Getting started

ok, i am evaluating rhino.
I have used Alibre for 10 years, I also have
I have watched several youtube vids, and have been going through the leaning on
Rhino website but i am having a terrible time getting started. I have went through the water bottle vid, i have watched the getting started vid here on the forum but still having trouble making simple drawing.
my main goal is to draw fishing lures. I have drawn lots of them with Alibre but i need some more control with organic shapes that I can’t get in Alibre.
I am looking for something that gives me a better step by step to follow. I have watched the draw a shark vid, looks so simple. I want to be able to control my dimensions of what I draw.
so if you can recommend a good starting vid or a pdf with step by step. I have looked at “Help” “Learn Rhino” but still struggling.

Hi Kevin - it would help to have a concrete example - can you post a file with what you have so far and some indications of what you want to get to?


i just picked this to learn on. I don’t have a Rhino file yet. I know how to place the pic, but I am not confident on how to dimension it. next I drew a curved line around the outside and got stuck.
i have a pretty good start in Alibre but can’t draw the gills and the fins on the side. my pics don’t have any fins on the side.

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here is the step file I drew in Alibre,
swimbait.stp (3.2 MB)

Hi Kevin - you could make this from surfaces but I’d be tempted to use SubD here -


I first used Rhino’s subd tool to build the body of the fish, then converted it to a NURBS polysurface, and finally split it into two parts.

The steps are saved in the relevant layers for your reference.

Swimbait.3dm (1.8 MB)


thanks Pascal!
i will look at the tutorial,
Simon, that is what I am looking for.
I will check out the steps.

nailed it.

well done.

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ok, i have figured out the layers, I have drawn a control point curve, now I want to extrude? surface? i don’t know what to do next.

If you model with SubD, you need to master the “pull & push” method of shaping.

Here is a basic video on this modeling method for your reference.

OK, that’s a big help. Now I am started. I am working on the “pull&Push”
I feel like I am getting somewhere.

hey Kevin, watch this video-

then this one-

Subd Does not work the same way that nurbs modeling does.

SubD is like making a model out of post it notes as opposed to a nurbs model which is like making model out of trimmed shapes out of pieces of paper that are taped together at the edges.

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ok, those are helpful.
I have a fishing lure, the sides are not flat or smooth.
i want to start with this shape but makes changes to it.

to start I want to draw “post-it notes”?
what kind of line? polyline, or Single SubD Face? or Control Point Curve?
Screenshot (165)

I started with the 3D Face. that seems to be working.

i am trying to draw the fish swim bait above.

I start with a subD face.
next I shift control click on an edge, then push the alt to drag a copy.
but the result does not work like the hand video above.

it copies the top and bottom edges also, what am I doing wrong?

The best way to learn Rhino 3D modeling commands is to consult the Help documentation (press F1)

Example: 3DFace command

print that picture or open it in photoshop… then draw squares over it. The “post it notes”

work it all out there first.

Then use a single subd face in box mode, and simply extrude and edit an edge using gumball. extrude, edit repeat.

stitch stray vertices together, bridge to connect disjointed parts.

don’t get frustrated, it’s a completely new way of thinking about modeling and it will take a bit of time to grok the “zen” of subd modeling…


give it a go and post your results, I’ll be happy to give some pointers along the way.

I don’t have any usable results to post. still overwhelmed trying to find the right command.
the biggest problem it seems like is not knowing how to start a project.
I can draw solids and surfaces, the subd is still a gray area for me.
I am watching video after video. mostly basics. those are helpful and I pick up new things that work.
videos that show people creating stuff is a little fast paced and hard to see the command they are using. I use the pause, rewind a lot.
I am trying to learn how to use the cplanes better.
just about every project I work on I try to do in Rhino to see how far I can get. so far nothing usuable.
I haven’t give up yet. I really believe that I can utilize this if I can ever learn this.