As a means to get comfortable working with curves in Rhino, I’m hoping to start “sketching” daily sneaker concepts using only curves. I know most sketch artists work start by drawing their concepts using main profiles in 2D sketches (pen/paper) and then airbrushing/coloring.
I’m trying to do something similar, but in 3D from the very beginning, by designing the sneakers using curve. This way, I can rotate at multiple angles, render out stroked lines, and then texture/colorize in another tool (like Photoshop/Illustrator).
Here are 2 reference images that are really close to what I’m hoping to start doing. Note, I have no idea what tool this was made in, but I know/believe this is possible to create in Rhino!
The rendered part is the easy part for me. If I were given the strokes of the shoe, creating a textured 2D mockup is straight-forward.
Designing 3D curves like that in Rhino, though, is very difficult
To get started, I’m trying to see if I can first create a Rhino reproduction of the curves in the first image above.
I’ve attached a file I started…
Sneaker.3dm (3.0 MB)
…and I’ve hit a dead-end wall right about here I’ve got quite a few open questions. I’d be so grateful for any knowledge sharing on any of them. I’ve annotated the images in relation to my questions…
This interesting ankle collar/flap wasn’t so hard to make for me. It’s the first shape I made. However, I instantly start getting anxious — my shape is clearly flat, but really it should curve somehow along the Y axis. Should I take all of my joined curves and bend/rotate them somehow? Would I do that with a cage edit, or with some other tool? Is cage edit overkill here? How else could I make the collar dip down in the middle as if gravity is acting on it? Should I have built this from the get-go using vertically bent curves?
The bottom-right corner of this really kills me. I’m very used to using the Illustrator pen tool and manipulating handlebars until I’m really happy with shapes. The handlebar tool in Rhino doesn’t really work the same way. I made this corner shape by running BlendCrv on the back-right curve and the sole curve…. but fiddling with the settings feels imprecise and lackluster. I wonder if I should even be building this entire back profile yet? Should I instead be duplicating the bottom sole (offset upwards) and focusing more on the horizontal profiles of the sneaker…and working about the vertical curves later on?
The centerline curve is also killing me. I basically drew a crappy control point curve connecting the sole to the ankle with a bunch of throwaway points in the middle…and then hand butchered them into something vaguely resembling a profile. Is this even remotely a good idea at this stage? Similar to the back profile, should I be focusing on these curves sooner, or later on in the process? Should I even have a single centerline like this, or should I have 2 parallel lines that are offset from the dead-center instead?
This question is all about symmetry, or asymmetry. First off… is there even a “standard” foot profile to work with? Mine looks like a complete joke. It’s hard to tell how the curve should be built at all from the top view. And what about the front view? My front view looks very symmetrical, which seems like it would make it easy to work with….but that has to be unrealistic, right? Should the front view actually be asymmetrical as well?
I’m basically wondering if I’m even building these curves in the right order. Just to see what would happen, I tried running Sweep2 on the centerlines, sole, and first ankle….and the resulting shoe surface looked like a complete joke. I know that I stated I’m really only concerned with building curves, so should I not even care what a resulting surface could look like? Is that just a distraction? Should I just keep hammering away making more and more curves?
The bright white curve that spans the whole top surface of the shoe totally baffles me. I feel like if there were already a good shoe surface to work with, I could simply draw this shape in 2D, and then “project” it downwards onto the shoe and it might magically turn into this 3D profile. But I don’t have a surface to work with at this point… so should I be hand building this profile? Is it foolish to try and torture one long control point curve into this? It feels incredibly difficult to wrangle those into contours like this, with a mix of long/smooth and narrow/tight corners.
Similar to the previous question, this “fan” shape on the lace area of the shoe also seems easy to handle if it were a projection down onto a surface… but if you’re doing it by hand, what’s the right way? Should I design this as a flat 2D profile first, and then somehow have it “flow” along the centerline curve of the shoe? Is there a command that’s ideal for this kind of transformation?
This isn’t related to a specific part of the reference, just an open question. Am I thinking about this completely wrong? Is there some really intuitive better workflow for producing the critical contours/profiles of a shape that is both organic but also somewhat technically precise like this? Could I be relying on more tools/actions to ease this, or is it really all about expert manipulation of really long control point curves… in other words… using Rhino like a 3D version of Illustrator’s pen tool?
Thank you so much for any advice you’re willing to spare.