Feature request - a compositor

I just blathered on for a bit about this in one of the other forums. I will summarize here:

Rhino’s Display Modes offer an incredible opportunity that’s not really available in many other software packages. It could be argued that SketchUp’s display Styles are more advanced currently than Rhino’s but their dimensions and annotations are so primitive as to be useless. I’m working in Cinema right now which has an NPR engine that is world’s beyond Rhino’s Display Modes but Cinema can’t put a dimension on an object. Neither can Max or Maya or modo. Rhino can.

So - feature request. Imagine that Rhino had a very simple compositor, nothing fancy. Put all of your dimensions and text on one layer. Turn the dimension and text layer off and render everything else (whether as a Display Mode or with Neon, or whatever). Save. Then turn the dimensions and text layer on and everything else off and render. Save. Open the compositor and merge the two images with the dimensions layer above the rendering.

Yes, you can do this in photoshop and many other programs but being able to do this natively in Rhino would be a great feature. Send clients drawings of furniture or whatever you make with a handful of dimensions and text labels - all out of one package without having to save out files into another program, going back and forth.

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Hi Arail- you know you can turn dimensions and text on and off in the Rhino renderer post-process controls, right? It is not exactly what you are asking for, I think, but it might help.


Right. But I want to be able to render them separately and then recombine them within Rhino. Render a scene with neon, render the dimensions, use the compositor to create one image - with dimensions, text, labels, a title, whatever.

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Arail, isn’t the post effects ‘annotation on’ feature that Pascal mentioned doing exactly what you want? I don’t use Neon, so maybe Neon doesn’t have this post effects option?

Thanks for the reply.
Yes, but only in a limited fashion. Post effects is controlling one image, allowing you to turn certain functions or effects on or off. A compositor gives you the ability to combine multiple images. Imagine rendering an image in neon, then turning neon off and rendering a wireframe, maybe in color, then blending them in a compositor. That’s the sort of functionality I’m talking about.

I think what you are after is a rendering (or screen capture) that will allow saving to a ‘Photoshop-like / layered format.’ Then, the user can turn each layer off or on as needed. That is available on some render engines and can be awesome.

Currently, V-Ray will already do something similar, but you get separate files. So, you would open each file into the same Photoshop file and then stack them as layers for composting & tweaking.

Correct. I’m using the term ‘compositor’ loosely. Photoshop and Illustrator depend on separate images that are individually manipulated then merged at printing.

Which is why I’m suggesting that Rhino consider itself sort of a Illustrator 3D. There’s another thread going on right now concerning clipping planes and hatches. A lot of the problems being discussed in that thread are problems associated with trying to do it all within one image. But if you could work with separate images - outlines on one layer, hatches on another, raster shading on a separate layer, and so on - a much richer, complex and useful image could be created.

Imagine trying to construct your Illustrator file all on one layer - text, vector lines, raster images, etc. - and you’ll see what I’m getting at. No matter how complex you make your section planes, clipping masks and so forth, you’re still limited if you’re trying to do it all in one layer.

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