Sep '04 - Aug '08
Once again, welcome back to Elite Modeling School. We hope you've been following along, otherwise you may want to jump in the time machine. As a reminder, we're not focusing on extreme cases: this tutorial is about optimizing your workflow in Rhino. In fact, this is the last day of Rhino tips (for now, at least) and subsequent days will focus on Illustrator and Photoshop.
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.
So far we've covered important things like optimizing your keyboard usage, some replacements for general commands like DISTANCE, even a little Boolean magic, but now it's time to get frivolous. Let's talk about making Rhino look better. Since we spend too much time staring at the screen anyways, you may as well take just a few minutes to make sure it's easier on the eyes.
The first and most important thing I can mention is that you must take command of your layer colors. Nothing kills me more than seeing a model or drawing in the obnoxious primary colors imported from CAD. This is an offense to the eyes and we're supposed to be a discipline of visual people! (I know that there are some legacy reasons to use default colors but since you're reading a school blog we'll ignore those)
With a little bit of effort spent on picking colors your wireframe model will be much more legible. If your video card is lagging on ghost or shaded modes then switching to wireframe will allow you to work much more quickly. It's also a surefire way to start developing xray vision!
While we're at it, how about inverting the color of the tooltips so that they're white on black.
Oh, great. Inverted tool tips.
And since you're already tinkering with the view options I suggest turning on "single click maximize" which will save you precisely half a second every time you need to switch in or out of the 4-up viewport mode.
I don't know why this is even an option
The final issue on the topic of changing the look of rhino is gradient background mode. When this was first introduced in one of the Service Packs people in the trays at the GSD would turn it on to simulate CATIA. There's a reason why CATIA features a gradient background, however, and that's because it can increase legibility of your model in some cases. I've included a sample here so you can judge for yourself. To turn this on, either run the command "GradientView" or find the "background" option in your appearances settings and specify a "2 Color Gradient" instead of "Use Application Settings".
Look at that horizon effect!
Quick Toon Output
Since this is the last day of Rhino tips and Elite Modeling School will soon be turning its attention to other applications, I figured a good final tip would look at exporting drawings from Rhino. (If you haven't already made yourself familiar with the power of "Section", and "Make2d" this would be the time to do so.)
Oftentimes I find myself wishing that I could beef up a rendering from Rhino with a little more definition in the form of a line work overlay. Luckily, you can render a scene and then use "Make2d" to produce a 2D drawing which may be overlayed on top of the rendering. The problem is that it takes a bit of fidgeting in Photoshop or Illustrator to get the lines scaled so that they fit on top of the rendering and match perfectly.
To ease this process I've provided a script called Viewmaker which will make a create a "viewport boundary" curve and then run Make2D. This means that you can easily scale the viewport boundary curve to match the rendering that you made from the same viewport and it will automatically match perfectly. Follow the images below for a clearer idea of what I'm talking about.
Left: The viewport that we used for a VRay rendering AND the Viewmaker script. Right: Results of the viewmaker script, a make2d drawing with the extents of the viewport framed out.
Rendering straight from VRay for Rhino at a width of 436px.
Results of the Viewmaker script exported as an illustrator file and opened in photoshop at the same dimensions as the rendering (width of 436px). Since the size of these two images are the same and they were produced from the same viewpoint the lines will match the rendering perfectly.
Copy paste the lines on top of the rendering, muck with transparency, and voila! Welcome to the cube.
Congratulations, you've passed Elide Modeling School #3!
Next up I think we'll spend a bit of time focusing on tricks to speed up the retouching of drawings in Illustrator. Please feel free to comment below if you have topics or general areas of concern that you would like to see covered.
p.s. this entry is dedicated to the 1st semester students in Ortega Studio at the GSD, my people!