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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.
For this next section, we will navigate the excellent Rhino Help system, which actually has several separate and distinct parts. All are available to use at all times, but Rhino has a real-time system called Command Help. It is unique and extremely useful for beginners, but we'll start with the standard help everyone is familiar with. We find this under the Help menu > Help Topics, or the shortcut F1. So, this contains pretty much every command or operation you ever would want to try in Rhino. We are going to focus on one, just for an example here, Extrude curved surface.
We'll cover this in more detail when we get to modeling 3D surfaces. So, I want to call your attention here to this image. A lot of people don't realize it's actually a miniature movie. You just click on the Play button, and it will walk you through the steps of selecting and generating the command. You have also got the Steps numbered down below, and you also have Options. And when you start a command, you get the Options on the command line. But if you want to understand what they do first, you can select here, and this will give you description or sometimes even another video.
Another nice feature here is it will show you the icon that you might see on the interface, or where to find that command on the menu. And then if there is any additional material below that, it's related commands. There's quite a few. Okay. Let's take a look at Rhino's real- time help system, which is fairly unique in most 3D softwares. This is called Command Help. And we get a little dialog window here, and I'm going to go ahead and dock this so we are to drag this over to the side until it locks into position.
And that'll keep it from getting in the way of the Viewport. So, I'm going to go ahead and do that same command again, where I select the Curve. I do the Surface Extrude, and there is that same help section from the menu, but now it is monitoring what I do in real-time and giving me feedback and information along the way. A few more help areas available: we've got the Command List available in the same area under Help, and this gives you all the commands, one by one, in alphabetical order.
So, if you're not sure where to look for, you could just actually look here for its name first, type in search terms, find something closely related to the command you're looking for. So, we will close that. The final Help area I want to point out is the Help on the Web with additional web sites, newsgroups and all sorts of training newsletters you can sign up for. So, compared to other 3D software, Rhino is extremely focused on modeling.
Regardless, any 3D software, it can occasionally be overwhelming during the early learning stages. Fortunately, Rhino has provided a wide variety of support throughout the software, to help guide you along the way.
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