My Material/Mapping Wishes for Rhino 7

For Rhino 7, all of my wishes center on applying materials.
Firstly, the decals are great. The unwrap is great in a design/CAD program. Thank you.

My wishes involve mapping. Applying materials and mappings takes too much time. If you are used to Max or Maya, or somesuch, you wouldn’t notice, but methods and tools exist that could allow a user to apply materials to a house or a building, at a rate of around 8 times faster than the tools that are in presently in Rhino.

1.) Material/texture mapping by real-world units is vitally important. It seems that in a few places in the material system, they are units, elsewhere notsomuch. Often, we are drawing stuff to scale in Rhino.

2.) Mapping by NURBS. If you draw a curvy line and make a pipe around it, the surface created will have a seam. We should be able to apply a material, and specify how many around it, and how many down, it, and that should do it. For single surfaces, an applied material would almost act like a decal. We should be able to fit a material to any square/rectangle object with only a few mouse clicks.

Within reason, it shouldn’t matter what shape a surfaces is, we should be able to get it close–even before unwrapping it.

Think of it like this: it’s like subdividing a face in Grasshopper, but imagine that each one of those subdivisions is one distorted copy of the material. That should get us close.

Often there are two flavors of this kind of mapping, one that is aware of the trimmed NURB, and the other is aware of untrimmed NURBS. For cylindrical objects, it’s a little like the cylinder and cap, with the sides being wrapped, and the cap being mapped to the untrimmed surface, but we aren’t only using it on cylinders, using a cylinder mapping widget, because it’s based from the edges and a grid-like, and sometimes, a pre-distorted grid-like matrix.

3.) One-End-Pinned-Mapping-Recalculation. If you are making a building, and want to make a board longer, it would be handy, if the user, could use the 1D rescale, select a start end, and then that end is pinned. The user drags the object longer, and–wala! The mapping is recalculated, and more copies of the material are added, and the non-integeger part is handled for you, with the idea, that all the wood, and all of the brick in our building has the texture-per-unit scale of material, per surface area.

That way, we can drag one brick, apply an materiel, and drag out some more.

Yes, it’s a little like texturemapping to the world, but the problem with that is, sometimes we need to slide the brick, or carpet, or boards, or whathaveyou around the room.

4.) Material per face would be more useful if we didn’t have to explode something to map it. The only thing that I could think of that would make a Material-per-surface useful, would be a No-Draw material, a material and idea that truly frighten some forum members here, for some unknown reason.

5.) No Draw, On large projects, the ability not to have to explode an object to speed rendering–is not only handy, but cheaper than a new video card.

6.) A Over-ridable Material texture. When using certain-materials, such as chrome or glass, it’s sometimes handy to get a good look at the texture-y part of what we are applying. Often materials bear little resemblance to their previews. I suspect that rendering accurate previews is costly.

7.) And, please, when we do need to mess with up/down scale/offset clickers, can we pick the digit that we would like to change?

Yes, these are the kinds of tools that will come in handy when you are applying fitted materials to 5,000 simple objects a month, just like I have. With these, you should be able to as well. And with Rhino’s Decals and Unwrap, the Materiel application world will be within your grasp : )


(Thank you for the like : ))

Generally I feel that I have failed you in explaining just how important these improvements would be. I don’t mean this be insulting in any way, but you have come from a Maya/Max/Blender–or several others, you likely have not seen how quickly or easily materials can be applied to objects.

Most modeling editors are not designed to also work with constant-size materials.
Most modeling editors do not apply materials obeying their NURBS surfaces.
Most modeling editors do not fit their materials.

I will make some diagrams to show how these mappings work.

You already can do this by specifying U and V tiling. I use this all the time for cables and the like

Scaling 1D will stretch the mapping with it, however when using SolidPtOn, you can modify a wall while the texture size stays the same

Could you explain this one a bit better? The way I see it is that when using planar, box type mapping the numbers for size are in world units. Where else would you expect these units?

I am sorry for the delay in replying.

I will try that Solid point trick, but that does exclude lightweight extrusions from resizing, and they would be the most likely think to be resized in such a manner. Thank you Gijs : )


AFAIK, the only and limited way you can apply materials by sizes is to use a world-coordinate system to apply materials, either box and not. Then if you move the object, the texture mapping stays put and slides off of the object as you move it.