Distortedand Oversized Flowalongsurface results


I am having trouble using the flow along surface command. I am trying to flow a textured surface along the doubly curved surface of what appears to be a vase. I understand that applying texture to a surface can also be achieved through displacement mapping but for the moment I just want to understand why the “flowalongsurface” command is not working for this particular situation as it seems everything is in order.

When I was looking through the Mcneel Forum I came across several flowalongsurface command failures having to do with the base surface being a trimmed surface. From what I understood a base surface cannot be a trimmed surface or else this command will not work correctly. I also seemed to understand that the base surface has to be created in a way which makes it similar structurally speaking to the target surface, for example if the target surface was made using the surfacefromcurvenetwork command then the base surface must be made like this as well. It seems that the key thing here is the target surface and the base surface need to be very similar in more than just the size of the outline. Have I understood this correctly?

This is why I created both the Target surface and the Base surface using the Surfacefromcurvenetwork command. I used the CreateUVcurve on the vase surface (target surface) to extract a base surface outline. I then drew a set of lines following this outline and used them to create a base surface using the surfacefromcurvenetwork command.

I have checked the directions of all three surfaces (Base surface, surface to flow, and target surface) and they all seem to be in agreement. I have also made sure that the base surface and target surface have the same UV point count (U: 50, V:50). However when I try to apply this command I end up with an oversized distorted version of what I need or the program freezing up and crashing. Could anyone help me identify the problem here?

I have attached below the rhino file if anyone finds it helpful.

Any and all help is very much appreciated!

Flowalongsurface Forum File.3dm (1.3 MB)

Moved to Rhino for Windows. (Probably not a hardware related issue.)

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Try moving the base surface so the “object” you are flowing has the same relationship with the base surface as you want on the target surface. I created a new base surface and it eventually flowed but took several minutes. Flowalongsurface DC02.3dm (4.9 MB)

A comment: It appears you are using NetworkSrf to make surfaces from curves. NetworkSrf can be very useful but it tends to create “heavy” surfaces with many control points. Spend some time learning other methods for creating surfaces such as using Loft, Sweep1, Sweep2, EdgeSrf and the various Extrude commands.

Thank you so much this was a great help!

More of the same, I just prevent the isocurves from converging at one point. then i create a patch surface and finally use BlendSrf to close.
Flowalongsurface Forum File.3dm (2.2 MB)


Thank you! I’ve definitely been running into a lot of pinching problems using the surfacefromcurvenetwork command so this is very very helpful!


I was trying to do another flow along surface experiment on a different surface after reading your suggestions and I seem to run into some more problems.

This time I was trying to flow a texture onto a surface that is curved into more or less a pipe shape. However, this seems to always result in a very complicated, un-3dprintable interfolding flowalongsurface. Below are some images of my step by step process using the command just in case you catch anything that looks wrong that I might’ve missed. I’ve also included the rhino file if you wanna take a closer look.

Texture on handle (Forum file).3dm (2.3 MB)

Hello - one thing is, I think I’d do the flow operation with History on, and you can make adjustments (albeit slow with this complex a surface) . I’d probably adjust the depth of the relief to be much smaller, for example.

Note the seam does not work out on the flow - the relief’s long edges are all over the place as it wraps around, so there is more to do there.

Here’s something that may do - I flattened out the texture on the long edges so it would at least meet on the seam. I also moved the seam on the target surface to the ‘bottom’ so it would be , maybe, less obtrusive. The flow is done with History here so you can for example, use the gumball in thye Right view to scale the texture deeper or shallower or move it side to side to adjust how it falls on the target - there is a bit of a wait to update history with each change though.

Texture on handle (Forum file)_Maybe.3dm (2.6 MB)



Texture on handle_.3dm (1.0 MB)

rebuild your U 80 V8 pipe first
I don’t like such dense surfaces

trimmed surface without shrinking

Shrink trimmed surface

I did the same thing that Pascal says

I used a much simpler base surface, and then applied the flow along the surface with the PreserveStructure = Yes option.
that way the flow is almost immediate

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Thank you so much! I don’t have access to rhino right now but will give all of this a try straight away!

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