Best budget rendering add-on?

Curious what everyone uses. “Budget” can also be interpreted as “value” here as well. I would only be using rendering to promote myself. Rhino Render looks pretty cool but I wonder what else is out there for someone that doesn’t want to spend a ton of $$$.

Blender, not an add-on but free and superb rendering capabilities.

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And you just import Rhino your object’s I guess?

It depends on what is considered budget.

D5 render is free
and if you need to access cloud model assets it is $38 per month or $360 per year.

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I would invest in learning cycles in Rhino. The major benefits are many.
It is supported by McNeel
Its use of pbr materials are not render specific so what works in one programs rendering will work in rhino with small changes. Unlike Vray and other engines.
You don’t have to export your model.
It offers many advanced features already.
It is fast.
It’s continues to be developed by McNeel into v8 with features being added.
Did I mention it’s free with Rhino :slightly_smiling_face:
There is also twinmotion which is wonderful to use and it’s also free.
I use vray in max and it’s great but I like the ease of cycles in Rhino. I have to export for animation at some point but up to that point I’ve been using cycles in Rhino or Twinmotion.
I think blender is also a good alternative.


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Yes, mostly with the Import3DM Blender add-on, which for now is limited to importing render meshes though. Or by going the traditional route and exporting to OBJ or some other intermediary format.
For me the UV-mapping workflow and capabilities, as well as the render speed are simply superior in Blender for now (compared to Rhino). You also have two render engines at your disposition. Eevee, which is super fast and less realistic, and Cycles which is a physically based renderer.
I’m not gonna lie, it’s more time consuming than using something like Keyshot or Vray, however you also save a lot of money, don’t get tangled up in yet another subscription, the results are mostly on par with the output of commercial alternatives, and you gain lots of flexibility that the fast-food-renderers have sacrificed for the sake of simplicity and ease of use.

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LOL, strongly depends on your system, even GPU brand, whereas Blender I feel can even render on something like a toaster, like any good free, open-source, “suckless” software should.

I agree, but for me it’s not a finished product yet. It still needs a lot of love, especially on macOS.

It isn’t anymore, at least for commercial use. It costs $500 per license.

SimLab Composer might be an option to look at, they also have a Rhino plugin to transfer your model directly to SimLab Composer from within Rhino. They have multiple editions with increasing capabilities for e.g. simulation, VR, mechanical stuff etc.
Licenses can be perpetual or subscription, your choice.

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Maverick render is another option - not a plugin, but is probably better for it…

They have a Rhino bridge too.

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What do you want to render?
If architecture, you can spend some time learning Datasmith/Dataprep workflow (which is a kind of bridge) then Unreal Engine might be an interesting option. Once you understand how this workflow works then you can very easily re-export and update your scene. It’s free, it’s not an add-on but the connection is getting better.

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Honestly I just want to render basic promotional stuff - So it doesn’t have to look cutting edge but also not look unprofessional. I probably would have been better off asking either for something that’s easy to use, or even hire someone to render for me. Always better to get an idea of what’s out there from actual users. YouTube (and other resources) can be a bit of a Crapshoot.

I can’t speak for Maverick Studio but the SimLab Composer Pro is relatively easy to use after getting a bit acquainted with the user interface. The same probably applies to Maverick Studio.

The advantage of an external render program like these two (and Blender) is that you can combine different 3D sources into a single 3D scene which may not always feasible or possible with your preferred CAD program, though Rhino can import quite a few file formats so it probably does better than average.

If it are occasional renders then it is probably easier to have someone else do it for you, if it happens regularly then I would suggest to get a render program anyway so that you don’t have to depend on someone else('s availability).

That being said… perhaps the easiest, and cheapest with regard to money and time investment, solution might be to stay with Rhino Render, especially if your requirements are relatively modest (i.e. it doesn’t have to be high end but still look good).

Give D5 render a try.

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