How to fading elements of details in Layout - Transparent Surfaces?

Im looking to fade elements of plan & elevation detail in Layout, to highlight a specific area in a space.

coming from Autocad I’d usually overlay a white fill in the layout and change the transparency to fade the content of the viewport.

I’ve tried something similar in Rhino, by importing a plain white jpeg using ‘Picture’ into the Layout, placing it over the detail then changing the transparency via materials.

It looked like it done the job on screen (Layout in Rendered mode). Then when printing / exporting to PDF, the faded White overlay just plots as pure white and I lose the transparency.

I’d like to be able to do this in the Layout page. Does anyone have any idea how to do this? Am I not doing something right at the printing stage?

Worth noting, All my details are in Arctic mode with clipping planes in each. I tried placing the white overlay in modelspace at the clipping point, it works in a way but id doesn’t fade the cutting edges, which is no good.

Need a fix for this asap!

Many thanks in advance.

BTW, this is Rhino 6 on catalina OS.

This is from another thread.

Somebody suggested a workaround

Right now, to achieve this, I place a clipping plane to section through my model looking the direction I desire, and then I create a vertical surface on its own layer which will be positioned beyond the clipping plane obscuring the contents of the background. Then, in the detail view in Layout, when active, I select that vertical surface and SetObjectDisplayMode to a custom display mode I’ve named ‘faded’, which has a transparency applied to it. Sometimes a single sectional elevation requires multiple vertical surfaces at various distances to achieve this ‘faded background’ approach, and then of course, I have to do this for every elevation, for example, for an entire floor of a home. This ultimately leaves me with a 3D model flooded with a bunch of vertical surfaces.

Try this, make a Plane and change it to use a Custom material in it’s Properties > Material. Then set the transparency of that white material to 50%. Then select the Detail in the Layout and run Export or Print > Save As PDF. Pictures are a unique object type, try a plane and a material instead. This is working here in Rhino 6 on macOS 10.15.7.

Thanks Brian,

I’ve already tried that. A transparent picture or plane w/ material works when I’m in model space and looking through a detail as you’ve described.

What I want is the plane to be in Layout space, essentially layered over the detail on the sheet. As I’m working with clipping planes, layering the transparent planes in modelspace at the clipping plane intersections doesn’t mask the section lines.

If that makes sense…


Hi G -
I haven’t tried what @BrianJ suggested but thought I’d do it differently.
In theory, the following workflow should work fine in Rhino 7:

  • Create a circle (or some other closed curve) on the layout over your detail
  • Create a rectangle along the borders of the detail
  • From these two curves, create a hatch
  • Make that into a gradient hatch and modify the colors and transparency
  • Export to PDF

Where this falls apart:

  • On Windows, you have to print the layout in raster mode - vector doesn’t work and looks like won’t work for the foreseeable future - RH-54857 [since your details are in a shaded mode anyway, that might not matter much to you].
  • In addition, on the Mac, exporting to PDF appears to only output white pages on my system - RH-61083

Testing file and output (Windows) attached.
GradientFade Detail - Mac.3dm (4.0 MB)
GradientFade Detail-raster.pdf (3.8 MB)

This worked here but I may not be doing exactly what you are… post a file and your SystemInfo command results from Rhino 6 if it doesn’t work on your end.