Optimal user interface

In my opinion, the SubD kernel should not compete with Mudbox, ZBrush, 3D-Coat, Claytools, or Sculptris. Rather, it should be optimized for designing outer surfaces of aircraft and boats. When you design these surfaces, you want lots of freedom, but you also want some constraints so that all engines fit inside the surfaces. It is natural to constrain the surfaces with curves. The ideal user interface would have 3 types of constraints:

  1. The surface must pass through entire constraining curve and it must satisfy chosen continuity at the curve (G0=kink, G1, or G2). Radio buttons provide additional options: start surface at the curve, terminate surface at the curve, close surface near the curve. Slider relaxes the surface (so that it is near the curve).
  2. The surface must be inside constraining curve. Slider pulls the surface away from the curve.
  3. The surface must be outside constraining curve. Slider pulls the surface away from the curve.

Fun fact: None of the programs you list here is actually a SubD modeling program :o)

These are all Digital Sculpting programs or Live Displacement painters – some of them don’t even work with meshes (but with Voxels). Only Zbrush just quite recently got an (additional) SubD - modelling workspace.

1 Like

I think Optimal user interface for subD in rhino should be the exact interface of dear departed t-spline plugin

Dear by how many? The product was absolutely obscure, basically non-existing statistically speaking among the Rhino user base (not to be confused with the small minority who frequents this forum, and the even smaller subset of that minority who follows these SubD threads here).

I think if McNeel implemented the exact interface, it would serve the exact number of users, or probably 3-4x of that, since there’s no extra cost/installation. Still… that would be a massive disappointment and opportunity cost for everyone else.

T-splines user interface is based on rectangles - you make them and change them. Rhino is proficient at making closed curves. It would be natural to exploit this proficiency in the SubD user interface. In my opinion, the fastest way to make complex organic surfaces suitable for aircraft and boats is lofting curves, joining the lofted surfaces with a Boolean command, and tweaking the final surface. If the SubD user interface has the constraints described above, the sliders can be used to tweak the final surface.

T-spline was so important for both rhino user base and mcneel people that they decided to add those functionality to rhino

Oooh, I see. It makes sense then.

IMHO the largest obstacle to SubD in Rhino is in the lack of strong Mesh editing tools.
SubDiv as it sits looks pretty good. Maybe a few improvements on crease control and the addition of history would be very helpful.
The best interface for Subdiv would be an improved interface for Mesh editing (ring/loop selection, improved split faces and quads, etc)

We are working on it.

1 Like

It would be nice to make these fusing blobs in Rhino 7:

…and (minimum surface) bubbles:

…and dynamic isosurface remeshing:

1 Like

Solid Thinking program has built-in subdivision surfaces with simple user interface (from 15th minute to 24th minute): https://vimeo.com/253681006

SuperD Rhino plugin ($550) is similar to SubD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEcVgShbWGg