View Full Version : Rhino is to nurbs as ....... is to polys

07 July 2004, 06:08 AM
Hi, lately I have been doing research on what technology is available to modellers. I split modelling into 2 categories, Nurbs and polys. After exploring the web on nurbs programs it seems Rhino and Studio tools seem to be the leaders and animation software like xsi, max, maya ect has nurbs support but the tools aren't fully implemented. So it seems if your serious about nurbs modelling it would be wise to use a program designed specificaly designed for it.

Now, with poly modelling, i cant seem to find any clear cut winners. I mean, all the animation soft seems to have adequate poly tools, some better than others but I won't go into that. What I would like to know, is there any sofware availabe that is specifically designed for poly modelling or is it best just to stick with the tools in your animation software?
Does anyone know about programs like Mirai and Nendo?
I would like to hear your thoughts :)
Thanks :thumbsup:

07 July 2004, 11:00 AM
hi if you search for a programm only for modelling with polys


are good tools for this. Besides wings is freeware and silo is very cheap.
And for the question about mirai and nedo wings is very simluar to this apps.

Rabid pitbull
07 July 2004, 04:54 PM
Get your fire extiguishers ready this looks like flame bait........:twisted:

07 July 2004, 01:38 AM
I thought it might go that way to but its been here for days with no response. :shrug:

Thanks for the links Theht :)

07 July 2004, 01:06 PM
i don't know about nurbs but in poly modelling, there a many ways to achieve a result and every method requires a somewhat different set of tools. the major packages feature different toolsets for poly modelling, so it all depends on the way you prefer to work on poly models. most of the time you won't be able to really duplicate a modelling workflow when going from one app to another.

mirai is the only animation package that i know of that's designed specifically with polys in mind. it is impressive (not only) as a poly modeler but it also has it's limitations and workflow quirks. still, i'd consider it superior to nendo/wings in modelling.

personally the tool i'd prefer to create polymodels with is 3ds max because it features a nice blend of mirai-ish box-modelling tools and the more conventional mesh editing tools like they are common in most of the major packages. all packed into a somewhat conventional but comfortable and customizable UI (mirai's UI doesn't let you customize it, nor assign your own hotkeys, for example), thus gives one a lot more options for modelling that you would have for example in mirai, and also, for those already familiar with one or more major packages, it's not that much of a learning curve - as opposed to mirai, which is quite a different beast.
i've looked at other apps (maya, lightwave, softimage) to find out if their poy tools suit me better but found quite the opposite. never tried out silo, though.

07 July 2004, 07:44 PM
I am holding my fingers crossed that C4D v9 will deliver up the goods which will allow me to work under one hood... ;) :)

In the mean time, Wings3D, and Silo, are very good choices... :)

07 July 2004, 09:31 PM
I'm kinda looking at modelling technology myself. Most modellers seem to do very well with organic models, the problem i always run into though is with mechanical models. Cars, planes, boats, buildings etc. Each one i check seems to have one major limitation that really makes mechanical modelling difficult, ie. XSI and lack of a robust spline toolset, lightwaves lack of edges, etc.

I have the impression that maybe since nurbs is what the designers seem to use to actually design these machines in the first place that this would be the way to go? In other words take a look at maybe rhino? I've tried the demo in the past VERY briefly but it always seemed so obtuse to me. Just loading a reference image seemed to be a royal pain, let alone lining them up. Anyhow would a nurbs modeller be the best choice? Max's splines seem to be very attractive along with surface tools as it seems to be the best of both worlds in a way.

07 July 2004, 10:16 PM
For NURBS, Rhino is so easy once you've ventured a little and got your hands dirty, and this is after playing with the evaluation version. However, lately I've seen some amazing polygon / subD industrial design models . . .

07 July 2004, 03:45 AM
so if one would use nurbs to create mechanical objects - what are the options when trying to import them into packages that lack (or only have rudimentary) support for nurbs? can you convert a nurbs model into a subd-cage from within the modelling application (say: rhino, studiotools)?

07 July 2004, 05:27 PM
btw, how does rhino compare to studio tools?

07 July 2004, 06:07 PM
I've personally never seen NURBS -> subD's. Rhino effortless converts to polygons with quite detailed control panel. Other apps easily import the Polygons, but then the surfaces are "hardcoded" and you'll have to further edit them in polygon mode or try to convert to subD's, but that would be possibly looking for trouble since you'll already have quite a high poly count on your surfaces.

07 July 2004, 07:02 PM
yes, that's what i imagined. i do have some dated (and not so good) experience in converting nurbs->polys in soft3d and it never spit out something that was instantly usable as a control cage but instead required a shitload of tweaking and surface cleanup.

as for rhino vs. studiotools: my guess would be that studiotools is a complete package for sketching, modeling, animating, rendering (afaik derived from the old power animator product, which was the predecessor to maya) and therefore much more complex to learn. also, it's known to be very very expensive.

i did try out rhino back in the days of the first public beta test releases but at that point didn't quite get the hang of nurbs and forgot about that product for nearly half a decade.
would be interesting to take a look nowadays.

07 July 2004, 07:23 PM
I can personally recommend Rhino. Price is right. They are developing some amazing sideline plugins for it. Plugin architecture allows 3rd party goodies to enhance your workflow. Recent news is the Brazil renderer ( ( is being integrated into Rhino for amazing render quality. Rhino also supports quite a number of import / export formats. Workflow is really really easy once you get going - very logical. GUI viewports are really quick and responsive. The tools are there for quick modeling (precise like a nut or a bolt, or freestyle like organically flowing jewelry design) or really complex stuff like car and boat design. It has good layer management. Good context sensitive online help. Too much to mention really.

Why not download the Rhino evaluation version and give it a decent spin? Tackle a small tutorial or model something simple like a nut.

07 July 2004, 07:45 PM
Over the last 2 years, Rhino's star has really been shining brighter through various high profile projects which it has been used for :

07 July 2004, 09:46 PM
Just got the latest Rhino news letter concerning Siggraph :

See Rhino 4.0 technology at:

SIGGRAPH 2004 (, Booth 2220
August 10-12, Los Angeles

Tell us what you need

We will be showing NEW Rhino 4.0 technology prototypes including history, features, G-Infinity blending, mesh tools, and unconstrained free-form deformation.

Also, there are many new third-party embedded applications including haptic modeling (, reverse engineering (, terrain modeling (, advanced solids modeling (, direct rapid prototyping, CAM (, WireEDM (, Bongo ( keyframe animation, Flamingo 2.0 ( rendering, and Brazil ( rendering.

We are in the early feature development phase. The technology is working. This is the best time for your feedback to shape the next Rhino release.

07 July 2004, 04:00 AM
When you convert your nurbs model in rhino to makes a HUGE file! I keep hearing people talking about getting there model started in rhino, than exporting it into Wings3d(free program) than mirroring it and doing most of the work in that. Wings is supposed to be real good for subdivisions and poly modeling. That's what I've been reading so far. I have Wings, but have no clue about poly modeling.

The Rhino forum on Renderosity has a great thread filled with suggestions for the next rhino. Do a search or ask for it.

Does anybody have any idea on when the next rhino will be do out, especially being that it seems they have a long way to go being that 3 is still relatively new.

07 July 2004, 08:48 AM
It all depends on your project requirements. If you're doing a low poly projects (like game stuff), then the early export to Wings3D sounds fair. However, then you're in the poly realm and no more NURBS tools to help you. If you're doing high-end product vizualizations for commercials, like I am, then generating 1.6 million polygons for a 3D sequence is normal. The high poly count really pays off on screen. I use Lightwave Modeler to create a 5% low poly version for animation and lighting setup, then render after doing high poly object replacement. Results are excellent. As I say - depends on your requirements.

Rhino 3 has been around for at least a year. No idea when Rhino 4 is due. Check their upgrade policy for late purchasers (of v3) to see if you can go free from 3 to 4.

07 July 2004, 10:37 AM
Ill take a look at the policy.

I just started wings a little while ago, so I can't say much about the low poly thing.

question: When I export a model out of rhino into poser, the model will usually have something wrong with it; half the model missing-------parts being shaped differently..........errr...........any suggestions??

do you think lightwave would be far better than wings when doing high poly modeling..or is it pretty much just the same?

07 July 2004, 12:19 AM
Rhino's great,

I'm glad that It is doing so well lately.
it deserves even wider acceptance,

the interface is SO straight forward, and makes such highend features seem like
childs play, and seem like something that "should have been there from the start" in many packages.

Dunno what its equivalent in polys is though..

07 July 2004, 01:07 AM
do you think lightwave would be far better than wings when doing high poly modeling..or is it pretty much just the same?
no, I think that Wings is realy good for gaining the boxy form and such, and then Zbrush 2 to do the high poly detailing, is a very cool approach, and then exporting to your fav big app for the rest of the show :D

Having said this, I am ok with the wings creation to ZBrush2, but really need some more practice in order to gain the ZBrush to C4D route... lol... but I have seen some pretty cool stuff done by those much more adept with this methodology than myself, and thus I am pretty stoked about learning more in order to accomplish same :D

08 August 2004, 12:14 AM
for a 100 bucks it dont get better then SILO
and just check out some of the things they are working on for their future releases

but if you want free check out wing3d

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