Gravity Sketch Footwear Design to Rhino

Quick shoe design created in Gravity Sketch and imported into Rhino using the GS Rhino import plugin.


awesome!! I’d love to see a video on this workflow if you’d be willing to do one!

This is a test shoe sketch in Gravity Sketch and imported into Rhino using the import plugin.

The Rhino file is attached so that you can have a closer look.Rhino_Gravity_Sketch_Shoe.3dm (3.9 MB)

1 Like

We didn’t record the creation of this shoe but we have more on the way. I made a little video that explains how to get the Gravity Sketch file into Rhino. We can make a new one if that would be of interest to the community.


YES!! more!!

Impressive demo. Can you clarify the current situation regarding the ability to use the Rhino plugin with the ‘Business’ and ‘Individual’ versions of GS?

Also, where can one download the plugin?

Very impressive work Seyi, this is showing great potential that could be more expansive and inclusive to your current core value proposition.

As you know we users are all different and have different preferences and needs. In the case of our team we don’t see a lot of value in modeling in VR. We do a lot of modeling work, and we do a lot of VR work, and are very comfortable having VR being a viewing/presentation/review mode (what it does best), and then use the tools that are best for each topology type to do the modeling work.

In your case, offering a way to bring one Rhino model (I say one, as a starting point) and meet as a team, walk around it, having such model displaying all the same materials/layers/names that it had in Rhino, and be able to mark-up/sketch annotations would be really useful.

Then of course do the round-trip back to Rhino. And as in any real world meeting goes, there would be more than one rhino file involved. So you would need to have a way to send 3-5 file to a Gravity sketch session, review/mark up each and then get back to work in rhino. In future builds you can have comparative sessions between models (flipping them like layers on-off), etc.

All this needs to be done simply: A little toolbar/or ‘watch folder’ that handles all this bureaucratic steps between points A and B, and all the round-tripping. The idea of going to a ‘cloud’ lobby looking for stuff is not very appealing, and adds a lot of friction and cognitive load IMO. Also a modeler should be able to be still in rhino and send updates to the meeting, so live-linking to Rhino makes even more sense, tools like Rhino.Inside let you do that.

In summary: if you can have a tool that you can open rhino files, review concurrently with team, and mark it up, you have something very exciting and very useful. Also please price it right, there’s a lot of nonsense pricing in your industry.

Also just like in a physical office, or a Zoom meeting: there should be no price of admission, no even account required to attend a meeting. Unless we can tell a client: “Just put on some goggles and click on this link, and stuff will install and you will be in our meeting in a few minutes” it would be really hard to get traction for this use.

I hope this helps,


Great stuff! Thanks for sharing.

And I absolutely love the sketchy curves, it looks awesome and just using tapered pipes was a fantastic idea.

@jeff can we please have a tapered option in for the OpenGL curvepiping feature?


Width profiles ala Illustrator?

Thank you for your feedback @gustojunk,

We have developed the tool primarily to bridge the 2D and 3D divide. Many of our customers have little to no digital 3D experience and primarily use Photoshop of Procreate. Nine times out of ten they are sketching things that are 3D in nature and are using the laws of perspective to represent them in 2D in a way that can clearly communicate the design intent to the technician or engineer who will need to create a digital 3D model.

Believe it or not, the footwear industry is primarily 2D focused with the workflow going from emotional 2D sketching to detailed illustrator plan drawings for the factories. We are currently supporting two of the biggest sports ware brands and they both rely on the factories in Asia to do the 3D work in Rhino, this is actually built into the cost of the tooling. With the tool-set in Gravity Sketch, these designers have been able to push their ideas a bit further and with the Rhino importer, they are communicating directly with the factories in 3D using rhino. This new way of communication has sped up the workflow 25-50%. The next big step is to get the designers and factory technicians collaborating in realtime.

What does your team do specifically? It would be great to learn more about your different preferences and needs. I imagine you don’t see much value in VR molding because your team most likely is all trained in some CAD tool and perhaps works with defined dimensions and constraints from the onset. If this is the case, VR is for sure best for viewing/review a mode at the various stages of the project development.

You can currently bring Rhino files into GS but only as an OBJ, we will soon support IGES and are talking with the Rhino team about native Rhino files but this will take some time. Many of our customers are bringing models for mark up and tape drawing and design reviews with multiple people in the same scene so this may be of interest to you.

The round trip circular workflow is what we would like to achieve in the future, we have built the foundations of our geometry engine on NURBS and SubD this has allowed us to have a pretty smooth export to Rhino and will lead the way to a solid Rhino import as native geo. By sidestepping the cloud what I think you are after is a solitary workflow experience, in this case, a direct dynamic link between Gravity Sketch and Rhino would need to be realised. This is of great interest to us here, so much so that we ran a POC internally to check feasibility. This is totally possible with Rhino Inside but a lot of work and focus for our small team. It will become a priority as we sale and more customers request this type of connection.

I do not agree with the term you used in regards to VR “what it does best” I feel that is selling VR a bit short and is a bit short-sighted. You may mean this with respect to digital 3D modeling which has had a 30+ year head start with PCs. I look at VR and these new ways of computing sort of like mobile phones, we have come a long way form the Nokia brick (3000 series). I am doing things on my phone that I never thought I would and in some cases faster than on the computer. Looking at the software design ecosystem it is clear that far more designers use 2D software tools over 3D, it is hard to imagine that it is solely due to CAD software UX. It is more likely do to the fact that it is challenging for our brains to translate and navigate a 3D model behind a 2D screen. Human vision works stereoscopically and therefore seeing an object in real-life will give the most information about its dimensions and design. When I was working in industry we would often mill a 1:1 size clay model that we so firmly believed was correct behind the screen and then spend days fixing the surface by hand to better represent what we had in our minds. What VR creation allows for is a type of real-time digital crafting that was once only achieved with physical materials.

Thank you for sharing your views on pricing. the tool is currently $30.00 on the Oculus and Steam stores, our soon to be released iPad version will come out as a free app. We currently sell to enterprise customers and are focused on cloud services for teams who need them. Collaboration with a click-through link with no account required is the best experience for sure, however, the experience will then rest on the stability of the viewer’s connection and the power of their device. The difference with Zoom here is that we are moving 3D data between all parties, if the view cannot interact with the content then we can just stream a video. We will get there one day but at the moment our collaboration features are focused on teamwork between people in the same organization who need to work on things together.

Happy to hear more of your thoughts and keep the conversation going.

1 Like

Hi Seyi,

Thanks for your answers and explain how you see your development going. I think it makes perfect sense. I also think what I propose is an adjacent opportunity. One that allows true craft people take part on those VR conversations and therefore elevating them to all your clients.

So I’ll try to address your comments/questions from this ‘high craft’ point of view…

I believe it, in fact we also support those teams in different ways, here’s some examples of tools we have developed for that industry: and now we are working on an Illustrator to full 3D model workflow. We’ll be sharing that soon too, at least the non-client proprietary parts we can share.

This makes sense. So if you have a Rhino live link you could go even faster, maybe?

We are design consultants. We develop products (from concept to production geometry and docs), prototypes, visualization, tools, apps…

We let/teach client and their project dictate the preferences and needs, I’m pretty process agnostic and just run a pretty efficient service organization. Some times there’s a clear answer, sometimes we try different things.

We are trained in ‘quite some’ cad tools, including Rhino/Grasshopper, T-splines, Modo, Solidworks, Fusion360, Blender. Equally fluid in pen-paper, Sketchbook Pro, Concepts, and Illustrator. So my feedback comes from a lot of experience that’s quite the opposite of ‘one tool mindset’, maybe too much experience to be statistically representative on any market potential, since as you know expert craft people are really hard to find and are a really niche market. So don;t listen too closely to my feedback :rofl:

Yeah I agree it’s a lot of work. Also by round-tripping I mean mostly the fact that 1-click takes you to Gravity Sketch, and one click bring you back to Rhino. I didn’t mean to have to have fully non-destructive, exact name objects, same topology, same Object IDs. I’d want to bring back to Rhino those 3D sketches and maybe a fews SubD objects that have been edited or created in VR. Think of the GoZ translators for Zbrush as a good achievable analogy for an initial 2-way product.

No I didn’t mean to side-step the cloud. In fact the ONE JOB I see potential here for us IS the cloud multi-user markup. And that’s the one that I’m interested with the right pricing.

Also what you call ‘solitary workflow’ should be welcomed. A better term for that is ‘asynchronous work’. In fact this exchange between you and I here is not solitary; it’s focused, asynchronous, and allowing each of us to gather our thoughts and do our best when we are available and in the mood to do this. Live-modeling like a Twitch Stream seems super fun until you try to do high quality work, it’s no fun to watch for anyone, and it takes time. Just as it takes time to see an updated clay model after a review.

That’s fair, we disagree. I encourage you to embrace market potential with those who agree with you and those who don’t. You will grow 2X!

The 2D to 3D divide is just one manifestation of the digital divide and the lack of training of many teams. This is a problem that starts at design education which is a sorry state these days in my opinion. Designers get little to no education to master their craft. Yes, 3D modeling is a craft. I’m telling you this as someone who transitioned entire teams a few times from 2D to 3D mindsets. But that’s a huge topic on its own.

Yes, it’s good for that for sure, especially at early stages. Like I said before, I’m totally not partisan here. We do work in 3D modeling in solid modeling, Nurbs, voxels, SubD, sculpting, and computational tools.

We take that approach equally to prototypes: with VR (Mostly Unreal), AR (mostly PBR USDZs in iPads), 3D prints, CNCd parts, finished ID hard models (fully finished and painted, powder coated, screen-printed/etched graphics, anodized parts…). sewn and stitch models, etc. Recently we started playing with Chavant clay and a 3D scanner too. Always the right too for the job.

Notice that I mention VR more as a prototype (output) and not modeling (input). I see we do disagree here a bit, and I also see I could change my mind as the VR tools evolve, maybe your tools? So in the meantime, having live bridges to professional modeling tools like what your customer’s factories use for their outsourced modeling seems like the right next move for you?

Maybe we are much more in agreement than you seem to think? And our differences might be in tone: You have been hanging our with VCs too long, and I’ve been hanging out with very nerdy designers. These conversations will help us both.

Best Regards,


1 Like


Your tools look really cool, I am sure a lot of our customers could benefit from these tools. If you could crack the Illustrator to 3D pipeline it would be transformational for the footwear industry. It looks like you guys do a lot of dev and design work, which puts you in a pretty insightful position. I don’t doubt that your feedback comes from years of diverse experience, having deep knowledge of the space gives you a huge lead over several others in the space who are still hesitant to dive into the world fo 3D design but valid in the sense that a bridge needs to be made.

With respect to the Rhino integration: with a live link there could lead to great savings. The way we would want to do it is everything happening in realtime similar to the co-creation features we made for VR. Then our customers can collaborate and present ideas to the manufacturers in real-time using the interface that is most comfortable per their respective positions.

One thing that I would remain cognizant of is the culture shift needed to apply a tool like this in workflow. Collaboration software for design has really only found is legs in UI design with tools like Figma and presentation tools like Miro. We are extremely interested In the 3D equivalent and how teams will change their workflows to more collaborative ones. With this clear need for a cultural shift, for true adoption, we are looking to run a lot of experiment developments to learn more about this new workflow and what is truly needed for it to be widely adopted. Speed is one dimension but in many cases, optimization for fluid creativity is a much higher priority.

You are right about the 2D to 3D divide, training is necessary however with training comes a dip in productivity. This dip for many customers could result in too great a loss for the company compared to hiring technical staff who are already trained to translate 2D sketches into digital 3D assets.

The 2D to 3D divide is just one manifestation of the digital divide and the lack of training of many teams. This is a problem that starts at design education which is a sorry state these days in my opinion. Designers get little to no education to master their craft. Yes, 3D modeling is a craft. I’m telling you this as someone who transitioned entire teams a few times from 2D to 3D mindsets. But that’s a huge topic on its own.

I totally agree that VR is for prototyping and not modeling, and this is exactly how we preset Gravity Sketch to our customers and the rationale for creating IGES export and our Rhino import plugin. VR tools will evolve however I think the hardware will evolve far faster so we may not be talking about AR or VR but rather some form of XR where we have a suite of software seamlessly operating across all hardware at our disposal and as you said we will be using the right tool for the job on the right platforms.

I do believe we are aligned but approaching the same problem from two different perspectives. I am advocating for the designers who have little to no pre-existing CAD knowledge but want to better communicate their ideas with greater fidelity to the team which will need to bring them to life. You are approaching it to form someone who is actively supporting both ends and facilitating better communication to ensure timely results. I want to attack the problem at the root and it all starts at the sketch phase so this is where we start.

1 Like