Technical surfacing

As far as I remember, there was some weird limitation of VSR that didn’t allowed to select two or more points simultaneously. It was only possible to select a single point or the full row of control points related to it. It was super disturbing and this is why I rarely used it as I found “Move UVN” to be more versatile for adjusting a custom number of control points simultaneously. I think that the aforementioned shortcoming of VSR was related to “Control point modeling”, but I may be wrong.

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Vsr control point modeling has those limitations in selecting, because you don’t select anything but you just hover over a point and the translations are applied bei click-dragging and according to a combination of selection filters (single point, row, all) direction filters (x, y, z, tangent, normal) and falloffs and strength factor.
This is a limitation, but also a feature as it is much more intuitive and immediate than selecting a point and then applying a translation.
Another importando limitation is no numeric input (and here move uvn is totally complementary)

Both commands have their strengths and weaknesses. I keep using them both depending on what I want to achieve.
But then again I am using Rhino 5, 6 and 7 contemporary and keep copying and pasting between them…

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If either of you do any screen capture, I’d love to see a vid posted of how you actually use MoveUVN - especially Norbert, if you feel like sharing concrete cases of “here’s where I think MoveUVN works better” or “Here’s where I think Shape works better.”

I understand the frustration with no being able to select multiple verts with Shape, but for me I tend to work with very low point count surfaces whenever possible and so I never feel like it’s much of a limitation. The VAST majority of my verts are set by MatchSrf, and so the number I actually want to play with is usually less than five in any given surface. Also, as you pointed out, the falloff selection is very nice in VSR. But, like I said I’d be interested in seeing concrete situations where you Norbert are reaching for MoveUVN over Shape Control Point Modeling.

I’m not @norbert_geelen, but if you look at the 3dm model that I uploaded last night (i.e. your boat hull model, but with some additional tweaks done by me), you will notice that the “Move UVN” tool actually has some nice capabilities.

Also, by looking at the following screenshot of a car modeled with VSR, I can clearly see where “Move UVN” could help you achieve better continuity.

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There are are many boat hulls designed in rhino. Here is an article royal Huisman and here are other Naval Architects and a few other finished boats of all sizes.

The stem can be a challenge. Orca3d add some tools that make it easier specifically in that area. Also, allowing for the bow round and keel blend helps.

Move control points to adjust the surfaces is a great way to get the shape you want.

Hi, I just did a test with a custom environment based on the 3D checker sat to 2 in X size (Half a checker is a line) and .1 in Y size to get 10 repeats. Does that come close to what you want?

It is radial above, so maybe not ideal, but still will give you static lines… test it out if you like.

Maybe McNeel could make a custom environment type just for this if you spesify how the lines should ideally be distributed in the environment.

Holo stripy Environment.renv (12.7 KB)

It works in a different way. :slight_smile: For example, “Light lines” in VSR for Rhino 5 was extremely sensitive to changes and could help notice lack of continuity even with 0,01 mm movement of a control point.

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OK, can you show an example and explain how they are lined up in the “world” ?
BTW I use V7 for this, I don’t know if the environment I posted acts the same way in V6.

Your environment does not work in the same way in Rhino 6 evaluation as shown on your screenshot above. I don’t have Rhino 5 with the VSR plug-in to show the rainbow coloured “Light lines” that it has, but I do remember how great they performed when I was working with Rhino 5 about a decade ago. :slight_smile: They were exceptionally useful for manipulating of control points with the “Move UVN” tool.

There are a few videos on YouTube that show the VSR “Light lines”. Check the rainbow lines after the 43rd second in the first video :smiley:

One problem of VSR’s approach was that it used the global mesh setting as a base for the calculation of the geometry, so it was quite heavy to use since the models had to consist multiple times more polygons than the default setting in Rhino. Also, “Light lines” worked on all geometry, unlike Rhino’s native Zebra or curvature analysis that used a custom mesh setting and could include or exclude objects at any time.


Thanks for the feedback!

@scottd do you think there is anyway to let Rhino_Bulgaria test out V7?
I think he could give you some much needed insight in tools to replace VSR.

I’ll play around a bit tomorrow and see what I can come up with.

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Note that the 1st video above with the coloured lines allowed to have a custom number of stripes, hence the change in their thickness. In my opinion, coloured lines are much more usable for evaluation the flow of a surface, because they let the modeler to follow a certain colour along the length of the entire model. This is far less distracting than the regular Zebra stripes.

Also, these colours are like the rainbow, so they allow to easily see the surface control points and the dashed control polygon. On the other hand, the regular black and white Zebra makes these elements less visible (which may be a good thing for evaluation, but less good for checking the control polygon or picking of individual control points).

What I liked a lot in VSR is that it had the coloured lines and the zebra in the same tool, so it’s easy to switch between both at any given moment.

It would be nice if Rhino could have similar quick switch between the Zebra and the Curvature analysis. Currently, they are separate analysis tools that require individual selection of objects every time upon switching to the other type of analysis.


Its a 1-to-1 port from ICEM Surf. I’m not promoting to use zebras of any kind for continuity analysis, but using a numerical or deviation graph for this. Rhino 7 indeed offers a tool for that now.

The problem with Zebras for c.a., it very often requires to have a high resolution render mesh to get a correct feedback, and from time to time you miss something. G2 in Zebras means the zebras have tangent alignment, but how do you judge this?

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From my experience I can tell that having a true mathematical G2 continuity is not always the best way to achieve smooth looking reflections on a series of adjacent surfaces. In many cases G1 or G1,5 (something less than a true G2) delivers a better flow and reflections.

I have seen many videos with Alias modeling of cars where the surface continuity is true G2 yet the flow and reflections are distorted. This is why sometimes it’s necessary to check the surface quality with static and dynamic Zebra analysis to help to improve the overall flow. Ideal G2 “on paper” does not mean you get ideal reflections. :slight_smile:

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I fully agree.

More inspiration for your boat hull. Here is a cool concept sailing cat just dropped in the forums: 60ft Catamaran

They know, it’s just not important to them/they don’t have the manpower for it.

Just a few things I’ve asked about in the past year I’ve been trying to convert my workflow to Rhino:

But I mean, there’s already heaps and heaps of old threads with similar feedback…

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thank you sir! nice model. you naval architect?

Hi @Rhino_Bulgaria Can you upload that section of that aeromaster component? looks nice or send it by mail


It’s a model made for a customer and I can’t send any part of it. :slight_smile:

But I can tell you that I used “Blend surface” to make it, followed by “Rebuild surface” to reduce the control points. Then I did some manual control point adjustment with “Move UVN”. Then I applied “Match surface” with G1, because G2 produced some unwanted distortion along the borders. Lastly, I used “Move UVN” again to adjust the 3rd row of control points along the normal direction (the N slider) to achieve nearly G2 continuity.

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No I am not a Naval Architect, I just happen to have visited many of them that use Rhino.