Rendertools (shutlining, edge softening, thickening) slow down workflow and animation - auto update option needed


shutlining, edge softening and thickening are very useful, but some issues are really frustrating. I wished the featured could get an improvement so that they can be used like professional tools.

At the moment I’m working on a package animation and my model is using all three features. The look is great improved, but … every movement cause a refresh and the autoupdate of the geometry for every Bongo frame needs more time than the render time per frame.

Attached an example, a part of my scene. Bongo isn’t needed, simple move the object a little bit sideward and the autoupdate kicks in.

Some months before I got the problem for named positions. So, moving/animating/positioning - always the same problem, the workflow is freezed for some time again and again.

I think the best and easiest solution would be to add “auto update” flag option to the UI of the three tools. So, if the geometry is created the user could disable the auto update. I suppose so only if a Rhino file is opened the effects needs to be generated.

General it could be useful to temporary disable shutlining, edge softening, thickening during modeling and to be able to activate it for rendering later again.

Micha (9.1 MB)

PS: My best wishes for the new year.

Once done with your models and preparing for presentation and animation I suggest you extract render meshes for all, and work with only those.


Thank you for the hint. I used this workaround, but sometimes it makes a complex project more complex. :wink: I hope the tools could be improved so that workarounds are not needed.

I understand it makes complex projects complex. It is at the moment the best there is.

If I were to do animation fully in Rhino I’d make my models in separate files, extract render meshes and make blocks out of them. Then link those blocks in a master file where I’d do the animation. Or presentation set up.

If anything where to change with the model(s) I could change the original file, update the base block and have the master file update from that. Most definitely not the easiest wy, but better than nothing, I suppose.


Hi Micha -

I see that @pascal filed RH-58744 for globally toggling shutlining.

You should be able to run the following macro to toggle all three modifiers on/off:

-Properties pause EdgeSoftening On enter Thickness On enter ShutLining ShutliningEnabled enter enter

But that doesn’t work as expected:

  • It only turns the effects OFF, not ON - RH-62168
  • It doesn’t work at all for shutlining - RH-62167

The work-around for the first issue to is use two macro’s: one to turn the thickness and softening effect On and one to turn it Off. Turning it On works with this one:

-Properties pause EdgeSoftening On=Yes enter Thickness On=Yes enter enter


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Hi all,

These rendertools are something I’d love to love, They have the potential to be very useful, but they don’t deliver in complex projects or for most design exploration. I remember sketching this concept with Bob and Pascal at my old job when the visited in probably 2007-8?

Years later when Bob asked me how did I like the tool my answer was: it would be awesome if it worked. I have seen lots of great improvements on it since then, for example Shutlining doesn’t look like a form of vandalism anymore. It used to look like someone keyed your car with a very nasty tool :rofl:

Now that this stuff is more responsive and makes mostly nice results, can we please finish the job? make it more useful?

Here’s my top list of things needed:

  1. We need a match button for all these tools. So we can match the edgesoftening/Curvepiping/thickness values from one object to another.

  2. We need to be able to select all curves being used in Shutlining. there’s no way as far as I know. I select an object and I see that I have Shutlining applied to it, and that several curves are being used, yet no way to select it. I cannot select those curves.

    I can select one in this list and if I’m lucky be able to distinguish its yellow highlight from the selected object already in yellow highlight, but then I cannot load it a s a selection in Rhino to rename it or do anything.

  3. I also should be able to rename these curves right form that panel. To rename that ‘top_button_curve’ I had to unselect the object, go find the curve, rename it, how do I know I selected the correct one if I have several similar looking ones? (no way to tell AFAIK). In this case it was easy because it’s an empty sample file. This is why I said above, we should be able to select from the shutlining menu. Also selecting each curve should let us know where it is, even make in visible, if it happens to be hidden or in a hidden layer.

  4. Curvepiping should have an option for diameter input, not just radius.

  5. Curvepiping should not be hidden when I hide the curve type objects in the display tab. Look what happens when curves are visible here:

    and when I hide the curves:

Shutlining is doing the correct thing. Curvepiping is hiding the render effect of pipes, just because I want to hide curves. This forces me to keep curvepipes in separate layers, which is more work that just using regular nurbs/mesh pipes. It makes no sense.

  1. Shutlining should have more profiles that just that v-cut and those other weird shapes here:

In all my years designing products I’ve never modeled/released anything with a V-cut. Something like this would be a lot more useful (these are form macros I have for modeled reveals):
capture_gf_124542PM_210104 capture_gf_124535PM_210104

  1. Shutlining ideally should also use a curve projection: like the straight line I show here, and the projection should be based on the active cplane from the window it was selected in when added to the list, so I don’t have to do the extra step of projecting the curve to the object:

  2. for Shutlining I also think we need an emboss/deboss fill option, imagine if that top curve (when is closed) can do something like this?

  3. Edgesoftening still produces way too many erros on meshing. We can only use in in about 30% of cases where we want to use it. I don’t know what are your plans for a better mesher for Rhino, something like what Mesh2 was trying to accomplish, but maybe this tool could benefit from a more modern meshing engine?

Attached is my sample file in case you all want to add more ideas, questions.shutlining_examples_gf_210104.3dm (966.9 KB)




Hello Gustavo. W=I woo dive to see some of your parting one macros in action if you’re willing to share some examples.