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Rhino 4 Essential Training
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Comparing isocurve surfaces and mesh surfaces


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Rhino 4 Essential Training

with Dave Schultze

Video: Comparing isocurve surfaces and mesh surfaces

In this video, we'll define and review the visual terminology relating to NURBS surfaces, which includes the especially confusing term Mesh, because it is used to describe two totally different things. We'll also define an Isocurve, and where it is communicating to us. So, to get started, I've taken the NURBS surface form the earlier video, and built this lovely boat. Notice that we have curves on the surface, and these curves always cross at 90 degrees. These are the isocurves. They are used as a visual feedback, and are controlled by a Display setting.
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  1. 4m 13s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      28s
    3. Recommended hardware
      2m 44s
  2. 19m 8s
    1. Understanding the three types of entities: curves, surfaces, and solids
      5m 51s
    2. Comparing Bezier curves, B-splines, and NURBS objects
      3m 35s
    3. Comparing isocurve surfaces and mesh surfaces
      4m 50s
    4. Setting measurement units and tolerance
      4m 52s
  3. 18m 16s
    1. Introducing the viewport
      3m 20s
    2. Using construction planes to anchor model design
      5m 27s
    3. Changing the way a model is viewed using shading modes
      3m 11s
    4. Navigating the viewport with pan, zoom, rotate, and reset controls
      3m 24s
    5. Exploring help options
      2m 54s
  4. 29m 48s
    1. Understanding Rhino's command philosophy
      3m 10s
    2. Using toolbars and docking buttons to a toolbar
      3m 33s
    3. Navigating the geometry menus using a "department store" analogy
      3m 35s
    4. Using the command line and status bar to get feedback
      4m 56s
    5. Modifying the nudge control and setting other preferences
      6m 54s
    6. Using the Properties window
      3m 1s
    7. Opening and saving files
      4m 39s
  5. 14m 24s
    1. Creating basic objects: curves, surfaces, and solids
      4m 22s
    2. Performing basic transformations
      3m 14s
    3. Selecting objects
      3m 37s
    4. Organizing a project using layers
      3m 11s
  6. 21m 18s
    1. Understanding lines and polylines
      4m 10s
    2. Building rectangles and polygons
      5m 12s
    3. Creating arcs, circles, and ellipses
      7m 8s
    4. Drawing freeform curves
      4m 48s
  7. 47m 36s
    1. Comparing different types of 3D surfaces
      7m 11s
    2. Extruding surfaces to create features in a model
      8m 58s
    3. Creating surfaces with lofts
      7m 49s
    4. Using Revolve and Rail Revolve to create surfaces
      7m 42s
    5. Using Sweep Rail to create a 3D claw
      7m 49s
    6. Creating complex surface shapes using Network Surface
      8m 7s
  8. 46m 48s
    1. Introducing solids
      5m 42s
    2. Making solids with primitives
      5m 41s
    3. Extruding curves to create solids without primitives
      8m 59s
    4. Creating unique shapes with the union, difference, and intersection Boolean operators
      6m 46s
    5. Troubleshooting solids and Booleans
      8m 53s
    6. Editing with the solid edit tools
      6m 20s
    7. Creating and transforming holes in solids
      4m 27s
  9. 27m 8s
    1. Understanding Rhino's modeling aids
      3m 59s
    2. Working with the Grid Snap modeling aid
      2m 22s
    3. Using the Ortho modeling aid
      3m 4s
    4. Using the Planar modeling aid
      2m 4s
    5. Incorporating the Osnap modeling aid into your workflow
      6m 7s
    6. Understanding the Project and Smart Track modeling aids
      4m 42s
    7. Setting cursor constraints
      4m 50s
  10. 50m 14s
    1. Editing corners with Fillet and Chamfer
      7m 38s
    2. Trimming and splitting with curve Booleans
      5m 37s
    3. Moving and rotating objects with the Drag and Nudge tools
      7m 24s
    4. Copying and pasting objects
      4m 10s
    5. Understanding how Rhino uses Undo and Redo
      3m 42s
    6. Grouping objects
      3m 21s
    7. Scaling objects
      6m 40s
    8. Duplicating objects using the Mirror command
      6m 36s
    9. Making copies and structured sets using arrays
      5m 6s
  11. 20m 37s
    1. Using the Analysis toolbar to understand characteristics of a model
      6m 14s
    2. Defining degrees of curve and surfaces
      6m 6s
    3. Using Rebuild and Change Degree
      8m 17s
  12. 26m 21s
    1. Measuring and labeling values on a model using dimensioning
      5m 22s
    2. Creating screen captures for quick proofs
      5m 16s
    3. Creating 2D views of a 3D model
      6m 44s
    4. Rendering a project
      8m 59s
  13. 22m 5s
    1. Preparing a model for prototyping by confirming that all gaps are closed
      5m 17s
    2. Using the "shelling" technique to create wall thickness
      10m 54s
    3. Exporting to the STL format for 3D printing
      5m 54s
  14. 14s
    1. Goodbye
      14s

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Rhino 4 Essential Training
5h 48m Beginner Apr 08, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Rhino 4.0 Essential Training, author Dave Schultze shows how the 3D NURBS-based modeling tools in Rhino 4.0 are used to engineer products from toy robots to full-sized aircraft. This course concentrates on using Rhino 4.0 for industrial design and rapid prototyping, with a review of common 3D terminology using specific examples. Along with a comprehensive exploration of the Rhino interface, the course includes an introduction to building 3D objects with Rhino's three primary entities: the curve, the surface, and the solid. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Understanding 3D terminology
  • Viewing a 3D model in Rhino 4.0
  • Manipulating objects with commands
  • Creating curves, surfaces, and solids
  • Applying transformations to 3D objects
  • Creating unique shapes with Boolean operators
  • Snapping to objects and planes
  • Defining curve and surface degree
  • Prototyping a 3D model
Subjects:
Architecture Modeling Product Design CAD 2D Drawing 3D Drawing
Software:
Rhino
Author:
Dave Schultze

Comparing isocurve surfaces and mesh surfaces

In this video, we'll define and review the visual terminology relating to NURBS surfaces, which includes the especially confusing term Mesh, because it is used to describe two totally different things. We'll also define an Isocurve, and where it is communicating to us. So, to get started, I've taken the NURBS surface form the earlier video, and built this lovely boat. Notice that we have curves on the surface, and these curves always cross at 90 degrees. These are the isocurves. They are used as a visual feedback, and are controlled by a Display setting.

So, I can turn on this sail form, and in the Properties dialog on the right side here, you just crank up the density. So, we get more isocurves on the surface, but is the exact same surface with no more complexity. To find its true complexity, you can go back down to the Density of the default, which is 1, so most objects are created and displayed. So, remember, just like in NURBS curves, the NURBS surface is infinitely smooth.

It can be said that there is an infinite number of these isocurves on there. We don't need that many to get to visual feedback; just a few are enough to do the job. Also, what we are seeing is a representation of the surface, such that the video card can show us this Shaded view. I want to contrast it with the Wireframe view here, right-click on the View port label. So, without shading, this is what all of our surfaces might look like, and it wouldn't be nearly as fun, or helpful to work this way.

So, we will be typically in Shaded view, and why I mention this is the software and video card are showing you a representation of the surface, but that's overkill. We don't need to see an infinitely smooth surface. So, we are actually going to see a Screen Mesh is what it's called, which is on approximation that will be good enough for us to be able to move around in space. That Screen Mesh is where the confusion kicks in, because there is another Mesh, which is more of a Geometrical Mesh, and this is an entity that comes in from typically other software or file formats when they've been converted.

Let's take a look at a Mesh surface. Here, you can see that difference, right off the bat. We have individual facets connected on their edges. Typically, we'll see a lot of rectangles or triangular polygons, and this surface is technically editable, although I probably wouldn't try. Let me show you exactly why I say that. I'm going to turn on the control points for both of these entities. Here is the NURB surface, and the Mesh. I'm going to use the control point, turn them on, or you can hit F10.

Let's start with a NURB surface. We'll grab a couple of these points here at the top, just going to lift them up. To move the control points, I'm going to use the Alt+any of the four arrow keys to move. Later on, I'll show you how to change that default setting, so you can use just those arrow keys. Maybe I even nudge them out to show some wind blowing, great! Now let's try to edit the Geometrical Mesh, grab a couple points there and do some similar movements. And check it out! We've got basically a big disaster.

That is not anything that you can probably use. And if you would have tried to smooth it, that would be a big waste of time. So, this Geometric Mesh is typically used for reference, when people have exported file formats, and you just want to model around them or rebuild then in a NURBS format. Let's also talk now about Isocurves, and their density. I mentioned that the surface is infinity smooth, and the isocurves don't always tell you about the complexity, but sometimes they do. So, we have an example here of a surface with a lot more isocurves.

The reason is we have generated them from curves that had a large number of control points. So, I'm going to go ahead and select the curve, turn those on. We'll turn everything off first. Select these two. Turn the control points on. And you can see along this edge it was obviously built from a curve that was extremely complicated, and unnecessarily so, because it has these points are so tightly spaced, it makes it fairly unusable, when this four points along the top edge does the job just fine.

So, the Isocurves show you the level of surface complexity, especially at their default setting of 1. That's always a good thing to check for when you first generate the surface. Ask yourself, 'Does it look too dense?' If so, always make sure that your surface is as simple as possible, which means, was it created from the fewest number of curves and control points? When dealing with NURBS and curves, simpler is always better.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Rhino 4 Essential Training.


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Q: I'm noticing several differences between the options that author shows in the video and my copy of Rhino. For example, I can't select curves on the edge of a surface or turn on control point when vertically extruding a closed surface like an ellipse. Also, I do not get the Sweep option. I'm running on Mac OS X Snow Leopard.
A: This course was recorded on a Windows computer. As of February 2012, Rhino for Mac is still in beta, so it is not yet a full-fledged product. Wait until the full version comes out to see if these issues are resolved.
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