Subdivision modeling beginning how?

Hi forum, basically selftaught in Rhino.
Wondering how to start learning the subdivision modeling tools in Rhino? Thanks for any input,Mark

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Hi mr. John, I have read most of the posts on that thread. About the first 40 are oh boys can’t wait stuff. Hilford looks to have done a lot.
I am wondering if it is turning meshes into sub-d surfaces? If that is the case do you build a nurbs object , turn it into a mesh. Then into a sub-d ? Also want to find tools that can be used in the sub-d environment.
I have great day , Mark
Needed to clarify that I am not self- taught. I learned from a lot of people who have shared their modeling and ideas on youtube and this forum.
Just a little frustrated on how to begin. Also going to start learning Grasshopper

I have wondered the same my self, so I spent a few hours with it now and made some tools as I could not find any.
And I think this can be a really nice workflow in my design work in the future.

Here is just a very simple test to see how it performs.

Render display mode shows the SubD objects all black (at least on this machine), so I extracted the rendermesh.

The tools in the toolbar are:

  • preview SubD (makes subD, hides mesh, waits for click, deletes, unhides)
  • make SubD (automated command)
  • make a 3x3x3 mesh box (automated)
  • add a free 3 or 4 vertice mesh to a mesh (my own python script)
  • offset mesh (automated)
  • extract rendermesh
  • Rhino’s standard add polygon
    (the order isn’t very logical, it’s just a result of the order I needed them in for the test)

That is a nice beginning. Also making your own tools . I suppose your into this much farther than me.
I understand T-splines enough to make some things , so I guess I Was I’m. Expecting to see a bunch of tools to learn how to use. Do you know if Grasshopper is needed to make sub-d more usable?
Anyway great work. Mark

The SubD project is in the very early stages of development. It’s just barely good enough to “throw it over the wall” to see if we’re on the right track. That’s how we get users involved in the development process. We are nowhere near the stage when tutorials are written. It isn’t likely to be in V6. It will probably live in the WIP for a couple of releases before it’s considered useful.

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John, you are a wise soul. I will be patient


I just made a tool to replace a quad face with 5 inner faces and I now have tools to do the most basic modelling:

And I must say I am really impressed with the underlying tool @John_Brock , when I extract the rendermesh this is really smooth and handles the quirks very well too.


Thanks for sharing. Seems you have a good understanding making things work with computers. Looks great

Hi Holo, what can you make of this? It is a render mesh converted to sub-d mesh. now what does a person do with it?BIKE SEAT to send.3dm (3.0 MB)

Well that’s a million dollar question! I guess someone did it because they could… not because they should.
The rendermesh for that SubD is 2.5 MILLION polygons, in other words: massive.
The only reason for doing something like that is if they only had the mesh and needed ASAP a smooth version for prototyping and didn’t want to spend time remodelling it.

Hello Holo,

any chance you could send me your toolbar ?



Hi Andreas, sure, but it’s too crude to share just yet, I’ll see if I can pack one up into date expiring rhp during the week.


great! thanks!

Hi Jørgen,

Crude or not it’s good to have at least some custom tools to play with sub-d.
If you need some help getting the current tools more robust let me know, maybe I can help fine tuning python scripts.
I would not mind getting some exercise in UI scripting.


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Thanks Willem, I’ll keep that in mind!

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Today’s tool is an extrude tool. It handles multiple patches of faces and uses the average normal for each patch for the extrude.


Here is my first “real life test” with Sub-D:


Quite impressive! Doesn’t look like much gets in your way

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I Hope you understand that we all want some nice video tutorials on how you did this right?

Seriously, I really enjoy seeing your examples. I did not yet have the time to dive in the matter but seeing this makes me eager to start experimenting when time is less sparse.


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