Wish: Gumball

When I select a group of planar points, I would love for the Gumball to be able to align to the plane.

Yeah… that is a question, how that should behave- if applied By Object the Z/Blue arrow is finding a relationship to the surface normal not the plane of the points. Hard to say what is more useful- I mean, it may be obvious that you want to orient the thing to that points plane but in other circumstances a surface normal might be better. You can mess with macros perhaps to set the CPlane to the points,. Gumball to CPlane, eg.:

_GumballAlignment _Cplane _CPlane _3Point


Reverse it and it works:

_CPlane _3Point _GumballAlignment _Cplane

I see that the Z finds the srf normal, but X and Y are irrelevant, no? Can’t X just rotate itself to align with the planar points or the normal of the bounding box that contains the selected points?

Hey @pascal, I recently was introduced to how the gumball works in Modo. This is a working example of everything I wish the Gumball does in Rhino, especially for control point editing:

You can set the center and axis individually, letting it align to normals, selections, a control point, or world axis. Also local and the way soft move is integrated into the tool.

A word of caution - modo does many things well and it has some features such as Falloffs and Selections that I would like to see in all the programs I work in - but some of it is also terribly over engineered. Snapping is a good example. Snapping in modo is a PITA and if you read through the forum you’ll find numerous threads going on for page after page complaining about this. So I would agree that expanding the functionality of the gumball might be welcome but only if it’s not at the expense of the elegance of Rhino’s way of doing things.

Pay attention in this video to how many clicks and panels the user is going through to do even simple things.

Yeah- this is what struck me as well in this clip.


Would the snapping issues apply, since there isn’t the face, edge, vertex of a mesh to deal with? Rhino has objects and control points, which are mutually exclusive. Only one can be active and selectable at a time.

But I agree about over engineering. But doing a lot of control point editing in Rhino is a complete PITA. Just being able to quickly:

  • move the center without having to change the axis alignment
  • letting the axis align to a selection, normal, world, or cplane
  • set the alignment to local, where eat point moves the specified distance in relation to their normal
  • Falloffs/soft move settings for the gumball
  • Objects remembering their gumball settings instead of the dragmode being global.

Hi Eric- here are some of the things that Gumball does that you may or amy not not have run into yet-

Ctrl-dragging the center moves the gumball and not the object; RelocateGumball with Enter after placing the origin (you can also set X and Y if you want) is handier in my opinion.

Setting Gumball to Object and selecting a point should align the Gumball Z to the surface normal. With multiple points and a Gumball set to Object and DragMode set to UVN, then dragging the gumball Z moves each point on its own normal. (BTW, drag mode set to ‘ControlPolygon’ and Ctrl-dragging points also moves them on the local normals- no gumball needed)


Alright, thanks @pascal. That gets me a long way. I had no idea about the DragMode command. How is it different then clicking on the white circle of the gumball? Why are those additional options not there? Is there anything else about the gumball besides these two?

Still would like a align to selection and softmove functionality.