Which one would be better in the long run? Rhino or Modo?

Hi, I have this doubt because I have no idea which one to choose to really make it my default 3D modeler. Im currently working as an Interior and Industrial Designer. My everyday tools are SketchUp and Vray, for mansions and corporative renders. But my job requires me to model a lot of electronic components such as Dimmers, Meridian Speakers, Crestron Equipment, Home Theater components,etc… So that the sales department can show the client some proposals and the 3d models of the components that could be installed in his/her mansion. Also the Engineering department want to have some 3d models library from every component they install.

Those 3d models are not ment to be produce, are only for reference and visualitation, to clients and different departments here in the company.

I would consider myself a mid level rhino user, I still have a lot to learn, and a lot of people have suggested me to learn 3ds max instead, but personally I dont like the feel of 3ds max.

I learned about Modo thanks to Scott Robertson, because I also like Concept Design, and after watching some videos of Modo potential, it really made me doubt whether Rhino was a good option or not.

This is a list of Softwares that I have already used:

AutoCAD 3D: Waaaaayy to complicated, not for me.

SolidWorks: The one I learned back in college, but its really technical and specific. I realized that it was aimed for engineering, not Previsualitation Design.

Inventor: Same as SolidWorks.

Zbrush: I really liked the clay feel of it, but its really complex if you try to learn it on your own.

Rhino: I really liked the control of surfaces and curves. Everything that I know of Rhino has been self taught or learn from YouTube, and I have no idea of the real capabilities of Rhino and what its meant for.

Bottom Line, I want a 3D software I can learn relatively fast that gives me really good results, that can create really complex forms and shapes, both organic and hard surfaces, with tons of detail so that would look really good when rendered. Those models have to be somewhat precise but not perfect, they are not meant to be produced, its more of a Concept Design and Visualitation.


I wonder if you’ll get an answer here on the RHINO group…

My CAD previously:
3D studio [before MAX]
and now RHINO [since before Rh1.0]
Never going back.


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Rhino is a 3D software you can learn relatively fast that gives you really good results, that can create really complex forms and shapes, both organic and hard surfaces, with tons of detail so that would look really good when rendered!


PS: I mean it exactly like that. No joke!


Beware of biased advice, a solidworks forum may lean to saying use solidworks, as the members have a leaning for that prog else they wouldnt be there, likewise rhino, or maya etc.
Google sites that offer training where they have knowledge of more than one prog and its advantages/disadvantages and ease of learning, should yield an independent unbiased overview, as long as they are training on more than prog.

Certainly for aid and assistance Rhino is tops, excellent and most helpful community, and that matters when one is in need of help.

There are different classes of CAD, I understand Rhino is class 2 and yields different quality of result to other classes. No doubt someone can enlighten further on this. I also am told Rhino started life in DOS and is using an older ‘engine’ than some younger progs, not sure if that is true or important, just adding it in as an ingredient in your recipe that might have to be considered.


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I’m in complete agreement with your first two paragraphs, but before you get too far off in the weeds in the third, have a read through this:

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I don’t know where you got this kind of info, but it’s completely erroneous.

Someone I happened to be talking to who was familiar with the evolution of CAD and is highly skilled in a variety of current CAD progs, and who uses Rhino but not as much as others such as Inventor and Maya, so I thought I would run this past the forum asking for enlightenment on this as it sounded interesting, especially being told that it started out as DOS with no undo command, imagine that folks, heaven forbid ! This Class 2 aspect…they are all same , I never had considered there were classes, went with what I was told, I just saw solidworks as engineering, Rhino as organic shapes, Inventor, ?


Well, people spout all kinds of bs (including me), so it’s always good to do a bit of research before repeating it… --Mitch

Even as a die hard Rhino user who gets paid to use Rhino day in day out…eeeeeeek I’m gonna commit some heresy here and say that modo might actually be your better fit. My reasons are:

  1. Making hard surfaces is equally easy in both, but making organic surfaces much harder in Rhino.
  2. The big advantage of NURBS is that they are easily manufactured, take that requirement away…honestly for me sub-d’s become more compelling.
  3. Better texture mapping in modo. By far. This might actually be the most compelling reason for you in the long term.
  4. Better native rendering in modo.

Of course, modo costs more, so for the difference you could pick up a third party render software.

I would just say that for any of these programs, getting really proficient will likely take years. It’s a continuous learning process for ALL CAD programs. I wouldn’t expect to be up and running “relatively fast” on any of these platforms.

-Sky (dons his flame suit)

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As someone who also works primarily in visualization and concepts, I’d suggest sticking with Rhino. Modo is a great program, I’d say the best subD program out there. But I think you’d be better off with Rhino. Here are my reasons:

  • With Rhino you can model to scale and with accuracy. I started out in subD and found it hard to model accurately in that environment.
  • You mention that engineering would want to use the models. It’s difficult to try to get something meaningful out of subD and into CAD. It’s very easy to share Rhino models, I share with our engineering department (using SolidWorks) all the time.
  • The reverse is also true, I’d think that at some point, you’d want to use files from the engineering department
  • Sharing files with clients and others will also be much easier with standard CAD formats, rather than ambiguous subD file formats. In most cases, people would expect files to be to CAD and to scale, not an exported subD file of some type

For me personally, I prefer to model in Rhino, with a similar method as the production/engineering work. But even with that aside, file type, compatibility and file sharing is going to be much easier with a CAD based program over subD. You’d probably want to look at different rendering options for more photo-realistic images. You could also supplement Rhino with T-Splines, which makes organic modeling easier, a little subD modeling right inside of Rhino.

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Thank You all for helping me out with this decision, you gave me tips and reasons I hadnt been considering.

You could do both.

You are likely not going to be making the first of much with Modo, but it has some nice features such as batch rendering.

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I like Rhino. It’s a big commitment to buy into these platforms. I bought Rhino because I liked using it. It makes sense to me and I can get stuff done. It’s [relatively] simple, you can just use Rhino and do a lot. There’s only Rhino, there aren’t 10 different versions with different features at different prices, carefully crafted that you always seem to need to spend $ to reach that extra little feature that you need.

My projects require me to spend time away from 3D modelling and I find I can (reasonably) quickly pick up Rhino after time away. I like being able to type commands as I can never remember my way around a UI. The must have plugin is Paneling tools. Clayoo is great too. Grasshopper can speed you up a lot if you can take the time to learn it.

Most major renderers support Rhino, which seems to be important for you.

The only thing is it’s not really parametric, but this is both rhino’s strength and weakness. I find I can rebuild things as quick as some of my colleagues using 3D max spend jiggling designs around. Once you have basic dimensions and relationships laid out using curves, you can often delete a whole model and redo it very quickly with incredible accuracy. You don’t get cornered by the software working around quirks in a design that takes days/weeks, as you can get your requirements back together so quickly.

But as I say, I’m not a heavy user, I don’t build complex designs with multiple parts, so I don’t need a part manager or things like that.

Hope that helps

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