I am interested in making 3d surface patterns. I have seen Armadillo. Has panelingTools made Armadillo obsolete? How do they compare? Is there a compelling reason to spend $165 for Armadillo when panelingTools is FREE? Also, how do the learning curves for these two products compare?

Right now I am enjoying Filter Forge 5, for textures in KeyShot 6, however, I'd like to be able to beef-up my Rhino5 skills with Armadillo or PanelingTools - neither of which I'm familiar with.

Just recently downloaded Grasshopper. I've been using ARRAY in Rhino... 

Apart from that - the panelingTools video clips are not of much use to me, because I'm in China - and everything internet is blocked or terribly slow - so the easier the learning curve - the better.

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Hi fractionalist,

I suppose some tools overlap or have their strength. Also some people prefer certain workflow. I have not used Armadillo for a while and I think PanelingTools & Armadillo came out about the same time.

As for the documentation, you might enjoy the PT manual. It is very detailed. Let me know if you cannot access it. I can email it directly to you.

http://wiki.mcneel.com/_media/labs/panelingtools.pdf

If you can access the PT course, then this is very comprehensive and you should get pretty good idea about what PT does and how to use it. 

https://vimeopro.com/rhino/panelingtools-webinar-course/video/11850...

Thank you for the links and the speedy response.

The clips are helpful, and so is the PDF, however, the Armadillo clips are DOWNLOADABLE which is terrific in China - with the Great Chinese Firewall and SLOW internet connection - watching foreign clips is prohibitive.

MAIN DIFFERENCES QUESTIONS:

1) Armadillo can do much more e.g. lofting multiple profiles with parametric transforms, arraying objects on many paths, however, PanelingToolz doesn't support polysurface operations in Rhino...

YES OR NO?

2) Armadillo is semi-parametric - you can adjust things on the fly with preview. Once the solution is generated, you can still replace / adjust panels.

DOESN'T PANELING TOOLZ DO THIS?

3) Armadillo is designed for active design projects - so - it's  smoother and user-friendlier.

IS IT REALLY?

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