Curves in / surfaces out... versus surfaces!

I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to weigh the “curves in -> surfaces out” mentality/workflow against “sculpt and match” (etc). It’s 100% obvious that no matter the approach, clean / simple curves and single span surfaces with low degrees are the goal.

I’ve recently stumbled onto a Russian Rhino modeler who has really impressed me, even though I can’t understand a word he says. He has hundreds of process videos, actually. He’s extremely methodical (almost to a point of inducing anxiety in someone like myself!) and appears to gingerly craft every single curve/surface with care.

Some examples (you really have to time skip around these videos though to get a full feel):

What I casually observe is extreme attention to detail, being very hands on with curve degree setting and curvature analysis, etc.

Is it fair to say this guy is predominantly working in a “curves in / surfaces out” workflow? He certainly spends a lot of time really crafting those curves! Would you say he’s reflecting the best example of this type of workflow? I feel like there’s a lot to absorb and learn just by watching his workflow, even if I can’t understand him.

The other question I have is comparing this workflow to something I observed in this other designer’s 3 part series:


Something about this instantly seems more attractive to me, because he literally jumps right into a surface from the very beginning… and it seems like his process is more about manipulating the surface right away, extending it, inserting knots, constantly shaping it. I like the realtime instant visual feedback here, and the way that the tension on control points means you’re always constantly affecting the rest of the model in an organic way.

The problem is the the videos end really early in the process. Nowhere remotely close to a completed state, and I feel like these first 3 videos are the most obvious/intuitive/easiest part of the process, well before getting into more detailed surfaces.

Is this an inherently better way to work, in the community’s opinion, at least for these types of surfaces? Are there any pros/cons to this that need to be considered in trickier surfaces / models?

Hello - without having, yet, had a look at the links, I think I’d say that on any actual modeling project there is a continuum where I use some version of these (and other) ‘techniques’ throughout - a lot depends on for instance, is the design known and the job is to surface it, or am I exploring the design, or some part of it, right now?


Moved to Rhino for Windows. Not a Hardware related topic.

What works for you and enables you to meet the project objectives while working within the constraints is what is important. There is no single “best” workflow. Experiment. Try different approaches.

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