Rendering is a process where a 3D software package outputs images. Calculating these images usually takes a lot of time, so here's how to do quick test renders that you will use while setting up lighting and materials.
Ideally, please use the Rhino file you’ve been working on previous Rhino tutorials:
Rhino #1: Scene Organization And View ControlBefore we dive deeper into rendering digital images with Rhino, we need to cover basics of organising the scene successfully.
Rhino #2: Setting Up The ViewsCamera control is one of the essential parts of creating impactful architectural images. Here's a complete guide on how to control the camera and views in Rhino.
Download Rhino Scene: Barcelona Pavillion with defined views. ( 3,9Mb .zip)
Rendering is a process where a 3D software package creates an image out of your model. That model can be photorealistic, or stylized – all depending on parameters that you set, such as lights and material properties.
There are two ways to do that in Rhino:
This is the simplest way to create an image is to capture exactly what you see in view (on screen) – you save exactly what you see in the viewport as an image file.
To capture the view in file, click the view menu and then select Capture > To File.
You will be asked for a file name and location. Let’s save this as a statue_capture.jpg.
If we open that file in Photoshop, we’ll see that the resulting image is not quite big – you will have different image size depending on your screen resolution, tough – in my case it was 918×543 pixels:
If we wanted to print this at 150DPI, the maximum print size we could get would be some:
918 /150 = 6,12 inches (about 15.5cm) width and
543/150 = 3,62 inches (about 9.2cm) height.
This maybe enough for what we need, but very often we’ll need a higher resolution output than what we can get from our screen.
To do this, we need to write down manually the command -ViewCaptureToFile.
Please note that it begins with “-” sign: this will let Rhino know we want additional options.
Important: Never write down width and height manually (although it IS an option) because it can cause some problems with export due to a Rhino bug. Always use Scale instead.Here’s the log of what we’ve done:
Now if we open the new image in Photoshop, we’ll see we exported a much bigger image (exactly 3 times the width and height):
In order to capture the transparent images (with no background, in this case: just lines), when you are browsing for file name and location, select an image file format that supports transparency (for example, PNG) and then check the Transparent Background option:
Then in Photoshop you’ll get a line drawing with transparent background:
Important: If you keep the Transparent Background checked, but then select a file format that doesn’t support transparency, you will get a black image. So now, if you suddenly get black image, you know why. Uncheck the Transparent Background (if you want to use JPG), or use PNG instead.
You can also change how the view looks in the Rhino directly, just look for Display panel.
You can change a lot – let’s try and change the background from the “paper texture” to solid yellow (gold) color, for example:
Play with other options below to see how this affects the display of the model.
View capture is good enough for some cases, but most often we will want to use renderer.
Renderer will perform complex calculations in order to create an image based on your geometry, lights, materials and special effects, and it can take a very long time, depending on complexity of your scene.
We will be using Rhino’s built-in renderer, which is not very good (at all), but it’s good enough to get us started, and make solid images (when we do post-production in Photoshop). If you need a very realistic looking images for professional presentation, you will have to use some rendering plugins, such as VRay, Brazil or Maxwell. There are a lot of more plugins.
Let’s just try and render this view.
Open Render Tools Tab, then click the first icon (Render):
You will get a very basic rendering, similar to this one. You can always click on a disk icon to save the rendered image to file.
So this was quite fast, but the result is not very good. Most of the scene is in the dark, and there is some random shadow coming from default light (default light is active when no other light is present in the scene).
Exactly like it says. Preview (second icon) will render in low resolution giving us much quicker feedback. We usually almost always want to render previews unless we have some special reason to render high resolution image (like for, obviously, final rendering, or to check details).