Wish: combine surface tools (loft, sweep2, networksrf, blendsrf)

Sweep2 as advanced Loft
I often use sweep2 with simple lines from end to end instead of Loft since the results are sometimes better and therefore I would love for Sweep2 to accept no cross sections by default.

I would also like to see Sweep 2 to have sliders like blendsrf does.
And with those two options combined Sweep2 could also be a blendsrf tool.

Combined UI:
I would also like for Loft, Sweep1, Sweep2 and Networksurf to evolve into one single interface, I see no real reason for the users to learn all three tools as networkSrf could in theory from a UI perspective serve all scenarios.

Both sweep2 and networksrf could also benefit from having the option to not refit the edge curves and instead use the raw data like Loft does.

For me integrating and combining these surface tools into one UI would be a big step forward in helping users getting to know the possibilities.


Hi Jorgen - Off hand I like this idea, myself… I do not expect the developers to love it, if only because I think it might be pretty hard to implement a nice UI that does not add more complexity than utility, but done right, it seems like a worthy goal to me.

@lowell, @chuck, @mikko - any more educated thoughts on the feasibility of something like this? Dunno if EdgeSrf could join the party, maybe, as well.



The Mac version could maybe be an early adopter as they already have reworked some of the UI for the other tools.

I am doing teaching again and that’s why this comes up (again), for the fresh minds the wast majority of tools that Rhino has is daunting. Combining tools will be an important step (IMO) for next gen Rhino to take up the fight against fusion and other simplified, yet complex modelers out there.


For Sweep2 and Loft, most of it’s just a lot of typing, I guess, and design of the workflow.
But the refitting and reparameterizing of rails is part of how Sweep2 can make surfaces like it does. The rails have to be made compatible since they become parts of the same surface, so if they aren’t the same structure at least one of them has to be changed.
If you do a sweep2 now with a line at one or both ends of both rails, and if the rails are compatible curves, you get a simple unfitted surface.
We could be a little better at turning things into simple sweep cases - now the section curves have to hit the rails at edit points - but the more of that kind of thing that happens, the more likely that some cases won’t work as expected.
So I guess it’s quite a bit more complicated than it may seem.
I don’t really see how NetworkSrf fits in except for some specific cases.

Good guess

I suppose a command could take a pile of curves and sort them, like NetworkSrf does. If the sorting gives more than two curves in each direction, then the NetworkSrf algorithm would be used. Otherwise, Sweep, EdgeSrf, or whatever makes sense. Doesn’t sound like something I would be working on.

Hi Lowell - I think, if I understand the request, the idea is less to change what the commands do than to try to make a UI that will choose among the various commands (even if they are basically unchanged - am I correct @Holo?) to suit the arrangement of the inputs.


Yes :smile:


That would be great! :smile:


(Edit: in short: yes! ;))

The request is just what the user sees, what goes on under the hood is secondary for a modeller who works with form finding (designing).
(user = both new and experienced, but not necessary surface nurb nerds)

So priority one is the ability to add curves and tweak the surface while in preview mode until one is happy with the result. Thus go from loft to sweep 1 to sweep2 to surface from 3 or 4 edges to network srf, all with G1, G2 or position alignment etc.etc. I envision two lists where curves can be dragged in and removed from, rails and crossections.

This means that Priority one does not include keeping the surface as simple as possible, so that request could be skipped or moved to v2.0.

Priority 2 (again from my users point of view) is for pro nurb nerds to benefit from the tool.

I can imagine it might be as simple as a dialog with the various "surface types’ listed as radio buttons on the left; some would be available and some grayed out, according to the curve selection. On the right, the interface for the selected surface type, and someplace, an Edit Selection button. Preview on all the time.



+1. This would also help users to understand how the different surface tools create different results. (Instead of using the same command they used last time and being frustrated with the results).

Yes, that looks very nice!


Hi guys,
here is my (first) vision of the tool, based on an evolved NetworkSrf:
A UnifiedSurfaceTool that combines Loft, Sweep1 and 2, Networksrf, Blend and Surface from 2,3 or 4 curves.

  • The curves can be turned on and off to see changes on the fly.
  • Position, tangency or Curvature can be chosen and adjusted with sliders when possible.
    (grayed out if position is chosen, or if it is a curve and not an edge)
  • They can be internally dragged around to change order for a loft, or deleted by selecting in list and hitting delete.
  • New ones can be added by clicking the [+] icon.
  • Slashes can be added in both directions, and also turned off and/or deleted again.

Edit: I presume a “do not simplify” option should have been added together with the tolerance settings.

Preview is done in viewport shade mode and isocurves can be turned off.

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Hi, Pascal

Please add surface from edge curves with an option to specify continuity for all the edges. This is a common nurbs command that would save me a lot of time,


@pascal Hi Pascal,

Could you share this Surface from curves tool?


That was just a mock-up. That tool doesn’t exist.