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Is Rhino worth learning?

tyth

I am currently in graduate school and have been thinking about expanding my software skillset. I already know Revit and have used it in professional practice in quite advanced level (shared parameters, adaptive components etc.)

Given my Revit proficiency, I was wondering if learning Rhino at this stage would add any value to my CV. On the one hand, many large practices are asking for Rhino & Grasshopper. It seems that this is a programme used a lot for design, as opposed to Revit which is mainly used for documentation. Therefore, I am wondering if knowing Rhino could help me get into a more 'designer' related professional path, as opposed to the technical path associated with Revit use.  Finally, knowing one more software package could make me more versatile. 

I am also curious as to whether there are practices that combine Rhino & Revit, so whether the combination of the two could place me in a desirable position. On the other hand, I can't help but think that learning Rhino very well could only place me in the equivalent '3D Rhino intern' position, as opposed to the 'Revit intern' position that I had before. Essentially, I think that I might already know enough software, so perhaps it is not wise to learn another package. As result, I am thinking about shifting away from 'digital tools' proficiency altogether and spending this time to improve on more core architectural skills instead, like design ability.

I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts on this. 

 
Jan 26, 21 9:47 pm
newguy

yes

Jan 26, 21 9:53 pm  · 
4  · 
Non Sequitur

Learning software is the easiest thing to do in this profession (besides bullshitting) so learn everything you have time for... but in the end, you still need to use those skills in an office setting be that GH scripting or BIM.  

No one uses rhino in my market anyways and I have not touched it since Rhino2 so I can't say much on it... yet every grad lists it, along with revit, with a 10 out 10 skill ranking.  I have not yet met fresh grads with greater than, what I value as, a 4/10 score in revit. So choose how you spend your time wisely depending on the market and job you're targeting. 

As per you last part... while design skills are essential, what is equally, if not more essential, are fucking construction design skills.  Spend time learning how to assemble materials and construction sequencing while working on design if you want to create value for a potential employer.

Jan 26, 21 11:50 pm  · 
1  · 
randomised

rhino is very easy to learn and there are tons of free online resources available to help you get started. since you already know revit a little maybe look into the integration of a rhino-revit workflow and look into dynamo as well, why not, while you’re at it. Or explore some non-autodesk options, since they are pure evil :-)

Jan 27, 21 2:16 am  · 
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Wall-E

Rhino is the best software for design and quick production of data. It essential to learn it in Arch industry, with new Plugins in gh and rhino inside revit, you will benefit a lot. Go for it without doubt

Jan 27, 21 4:02 am  · 
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midlander

rhino is mainstream design software in the large international design firms i've worked at and essential if you want involvement in front end design work. i say this as a principal with 15 years experience who isn't building the models every day but still needs to be able to open things up and figure out what's going on. we very often develop geometries in rhino which get built into the revit model after being figured out.


you can and should continue to develop your design skills concurrent with the software if you don't want to be pigeonholed. being incompetent at basic software isn't going to give you any leg up on other career paths though - it just means you'll get stuck on whatever needs inexperienced labor to get done.


also, rhino is really fun to use and can do fascinating things. one of very few software products that's both useful and easy to learn.

Jan 27, 21 6:08 am  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

I've been wanting to dust off my rhino skills for a while. Not really because I plan on using it in the office (my time and expertise is better spent on CD & CA) but because I know the office's ownership group will hire some flashy GH kid one day and then wonder why what was produced for school did not translate well into real projects.

 · 
midlander

idiots can use rhino to design dumb stuff, but it's also an excellent and very flexible piece of software for serious work. some of the facade consultants i've worked with use it to rationalize the geometry of the facade and develop assembly details.

2  · 
midlander

also i work in a market that involves doing lots of concept stage renderings and studies which are much easier to model well in rhino than revit, just faster and cleaner. when you know only one out of 5 schemes is going to move forward and get worked out it's a waste to put more than the minimum effort into generating study models. rhino is good for that (sketchup too, but more limited in use)

2  · 
tyth

@midlander, are you referring to massing studies involving intricate geometry that Revit couldn't handle? I am curious as to what your market is. High-rise, sports facilities?


 · 
midlander

high rise towers, mostly but sometimes transportation facilities. it's the combination of modeling complicated geometry quickly and integrating fairly detailed patterns and decorative ideas to do facade studies even when very basic design parameters haven't been fixed that makes it useful. i'd hesitate to say revit can't model them, but i have no idea how you would model it in revit starting from a blank file - you need to have a framework to organize the work in revit. it takes extra steps which aren't necessary until the design is settled and ready to start documenting.

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tyth

When you do SD on high rise do you use energy modelling tools like Ladybug or do you deem that this is not necessary like archanonymous suggested below?

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midlander

like archanonymous we've never used them - the mep consultants do the energy modeling using specialized software. sometimes we do vegetables crude daylighting analyses of interior spaces and sunlight studies on facades. tbh they aren't influential on the design because no one knows what to make of the information nor how reliably it will relate to the real conditions. when done it's usually just to decorate a report and give the impression the design achieves some hypothetical optimum of performance. i prefer to omit these kind of bs studies from my reports - no clients have ever had anything to say about them anyway.

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midlander

*vegetables = very

 · 
midlander

i would never consider being able to do this modeling a useful skill for a young designer because noone on the team knows how to use the information generated, or what should be targeted for a given project. when i've seen it done it was usually on a revit model using third party software - i don't know what one.

 · 

We are a small office, usually around 10 people. We use rhino and recently switched from acad to revit because we are working on larger projects in Europe. So far I find that Revit is not good for developing designs, though that may change. Cant imagine using Revit to design anything ever.

That said, we would not care so much if you couldn't use Rhino and we wanted to hire you for other reasons. It takes almost no time to learn. Grasshopper is something we do look for and consider a plus, all other things being equal. It is such a useful tool.

With the new Rhino integration with Revit I get the impression this is how they are going to overcome its lack of flexibility. So you may need to learn it anyway.

For what it is worth, on the academic side, my students in Japan all use rhino and Autocad still. Then learn Revit in larger offices if that is the direction they go. In Canada my students are mostly native users of both revit and rhino. I haven't met anyone yet who cant use both. You probably wont be competing with them for work, but it does seem to be the new standard.


Jan 27, 21 9:44 am  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

I’m very curious about rhino to revit workflow. I need to make time to explore it. I can do DD in revit just fine but not SD, and even then, nothing DD makes it into the tonal Bim file anyways so it’s really not worth the effort.

 · 
archanonymous

Rhino 7 was just released with "Rhino Inside" which lets you run an instance of Rhino INSIDE of Revit for easier interoperability. It's pretty great.

2  · 
tyth

Learning about Rhino Inside was what actually triggered me to start this thread.

 · 
midlander

i haven't used rhino inside yet, very interested to learn more about it too.

 · 
Non Sequitur

I wont confirm it, but I might have just spent the last hour reading into RInside and building a case for office purchase of R7. Will install trial and run real tests over the next few weeks to see if it will work with our office workflow.

 · 

would love to know how it works for you. It feels like it is still a bit beta version, but that is only my ignorance speaking.

1  · 
tyth

@Non Sequitur, what type and phase of work do you plan to use Rhino for?

 · 
archanonymous

@ Will. Definitely still "in progress" but much better than trading geometry via .DWG (though I still do that a lot honestly) or even Proving Ground Conveyor. I think it will improve over time as well - McNeel tends to improve their products whilst Autodesk improves their profits.

2  · 
tyth

@Archanonymous would you mind sharing with us what kind of firm and what project type you have used Rhino in?


 · 
Non Sequitur

I'll keep this in mind Will. 

Tyth, my pov for Rhino is primarily SD to early DD. Our office's goal is to eventually move as many phases of a project into Revit but most of the senior staff here who make design decisions prefer over the shoulder watch while the junior models type exercise... so I'm looking for something that can function in a quick and dirty way like sketchup but is more powerful. Bonus is the ability to model custom one-off-shapes and intergrade into CD or CA type work too.

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tyth

@Non Sequitur, do you also work on high-rise like midlander? How are you hoping to integrate Rhino into CD or CA?

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Non Sequitur

I do high-rise commercial but has no plans to use rhino in that respect. Revit is well adapted for that. I’m looking at rhino as a SD replacement with upside that custom items, like trims, reveals, cladding conditions, can be modeled seamlessly into the revit model.

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archanonymous

@tyth - I've worked at every type of firm you can imagine small to large, average to great, and used Rhino at every one of them. Been using it continually since Rhino version 3 in school. Current though is "starchitect" education, civic, museum projects, all phases through CA.

 · 
sameolddoctor

Revit sucks ass for design. If one's on the production side its OK.

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archanonymous

Rhino is de rigueur in the professional world, even up to 10-15 years experience if you are a generalist or the least interested in geometry. 

From early massing and concept ideas to SD development, detailed design in DD, and checking intersections, conditions, and detailing in CD. I've used it to mass buildings, develop facade patterning, do renderings, work out material intersections and structural framing systems, analyze slopes and ramps, and check shop drawing in CA. There is literally no limit to the software, especially with all the open source plugins. 

It is no replacement for a keen eye and developed ability to hand sketch, but neither is hand sketching a substitute for Rhino. 

Jan 27, 21 10:16 am  · 
2  · 
tyth

I can imagine that running clash detection (if that's what you mean with intersections) and detailing is more practical to do in Revit. I believe that Rhino & Enscape would be a good combination for massing studies. I am wondering how smooth and thorough the early environmental analysis would be in Rhino compared to Revit. Have you had any experience in this?

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archanonymous

Not clash detection.... material intersections, detailing, and integration of lighting/ coves/ diffusers into complex or other non-standard geometry. 


 Maybe some people here have had better experiences with engineers, but "clash detection" is not a helpful thing during design or documentation at my office because the engineering disciplines don't have the expertise needed to model their ducts and piping in the correct real-world location, unless your building is a dumb box. Clash detection is sometimes useful in CA when the contractor has a navis model that the design-build MEP contractors are referencing their shop-drawing level fabrication model into. Again, that's pretty rare.

2  · 
tyth

According to this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bskTiUdHxW0) Rhino 7 has clash detection, however I am confused as to whether consultants would also need to model MEP in Rhino, as that is likely to be even more rare.

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archanonymous

Doesn't matter what software you use, clash detection is worthless if your entire consultant team isn't precise. They rarely are.

 · 
tyth

I really just learned about Rhino Inside which allows integration with Revit and that's what triggered me to create the thread.

Does anyone have experience using the Ladybug tools for energy modelling? How does it compare with what Autodesk has to offer?

Jan 27, 21 10:28 am  · 
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archanonymous

I've never used any of the Autodesk energy modeling tools. 


Ladybug is great as a helpful decision-making and early modeling tool. More precise and technical modeling tools become more useful later in the design process, and usually we hire specialists for that, or MEP/ Enclosure consultants provide the service. 

 Still, ladybug rarely tells you something you wouldn't know via a decade of practice and a careful reading of Sun, Wind, and Light.

 · 
tyth

Do you need to have advanced GH knowledge to be able to use the Ladybug tools? According to your experience how intuitive or simple to use are they?

 · 
archanonymous

No, just basic Grasshopper abilities. It is more intuitive than other energy sim dashboards I have seen.

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Yes.

Jan 27, 21 4:04 pm  · 
1  · 
flatroof

No.

Jan 27, 21 4:14 pm  · 
1  · 
tyth

I am resurrecting this thread as I have had further thoughts on this.

My understanding is that computational design is a tool, which is used in design or production. Therefore, we have Dynamo for Revit and then Grasshopper for Rhino. Given that Revit is mainly a production tool, I would say Dynamo is the 'production' computation tool, whereas Grasshopper is the 'designer' computational tool.

Would someone be able to transition from production tasks to design tasks largely on the basis of good knowledge of computational tools? In short, to what extend do the tools someone uses inform their career path?

This may seem like a simplistic question, however I have met people who just refuse to learn Revit entirely, in order to avoid the technical architect/production pigeonhole. Reversely, if one is more adept in tools primarily used for front end design (and assuming they have a decent portfolio), do they stand a better chance of breaking into entry level design roles, which can determine the following phases of their career?

All this within the context of working at large firms.

Feb 24, 21 6:42 pm  · 
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midlander

i started my career with no special software skills, grew into a PA role focused, and later shifted into a concept and planning design role. i did need to spend some time catching up on software skills to make the change, but ultimately the opportunity depends more on design skills and the ability to present a strong idea. software is learnable and always comes second to the basic design skills you possess and interests you follow.

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midlander

no one really gets pigeonholed and it would be silly to organize your start in the career on the false assumption that the direction you begin with determines everything. if you want to focus on design, be good at designing spaces and presenting an idea. the software won't really matter and if your office needs you to learn something to fit into the workflow you'll have the chance to learn it, as long as you have a good design sensibility and solid teamwork skills. those last two are by far the most important, but you can't quantify them on a resume.

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midlander

that said, if you think you want to lead in design, definitely learn software that you enjoy using enough to support developing your ideas. in large firms the workflow will probably shift through every software suite according to the needs of different clients and preferences of the team.

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