New Feature: Playlist Center! Pick a topic and let our playlists guide the way.

Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Drawing freeform curves

From: Rhino 4 Essential Training

Video: Drawing freeform curves

In this video, we will review the four different kinds of Freeform Curves in the reverse order that they appear on the menu. So, we can highlight the differences and end up with the one Freeform Curve you should be using whenever possible, the Control Point curve. However, before we start, just a reminder on the importance of Freeform curves. Their construction and editing are essentially the foundation of 3D N.U.R.B.S modeling. When you build a clean curve, you get clean surfaces. Let's start off by going to the Curve menu. We have a Freeform, and here's the four varieties.

Drawing freeform curves

In this video, we will review the four different kinds of Freeform Curves in the reverse order that they appear on the menu. So, we can highlight the differences and end up with the one Freeform Curve you should be using whenever possible, the Control Point curve. However, before we start, just a reminder on the importance of Freeform curves. Their construction and editing are essentially the foundation of 3D N.U.R.B.S modeling. When you build a clean curve, you get clean surfaces. Let's start off by going to the Curve menu. We have a Freeform, and here's the four varieties.

I'll start off with Sketch. Then we have the Handle Curve, Interpolate Points and the Control Point Curve. Let's do the Sketch first. Now, we have to click and drag. We don't have a lot of accuracy here. It's random almost. Then right-click when you are done. And so there is the Sketch curve. Let's, try the next Freeform curve, the Handle Curve. So, before we start, this would be very similar to what you'd have in a 2D application like Illustrator.

Curve > Free Form > Handle. I'll zoom up here. Now, each time I draw, I am just defining the center. Then I can control the angle of that curve by dragging, clicking and dragging. If you want a sharp point here, you hit ALT, and then go ahead and right-click to complete. So, not as accurate either, so we'll move on to the next variety, the Interpolate Points.

This is the kind of curve where the points instead of Handles or random drawing of sketching, we have points that are on top of the curve. Curve > Freeform > Interpolate. Scoot over here. So, there is no real dragging needed. It's doing all those calculations for you, but notice you are, again, losing a bit of control. It's actually going backwards a few segments and changing that to make sure that all the points stay connected. When you are done, you can just snap to the end point or just use the Close options.

Remember, there is options available doing these commands as well. We'll end up with the Control Point Curve, Curve > Freeform > Control Points. Then I'll explain why this is probably the best way to draw all these types of curves. So, these points are defining a cage, which you don't really see quite yet. I'll show you that as soon as I am done. Let me go ahead and close it. I am going ahead and turn the Control points back on, so I am going to select the Curve.

On the menu, we have this option here, Control Points On or Off. We use the shortcut: F10 to turn on, F11 to turn off. Let's get those back on. So, notice when we want to edit one of these Freeform curves, we're almost always doing with the Control Points. So, it makes the most sense than to build it with Control Points, because that's the way you are usually editing it. I'll drag a couple of these around. This is actually a big part of the workflow, where you do a quick outline of a rough shape. Then move the Control Points to kind of tighten it up, and get a close representation of what you are after.

It's pretty simple to get more detail. You just put these more closely spaced. I'm going to go ahead and extrude this into the third dimension, so I can explain one more concept here. Control Points off with F11. I am going to select and go to Surface > Extrude Curve > Straight, just to bring this up in third dimension. Now, since we had a single curve and we made a single surface from it, we have the ability to turn Control Points on for the surface as well.

So, I am going to hit the F10 button here, so even though you can draw curves multiple ways, you are typically editing them with Control Points. But with a surface, you're always editing them with Control Points. There is no other way to do it. So, I am going to grab a couple of these and using the Nudge key, just move off to the side, and you can see the deformation. Now that we have reviewed the four kinds of Freeform Curves available, you should know that you can construct curves in any of the four methods you prefer.

But you always have the option to convert to another method for further editing. And count on editing time, because editing is mostly what 3D modeling is about. You usually spend more time tweaking a curve than you spend building it. Remember, most, if not all of your the 3D surfaces will start as 2D curves, so the construction of clean and simple curves will result in clean and simple 3D geometry later on.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Rhino 4 Essential Training
Rhino 4 Essential Training

67 video lessons · 16702 viewers

Dave Schultze
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.