T-Splines for Rhino end of life

@brian @bobmcneel Will users with a valid Rhino 5 license be able to pay the upgrade price for Rhino 6 and still be able to run Rhino 5 on the same computers? Or will the Rhino 5 license have to be “traded in” to be eligible for the upgrade price for Rhino 6?

The answer is to buy as many Rhino V5 licenses as you think you will need to run as many T-Splines as you are going to order before the deadline. You will be able to by a V6 upgrade for each V5 you have, but still keep the V5 running on that machine.

If my understanding is correct, one V5 license will be associated with one V6 upgrade on one machine; you will not be able to install the V6 upgrade on one machine and the V5 it was upgraded from on a different machine. (please correct me if I’m wrong) Edit: install perhaps yes, but not validate


Hi Mitch - For me, a single license is enough as I’m a lone freelancer, so my ‘model’ is simple and I’m familiar and happy with the way the upgrade licensing of Rhino works. I was thinking of how others here may see things - there are many who seem a bit concerned about the future and the changes in the way Rhino licensing works.

That said, your comment about one license installing on one machine would cause me problems, as I sometimes need to take it to clients on my laptop. I don’t need my license to run concurrently on more than one device as there’s only one of me to use it, but I do need to install it to more than one machine.

I’m sure Mcneel will clear the fog before V6 goes on sale.

Do you have more recent information than the discussion in Rhino 6 License Validation Changes where @brian indicated that “That if i try to install Rh5, on a new computer, after i have upgraded to Rh6 on old computer - Rh5 will not validate anymore?” was correct?

Yeah, “therein lies the rub” as Shakespeare put it… They want to have a 1:1 correspondence between licenses and upgrades but that’s difficult if not impossible to do if you allow multiple installs of the same license as now.

Example you have 4 V5 licenses currently and you buy 4 upgrades, that you still have only 4 licenses simultaneously to use at any one time. Otherwise you install 4 V5 on 4 machines, use their license keys to install the 4 V6’s on 4 other machines and you now have 8 usable licenses…

I guess they would need some sort of a “global license count” system whereby you only get to run 4 licenses (V5 or V6, doesn’t matter) in this case, the 5th one would just not run, or run in expired eval mode. One way to do that will be some sort of global Zoo, even if you only have one license. Looks like for V6, there will be the possibility of managing this stuff in the cloud, but if you want to run unconnected to the net and have multiple machines with the same license it gets complicated…


No, I do not. I do see that they are developing a Cloud Zoo which is a step towards global license management, but I don’t have any more info than what has been posted here.


I might be misreading this but first-time buyers of RH6 won’t have experience with running plug-ins that are not ported to RH6 and thus that won’t be a problem(?)

So if I have an older computer running V5 and I upgrade to V6 I will be able to run both. Fine. Until I decide to upgrade my hardware, and cannot validate my V5 install on the new hardware.

In this case, I am not going to upgrade to V6 because I don’t want to be locked to the older hardware. I don’t see where this is in the interests of McNeel, they won’t get any money out of me until the old box dies. We have four seats that fall into this category.

It is not clear to me at this time whether Cloud Zoo will permit running V5 after upgrading to V6.

That’s what I thought was so attractive about the idea of having an install version of V5 that would only run on a machine with a valid V6 install, it solves both the problem of not wanting users to run their old V5 on one machine and V6 upgrade on another, while still not stranding users who want to continue to use older plug-ins. Pity McNeel has decided against it.

Probably not. Adding support for the Cloud Zoo to Rhino 5 is not on the roadmap; it may not even be ready to ship with V6.

As it has already been mentioned here: some of us will want to run both Rhino 5 & 6 at the same time to run a few operations with V5 plugins and paste back results in V6.

It’s unclear to me by reading these post of this will be posible. If it isn’t, it should be make a priority. Until Rhino V6 can replace the full functionality of V5 plugins this should be a priority. And if you ask me “what feature of V6 to I want to drop/delay/don’t have so developers can make this work” I’d say “any, including delaying V6 shipment all together”.

The specific things I will be using from V5 plugins until core Rhino has a replacement:

Shape Modeling’s blend curves. The handles of the adjustable blend in Rhino are erratic and hard to control.

Shape Modeling’s Control Point editing. The ability to take entire rows of CP’s and adjust them is really really useful. Especially considering the bad results that surfacing tools provide in hard cases. I think McNeel’s team should take a very close look at this tool. It’s, like I mentioned in other post, turd polishing, but a very needed one.

Two-way bridge with Spaceclaim for direct editing of solids. Sending back and forth objects between V5 and Spaceclaim is the fastest way to make some edits to simple/prismatic forms. Rhino’s solidPT editing is too destructive to the underlying geometry, where it gets denser and all curvy even in simple edits like extrusion-like forms (I shared and example of that here, let me know if you want me to find it again).

TSplines’ TS_Interpolate: a really terrible limitation of all meshing and retopology work between Nurbs and SubDs is that the approximations are done to a base base/low-poly. So when you smooth it into a SubD solution the resulting form is smaller. Deviating from the original target position defined by the low-poly. The lower your poly count the higher the deviation and offset amount. Example: if you make a sphere in Nurbs and you mesh it as a clean quad mesh (probable in another package like Moi3D); or you manually retopology/remodel it snapping to that original sphere… you end up with a clean low-poly faceted version of that sphere. And all the points (in low poly mode) coincide with the sphere surface. When you apply a SubD smoothing you enduro with a smaller sphere. That’s the right mathematical solution, not the intended design goal. I addressed this with the TSplines’ team and they made a command called TS interpolate where each point in the SubD/Smootb solution is expanded outward (in its normals direction) to where the low-poly point was.

Copy-Paste from Rhino to Moi3D: I relly on Moi3D to make clean quad meshes of Nurb patches to they further refine is subd. I usually start roughing form in rhino with simple curve-based patches like primitives, EdgeSrf, extrusions, etc. Then those patches (unjoined, untrimmed) are pases into Moi3D for proper quad meshing with the desired and matching face count to later merge into a SubD object. I need a way to have in my clipboard V5’s compatible .3dm geometry so Moi3D’s clipboard can rea dit and paste into its models.

I hope this helps, please let me know if you have questions.



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Well, not to rain on anybody’s parade and I know this won’t win me any popularity points with a few users here, but I would like to know what percentage of the (how many?) Rhino licenses/users out there (not just in this forum) are actually T-Splines and/or VSR users for example.

I suspect this is a relatively small percentage… If that’s the case, then the decisions on what plug-ins should be retroactively supported need to be based on a cost/benefit analysis using the amount of development/support time vs. the real number of affected users.


Another way of looking at it is to ask “How many users would discover and use these features to make their lives easier if these capabilities were included in Rhino?” Advanced users have invested plenty of time exploring these workflows to show the way to simpler and improved capabilities. How useful are they in general?

I agree and trying to get plugin backwards compatibility seems wasteful for both developers and the majority of users.

I prefer the idea of a licensing system that allows you to run concurrently both V5 and V6 on the same computer. Like we are doing now during the wip/beta stage. This seems a good compromise, especially considering that the only reasons we need to go back to those plugins is because Rhino cannot deliver a substitute solution, yet.


I might be confused now but if going for RH6 makes it impossible to install RH5 on other hardware in the future, I would be hesitant to go that route until other plug-ins (i.e. not T-Splines and/or VSR) also run on RH6. For me that would be Maxwell, Scan-n-Solve, and Simlab PDF. (I consider it a given that things like Bongo will migrate).

Please correct me if wrong, but I read two general divergent thought processes into these two statements:

  1. Do we need to advance our tools, or keep up with competitors, (or simply replace lost capability) if only professionals whom compete at the highest level use said capability; quantified by seats sold.

  2. Questioning the ability to remain a high preforming professional with potential loss of toolsets, and seeking a means to hold onto status quo longer…

Does not the answer lye in where the product has been marketed, and more to the point, to where it will be marketed in future?

Individuals whom need basic levels of functionality have options, from TikerCAD on up. Regardless of the discipline, is not specific capability at the root of market positioning, on both the sell and buy side?

For argument sake, lets assume McNeel chooses to NOT cede the pro market, to not refocus on hobbyists (who, at present, can acquire tools for free had one not noticed). Let’s assume McNeel chooses to remain relevant by means it has do so to date.

If so, creating designs is about doing so with the greatest effectiveness, competency, ease, and speed. Rest trickles down…REGARDLESS OF PERCENTAGE OF THE INSTALLED BASE USING THESE TOOLS. If your competency has been surpassed, sold, or lost (whatever), you ain’t relevant, if the market goal is to remain a serious competitor, even at lower cost/reduced toolset.

Look at it this way - if one is a design pro, and on a design project, one needs advanced tools (being debated here) to complete just 5% of project, but without said 5%, you ain’t relevant, competent, etc…

Therein lies the rub…

McNeel does not believe in marketing. And AFAIK they only describe their software as (paraphrasing here): “this little thing might help you, and if it doesn’t we are sorry, please let us give you a refund”. …I know maybe half of it is ‘an act’ to lower expectations, but the other half is justa reflection of the culture.

Also I think just like I mentioned a few 5% use-cases, or rather more accurately 0.1% use-cases, many others will have similar comparisons to other workflows/tools/software. So as a whole what are the customers asking for? Is of realistic?

Also for context even if I cannot use these other other tools (because all know, or should know, plugins are ephemeral, based on their business model) I still think Rhino is a fine Pro app. And solving things better that some other pro apps can’t. I still believe better solid tools,and better surfacing are needed, but I can point to similarly important areas of improvement to any other software I use.

Also let’s keep in mind that all the companies that have chased those 5% niche markets (including plugin developers) have not have a sustainable business model. So most of all I want a healthy McNeel. So we can keep bitching for a few more decades.

Speaking of bitching, how’s the new mesh engine going? :stuck_out_tongue::joy:


Perhaps, but that does not mean that there is not ‘a market’ where participants are making decisions based on cost, effectiveness, ability to compete, and time investment.

Indeed, so the thinking is how to encourage investment and bolster areas to keep it that way going forward, so pros will continue to use it to compete, lest transition elsewhere, and non-pros, up-and-commers, students, hobbyists, etc, will pay for it because they may need…

I am with gustojunk on the point of how v5 and v6 will run. Wondered if I would have to buy a whole new license in order to run both ? I don’t want to upgrade anything to lose a bunch of tools I bought( t-splines and VSR ).
The only thing that makes sense in dropping all those tools is because there are more better ones somewhere else.
As far as needing a direction to go as regards to sub-d , it’s all been asked, discussed and begged for many times
Rhino is everyone’s tool. But not every one is completely happy in their needs.
After listening to all the poeple who work at Mcneel and what they have done for Mac users and Grasshopper ,Architects and more.Just have to expect they want everything their customers want too.
I like webinars for advertising new products like the products used here. People know where to look to find it. My nickels worth–Mark

Do you know what’s sad? I own two licenses so I can run in my laptop and desktop and the same time. Of course I can do that currently because I work at a candy store, and candy is free. But that’s not something I’d like to do in the real world.

I can run two apps concurrently in my two machines in many other packages, including Adobe. This should also be looked at if McNeel can find a way to let us do this while not making them lose sales to casual piracy.

In case you are wondering why I need to run two machines at ones: booleans and rendering.