I can't believe I'm saying this, but... (RE: Rhino/Alias)

I’m actually starting to love Alias!
I’ve had only 4 classes in Alias so far (each lasting around 3 hours, including a 30-minute break), and we’ve already finished designing a very basic helicopter (just to get used to the surface creation and surface fillet tools) and are on our way to designing our first car.
We aren’t playing around with primitives; we’re doing full-on class-A surfacing, with special emphasis on creating surfaces with as few spans as possible.
And I have absolutely NO problem with the interface, or in using the marking menus; infact, I LOVE THEM!

Don’t get me wrong: Rhino will always be my first and true love.
It was the very first graphics/CAD app I had ever tried (even before PhotoShop/Illustrator); and I’m extremely proficient at it.
And there are SOOOOO many things that I can do Rhino that I can’t quite imagine doing in Alias (even if I were extremely proficient at it as well), or even anything else for that matter (except for maybe CATIA; but I’m still trying to learn it).
Heck, I still love doing all my line-work of my drawings in Rhino than in Illustrator; and I still use Rhino to do all my solid-modelling before exporting to SolidWorks.
And who in their right mind can forget about T-Splines?!

But Rhino is lacking in a lot of areas (e.g. marking menus, functional ‘Record History’ on the BlendCrv and the surface matching commands, etc.).
I even tried to get the developers to implement the new selection filters in V5 into a menu that can called up with the middle-mouse button, so it would approximate Alias’s marking menus; but they seem to heading the development of V5 in a very disjointed manner (two different tabbing systems that aren’t quite compatible with each other, etc. etc.)

Plus, I hate how it’s such a struggle at getting single-span transitional surfaces with continuity.
That’s my biggest beef with Rhino, really.
Every time I use the BlendSrf command I get a surface with a totally-bonkers layout of isoparms…something that almost never happens in Alias.

From Rhino to Alias:

It so great to read how happy you are learning that fantastic piece of software. Please, try to play whit these: Alias + Maxwell Render (MR for rendering).

Thanks for sharing your happiness.

Happy CV picking! & gorgeous surfacing!!


How does MR compare to V-Ray?

Because I have V-Ray for both Rhino and Maya, and I’m somewhat adept at rendering with V-Ray.

Check this link


Most of the work is done in Alias + Maxwell Render.

These are examples of Maxwell from a 3d Viz Agency


I divide the 3d in 2 fields:

  • Those apps that try to “imitate” light.
  • Those apps that try to “replicate” light.

Those apps that try to imitate light are faster to generate an image, but they’re so time consuming getting the configuration done. Like V-Ray. Maybe you can get an image in 3 hours, but maybe you have been for 8 hours calibrating the scene, lights, the mood, etc. A lot of time doin’ these can prove your patience.

Those apps that try to replicate the light are physically based, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time messing with the config or expanding roll-outs searching for wide-range values. The most of the time using Maxwell Render is dedicated to get the right mapping with the right textures with the mood you are searching for. You spend little time in the scene set-up and more time in “the artist side of the CG”.

I started in 3d in v-ray, but i get bored calibrating the scene set-up: a lot of hours and values to calibrate, another back & forth process. I switched to Maxwell because the most of the lightning is already established, so i can spent time sketching!! drawing or doin’ other “design things”.

In MR the time of rendering is much longer, at least 2 or 3 longer than in v-ray (in some times the rendering times are equivalent); but you get a lot of much more accurate results without using a lot therms and roll -outs and saving time.

These is another new software, is also like maxwell render, but faster because it uses GPU computing and you are limited to the amount of memory in your GPU.


Have to say that with maxwell render I can put data and render an image that requires 2 times of RAM if V-Ray where used.

Why don’t you give a try to Maxwell Render? You can download a trial from it’s main web-page. Just “google it” and you will get the official download link.

PD: Love to grow Maxwell Render Material Library, the GUI is great…

@IDontActuallyExist, as an Alias users from back in the SGI days as well as a Rhino user (with some T-splines on top), I put this out there…try Modo. The fact that you can actually make your own tools based upon existing tools just puts it’s into a category unto itself. That and it has a kick azz internal render, animation, and modeling.

It’s hit a sweet spot, IMO, that hit’s right between CG and visualization and CAD. Then again, it really just depends on what you want to model.

We have to consider what’s the path to follow:

Car Design?
Product Design / Industrial Design?
Concept Design / Illustration?

I wonder if Alias will develop down the path Rhino is going… or seamed to be going there for a while. Solids. Alias has the most powerful tools.

Have you tried to maintain construction history or do you brake it right away?

To the OP: what classes are you taking, and where?