How do I trace such beautiful "Line Drawings" on Rhino? Please help me

Hi all,

I am almost completely new to Rhino. Had been using other software (like SketchUp and Illustrator). But recently I chanced upon an amazing “Line Art” work and he told me he did it via Rhino. That he traced it.

But right now, with the University’s facilities, I would like to do it myself too. :slight_smile:
Problem is, how do I import, trace and even add the beautiful “Darker” lines on the outside of these figures while inside remains lighter in line weight?

I will show you guys the example:

Also, at the same time, How are these “Hatches / Patterns” created? I tried using Photoshop but I am not able to get the Hatches / Patterns flow so naturally and accurately with the contours… Hope someone can guide me please… Thank you!

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For tracing a bitmap: trace plugin

The second part: I think it’s projected linework on a surface. Underneath the surface the original linework is visible. If you find the right hatch pattern, I think you should explode the hatch and project the exploded linework onto the surface.

edit: trace.3dm (2.1 MB)
it works quite well. it’s a low res bitmap, so a higher resolution could give a better result.

edit #2: the result for the second partlines on surface.3dm (5.1 MB)

edit #3: The darker line you can get with make 2D: it’s the silhouettelines on surface v2.3dm (10.0 MB)
surface with line.pdf (200.3 KB)


OMG. Thank u so, so, sooo much for the kind reply and testing. :slight_smile: Amazing person.

I will test out again when im free and let u know the results.

Thanks a lot again <3


Just realised we are using Rhino 5…!! :frowning:
So I can’t use the plugin u kindly provided nor can I open any of ur files…

This is so disappointing… But thanks for ur help… :frowning:

The last file saved as Rhino 5: lines on surface v2_RH5.3dm (9.9 MB)

Sadly the trace plugin is V6 only.

edit: my trace result as rhino 5: trace_RH5.3dm (2.1 MB)

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I use Inkscape a lot for artwork ( It’s the Open Source equivalent to Adobe Illustrator. It allows you to trace a bitmap and convert it to vectors. You can then import the SVG into Rhino.

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Sadly the trace plugin is V6 only.

Also note that this plug-in is based on Potrace, which is available as a Windows command-line utility here:

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Thank u so so much! I will try it again later :slight_smile:

Oh thanks! So is this better than tracing using Adobe Illustrator…?

Thank u so much! So, should I use this instead of Adobe Illustrator…? :open_mouth:

If you have Illustrator and are happy with how that works for you, why would you change to something else?

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Well, I am tryin’ to learn something new. Especially how powerful a tool Rhino is. :smiley:

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I’m not sure how many commands you already know in Rhino. So I’m guessing you’re just starting to experiment with the software… and if so,… then I think there is a good opportunity to build up and polish a few skills. and manually trace over these figures yourself by using the Curves command. and supporting it with other commands like Trim…, Join…, Extend…, and CurveBoolean.

There are a lot of ‘open curves’ in this drawing. A nice practice exercise for Rhino would be to take those open curves and close them so you can do other things with them, like…

  • generate surfaces (for a 2D person)
  • Offset the surface for a slightly thicker (2D stylized person)
  • Try the Project the curves onto a variety of other extruded surfaces, or solid objects… (play around with the split command)… and cutout some sections of other solid objects, (or surfaces).

Extend this out further and you can also start making 3D models of a lot of the objects found in this drawing.

Specifically, the table, and chairs, can be modeled quite accurately… as you can establish a scale for the drawing, and get some measurements for how tall the table might be,… or how thick the table legs are… and stuff like that.

Add in some walls, and you could have a nice combination of a 3D workshop, with some furniture… and of course some 2D people to help fill out the space. and that’s not so far off form a very traditional architectural presentation style.

Rhino supports a few modes of modeling: Curves, Surfaces, Solids, and Meshes. Your drawing can be used as support (or inspiration) for learning about all of these different modes.

** Need to edit a curve you don’t like, or have a chance to improve upon it… check out the PointsOn command, (and PointsOff once your edits are done).


i have deleted my (useful) post because administrators live in their own politically correct space.

Thank you.


amazing explanation! I am now doing my final year project for year 1, so pretty much in tight schedule. BUT I will definitely try it when I have got some time! :slight_smile: Thank u so, so sooooo much!!

oh what did u post? I miss that haha

my comment was censored because i saluted you. it is so spot on that you laughed.

"you better trace these people by hand using a wacom and illustrator (disable snap), to get a warm and meaningful result.*

their silhouette can be autotraced, if their outline has perfect contrast with the background."

*addition: play with fidelity settings in brush tool options, if you have a shaky hand or prefer perfect curves, i do prefer them.

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Oh thank u!

Just a question, is the WACOM intuos (Small) with not Multi-touch good enough for this? In tandem with Illustrator.

Also, what do u mean by Disable Snap? How do I do that haha. Thanks btw! :slight_smile:

hi there! me again :slight_smile:
im now trying to do this since I have time now.

So… Let’s say I have a Brick Pattern (Image, not vector) that I want to be applied to a wall. So, how do I do that? Do I need to vectorize it first? If so, how? :frowning: