One More SubD Symmetry Request - Use case


I would like to make a sister thread to

I am very excited about subD modeling, but I have to be able to model symmetrically for it to work.

Per Brian Gillespie
"Symmetrical modeling has been on the wishlist for as long as Rhino has existed. The addition of SubD is not going to come with symmetry tools, as any creation of symmetrical modeling also would apply to curves, surfaces, etc.

Our goals for SubD in Rhino 7 is to add support for creation and editing of this new geometry type. Symmetrical creation and editing is not in the scope for V7."

I understand a decision has been made, but I hope you will review this nonetheless. Mcneel seems to be willing to listen to hostile complaints on this forum, so I hope you will consider a courteous one, even if it has already been answered.

For reference
Rhino Symmetry that already exists for lines and edges

How I would love to be able to Set up a Rhino SubD to work.

I am modeling plants for historic buildings. I am using mesh2surface for reverse engineering the existing components, and I am using Subd geometry to ‘quickly’ imagine the pieces that broke.

In order to create an organic shape in a meaningful but quick way, I am deforming a surface, and in order to ‘force’ symmetry I am grabbing SubD surfaces or points, and moving them or scaling them with the gumball tool over my imagined symmetry plane.

are there any other work around options to achiece similar results?

Is there another method that might work faster (mirrored block instances)?

or other strategies that might make a feasible replacement for a dedicated symmetry mode?

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There’s hacky way for now to get something done, it sucks, but it sucks less than not having no live-symmetry option: (11.0 KB)


Thanks for the .gh

I just found this video. Here is another slightly Hacky way to do it.

I don’t understand. Is that the regular mirror command with history on?

As long as someone’s asking for symmetrical modelling again, I’m going to chime in and say that not only do I agree it should be a feature, but that radial symmetry should also be an option.

Symmetrical modelling is one of the few things I like about Clayoo. It’d be even better if it could be done radially, for any whole number division of an axis.

With SubD in particular, continuous symmetrical modeling is better than mirroring because if you use the alternative, making a SubD object and then mirroring or rotating it and joining it, you don’t get realtime visualization of the alteration of the form that happens after you weld uncreased edges on a subD surface.


This single feature would bring me back to Rhino for hand modeling.

As a former T-splines user I’m disappointed to see that there won’t be a symmetry option for subD modeling in Rhino 7. I was just a casual T-splines user but everytime I did use it I always used symmetry. Aren’t people who are looking at Rhino 7 as an alternative to T-splines going to be disappointed by this omission?


We have taught our team to use Grasshopper with a mirror and SubD Smoothing components to work around this limitation. I know is not ideal, discoverable nor intuitive but it works.

The biggest problem right now is how limited, slow and not-fluid the selection/modeling/editing interface is. Right now we are working on several projects try require SubD for concept work (any there any projects that don’t?). We are modeling in either V5’s TSplines, Modo, and even considering if we get more people to learn Modo, because I’m thinking Rhino SubD might take several years to be useful. Maybe switching to Blender might make more sense, if we want to have better integration with Rhino. The Rhino < > Modo interior is painful. And I don’t think that will change.

I hope I’m wrong, but I can’t ‘wait and see’. We need good SubD today and besides the impressive geometry/smoothing/speeds aspects of Rhino’s approach, nothing I’ve seen in the toolset is that promising to be useful in the short term. I think SubD is a 5-10 year project.

Back to push polys in Modo now…


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It won’t matter much to us (as a company). SubD will never be part of what we do on a daily basis. But for people like yourself it must be a bit of a disappointment to know this tool with great potential is going to fall short of your needs.

Hi Gustavo!

There’s been a bunch of discussion on the need for symmetry with subd in our dev meetings and RH-53823 is on the pile as the latest request (for future reference). We know this is important and expected by many new or existing users of subd in other apps.

The subd project is moving faster than you might expect as well. We’re listening to all the requests and welcome more as always :slight_smile: In the next v7 WIP that will come out you can try MergeFaces, Delete on a sub-object edge or vert, automatic hole filling with 3Dface > Patch and GH will have some subd components in the Surface tab. Some other tools/workflows you may have missed are Bridge to span gaps, QuadRemesh for conversion of NURBS Breps to subd with symmetrical quad layout (I’ll post a video of this in another thread as it’s got crazy potential), Cap support for planar holes and Pipe support for subd with quad caps. I’ve also found the Dendro GH add-on for voxels to work awesome with QuadRemesh > ToSubd (another video needed there for sure).

Keep the feedback coming, this is the time for sure to impact subd in v7. We essentially have two piles, the core minimal viable feature set that will release as 7.0 and then enhancements etc. that would come in gradually as 7.x service releases. Judging which pile to put requests in is part of the design process, like any product, but fear not we know symmetry is important.


Hi Brian,

Thanks for bringing these to my attention, let me see if I get this right…

  1. There’s a tool called 3DFace in Rhino (I didn’t know). Where is this besides being an obscure command? …I’ve found it. It’s in the mesh creation toolbar!.. and now I have to remember that it will also starting next week it will be in the surface toolbar (also? or a different one?). Ok. I’ll try to remember that!

  2. There will be a MergeFaces tool. Not to be confused by MergeEdge tool , that does something completely different to Nurbs boundary edges, not mesh edges, correct?

  3. Bridge… Yeah I did find it last week by typing it in the Command line when I was in a ‘I’m feeling lucky’ mood. It does work with LowPoly edges, but not with SubDs, correct? or was it With SubDs but not with Nurbs? I’m old I get confused. Also speaking of confused, this is not to be confused with the Loft (SubD output type).

  4. “QuadRemesh for conversion of NURBS Breps to subd with symmetrical quad layout” that will break symmetry the minute I move one control vertex. Got it!

  5. “Cap support for planar holes and Pipe support for subd with quad caps” I’ll have to see how I make sense of finding those too.

  6. “Keep the feedback coming, this is the time for sure to impact subd in v7.” …unfortunately I don’t have a lot of time for impact. I have work to do too. You should hire a few ‘impact wenches’ if this is the right time. You know where to find them, right?

  7. “The core minimal viable feature set that will release as 7.0”
    I always like to ask 2 questions to any engineer who loosely throw a me the ‘minimal viable’ jargon:
    Minimal viable to whom? Minimal Viable according to whom?

…like I said, your post confirms that I might be right that there’s nothing usable (for human types) in the forseeable future. Now I have to decide if I train the team in dead-endish Modo, or if I put them to the extra-pain of learning Blender.

Working with software is hard. For everyone. I totally feel your pain, I just want you to also be aware of ours.


  1. The UI flow of any of the new features, what they are called or where they live, is in flux but there are separate YT reports filed to make those things easier such as letting you run one command to use 3Dface > patch and putting that command in the Subd toolbar. The Subd toolbar would also be a great way to see some of these tools all in one place too. You have to occasionally run toolbarreset though to make new icons show up.

  2. MergeFaces is a command that works on subd now. You might have to wait for the latest v7 WIP which should go out today I think. You can also just ctrl + shift select edges and hit Delete.

  3. Bridge is in the subd toolbar and will make a perfect juncture not a separate object like Loft would. However if you have the control nets of two subd srfs aligned, Join will also make them one subd.

  4. Symmetry with the QR is unique to that tool and will use the bounding box center of the selection and the active Cplane for orientation. It is not connected to any interactive symmetry tool for subd modeling which has yet to be worked on.

  5. Subd toolbar or just run the commands as you would normally and set the output to subd in the command line.

  6. Okay, thanks for what you do have time to add. Many of us in support actively use these tools and lobby for and file user requests we hear as well as those we make up on our own.

  7. Minimal viable to those who speak up :slight_smile: and show examples clearly of what is missing currently.

Humans vary greatly I find, hopefully the tools will work for your humans as well as others. I’ve used the Blender low poly to Rhino subd workflow many times in real work. It’s pretty good if you know Blender and can deal with the back and forth. I like their 2.8 UI a lot too FWIW if you get it into your workflow. I’m not in pain, I love this stuff :heart_eyes:

One last thing I have to make a video on that I’ve found invaluable already. Did you know you can use Pull and Project on subd control points and verts in the v7 WIP!? This allows for snugging up to existing geometry, oh and it works with History if you don’t delete the input.

Hi Brian,

Thanks for the context.

Trust me, we do not find the traditional cube-slapping workflows very friendly or very useful. I’m all for this new approach of curve-based workflows and in a familiar interface. Especially if we have history. It’s juts feels a bit too ‘early adopter’ yet. If you can make some videos that would be very welcome.

Speaking of history…

If I’m editing the input curves of this loft:

but I want to look at this model with the normals pointing up (orange is my backfaces’ color), flipping normals should not break history:

…also why is my SubD patch so far away from the input curves? (I colored the curves red and green)

Also I need a way to toggle between SubD and low poly cage. I tried making my own macro for it but it’s too unreliable. When is that coming?

That’s the problem! We also need more people who love design and getting shit done, and who want all software clickety-clack to disappear so they make tools that are more intuitive. I sort of hate this shit, but I need to live with it. You know what they say about ‘Rhino, Death and Taxes…’

I’ll keep remind you guys when things get out of hand (when time allows of course).

Use Flip on the parent curves and you won’t break history. The srf normal is due to their direction.

Subd geometry needs an extra tangent point at the ends of the curves to match them. Has to do with being smooth and what not. Use the ‘subd friendly’ option when drawing the curves. The subd loft will then match those.

This is filed as and has been lobbied for heavily by among others our own Kyle @theoutside

I’m into those too and use my BFA and teaching experience daily to try and help Rhino become a better tool for artists and math geeks alike I promise. Thanks for your feedback as always please make a new thread for any new topics, I think we hijacked this one from symmetry :slight_smile:

True, can we move this to a new thread please? I have more!!!

BTW, I just saw this regarding Minimum Viable Product, and I think it’s genius:


Sure, just make a new post/thread in the Serengeti category.

I like that graphic too but I would say the definition of the terms is subjective and relative to any given product and user. An open dialog between user and designer/developer is I think the best way to achieve the image on the right. Thanks for your input!

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I am also looking for SubD symmetry, but that only mesh editing is symmetry, SubD control points are not.

Very good job done until now, the subd tools work perfectly.
The only feature I can not find concerns the “simmetry” command for sub-d, very usefull in the old TSplines… please create this command …

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SubD command symmetry is called Reflect, then choose an axis, then side you keep then it goes well.
The trick to work efficiently is to draw using X or Y symmetry axis in this case you just have to choose them in Reflect option, or to draw an axis to always keep the same reference, in this way updates of symmetry will be easier
Hope it will help you

Thanks for your prompt answer,
but by symmetry I meant the possibility of inserting a symmetry axis or a radial symmetry on a SubD, (as in TSplines) in order to work on a part and update the remaining part or parts.