McNeel: what about an open source branch of the Rhino interface

that in the time of developing the core it wasnt optimized to multicore and new features require big rewrites (block funcionality in rhino is probably not so great due to this). as i read in this thread there are many subplatforms rhino is based on i just feel it is not “clean” and everytime you want to bring new feature there is neccessity to tweak the core and have tons of implications it causes in mind… i am saying i have zero knowhow in soft development i just feel the way it is not optimal. lets just make comparisom with autodesk and why i hate it. they have autocad based on some kernel then they have inventor and fusion based on others and finally revit which is completely different beast. the all have nice icons that look alike and make you think their soft is shiny but once you open autocad you find out it is not even able to calculate cummulative lengths of two lines. i predict they will go bancrupt because their strategy was to sell product everyyear with minor or no improvment and one day they will be history because they couldnot develop nextgen product but only relied on new versions of old product. this is philosophical question. my main point is that if it is not more efficient to develop things from scratch every 20years rather than constantly tune old stuff. lets make another comparisom with cars. you have got old car from 90d you constantly upgrade, tune and the car looks still good in 2020 but the engine inside is its main limitation.

there are two worlds in coexistence. raster (voxel) and vector (nurbs) . i dont think mathematic shapes can be replaced or even why they should be. it is not the problem. you have got photoshop snd illustrator you can have rhino and z brush :slight_smile:

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The frameworks that Brian mentioned above have to do with creating user interfaces and have nothing to do with core geometry calculations.

This thread seems to have gone off into geometric topics which we already provide a solution to for customization; Rhino.Inside and Rhino.Compute.


Haven’t used a button in Rhino in 20 years. Typing shortcuts / aliases with your left / non-mouse hand is so much faster. Close your toolbars and you’re quite a ways towards a clean UI. Agree there are still a few clunks.


same here i make macros to make macros on the fly all day depending on what i’m doing, so much faster

I’ve posted my opinion regarding the UI elsewhere, but there is no argument against the fact that this topic often pops up here in the forums, so perhaps this is an indication that the McNeel team should bump its relevance. Even if the UI does not hinder the usability of the software (my contention), it may penalise other important aspects such as acquisition of new users.

Personally, I’d be much more inclined to improving the History function to a true quasi-non-destructive editing mode.

I’ve been using Rhino for many years and I think it is great as is. It has a straight forward logical interface. I’ve been trying to learn ZBrush for the past 3 years and I am struck by how cock-eyed the inteface is because it seems to been a hodge-podge of disjointed 3rd party ideas that developed over time without any clear direction. Those 3rd party ideas got sucked into the interface and now ZBrush has an interface that is a whole lot of black boxes on top of one another. Many of those black boxes have their own strange hotkeys and strange round about ways of doing things. Skinning Rhino with an opensource interface is no better than allow every man an his dog to slap their own body on an Aston Martin DB9. Some ideas will be good and some will be terrible. Doing this will allow a really good product to devolve into a loosely fitted, badly maintained hodge podge of nonsense…

I have yes. ZBrush has THE MOST CONVOLUTED @$$ about face UI on the face of the earth. The silly thing has 3 different save buttons in 3 different places. I finally got a 3rd party plugin (after 10 years) to use my SpaceMouse in ZBrush. Zbrush has its upsides but the UI sure isn’t one of them. How in the world are you supposed to remember that ALT SHIFT CTRL etc works differently depending on the specific command - ALT SHIFT Click LEave ALT Click CNTL…nah…RHINO ROCKS…I can set buttons up, macros, hotkeys, whatever I want consistently without having to remember odd key combinations to do basic things.

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my point is everyone has their own ideas about what a good UI is.

I’m just asking for the opportunity to do what I want rather than live with a consensus. Or what the developers think is good enough. if you are writing code it kindof means you aren’t actually using the product day in day out. probably at a desk with a bunch of monitors.

I admit often I express a frustration on this forum and often Pascal or whoever teaches me something or reveals some hidden functionality or guides a workaround. I’m still learning 10 years on.

to those saying hide the toolbars and create macros are missing the point.

is there a hotkey to momentarily hide the gumball so you can select a point behind one of the grips?

can I dock the command history somewhere where it doesn’t occupy the whole screen width?

where is the assignable 4th or 5th mouse button menu that pulls up osnaps so we don’t have to waste space on all the checkboxes?

it seems like a most obvious thing to want to orient the gumball to a surface normal of selected point. I realize this is likely scriptable with a cplane… but really like pushing and pulling a pont normal to the surface seems like it should be built in.

“I’m just asking for the opportunity to do what I want rather than live with a consensus.”

Now this is THE statement of the year. …For many many reasons…

No you are missing the point - Too much democracy leads to chaos - when each and every person has the ability to do whatever they want then NOTHING moves forward while everything moves sideways.

ZBrush is a perfect case in point - the UI is totally cock-eyed because each and every person did what they thought best. DNA is structure - life dies not exist without structure (even though we don’t always like it)


You can have a customized copy of a software as you want without affecting anyone else, this is the point you are missing… You can also have a democracy moving all in the same direction by scrutinizing the few most valid options or weighting or in other ways. Democracy (the real one, not the party oligarchies in which most of us live) consists of everyone being able to participate, not of everyone making decisions.

This structure was shaped by evolution, that is, a process of optimization. Without changes, without testing, without mutations, you cannot find the best solutions or adapt to external changes.

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OK you win - I’m not going to go around in circles.

would you consider sharing the name of the plugin? I would Love to be able to use 3DConnextion in Zbrush.

with thanks

My few cents on open source:

  • it is far from a democracy, it is a dictatorship of few
  • it isn’t magic pixie dust for project organisation, it requires a huge effort to become even remotely organised
  • community needs management too

Code doesn’t write itself, software still needs to be designed and engineered. Communication between developer and user needs a lot of attention, communities wither away without attention.

You need a vision, a mission. Processes, guidelines, expectation management, pampering, blood, sweat and tears. Just like running a business. And on top of all that all involved still need to maintain a living.

That said I am a huge supporter of open source.


You forgot to mention that on the top of this there still will be people not satisfied with changes or final result.

That was essentially implied in the first point :slight_smile:

Honestly no dark theme in late 2020 is troglodytic.


Of course - no problem. It is called ZConnexion and it is on Gumroad. I found that the best way to use it is to create a batch file that 1st launches the EXE and then starts ZBrush. You have to kill the EXE after you exit ZBrush to put the Spacemouse back into its normal state.

_PackageManager, install colorscheme. Use _SetColorScheme.

I tweaked the viewport background color and gridlines still.


Thanks a lot. Very curious how well it works?
On a Mac here at this time so can’t try it.

best regards