How were the images in the scripting manual made?

This is a bit of a weird question, but I’m a scientist looking into Rhino to help with illustrations. I was very impressed with the images in the Rhino python manual. For example, there was a little script to put a series of points down, accompanied by this image;

How was that image made? What I am most impressed by is that it is a vector image. Was the viewport somehow exported to a vector format?

Here is another impressive image:

I assume this one was created by hand in a vector illustrator?

And then perhaps one more:

I know it’s a strange question, but the images are beautiful, and I’m wondering what is their technique for generating them (particularly preserving the vector format). Is there a way to export what you see in the Rhino viewport into a vector format?

If anybody is curious what my workflow is like for scientific illustrations, I typically export from Matlab (a scientific computing environment) things like surfaces, but use Inkscape or Illustrator for simpler vector drawings. I’d be very keen to know these images are done, and whether there is a way to use Rhino to help generate vector images of three-dimensional drawings.


The last 2 are the work of @DavidRutten if I’m not mistaken.
He might chime in to share some of his workflow.


They were all mine. The 3D stuff is usually modelled/scripted in Rhino, then exported as an *.ai file and finally touched up in Xara. All the fills, line-types, text, colours etc. are done by hand in Xara, which is usually the largest amount of work.

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Thanks for your reply. The idea of modeling surfaces in Rhino, then exporting to a vector illustrator is very nice (and might be obvious to everybody but not me). I looked you up and was linked to your YouTube videos. If you had some time in the future, would you consider showing this type of workflow as a quick video? (That is, an example to show how the third image above is created).

I think it would be very helpful for people like me who aren’t graphics designers, and who work in research. Most of the people I know use things like Matlab and Gnuplot to create images, so they do not look as nice as yours. In particular, Matlab and variants almost has zero capacity to output colored surfaces in vector format (due to limitations in rendering software), so many researchers are forced to output to png.

(This was why I kept on pressing “Zoom-In” to your manual to figure out whether those were indeed vectors)

IMHO, the secret to making beautiful images is in being able to visualize what they should look like before creating them. I believe the appearance of David’s images is directly attributable to his training as an architect. At least that’s the excuse I use for why his are so attractive and mine not so much. :smile:



Very easy technique: Export _Make2D curves as AI and blend them with someting out of a render: