Point cloud display mode wish


I deal with huge models every day, and as I guess we’re all aware of, Rhino doesn’t deal quite so well with huge models as one could wish for. Compared to PRO/E for example.

  1. Side question btw: Why is this?

I’ve tried a new feature in Maxwell render latest version plugin which let’s you import an MXS-file (maxwell scene file) as a sort of block reference. Then you have the choice of displaying it as a point cloud, and MAN is this neat to work with. Performance is very nice, and sometimes some features just doesn’t have to show more that that. It even lets you set the density of the points.

  1. Can we please have a point cloud display mode, and also make it possible to use that on certain objects only (which is allready globaly possible via SetObjectDisplayMode I just realized.)

Best regards

  • Björn
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I like this idea, @jeff
thinking out loud, a prototype would just show (render)mesh points in object color
next the points could be colored to texture/material
an option could be to add facecenters in the pointcould.

even curves could be represented by vertices/knots…?


Hi Björn, welcome to the forum.

Where do you get your huge models, and how do you import them into Rhino?

Are your huge models always point clouds, or do they have other geometry in them?

Can you elaborate on “doesn’t deal quite so well”? Do you mean that Rhino is slow to display the model, or is there something else that doesn’t work?

Hi Brian

No, I think you misunderstood me a little bit on the point cloud. I’m not dealing with geometry in point cloud form, but I just wished for a display mode which could display any geometry, AS a point cloud to save performance when working with it.

I get my geometry from PRO Engineer, and I export it to a STEP. It comes in as a block structure with hierarcy, which is great. Sometimes, this hierarchy is crucial for me, for example when I want to go to Cinema 4D to animate. Then I just use a Cinema 4D plugin which will read the rendermeshes from .3dm files and retain the block hierachy. Works like a charm.

Sometimes, I don’t want the hierarchy, but on make a still render for example. Then I explode my way down a couple of levels and then use BlockExplode with group function.

Only reoccuring problem is my performance, as in slow to update the display. I don’t know, this could be a hardware issue aswell, but I’m pretty well stocked with 24 GB of RAM and an NVidia Quattro FX1800 Card. Sure it’s a 2 year old computer, but still. Handling these models in Rhino is a PAIN. Every orbit movement, hide layer, show layer, select part of the model etc, I make lags and forces me wait a couple of seconds. When setting up renders and assigning materials, hickups like this causes my easy “quick jobs” to extend throughout the day just because of bad performance. And it’s a frustating day.

I would love to come closer to a solution for this. Pro E handles huge amount of geometry in a suprisingly fast way. I don’t know what it does that makes it so smooth, but I just DREAM about rhino beeing so fast.

The fact that you’re importing the STEP file with nested blocks is undoubtedly why the performance is so bad in Rhino. Unfortunately, the way our display is set up in Rhino 5, blocks take a lot of extra processing per frame. This is a tricky problem and is something we’re hoping to address in Rhino 6.

I see!

However, even after exploding and doing a purge, my models are still very cumbersome to deal with. For this one, using Maxwell render to render it, I had to divide the model up in three parts which I worked on individually in separate rhino sessions, just to get som kind of worklevel performance. I then mergen them together in the end using a built in Maxwell Render feature called MXS-reference. It’s a bit like block instancing, but then, with that extra option to display the inserted geometry as a point cloud.

Really helped to boost performance to something workable.

Are there any other hardware specific tricks or upgrades I should consider if I want to get as much as possible out of working performance in rhino? What’s the bottleneck? Graphics card memory? Speed?

Hi Bjorn- it may help to set the ‘BBox display’ check box in the Display panel (Panels menu > Display) . Does that do anything useful in this case?



Yes I tried that one actually, however, it neither provided the performance or the visability I needed.

  • Björn

That sounds like a great idea Willem, render mesh vertices.

That is exactly what the plugin is doing – reading verts from meshes in the MXS (which, if it came from Rhino, were derived from Rhino’s render meshes) and putting them into a point cloud, which is then put into a block definition, each instance of which is then represented by an instance of a reference to the MXS, when the model is later exported and rendered.

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