Working with SubDs

I wanted to take a typical project through the Rhino SubDs to see how they behaved and if I could do everything I needed to within Rhino and not have to rely on other pieces of software (Modo and Fusion 360).

First of all, the design is pretty cliched and put together in a hurry so go easy on me:-).

Rhino’s SubDs are stellar! Amazing toolkit which plays very well with all of Rhino’s other tools. Nicely done.

I would really, really like to see “Inset” have an option to group faces together as a whole and do it’s thing like that. Also would really like to see an Outset option where the tool could create a new ring of faces outwardly. I spent too long having to create them by hand in this exercise. My only complaints.

Outstanding capability with the SubD rail tools. Wow!

Rendered in Maverick Render.


Hi @PaulS
Beautiful and intricate work as always! Would you be willing to post a wireframe shot as well? As a Sub-D newbie, I’m curious on the amount of faces required by this level of detail.
TIA, Jakob

Thanks. I use a simple technique…I build the inside bevel face and then expand the form outward for this sort of beveled shape (this is where an ‘outset’ tool would be useful). Everything is flat and once complete I’ll thicken the shape with the offset surface/face tool. Then select what needs to be forward (as in the front facing bevels) and translate it forward.


Hi, Paul,

Thank you for testing Rhino SubD and for your kind words. You mentioned the “SubD rail tools.” Are you referring to SubDLoft, SubDSweep1, and SubDSweep2 here? If not, what are the rail tools you liked?

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You guys are doing a great job on the SubDs. Sorry, when I’m away from Rhino I forget the correct names more times than not. I meant SubDSweep 1&2.

I sure wish for a gradual Crease Edge. And also having the Inset tool have an outset function and the ability to group faces. :slight_smile:

A couple of places where these SubD tools really shine are using the ‘Flow along Surface’ and how effective they are with N-sided faces. I can delete edges and merge points to my heart’s content and still get a very smooth surface. I try to use quads but in a pinch (pun intended) there is no pinch if I deviate from them.

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Hi, Paul,

I’d like to make sure I understand what you mean by “Outset.”
In the image below, the upper right SubD was made by Inset with a distance of 1.
The lower right SubD is my guess as to what you might expect Outset with a distance of 1 to create.


The Rhino file is attached as “Inset v Outset.3dm”
Inset v Outset.3dm (62.2 KB)

If my guess is correct, Outset will be a little riskier because if you outset too much, you’re going to get an overlapping mess. But if you outset just right, you might get what you expect?

One way to “outset” a planar-ish inset using current tools is to inset, select the inset and its neighboring faces, and then use the Gumball to scale them. To scale using the Gumball, select one of the “square” gumball grips, depress shift, and move the grip. (If the Gumball isn’t showing, click the “Gumball” button in the status bar.)

We have many requests for “gradual creasing” and hope to address those during the 7.x release cycle. 7.0 is in BETA and we aren’t adding in new features to it.

Thank you for your contributions and help towards improving Rhino SubD.

@PaulS can I steal a couple of these images for our SubD example gallery?


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This link explains what I mean:

Thanks. Looks like we captured the multi-face input part of that request in RH-52735 but failed to get the “outset” part added. I’ve added RH-61113 for the outset request.

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That’s great!
In Modo it’s part of the Bevel tool and probably more correctly named as ‘Outer Bevel’. It sure speeds things up.