Sep '04 - Aug '08
Welcome back to Elite Modeling School. If you missed it, day one would be a good place to start. As a reminder, we're not focusing on extreme cases: this tutorial is about optimizing your workflow in rhino and later maybe we'll cover other programs.
In general, the instructions here will be fairly brief. Please download the scripts and give them a whirl; everything covered here will be pretty straightforward. If you have further questions or suggestions to share you can post them in the comments below.
All scripts mentioned below are available here.
Keep it Clean
I am a bit obsessive about having clean geometries in my rhino files. Generally I despise having isocurves turned on for my surfaces unless I'm working with a complex curved geometry.
Left: Three cubes with isocurves turned on. Right: Three cubes as separate objects but isocurves turned off.
This issue can become especially obnoxious when working with booleaned solids because, by default, the faces of the original solids are maintained. This can lead to some confusing extra lines in the viewport and it's why I developed the "cleanBoolean" script. This script will perform a normal boolean union, then select the new unioned solid, and finally run "mergeallfaces" to eliminate extra iso curves. The result: perfect, clean solids.
Left: Three cubes booleaned into one with default boolean command. Right: Results of the cleanboolean script.
One of the biggest pains in my ass last summer was trying to do some general plan layouts for a building with a totally irregular geometry. We had very specific area requirements for each line item in the brief, so controlling general surface distributions was critical.
Rhino's built in "area" command is excellent but it only works for surfaces and closed curves. When you're sketching out a plan it can be quite a pain to convert individual rooms into unique polylines so that you can test their area. Why not test the area of an arbitrary bounded figure regardless of whether it's caught between one curve or multiple? This is exactly what the script "boolArea" accomplishes.
When you run "boolArea" the script will ask you to click inside the areas that you would like to add to your selection. Once you do this and then hit space bar it will report on the combined area.
Left: Separate curves. Right: Arbitrary shape selected
Congratulations, you've passed Elide Modeling School #2!
p.s. If you're not familiar with it, try using the "dot" command. Dots are super useful for labeling program chunks in your model since they always "look" at the active camera.