#59: SHADOWS & LIGHT (Vue)
#58: ADVANCED DIRT MAPPING (Vue)
#57: SSS IN VUE 9, AND THE "SPECKLE" PROBLEM
#56: THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL OF ART
#55: FIXING POSER CLOTHING
#54: MAKING "FOREST WAR - GOBLIN SHAMAN"
#53: MAKING A STUDIO RENDER FOR VUE
(and other apps)
#49: NEBULA MKIII (Vue)
#48: RENDER SETTINGS FOR VUE (Vue)
#47: POSTWORK - MAKING A RENDER INTENSE (Any)
#46: MAKING RIVERS THAT FOLLOW TERRAIN HEIGHTS (Vue or Bryce)

RHINO TUTORIAL #1

USING RHINO TO BUILD THE RAILING OF A SAILING SHIP

This is a basic tutorial on Rhino, explaining some simple functions and tips to help you :)
The goal is to make a curved, rounded-edged railing that you could see on a sailing ship, or old fashioned wooden constructions from forts, bars, fantasy work etc.

Basic rules when using Rhino:

A) Make a new layer for every major part of a project such as "Hull" for a ship's hull; "walls" for a castle; ""windows" for a car etc. This helps keep the work space easily managable, as you can hide layers you don't need to see.

B) Always make a copy of every major part and curve of an item as you build it, especially before booleaning, splitting etc. Copy, Paste and Hide this spare. In event of a problem, you can go back to the copy

C) When starting a new project, open a NEW file in Rhino so you make sure to select the right scale for your project, saves lot of hassles if you've chosen "Metres" instead of accidentally building in "feet" ;) Also, set the "grid snap" (In "Document Properties") to what you need for the project, such as "0.1" feet. Beware of using weird grid snap sizes, such as "0.23 feet", because it's easy to mess up doing that, rather than stick to clean decimals or basic fractions.

BASIC GOLDEN RULES OF RHINO ;)

#1
  The basic goal is to make a railing, starting with a curve used to describe it's shape around the deck, You use "Solid-->Extrude Planar Curve" to make this into a solid object, which I'll will then cut the center out of, to form the railing. To make the inner cutting part, use "Curve--Offset curve" and pick a suitable distance inside the rail curve, use this new curve and again, "Solid--> Extrude planar curve". We'll use this to "boolean" the rail (booleans are when you add, remove or blend shapes or curves out of each other).

  Important tips about booleans, they can refuse to work at times, if one object doesn't poke through the other, i.e. if surfaces are flush against each other, rather than entering, they can fail. Also note than in Rhino you can't boolean a simple surface out of another surface if they don't overlap or touch. For example, say you wanted to make a glass sphere, with 1 inch thick walls, you can't just boolean out a sphere from within a sphere. What you need to do is add some object, or scale a part so it pokes through the other, such as a thin cylidner boolean-Unioned into the inner sphere, this new soild can then boolean out the outer sphere. I know it's odd but it makes sense because spheres, cubes and the like are simple promitives in Rhino ;) Anyway in our railing I made the inner cutting object slightly taller than the surround, to help make sure the boolean works.

#1

#2
This is going to be the top part of a rail around a ship, comprising railing, posts that support it, and panels between them. Since the railing is only meant to be, say 6 inches square, I scale the railing in one direction to make it thinner. Then I "Fillet" the edges around the top. Filleting smooths corners, and real wooden rails folk use don't have sharp edges much (unless you like getting hurt by splinters, lol)

Yes I cheated, I scaled the object THEN filleted it, to keep the fillets in proper scale, as if I filleted, then scaled, they'd have gotten squashed. I screwed up in the #2 picture. So, what did you expect, Picasso? ;)

#2

#3
  Always check fillets are ok, sometimes they fail and leave gaps or holes (these can be filled in using the "Patch" or other commands). very sharp corners fail more than others. Rounded corners, where you've built the corner using an arc or filleted curve, have less problems with this because they don't have a sharp harsh angle, but have many control points and area to work with, which makes things work better. Usually fillets work fine though.
#3

#4
  
I'm going to split the railing into evenly spaced pieces, because I plan on making this into a 3d model for rendering, and it's easier to assing textures to multiple items, nealty, rather than one stretched out railing that will stretch out a texture hugely and look unrealistic. It also looks more realistic since railings are not one enormous piece of wood curved right round the bloody ship, hehe!
  To split it evenly, I made a basic surface to use as a cutting object, using "Surface--->Plane-->Corner to Corner" it has to be big enough to cut, but not so big it will overlap through the railing when duplicated. Then I used "Transform-->Array-->Along Curve" and selected the starting curve I began with. I chose 12 repeats. If you're modelling for art rather than engineering, it's good to use easy to remember numbers for such things, so later on, when, as in this project, I'm going to making support posts to match the railings. Twelve splits, and 12 supports will work nicely.
  A nice thing about Rhino is you can add notes about such things to remind yourself later on what you did or plan! Use the command "Notes", and you can add info and reminders (bloody handy if you're a forgetful twit like me!)
#4

#5
  Now I've got 12 neatly spaced surfaces, and I use these to split the rail using the "Split" command.
   Tip: don't try and select and do a lots of splits or booleans at the same time, as it can slow to a crawl or even fail, better to do 2 at a time or so unless the objects are very simple like a surface.
#5
 

#6
  There's a problem, in the display, one of the items looks weird, it's surfaces only show from the opposite side. This is because the surface UVs, the "Normals", are inverted. For non-art-nerds, this means the objects outer skin is one sided (which is the way most 3d art works), but it's surface is on the wrong side, like a shirt that's got turned inside out and is invisible from the outside.
  There's several ways to fix this, but int his case I used the "Explode" command, to break that railing pieces into all it's individual surfaces, and then used "Join" to fix them all together, and make Rhino re-calculate it's surfaces, and it fixs the UV problem!
  Always beware of inverted normals in any modelling program. In Rhino the "Dir" command will show the direction the surface "normals", if it points inwards (wrongly), use the "Flip" option inside the Dir command line to fix this.
#6

#7
  Now I've got 12 railings, however, they are "surfaces" they are not true solid objects, they are just curved tubes in effect. This isn't a big deal, as they will export and render just fine. However, if I want to show the railings are solid, say, damaged, moved etc, I need to close the gaps in the ends, becaus they have open holes at the ends. It's easy to do, just use the "Solid---Cap Planar Holes" command.
  By the way, capping those objects will add more polygons: for art rendering, it's always a choice between how many polygons you'd like, and think you can afford to put into a scene, so it's up to your choice in such matters.
#7
#8

Have fun with Rhino, more tuorials to follow I hope :)
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All original art, writing on this site, copyright of Steven James, "Silverblade the Enchanter" ©2012