Join Dave Schultze for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding curves, surfaces, and solids, part of Rhino 5 Essential Training.
In this video we'll take a 3D tour of the fundamental entities that comprise the Rhino universe. There are technically four entities, but the point entity doesn't really count since it is used mostly as a reference or a marker and not at all for modeling. So that leaves us three, the curve, the surface and the solid. It's easy to keep these clear if you just look at the top menu and see them organized one after the other. There's the Curve menu>Surface and the Solids. Let's start the tour. There's our basic point entity. Not much talk about there, and now we've got some curves that are both closed meaning they're joined and there's space inside and there are open.
Now what's cool about the lot of Rhino entities is you can turn on control points and do more editing and that's really the beauty of the software. So I'm head over here on the Main menu, control points on. So I can move those around, make any shape we want. I'm going to hit Ctrl+Z to put it back in its original spot, we'll keep moving. Here's a few examples of surfaces, pretty simple. Here's a square flat surface, a rounded surface and here's some that's been trimmed. These also can have control points turned on so you can continue with editing. So you can hit this button again or you could hit F10 which is a great little short-cut.
Finally we've got some solid surfaces. So these are just individual surfaces that have been joined along a shared edge. A lot of people assume that they have to be closed to be qualified as a solid, but that's not the case. So here some closed examples. And these actually qualify as a solid or technically you might call it a poly-surface in this case. And finally we've got some special cases. Instead of having multiple surfaces, these two examples here are just single surfaces but yet somehow they've been deformed or enclosed in some space.
Let's take a look at the multiple entities. Like I mentioned earlier, they can be joined together, so here's a sequence of curves joined together at their end points. You can turn on control points for them as well and continue moving them around. This poly curve is got straight sections and curved sections joined together. Not a problem as long as they share endpoints. We turn the control points, you can see the difference. Coming over to the poly-surface, we've taken that same curve and extruded it upwards. Now, one of the limitations with the poly-surface is you can not turn on control points for multiple surface entities joined together.
If I tried hitting F10, we get kind of a little warning up here, cannot turn the points on. But it's pretty cool, all the different shapes and surfaces and openings that can be joined together, with the key being they share an edge. So these few entities can be said to be the foundation of all Rhino modeling. This 3D tour is critical to the understanding of how all the entities are closely related to each other, and by related I mean you can quickly draw a curve, and then extrude into a surface, and when multiple surfaces then share an edge, they can be joined into a poly-surface or a solid.
Conversely, you can always go backwards at any time and explode a curve into individual segments. Or explode a solid into individual surfaces.
- Why use Rhino?
- Understanding 3D terminology
- Comparing Bézier curves, B-splines, and NURBS objects
- Navigating the viewport
- Manipulating objects with commands
- Creating curves, surfaces, and solids
- Performing basic transformations
- Making solids with primitives
- Extruding curves
- Snapping to objects and planes
- Trimming, splitting, rotating, and copying objects
- Working with NURBS and seams
- Prototyping a 3D model
Skill Level Beginner
Q: Can I use this course if I am running Rhino for Mac?
A: Yes and no. The Mac version is currently in beta, so there are features and commands missing--or just different. In addition, the interface will look quite different from what you will see in this course. There are also fundamental differences in the two operating systems, so accessing commands will also vary. Finally, you will need a two-button mouse, because most commands have right-click options. However, that being said, the majority of the conceptual information will be the same, although the functionality of the application will be quite different. Additionally, it should be mentioned that the 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator 3D controller mentioned in this course will not work with the Mac version of Rhino, only the Windows version.
Q: What can I do if I have a Mac and want to learn Rhino?
Finally, Rhino can also run exceptionally well on older PCs and laptops, even if they are five years old or older. If you have a used computer (or can find one), you can spend a long time learning before you will ever need to upgrade your hardware.
Q: What if I can't afford a retail copy of Rhino? What now?
A: If you are a full- or part-time college student (or work for an educational institution), you qualify for educational software discounts. Rhino retails for almost $1,000, but you can buy a full version for as low as $138 if you are student or educator. To qualify, all they need is a scan of your student ID--or some paperwork like a report card or pay stub.
Finally, you can download a free trial version of the Rhino PC version. Rather than expiring after a certain number of days, the Rhino trial expires after twenty-five saves, which means you can use it for the entire course as long as you avoid saving as you go.