball is aligned correctly. Not optimal, a proper _Align would be better.

Possible on a ring (range and full) and using selected edge loops (range or full, and one or both sides)

Done using Bevel command. You can choose the amount of segments for the bevel from 1 up. You can also control the straightness of the bevel.

This you can do already with either Pull or Flow.

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_Slide is looking great! I’m also happy it works on normal meshes and not just SubD.

However: How does it work for vertices with 3 or more than 4 neighbors? Will that functionality be added anytime soon?


Haha. A great example (photos) :slight_smile: That’s why I do that kind of hole as boolean or Mesh Fusion booleans (sometimes I model over it). But yeah you can`t provide exact dimensions and a good blend on intersection edge is always a problem. This is not accurate.

That’s why it would be super to have a mixed workflow. I`ve read here on forum some post that may be in future Rhino will have Subd booleans with some smooth transition. I hope it will have some possible blends.

I’ve tried this plugin with Modo, Zbrush and Houdini and it’s super fast. You click a button to export, click the button to import and mesh is there. It is almost like GoZ for Zbrush. I think it’s worth to try again. I don`t know how it works with Rhino. I think that plugin works over OBJ so it may have the same problems as pure OBJ import.

Thanks again for your opinion.


Thanks for clarification. I would love to see complete SubD workflow in Rhino. If not modeling tools will be there so most of SubD meshes will be imported from third party softwares. It’s not a problem in my opinion but it should run super smooth. More important for me are operations made over ready SubD meshes and seamless workflow with Nurbs (mixing them with all possible ways - I don’t know maybe it`s already there).

I’ve heard that you provide bridge between Blender and Rhino. It`s very good. I hope there will be similair bridge for Modo with handling Modo curves and export them to Rhino. Same with export curves from Rhino to Modo. It would be a bomb.

Do you have plans about some substractions/intersections/union over SubD meshes with blending shapes on intersection edges? Something like Mesh Fusion has but inside Nurbs World? Is it possible to make booleans substraction of nurbs object over subd object?


Before comparing, you should understand that Rhino’s SubDs have been introduced recently, for about 2 years now, and for this reason they are still “immature”. Other software has many years of development (Modo, Blender, Maya, Cinema 4D, etc.).
Furthermore, Rhino is not a native SubD modeler, but Nurbs, so it can never have all the tools available in the aforementioned software.
We must thank Heaven that McNeel introduced these tools after so many years of development. Over time these will certainly be enhanced and more will be added, but it will still take several years of development …
So, it is useless to make comparisons on SubD instruments: it is a waste of time! If anything, comparisons should be made on Nurbs commands, any shortcomings found, etc., this would be more logical and understandable.

Understood. Thanks for your opinion. I hope that my post is not completely useless and it will help somebody a bit.

I’ve posted that thread because I’ve seen some of Modo tools on Alias video Alias 2021 Subd. So compare those Alias 2021 subd features. I think it`s similar world.

@mdesign There are a few videos which show SubD workflows in the WIP:

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I can do it with pull or flow or align… but only if I draw each individual circle first.

I’m asking to a tool that lets me select a subD loop and circularize it’s vertexes by fitting them to the closest possible circle.

@Max3 : In Modo it names radial align and looks like that (flat or with using existing curvature). It works on polygons, vertex and edges:


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That one is filed as, I added your vote, thanks.