Why not "Shape Modeling" in native Rhino?

OK, I found out that the VSR (Autodesk Shape Modeling) is a really (really, really) valuable tool for doing advanced precise NURBS models. But Autodesk “killed it” for most users with their pricing.

I mean, Rhino main program cost less than the plugin. Notice also how students can use any Autodesk tool for free (for three years) but Shape Modeling for Rhino? Nope. Autodesk obviously intend to kill it using pricing.

So the question follows: Why not introduce the essential functionality of Shape Modeling in the Rhino software itself? Is it on the wishlist for RhV6? (I couldn’t find anything such). That would really be a lift for Rhino.

Am I kicking at already wide open doors?

// Rolf


It has been suggested numerous times.

No, they’re mostly closed and likely to remain that way for a long time.

Only for Rhino - they are using the technology in their own programs, obviously.

Wishlist, yes. Will anything like that make it into V6 - No.



It’s disappointing with a NURBS tool that cannot maintain continuity & position of surface edges while editing the surfaces. Is it really a NURBS “tool” if it can’t?

// Rolf

Here’s an item that would be well suited to this.

Medal.3dm (1.4 MB)

It is a travesty, this functionality brought Rhino to the fore. It so so deserved evolving and would have been a revolution in the industrial design world. I hope McNeel have a rethink about advancing their surfacing tools in the same direction…it would finalise Rhino as the killer product. Until then we have to lumber around with Alias and Icem and constantly flitter cad between packages :frowning:


Where’s a good place to find out exactly what VSR does better than native Rhino? I’ve read contradictory reports, some say it’s invaluable others that you don’t really need it if you know how to use Rhino properly.

I nearly bought it when Autodesk offered it at a heavy discount, but couldn’t justify the expense at the time (mainly because I wasn’t sure what it did). I’d like to look at it again, although I can’t see me paying full price for a plug in with an uncertain future.

Mister B,

Try modeling a car body with complex shapes. If you need to cut the surfaces into facets in order to be able to shape complex curvatures, you will find, for example, that MatchSurface will help you attach surface edges, but, and here we go, when you match the other sides you’ll (probably) find that you end up with glitches in the edges which you already had matched. And so on.

It is not that it’s “impossible” to make perfect complex surfaces with Rhino (absolutely not). But it’s about a steep learning curve and time consuming nonsense which puts people off. You try and try and try and… but if time has no value you will eventually have learned how to cheat Rhino to not break apart your (complex) matched edges.

The answer, in essence, is: You won’t need VSR/Shape Modeling if you don’t model complex shapes. If you model complex shapes then you will benefit immensely…

… from a tool (VSR/SM) which both Matches and keeps surface edges intact (while editing), and which makes editing easier (when manually dragging group wise the uvn knots in all directions, as well as via a dialog with control bars), and when smoothing out surfaces, and… so on.

To me it is incomprehensible that not at least keeping some of the functionality (like keep tangency on edit and the edit uvn knots tools), isn’t built into Rhino core.

// Rolf


I have to agree…



I bought VSR when it was on offer. It certainly has better surfacing capabilities than Rhino’s own. I would be happy if Autodesk kept updating so it works with v6.
There is a great need for A class surfacing outside Alias and Icem surf

Nick R

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It’s propably not, but if it’s as .NET plugin it could be compatible:


The previous owner of VSR frequents this forum, he could probably tell us if its .NET.

I’m presently going through this process trying to model a medallion relief.

I’ve really been bogged down trying to deal with the demands of a regular/irregular suface combination. After more than six months of daily drive to learn Rhino, I find myself drifing off and researching the web. I can’t find any vids that seem useful and the level two course is not all that helpful either.

It strikes me odd that a program considered an industry standard for organic modeling would be so tedious to use. I’d add that the patch tool could do with a bit more interaction functionaliy like for instance sliders that return realtime preview results.

Rhino isn’t and never was considered industry standard for organic modelling.


Eric Paul Marvets has a few videos on Youtube that may be helpful to watch if you’re trying to make a medallion in Rhino.

As far as VSR Shape Modeling goes it’s good enough to prevent me from moving to v6. For me it’s how to get the best result in a reasonable amount of time. I would really like to have the luxury of fiddling around in Rhinos native toolset but I just don’t have that sort of time, so that is why plugins such as VSR are a necessity in my workflow.

This becomes even more critical when the work you’re doing has a tight schedule or is not for your use, I am obligated to pick the toolset that will provide the best output in the shortest amount of time for the project.

I’m not surprised at all that Rhino doesn’t have these sort of modeling tools since Rhinos UX is broken, it’s simply not an easy product to use that requires instruction for even the most basic tasks. It doesn’t make sense to me that McNeel would start now making Rhino easier to use, they’ve gotten by this long without it.

Frankly I think the next “thing” in modeling software isn’t a feature, it’s UX. The ability to implement the features are there, the first one to make them usable wins.

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it’s not a .NET plugin:

I am with you 100%. There is nothing that I can see that about V6 that will make me want to give up V5/VSR as VSR is my primary curve creation tool, primary surfacing tool, and primary analysis tool. I don’t see any of the added functionality of V6 as having enough of a added benefit to my workflow to not only justify the price, but give up the functionality I use and need. While the promise of better fillets sounds nice, I’m still just going to use my work around of using external programs anytime I need to fillet. I suppose I should be happy that V5/VSR does everything that I need and it’s stable…

I brought up both on the forum here the fact that the core NURBS tools in Rhino are now sorely lacking and behind other programs, and spoke to Bob about it in person this winter. So far…crickets…



I have now watched some videos demoing VSR and I am very impressed - much of the functionality looks extremely useful (and I haven’t seen anywhere near all of it). It looks like the stuff McNeel forgot to include but really ought to be in Rhino, ought to be there to take Rhino to the next level anyway.

I was very surprised to read in another thread that McNeel don’t and never have had a licence of VSR. Perhaps there are good reasons for this but I think I’d want to see what it could do, especially if it might not be compatible with V6. Of course, not having a licence doesn’t equate to being unaware of what VSR can do, I accept that.

Even at it’s current price, I’d consider buying it if its future compatibility was more certain. Even better an advanced version of Rhino V6 with similar capabilities would be good, although the mood music seems to be that isn’t going to happen.


If you do work in Rhino professionally for pay, I can tell you that even at the current price VSR is more than worth its weight in gold. It’s saved me so much time over the years, and really makes my life so much easier. It’s deceptive, because at first it looks like a sort of re-packaging of standard Rhino commands - in fact that was my first impression. I can attest to the fact that nothing could be further from the truth - it does things that Rhino can’t, plain and simple. I got lucky in that I bought the current version at that “upgrade” special price that happened right after the acquisition by Autodesk, but I would happily pay the current price if I had to.



I’m always “impressed” with the opinions certain people have that this kind of stuff is easy to develop and has just been “left out” or “forgotten”… The main developers of VSR are former ICEM people and they have put in many, many weeks/months/years of development to get the program to where it is today. They were also already developing for Autodesk (Alias) as well as McNeel (and Bentley or Nemetschek too, IIRC) well before AD bought them out. I assume one of the main carrots they dangled (like for T-Splines) was simply lots more development money available…