Good NURBS book...?

Afternoon all,

I’ve been getting tired of pulling and pushing polys for hours on end, so I’ve decided to move over to NURBS for car modeling. Can anyone recommend me a good book for NURBS? Or even an online document? I’ll still be using Blender for rendering purposes but the car/s won’t be made in Blender.

EDIT: A lot of the Amazon books seem to be from the dark ages ('96, '97 etc etc)…

Thanks :slight_smile:

there is a free program call AYAM which deals with nurbs
but have not really work a lot with it

good luck

happy bl

AYAM is a neat program, but just a word about it: you can’t import what you make into Blender unless you tesselate it first. The tesselator triangulates your models, which is probably not what you want. You could try Moment of Inspiration, it’s got a pretty low price point.

I don’t know of any good NURBS modeling books that aren’t written specifically for an application. The Mastering Maya books have some VERY helpful sections on NURBS modeling… but you have to be using Maya. I got that book for maybe a couple bucks on Amazon. I suppose if you use an application like MoI instead then you can just port the concepts.

Yeah MOI seems to be in my price range and I’ve heard that developer support is great. I believe it’s kind of based on Rhino, and I guess I could start with YouTube for some lessons!

Indeed, the author is very dedicated and will personally respond to posts on the forums. For accurate shading of models imported from MoI, I recommend to use the modified OBJ importer.

If you are on Windows, go and download the free Design Spark Mechanical which was recently released. It is basically Spaceclaim with stripped out import/export functionality. Very easy to use and powerful, somewhere between MOI and Sketchup in feel. A really nice marriage of direct modelling and parametric modelling.

Personally , I always found MOI frustrating and was hooked on the Spaceclaim trial I had tried out a while ago, but the price was way out of my range. Now that this version is free , this is a great boon to the CG artist who want nurbs modelling as it exports obj files:

can I suggest Maya PLE? Poly NURBS and SDS in one workflow.

Moi is an outstanding and easy software quite capable.

Fusion 360 might also be an idea.

Do you think I could combine this tutorial with MOI? MOI is looking like the option I’m going to go for because of its low price and developer support. I can’t justify £900 software (Rhino) on something that is simply a hobby.

Thanks Zalamander I’ve downloaded that script and put it in my Blender folder. I have a lot to learn about NURBS…

This little beast was created with MoI.

That’s no coincidence. Michael Gibson, the guy who created MoI, also helped develop Rhino. He also developed Sculptura back in the early '90s. Anybody old enough to remember Sculptura? I do.:yes:

I love MoI. NURBS are great for certain things, like airplane wings and fuselages. But there are other situations where pushing polygons would be easier, like the front end of this car by Nanoradian.

Steve S

I actually know the person behind MOI - so if this application is what you want go for it. It also has very strong OBJ export features. Rhino offers a lot more in terms of tools but I feel MOI strikes a very good balance between needed tools and usability.

NURBS is a pretty universal approach, so if you have application A the tools will work for application B as well. I know Maya Alias Automotive and Rhino. Commands are different named or have different dialogs but essentially do the same.

The area I am particularly interested in is how you can combine polygon and NURBS in one workflow. That is why I mentioned Fusion
as it has an SDS module like Blender but can convert the mesh then into NURBS patches as well. In two month the software will include also 3D sketch curves and then will behave more like Rhino. But I think it will not be free at that point anymore.

I also forgot to mention while it is not 100% the same Blender can simulate the NURBS trim tool with booleans. The only thing you will not have are fillets and blends. The new bridge command can however along even edges generate great flows. And the fill tool has a 4 side edge patch tool option now as well.

The math precision of NURBS is hard to beat and till today I did not see one SDS car that would be as even and correct as done with NURBS. But if this is a hobby for you why not trying to make it all in Blender with the tools it has?

The precisions is more needed to manufacturing anway.

I’ve heard that Blender’s NURBS tools are utter crap. Isn’t Fusion 360 Autodesk software? I highly doubt it’s free because it seems they’ll charge whatever they want for software.

I’m wanting to go NURBS because I got tired of Polys, currently it’s a hobby but if I wanted to I could throw a car or two online to sell.

I take it SDS is subdivision surfaces?

So overall what would you suggest? I would like to try NURBS to be fair…

Ok if you really want to learn NURBS and tired of Poly thats a valid point - specifically because when you are after perfection Poly would be incredible harder.

I only mentioned Fusion, I think it will be 20$/month later because it offers a POLY SDS to NURBS mode. So you can start sculpting body parts in Blender and refine the rest with NURBS.

After all this talk however and considering you might want to put models online MOI I think is your best friend.

The NURBS tools are terrific. It offers all you need for body part sketching and most important it is easy and efficient to use.
There is hardly any other free NURBS system that is on the same level of usability!

I am actually a product designer using Blender Alias/Rhino and Fusion. MOI is my to go tool for producing OBJ exports.

And if you want to buy a car tutorial that uses Rhino, go ahead the tools are the same and you will be able to follow it perfectly inside MOI.

Thanks for the advice, I’ve bought and downloaded the AK3D Audi R8 tutorial and I’ll get working on it in MoI. I’m using a 30 day trial at the moment and if the car comes out pretty good then it’s a win! :slight_smile:

This is a very interesting thread.

Unfortunately car modelling requires high end nurbs tools to create the smooth tangencies required between the different surfaces so you don’t end up with creases in your model where there shouldn’t be any. This means you will have to pay more for software that has those tangency tools.

You will find with nurbs modelling that you have to make your object from several surfaces that will all need to blend together to appear seamless when converted to polys for texturing and rendering.

I really like MoI but it is lacking in those tangency tools. It is also lacking in analysis tools like zebra so you can see if your joints in the model is seamless or not.

Having said that though Moi is a really handy piece of software to have in your toolkit that will save you time in some areas of your model. The parts of the car that it can’t do well you can model in blender with polys.

Also consider the workflow where the overall shapes are made with nurbs and then bring into polymodelling software for retopology. I haven’t tried blenders retopology tools but 3d Coats are excellent and he is working on significantly improving his automatic retopology tools.

Moi does not offer G3 surface continuity - however considering that only quite advanced car designers are able to make G3 models I hardly doubt InKontrol will really use that.

MOI offers from G0 to G1 and G2 blend commands!

Edge rounding however goes till G3.

I’ve decided to abandon NURBS for the time being and go back to flouncing polys, which leads me to post this quote:


first of all I’d suggest to change the blender to 3dsmax :wink: But not the newest one, but something like 2010 version.
I know some guys can do nice things in blender, but it’s like driving a bicycle while 3dsmax is a superbike :wink:
they might look simmilar and have quite the same purpose. but you know…

in 3dsmax you would be able to see the topology of my models without the meshsmooth, which can be removed in 3dsmax
That would give you a better idea how it was done"

Basically Blender isn’t good enough for modeling cars, however this car here says otherwise…

Well if people compare two apps the problem is often they are used to a certain workflow and might not know how to efficiently use the other software.

I can tell you as a professional designer Blender is fine and as powerful for modeling as Max or Modo. In the recent time we got some really good modeling improvements and tools.

Check out the car modeling section in CG Cookies:

Plus those:

And there is a guy in Germany that does Blender car models as well.
I for the heck however cannot find his website right now. He modeled many cars in a very good detail level.

So if somebody says again Blender sucks well maybe they did not pay attention to it.

i still use Nurbs surface for 3D surfaces which have a 3D gradients and are very difficult to do with subsurf
that way i keep the tangent continuity smooth everywhere on the 3D surface
then i convert to mesh!

happy bl

there is also this tutorial;

This is a great tutorial but also costs $60.