Offset preview?

When trying to offset a surface, it’s feels very disconnected to have to click on Distance= and enter a number and never see anything in the viewport until you execute the command. You’re working blind and then have to undo and redo a number of times until you got it right.

And it seems you can’t just drag anywhere and get a live preview (even if it’s just a mesh preview)?

Also, a papercut is that the newly created surfaces aren’t selected for you. The old surface selection is retained, which means that unless you isolate first, the newly created offset surface could get a bit lost… but I suspect this can probably be solved with a macro? This is, however, a bit inconsistent with for example the intersect command, which does select the newly created curves after execution.

I wish what gets selected after the execution of a command would be a toggle.

Yep, I agree some kind of preview and ‘Enter to accept’ would be useful here. OffsetCrtvOnSrf is similar - I ran into that one recently.

for good measure.


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“Variable offset of surface” has a preview and I always wondered why the more often used “Offset surface” don’t.
However, when you compare the output offset surfaces produced by the “Offset surface” and “Variable offset of surface” with same distance to all 4 edges, both have different number of control points in the U and V directions.

Wow, using LinkHandles seems to be exactly OffsetSrf only with a preview (and lack of Poly/Corner/Solid options)!

Yet another case of Rhino UI inconsistency, I guess… this is getting a bit frustrating…

The LinkHandles option doesn’t have a =Yes so how do I script it on a toolbar button to always have it linked instead of unlinked (yes, I know commands remember their last setting, but I still want to know).

Also, side question: There isn’t any equivalent offset tool with live preview that follows your mouse cursor for curves, is there? I had to type like seriously a dozen numbers today to narrow down an offset distance for a curve… (Yes, I guess I could have created a normal/perpendicular curve and measured it, again, but still.) :stuck_out_tongue:

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yes, use the ‘through’ option

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Added preview would benefit most of the tools related to modification or creation from an existing object.

Wow, thanks, did not spot that on my own!

When learning Rhino, I had a hard time seeing the =Yes and =No options because I’m used to an actual UI (like Rhino on MacOS has), :wink: so I created my own custom toolbar that always sets these options the way I like them.

So now there’s LinkedHandles and Through which do not have =Yes or =No, so how do I script them to always be set to that on my button? Just typing these command into the button does nothing, and adding _Enter behind them doesn’t help either. What am I missing?

Hi Robert -

For LinkedHandles, you can either just write the full name of the option or use its L shortcut.
Pretty much the same for ThroughPoint: either use the full name or use the T shortcut.

VariableOffsetSrf Pause L
Offset Pause T


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Fantastic, thank you!

Seems like there’s very little reason to use the OffsetSrf command now… too bad there’s no VariableOffsetCrv (seen other threads about that too).

Hi Robert -

It looks like what have that one on the list as RH-19715, RH-3735 and RH-1940 - none of which are made public. I’ve added this thread to the first one so that we can track this thread.