Modelling a penguin is cool (get it?)

I see lots of problems and bugs on this forum, so I thought I’d mix things up with a success story. This character was designed to be used in a renderings course (for V-Ray), but what really surprised me was how nice the Rhino modelling turned out. The entire penguin was modeled with just a few parts made from Surface from Curve Network and a Surface Blend or two. No T-Splines was used.


I love it, and you are right regarding the modelling.
It is important to remember how powerful pure Nurbs are.

Have you considered adding 3D glasses to the character?
I think one glass a bit darker than the other to illustrate polarization could look better than oldscool red-green.

The other day I was dreaming of the ability to directly manipulate a surface by “painting” on the surface, and have Rhino automatically add and remove isocurves where needed. Kind of a Nurbification of Zbrush.

Cheers and thanks for sharing

So Penguin is the new Duck


Thanks for the message and I like the 3D glasses idea! I might do that for fun, but this character will be used for a rendering course, so I’m using the eyes to show texture mapping and need to keep them visible.

RE: painting idea
I’m sure you have heard about T-Splines. It can add or delete isocurves only where needed, so they start and stop where you want. Autodesk has just made it available free to students and educators. Nice!


It’s funny you mention the duck. I learned a few tricks with that model, but I had to stop showing it to my class. After they saw that you could squash a sphere into almost any shape, they stopped trying to learn Surface from Curve Network.

The problem with the sphere-duck-approach is that it’s not very friendly to changes and can take 100’s of tweaks to get the form you want. build a surface from curve network, it will usually be far fewer steps – and you can ALWAYS dump the surface, tweak a few curves, and re-generate in one step. No so much when you are “smashing spheres.”

I think it is about time to replace the duck. I have never met a single student say “Hey, cool a rubber duck! I always wanted to make one of those…” :smile: , so please pass it on to McNeel so it can be part of the official tutorials.

I know T-splines, but I think Rhino needs a built in alternative, but this is not the right thread to discuss that of course.

I have never used this tool and just watched your video “Building Turtle boy”. I will have a look at your course. Thanks.

I like the Duck tutorial but something like Turtle Boy or the like would be a great addition to the built in Rhino training.

Thanks for checking out the Lynda course and sharing your feedback. I have unfortunately received very little feedback on my materials from the Rhino experts here, so anything is appreciated.

Speaking of the Rhino Training Manual, I totally agree. The book is very nice, but there are examples in there that I do not recommend. They try to demonstrate a dozen commands on one part & that requires breaking it into smaller parts … which is the exact opposite way I have found makes me more productive.

If I can build a part with three curves and two commands, that ALWAYS better than anything more complicated. Of course, they want to illustrate the maximum number of commands, so this approach does make sense, but I’d like to see more strategy and analysis in the book.

I think most that stick with Rhino become more efficient picking things up on the way…in our own way.

As I was watching you create the curves in Building Turtle Boy I was thinking you should hold down the Alt key to turn of snaps temporarily or turn it off all together. When you finished you used Project to cPlane to make one profile planar after an accidental snap during its creation. This (Project to cPlane) I thought was a function you deliberately wanted to teach and a step easily avoided? I see this type of logic in a lot of instruction rather than the minimal number of steps.

I think there is a place for well presented tutorials and that it is probably not McNeels job to create them…which is a good thing for you :slight_smile: Now that I recognise your voice I know that I have watched quite a few created by you and learnt from them. Thank you.

@ Sochin

You are exactly correct! I try to show new commands in a logical and normal workflow, so that includes making ‘mistakes’ once in a while, whether on purpose or sometimes by accident. I then get to show how to fix them during my instruction.

Very cute!