TSplines Patent Is In The Public Domain. Will SubD Get Local Detail?

The biggest limitation of SubD in Rhino is not topological IMO, but rather lack of ‘flow’. I would rather see UX and development focused first on more and better selection and transform tools, smoother behavior and responsiveness of gumball, and letting us work with per-object smooth mode, partially smooth mode (not just limit surface), and all the ‘delight factors’ for exploration and joy in modeling.

I’ve been working with SubD’s for over 20 years now, and as much as I welcome RHino having this topology and these modeling tools native, I rathem see them embracing excellence at them.

We/They don’t need more distratcions or other priorities or tasks getting on top of this.


hit us with a list of what specifics you are looking for and I’ll get some YT written up. I’m keen to develop these areas as well, but user suggestions carry much more weight than mine do.

If you have done this already elsewhere and I missed them, link to here and I’ll chase them down and get them written up.

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hi Kyle,

I don’t think the bottleneck is the writing up requests part, your head and notebooks must be filled with what needs to be added. We all here also have been all talking/posting about the same things over and over and over for a decade now, always posting examples, videos, etc. It looks like since the massive data loss of Discourse we can only search things in the last 5 years or so. It’s a shame because in the prior 5 years I was way more active and hopeful in this development and I had posted tons of videos about it.

But here below is enough for the next few months of development :slight_smile:, if your team decides aim for a bit more excellence in a traditional SubD modeler approach.

  1. Friction in SubD continues, all so unresolved, so slow, so frustrating
  2. SubD edge selection insanity
  3. "Straightening" quads
  4. Subd and named selections for rapid iteration - #17 by gustojunk
  5. Comparing Rhino SubD modeling features with Alias 2021 and Modo 14
  6. Current state of SubD, mesh utility and Grassshoper questions/thoughts
  7. Highlight a face of polysurface like SubD face?
  8. Wish SubD edge selection enhancement
  9. Convert SubD Vertex Selection to Control Points?
  10. Wish: Named selections and duplicating
  11. Basic polygon selection is painful, slow, unreliable. Example attached
  12. Wish: Better SubD tools - #10 by hannesgrebin
  13. Mesh selection and editing is still very slow and cumbersome. WIP 04/21/20
  14. Confused about some very basic SubD functions missing - #12 by gustojunk

The big dilemma:
I do have one concern about all this feedback above: it is mostly based on replicating SubD workflows based on a box-modelling approach. So I’m not even sure if the world needs another SubD modeler like this. Especially when Blender is free and probably with a toolset and pace of development + modeling plugin ecosystem that Rhino will never catch up to. On the contrary, Rhino keeps getting farther and further behind every single year.

Probably makes more sense working on a curves-based approach to skinning/lofting surfaces as quad grids. With matching counts across seams, and shared edges. This would be a very Rhino-like workflow. Much more familiar to both Rhino developers and Rhino users. And also with an easier learning curve that a Sub-D tool.

I hope this helps,



Oh, for the sake of the index finger in the right hand, please also add this to the wishlist.
Shortest path face selection:


Partial symmetry would be nice too.

And something like Instances

Could be done with Grasshopper but since Subd requires so much manual operations, it would still be nice to be able to do this in plain Rhino.


thanks for this- Will dig in and get requests filed.

I appreciate you doing the curating on this stuff, it helps me focus in on what is important to you in this context.

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You are welcome Kyle. Regarding focus, the most important thing is also the hardest for your team to understand: The feel of the tools for manual/free-form/non-snapping transforms and movements is not responsive enough. The pre-highlighting of what your selection tool will select + the highlighting also needs to be there with the same smoothness and elegance.

It’s impossible to get a developer or a designer to understand this unless they have used a tool where the work feels right. Then, they will know how all those milliseconds and frames dropped make a huge difference.

If you model with Modo or Blender and use their selections and transform tools for 15-20 minutes, and then you switch right back to Rhino and try to do the same thing, you will feel what I feel. and it does not feel good.

I also think the limit surface as an interactive mode needs to go away. It’s great for 5 cubes in a developer’s dummy test file; it’s a non-starter for designing and modeling a real-world detailed product. I know Dr. Lear and the rest feel pretty strongly about this; no, maybe we’ll never have a smooth user experience in Rhino for SubD, where it all feels like running a marathon in high altitude.

Good luck trying to convince them to see the light; let me know how I can help.


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I refer to a lot of what you said above as “the unexplainable sense of correctness”

it either feels right or it does not, and as you pointed out, that is a very hard thing to quantify for a developer to translate into code.

the dance continues… thanks for taking the time to compile the list.


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Working in the excellence space is always hard, in every industry, in every role. But it’s a lot less hard when it’s something that people prioritize, measure, benchmark, and work towards.

Have you ever heard the saying:

“You can only bring a horse to water. But if the horse says: I will only drink the water that I make myself, and we do not test or look at other water sources, then the horse might end up drinking its own pee”

…back to work now.


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Hi all.

@gustojunk , @theoutside

I have almost no experience outside Rhino.
Please add to the list this:

I went near into coding somthing myself but recently I had no more time to finish this.

Drag mode to control net is no good, it snaps everywhere.

How did other software solve this?
Easily micro-adjusting points one by one.

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ha :rofl:

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let’s add to the list :
15. a more complete mesh operation toolest. something like the modifier stack in blender and the like.
16: handles to adjust curvature and insert kinks (crease is great, but not the full story)

let’s avoid the narrowmindedness of a horse that

Ikr lol.

I mostly used it for the Tspline Manipulator :sweat_smile:

But now we have Gumball! :smiley:

probably just T-junctions

:joy: :100:


Ikr, but the Gumball is making some progress :sweat_smile: