Inspiration for V6

No wonder why games looks so great, the editors are equally amazing.

I would love for Rhino and Brazil to be inspired by this.

Look at the graph editor. That is great inspiration for Grasshopper, History and Bongo.

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Probably also be nice to be able to generate the kind of revenue with Rhino that game producers do with their games, but that’s living in the Unreal world…


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Over here we are testing out game engines and simulation software for different purposes.
Mainly because any cad software graphics will never be able to do what game engines do. Another reason is that animations and user interaction is extremely limited with Bongo for example.
The last reason is that I am tired of 133 render engines that offer me only a still image (or limited animation) and no interactive experience of a static environment not to mention a dynamic environment.
At last 3d-PDF and WebGL are limited in user experience (Noobs) and have other disadvantages.

Graphics quality doesn’t need to be extremely realistic when I offer the opportunity to walk through a scene as the perception is completely different then. It is about reconsidering what you want to do with 3d models and how to present them. It is another paradigm and the question is whether Rhino is connecting to another world with proper export to .FBX for example.


Which ones are you looking into? Sounds like Unity might be one of them…
We send out a request for 3D interactive graphics for our models to 3 external parties and all of them came back with solutions based on the Unity engine.

Yup, Unity is what we are testing. However we also found out that accurate physics is not feasable with Unity.
Maybe with dedicated scripts in Unity, but otherwise with dedicated physics based simulation software instead of Unity.

I know Rhino is not made to be an asset modeler for a game engine, and does not need to be.
Hopefully never will be as that’s not what Rhino was made for in the first place


I do think in version 6 they really need to add some crucial things so it can at least be used to easily transfer models to a game engine like unity.
Coming from years of the more vfx world I am now trying to come up with a decent workflow of merging the CAD world with the real time entertainment world.

There are a couple of important things missing in rhino if you want to be able to succesfully export a model to unity.

-There is no hierargie view! In a scene where you want to interact with objects or have any sort of structure you need parent / child relations and groups etc. Not the kind of “groups” rhino has.
A hierargie is also necessary if you want to animate or control for example a crane or robotic arm.
If you want that in rhino… you need bongo… say what? Should be default
-the game world is a mesh world (for now at least), and rhino is a nurbs modeler… not a problem in the first place, but the meshing in rhino is “sort of” clunky if you ask me. a good meshing engine is needed to not get an inefficient 3d model made up of triangles in places you don’t really need a million. Look at modo’s CAD loader if you want to get an idea of better automatic meshing. quads would be perfect if you want to pass the model to a 3d modeler for further detailing and uv-in without him having to retopo the whole thing.
And / or integrating a sub-d modeler.

  • speaking of UV’s , I would skip that in the first place… leave that to other 3d model program’s who have a years head start like, modo, maya etc … get the mesh export right from rhino straight into a well know 3D format used in games… like FBX… who know in a year from now engine support ptex… then just something like that.
  • Sure rhino has fbx export… but fix for example the fact that you cannot change to a y up world. All 3d programs I use(d) and game engine I use(d) have a Y - up world! Z - up is CAD only… we are trying to marry the two worlds remember. The obj exporter does have this option… so just add to fbx export as well.
    -The flipped normal story, polygons in games are single sided… sure you can force them to double sided rendering but that’ a waste of resources. So at least get some good tool in rhino 6 where you can easily visualize the surface direction , and not the one that is already in there.
    For surfaces a good example would be to color the surfaces another color when facing the wrong way.
    Or wait, when I model in Modo the normal direction of an object I create is always facing me… Why? Well… that’s the side of the model I want to see! There is no logic in flipping the normals the other way… how hard can it be to check the viewers direction when you finish a loft or revolve and set the normal direction toward the viewer!

For now it’s still a dance from one package to the next before you get an asset in unity.

Look at Maya LT and Modo now… they even have a send to unity button!

That’s something I would at least implement in Rhino 6, a direct link or good export option to unity or fbx.

Like Gerard said, it’s about what we do with 3d models in the future, and the future is NOT waiting for a still image to be rendered… but being able to walk around your project or visiting it with your client in real time without having to spend weeks of converting your models to a real time environment.

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Hi Peter,
about that issue:

To visualize a suface / mesh direction you can customize the display modes:


Hi willem

Thanx! I didn’t even know that option was there! :smile:


One thing to note is that game engines are generally meant to be plugged in late in the model development pipeline - i.e. all the game engines that I know of have limited to no “real” modelling ability (except for Blender - but I would not recommend Blender as a development environment).

IMO, what Rhino needs is a “Build to Player” feature. It would be awesome to be able to access even a tiny subset of Rhino (say just camera interaction + plugins) as a dedicated executable (or even WebGL - which will be supported in Unity 5, btw :smile: ).

The Rhino mobile SDK is a step in this direction, but desktop support would be great.

It is important to stop looking at realtime environments as “games”. They are called game engines, but the word “game” isn’t giving it justice. They are super advanced and accurate virtual environments. The biggest car designers have huge caves with advanced stuff that is in fact less advanced than these new game engines. Gone are the days that we could hide behind the “fact” that they are all trickery, because they are not any more. And architects need these environments and they need the ability to let the customer move around in them too.

I dare say that the cad company that understand this moves into a safe future.

A bit of history:

In the beginning Rhino did not focus on rendering, as it was a good idea to focus fully on modelling. Then it evolved and opened up for plugins and the industry matured and suddenly everybody rendered within Rhino. Even Engineers use instant great render tools like “Shot” these days, generating great images, directly from the cad software…

Now we need realtime. Neon, Fire and Octane are realtime renderers and are GREAT for rendering. But they are not realtime environments. Yet. Realtime is having 30 fps at “full” quality. And the quality does not need to be 100% realistic. That’s what we have stillrenderes for. Just like in the old days, the renderes we made with Flamingo back then are less accurate than game engines are today. (And frankly a lot of designers are still presenting their work at that low quality today)

I grew up with 3D games, and knew the levels of Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake as well as my house. Even back then they were great for evaluating spaces. They looked like crap compared to yesterdays games, and they again look crap compared to todays games, but it doesn’t matter, the mind is one master fantasy place, so the mind converts the input to “reality”. Just like old black and white movies captured the audience back then (and still today), or like a theater play “tricks” us into believing the set is reality. It works because we want to believe. We don’t need 4K, HD or photo real environments, we need immersion and interaction.

Most architects I know fiddle with virtual reality these days. The next generation will demand it. So we need to be ahead of the game.

We still need still images, for print and presentation.

I would go as far as to say include: Brazil + Neon, Bongo and Grasshopper into V6 as default, release V6 asap within the year, and start working on V7 and realtime simulation.


Zing! Good one!

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:slight_smile: Funny.

But if you look at what architects and designers generate with Rhino for the industry, massive buildings, cars, trains, boats, thousands of products etc. then it comes at least very close. And that is quite Unreal too.
Little cheap Rhino is part of a world where millions of people are employed due to stuff that were designed with it, and billions of dollars are earned due to it.

Maybe they should send some more of the billions they are earning with Rhino back to McNeel so they can pay for more development… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Yeah, though of course there is that house in the country too…


I absolutely agree Mitch, and that’s why other companies release new versions a bit more frequently than McNeel :wink:

But this is way OT and this is NOT about Rhino turning into a game engine. It is about being INSPIRED by them. See what they do, think about how some of that could benefit the users, and work towards that in the future. Rhino’s graphic pipeline that @jeff made is a great piece of work. It has so many hidden features. But Rhino can not feed the data to it fast enough, and they chose to limit it a lot because RHINORENDER dident support the stuff… And I say that is backwards. Still image rendering should NOT limit our abilities to evaluate the design.

An modern realtime environment to explore that uses OpenGL 4 could be sold just like any other renderer.

So get the discussion back on track please :smile:

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Great, and I have already used rhino as some kinds of “3D ppt” with custom displays.and gained wow.