Wacom Cintiq or Intuos with Rhino


I am with Wacom Technology Corporation, and we are interested in hearing from Rhino users on things we can do to make our products work better with Rhino. How many of you are currently using an Intuos or Cintiq with Rhino? What types of plug-ins or drivers can we develop to make using a Wacom product more compelling for a Rhino user?

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I am a wacom user. (Intuos Pro) been using Wacom for 8 years. it comes very handy and useful + supportive in other 3dmodelling software but I must say, currently in Rhino, most of the time I have to switch to mouse, even though I would love to use Wacom to its full extend in Rhino.
I had given up my hope after my previous post about implementing Wacom in Rhino resulted with No response but thank god, finally Wacom has taken some interest in Rhino user community. (if you are really from Wacom Corp :P)

in order for Wacom to be fully useful in Rhino, there is no way but to have plug in (not just driver stuff) that really utilize Rhino core functionality. so here are some of my suggestion for useful plug in (Wacom) =

  1. Control Point modification (with pressure sensitivity)
    Countless time we have to fiddle with Gumball to move control points / Solid pts, to modify surfaces, while this technique have been on since the beginning of 3D modelling, . other 3d softwares have incorporated wacom to modify their surface. Take 3dsmax or Maya for example, I can push my control points (or vertices for Polys) along its normal direction with pressure sensitivity while I brush my cursor over the surface. I am not talking about dense poly model like Zbrush (although would be awesome to have in Rhino). just a standard low poly / subdivision or even NURBS control point modification CAN be made easier with Wacom.
    there should be an option for : Smoothing (Average out Ctrp Point with its surroundings), Z+ (normal positive value), Z- (normal negative value), Slides (moving along Isoparm direction), etc
    its time to evolve from flicking gumball with Soft selection and move to another level of Design-based modelling :slight_smile:

  2. since Rhino is NURBS-based modelling, (will soon have subdivision), it is proper to have a feature where Moving NURBS surface will make sure to maintain its continuity to the other surface that is joined together. its called “stitch” in Maya (please look it up). the Wacom plug in for Rhino needs this :slightly_smiling:

  3. Wacom Radial Menu that is better suited for Rhino.
    should be context specific and arranged in a compelling look + customize-able from Rhino Options.

  4. standard Wacom Pen options for Rhino = (automatic everytime we open rhino)
    Pen tip = left click
    Side Button A = middle click
    Side Button B = Right click

  5. Gesture Shortcut
    with thousands of commands in rhino, there should be a gesture shortcut that can be activated by pressing one of the keyboard key, with already built in features such as =
    Slide left = turn on Ctrl Points
    Slide Right = turn on Solid Pts
    Slide left + down (or any combination u want) = customizable command

there are many other posibilities but I hope other wacom user can join this discussion.




almost forgot, one more very very very useful features for Wacom plug in in RHino =

    the ability to draw / sketch just like in Photoshop directly in viewport (this is very useful for Designers and is a must to have) this has nothing to do with geometry, basically you can have simplified-photoshop like brush to paint on the viewport .
    to illustrative that take a look at print screen below,I use other software and add some little explanation on how that works =

the "transparent paper can be stacked like photoshop layer (with just a simple opacity blend, not as advanced as photoshop) so you can compared 2 sketch with the 3d model on the background.

this might be a dream tool for architect or designer in rhino…




Thanks for your input. I am new to Wacom, I just started on Feb. 1, and we have taken an interest in the Rhino community. From your email I address I can see that you are with McNeel, I have also spoken with Brian Gillespie and Brian James. I am glad to have started this dialogue, and will review your suggestions with our product management team to assess the possibilities.


Tom Kopinski

Tom Kopinski
Senior Manager, Creative Market Strategy – 3D
Wacom Technology Corporation
Tel: 360.896.9833 x 352


(Wim Dekeyser) #5

Just a Discourse technicality : when you get posts eMailed to you, they will all appear to be coming from Steve. As far as I know, Runnie is not an employee at McNeel.



Thanks, I figured that out eventually. Oops.



it’s true, I was confused as why I was called “steve” LOL



Didn’t know till now you can use wacom tablets with Rhino!
I have a small Intuos… i wonder if that works… with mac rhino…



This is a very interesting topic, and I`m very pleased to see an interest from Wacom in extending its user base into the Rhino community.
I am an Intuos Pro user and have always been wondering it there would be some type of integration at some stage. Generally speaking, CAD users are more reliant on mouse/keyboard functionality, as well as devices such as those from 3DConnexion.
A sketching ability as an overlay/layer as well as the ability to add notes etc to Rhino documents would be awesome.
Currently we either have to use a text box or export screenshots to photoshop/sketchbook pro and then sketch.

Hmmm…great to see interest from Wacom.
Hope other will get involved in this conversation!

My two cents.

-Rupert Enberg



please unite together all Wacom-ers! :stuck_out_tongue:
im not sure about mac, but at the moment u can plug in the latest wacom driver to PC and works okay in rhino (though u need to adjust ur pen setting)



u got the point here, to have sketching ability in rhino is exactly what I wanted, hopefully Wacom corp really make this happen.



I’m another Wacom user, I currently have an Intuos Pro and use it most of the time in Rhino. I find it works very well, although I couldn’t manage without my 3DConnexion SpaceMouse with it’s programmable buttons. I have the pop up menu and enter setup on there, I use the down click button on the pen as my right click but have never found the up click comfortable to use. I actually don’t use the buttons on my Intuos, they’re in the wrong place as my left hand is on the Spacemouse.

Sketching within Rhino would be handy but I don’t find it much of a chore to do a screen grab and take it into Sketchbook Pro, or Photoshop. It’ll be interesting to see what capabilities could be added. I have to admit that I use the tablet as a straight up mouse alternative, I’ve never really thought about how the pressure sensitivity could be utilised within Rhino.

Now if Wacom can get Microsoft to sort out the current Office debacle that would be great. Not being able to use my pen in Office applications is a major pain.



I’ll need to try it out!

Was thinking some integration with t-splines would be good to focus really on the
organic modeling. If there was a way to spin around the cplane in space while drawing, and controlling that well…
Have some cutting plane perpendicular to the curves being drawn to add cross sections…
maybe fit that with oculus or something.
…not that I have T-splines since I’m using mac nor oculus…



if you are able to do it right on the 3d application with wacom, you can modify your object on the viewport and see how your model moves on 3D space to fit to the sketch. (and make design judgement directly)
if u do it outside the 3d application, then u lose that ability. especially if you have a team of designers where a single sketch from the director will be passed down to 5 - 10 people.

the main point is to have a direct communication between sketching and modelling and juggling between process in a single application.

in Maya the feature is called “grease pencil”. (you can look it up) designer find it very appealing.
Zbrush have that as well. and I think blender also have the similar feature.
having the feature present in other 3d modelling application meaning that world wide users are using it frequently.

so I thought rhino should have it too.




goodnews, there will be a subdivision modelling in V6. :slightly_smiling:


(Rob McPherson) #16

I use a Cintiq and find that it’s slower than using a mouse. But more comfortable.

My main reason for using the Cintiq is sketching and image manipulation in other software. I only use it with Rhino as well because I’m too lazy to keep swapping between Cintiq and a mouse. In fact I’ve thrown the mouse away completely now.

Things I find bad are -

  1. Drivers are pretty poor. Settings are lost on a regular basis.
  2. When you click something, lets say to move it, when you release the pen and bring it up off of the screen there is always further unwanted movement. This is due to the user lifting the pen off of the screen at an angle rather than straight up. Unfortunately lifting straight off feels very unnatural. It’d be great for the drivers to recognise this ‘quirk’ of the human hand and not add in that extra unwanted movement.
  3. It’d be great to have a small keyboard that either extended out from the bottom of the Cintiq or from one side. The keyboard is still very important for me to use with Rhino and currently I have to twist my body off to the side to reach over to use it.
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Hi Runnie, all good points. I guess my work flow is a little different as I work alone, the only time I need to share a sketch is to explain something to a client or perhaps a toolmaker. In these cases a simple screen grab does the trick but I can certainly see advantages to working as you describe.

I do often find myself jumping into Sketchbook to work out a detail as I’m modelling in Rhino, having the ability to doodle straight over my Rhino model could be useful. It certainly wouldn’t do any harm. In fact, I used to use Alias, and if memory serves you could do exactly as you describe in that. It wasn’t a feature I used much though, although I’m not sure if I was mouse bound at the time. If I had a Wacom perhaps I would’ve used it more.

I think you’re right, a Wacom sketching plug-in for Rhino would be a useful addition.



I’ve been considering a Cintiq for some time, although I don’t think I would attempt to use it with Rhino (maybe I would, not sure). One issue that has deterred me is bad reports about drivers, particularly the touch functionality not working as expected. My own experience with my Intuos Pro is that the touch doesn’t always work very well, although the more recent drivers have been better.

When sketching, I find touch absolutely essential to a natural experience and hate to be without it, as I have been at times when drivers decide not to work. I always turn it off when using Rhino, I haven’t found a use for it and find it causes problems with things moving unexpectedly.

I wish Wacom would focus on making their professional products, both hardware and software, bombproof (not literally of course). Those of us that use them to earn our living find it very frustrating when they don’t’ work as expected. There have been times when I’ve had to really battle to get mine to work. Touch wood, everything is fine at the moment.



The big problem I have with the Wacom tablets is the pen, the buttons are too high on the pen shaft to make wacom tablets usable to do anything with. If only wacom could move the buttons down the shaft towards the tip of the pen, The pen button’s placement on the shaft is really poorly designed for windows apps, you have to interrupt what you are doing to and re-grip the pen to get to the buttons on the pen thus impeding one’s workflow immensely. I have assigned right and middle mouse buttons to the pen shaft buttons and left mouse to the tip.
As well there is a viewport bug where the rhino viewport goes crazy if you pan or rotate the views and the cursor hits the viewport edge.
I use wacom in 3dcoat which is much more tablet friendly but I always get frustrated because of the button placement just trying to get to a right mouse button and always go back to the mouse.

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Hi everybody,
I’m a long time Wacom user since 1998 and graphic tablet in general since 1985 (other brand Houston Instruments)… never (intentionally) used a mouse in my life :smile:
I begun using Rhino in 1998 since the first public betas came out.
Previously I used to use Autocad and the only and sole feature I miss from Autocad is the tablet menu. the ability to pick a command from a grid of box on the tablet was really great and fast. I have Intuos A4+ at work and Intuos A3 at home beside a Cintiq 21UX that I use for creative jobs. I have a lot of unused space on my tablets and it would be nice to have one or more tablet menus on the unused tablet area.
I know that existed a program from Wacom itself to create tablet menus on the unused pointing area, creating grid of boxes where associate string of text or commands since the middle of 90’, it was called ultramenu cause it was made for the Ultrapad series.
What I want to say: it would be nice to restore this feature, maybe refreshing the ultramenu software.
thanks… Vince