Perspective view modelling

I have a vague recollection of a short tutorial about single viewport modelling and elevator (?) mode. I tried searching but no cigar. For most of my work I still use all four viewports but I would really want to improve efficiency at using one single perspective viewport, utilizing elevator mode, cplane- and view shortcuts etc. Obviously, you sometime need ortho views for precision work but I have a feeling I could exploit the perspective view better.
How many of you use only one window? Insights?
A comprehensive tutorial maybe? Ping @BrianJ

Sorry, I can’t tell if you’re looking for a description of using elevator mode and SetCPlane or something else.

I use the Gumball for modeling in the maximized perspective view myself. You can then use ctrl+tab to cycle between other viewports when you need a specific Cplane active for splits, trims etc.

Here’s a video on using the Gumball.

Just general pointers on how to model in the perspective viewport. I’ve heard some people do it, just haven’t seen it with my own eyes…
Thus I think it would make an excellent tutorial.

Gumball is familiar. Been using it ever since it was developed and I could never go back.
How about sketching? Say I want to sketch on different planes in one viewport? Any hotkeys for quickly aligning cplanes for instance?
Using OS X version…

Rhino’s user interface was not designed or intended for single perspective view modeling. It was designed around the idea of each viewport having it’s own independent construction plane so making another plane active was as simple as moving your mouse pointer into the appropriate viewport.
Because of this, I can’t see how staying in a single viewport is going to be as efficient and smooth as using multiple viewports.

You’re certainly welcome to try it and over the years, more tools have been added that can help move that way (like Gumball), but we have not changed the underlying fundamental design of the interface.

Maybe a better question to ask is what problem do you think is solved by modeling in a single viewport?

Hi Stefan -One thing is that in a perspective view, Zoom Target is much more useful than Zoom Window, which is the default on the Z alias, if I remember right. When you zoom in really close on a detail, you will find things work better, view navigation wise, if you switch to a parallel projection, so you might want to make aliases or hot keys to quickly switch between parallel and perspective view projections.


One thing I find very useful in perspective mode is a cool little script pascal wrote that allows you to set the construction plane to the view.
You just rotate the view where you want, call the script and it does its thing - you don’t have to line anything up, it just works out which ortho view (left, right etc) the perspective orientation is currently closest to, and that’s what you get.
I wish this would find its way into V6 as a native command…

Also, in perspective view modelling you’ll often want to set the cp to a surface or object…

Something that annoys me still is that if you go to extrude something in persp view, you get the preview of the extrude, but if you then type in the units you want for the length, the result is always positive regardless of the preview direction.
What I wish is that it would respect your preview, and take the + or - direction from that…


@stefannysten, if you want to try that script, it’s here:, look for: “Set cplanes according to view direction” (I think that’s what Rabbit is referring to)


Sounds alright!
Is this Python or Rhinoscript? Or are they essentially the same? Excuse my greenness. I’m running OS X.

It’s a RhinoScript, not Python - they are not the same, and RhinoScript will not run on Rhino for Mac.


I use a very simple hack-trick to spend the maximum amount of time in the perspective viewport. I place simple planes at whatever angle or position that I need a c-plane. I then make a shortcut to quickly move and align the c-plane to the object selected.

Its also handy to have a separate layer just for the c-planes and make them a bright or unique color so they pop. The advantage of this over the saved c-plane command is that I don’t have to give them unique names; I find it easier to visually select the plane and use my shortcut to align quickly with one-click…

There’s a demo in the lynda course if you’re a member.