I have never used vsr.
I am not in the right position to give a reliable opinion for this plugin.
but I liked the videos that were shared by sky, they are a good general example of the improvements that can be added to rhinoceros.
in particular the windows which brings together several tools to modify the shape of a surface. (this is not necessarily to copy or imitate the commands of other software).
but the joy of working with tools merged into a single window and making various changes to surfaces in real time without having to leave the command is absolutely beautiful.
it is useful not only for the method of modeling with Béziers surfaces, but also for all people who use rhino3d, regardless of their sector.
just a very silly example. I still can’t understand why commands like matchesrf or blendsrf do not have boxes to show the zebra, curvature graph, point of controls. (I said it’s just a stupid example).
these three options have already been implemented in rhino for centuries but as separate tools!.
they are basically non-interactive during modeling. all simply, where they should be useful they are unfortunately absent.
I have the impression that the development of these tools was in the right direction at one point, then it was interrupted or changed philosophy on purpose. otherwise, I don’t think such silly things can escape developers’ heads.
You’re going to love Kajto, realtime zebras during editing with realtime sections. Zebras can be X,Y,Z or rotated freely or a few other options (rainbow too…). Realtime deviation from surfaces or curves to other surfaces and meshes (scans…oh yes…). Lots of other analysis tools too.
I would like to add regarding to matchsurf command, the ability to project the matching in a specific vector(x,y,z) or view, because sometimes it may get messy projecting by its normal.
Also when you want a good distribution of control points in a specific direction, a tipical case would be(as you posted above) the wheel arch of a car which is usually convenient to project in Y.
A lot of direct modeling softwares have this option available. And If I am not mistaken, the vsr developers wanted to implement this feature in the following version, but you all know what happened next.
I posted an image of how it could have been implemented this option in VSR.(it is just a rough idea) :
As I said many times, working with VSR changed my way of thinking about surface modeling.
I agree that independently of any third-party plugin project, the core of Rhino needs to grow and especially group tools having the user’s workflow in mind.
control points modeling The most important thing I think we need is a panel for direct modeling tools like the this. We have almost all of these tools scattered and hidden for not experienced users.
UVN, Drag mode, soft mode, gumball, points selection panel, organic toolbar, extend edge (plugin).
The T-Splines Viewport hud, had also some interesting ideas to get inspired. Many of these UX/UI ideas were the result of beta testing and suggestions from users.
Global edges Continuity We need to integrate another incredible plugin by @Gijs that it’s similar if not better than then one in VSR.
Persistent zebra/lights analysis with the chance to move the direction of the light and not just the model.
Symmetry tools integrated, [Pascal Script] (NEXT surface tools - #36 by pascal) to create a symmetrical surface (average around a cplane, or giving priority to a master side).
You pretty much explained it very well, and I will only add something that I felt was lacking in VSR. I have been using VSR for a brief period of time several years ago and the biggest thing missing in its “Control point modeling” tool was the inability to manipulate two or more control points. It only had “Single”, “Row” and “All” options, which is quite limiting. In many cases being able to modify 2 or 3 control points together is essential.
The HUUUUUGE advantage of Alias is that each of its major modeling tools have an “Explicit control” mode which lets you change the degree, spans and control point count at any time while some tool is still active! This is ultra mega extremely important feature for clean NURBS modeling. It’s basically something like Rhino’s own “Rebuild surface” put inside other commands.
Also, its “Match surface” sometimes performed much worse than Rhino’s own “Match surface”.
The static light lines were a huge deal for VSR and to this date Rhino still lacks them. Rhino only have dynamic zebra stripes that change their orientation based on the camera angle, which is not optimal. It should add a “static” option so that the user could lock them out and change their orientation through sliders and numerical boxes, as already seen in VSR.
I thought this too for a long time! But once I discovered you have to right click the spheres at the surface edges and select “Position” (this is how you unlock the maintain isocurve direction option) VSR 99.9% of the time does far better than standard MatchSrf. There’s so many more options to the VSR one, but if you don’t get them all right, it’ll make a funky result.
Also right on to highlight what @Gijs did with his global continuity tool! @theoutside have you played around with it? It’s frankly what should have been done for V7 by McNeel.
I was going to type up a post of all of my “second order wishes” but you pretty much hit them all in your post. Especially the ability to select different point distributions for Rebuild (surface and curve). VSR’s ability to select Original, Arc Length and Curvature are exactly what should be in Rhino’s Rebuild.
That feature was requested so many times, yet it’s still not implemented in Rhino after years of asking. Hopefully it will be done for Rhino 7 later this year (hint hint), because the inability to preserve the control point flow while matching with G2 is the biggest missing feature in “Match surface” at the moment (along with an integrated “Rebuild surface” in a similar fashion like the “Excplicit control” in Alias).
To fight against this lacking feature in Rhino, I’m forced to spend a huge time with manual adjusting individual control points with the “MoveUVN” tool, which is not optimal for more complex shapes with a higher control point count. Of course, doing this manually relying solely on the Zebra analysis results in something like an approximate G1,95 (not a full true G2).
Another feature requested a lot over the years was to include UVN indicators for the various commands. You will notice that the VSR tools have those indicators showing automatically upon clicking on a surface, which is a great way to get a better idea about the UV directions of the surface. The N indicator lets you know the normal direction, and I wish that the Rhino team will consider to make it possible to click on it to flip the direction of the surface, without the need to cancel the active command just to start the “Flip direction” tool.
To me Kajto in its current form already seems more complete than VSRs last version.
It has countless options for every tool and can also be a tad intimidating, but I guess that is the nature of class A surfacing tools.
Granted, I only scratched the surface on the trial version so so far and those specialised surfacing applications are a different beast from “normal” surfacers like Rhino so getting the hang on those applications can be challenging.
I remember being quite clueless when I started using VSR 9 or 10 years ago.
I think @sgreenawalt is referring to the “point/g0” option for edge conditions.
This resolves many challenging matching problems that Rhino wouldn’t even dream of attempting to solve.
The lack of edge conditions and control point blending are the main factors limiting Rhinos match surface in my opinion.
P.S.: add to this the lack of explicit surface control of the matched surface.
As I said, from my limited first impressions Kajto seems rather feature packed.
Blending and matching have multiple options and some more are hidden via right mouse clicking the matching labels and arrows (similar to VSR).
Also all blending and matching are supposed to be parametric and even transforming multiple surfaces associated by parametric matches is supposed to be possible (at least that is how I understood it, documentation is quite cryptic and sparse)
I may contact the developers for some tutorials or an in depth introduction.
We never want to write our own tools that will directly compete with any of our third-party developer partners. That would be a “very Autodesk like” thing to do.
The danger is Autodesk or some other company buys up that third-party developer and holds it’s user’s hostage. This has happened a few times and either another developer has stepped up with a different approach, or we decided to develop our own tool.
Every software has the potential to do lots of things.
The truth is, there are some very specific surface manipulation tools that software like Alias, ICEM provide, that in Rhino simply don’t exist.
VSR was a giant step in making Rhino capable of some of these functions for a fraction of the price of those programs.
That’s why the VSR users (myself included) are still making such a fuss about it, even though Autodesk killed it 8 years ago.