Learning to use Rhino materials

I’ve been bumbling around with rhino materials for a good long while now, and while I can make things look ok, tbqh it feels like I’m missing something important with respect to workflow because the way it works simply doesn’t make any sense to me.

Is there a good resource for learning how to use rhino materials?

It would be useful if you explained how things aren’t making sense to you. What are you expecting, what are you getting instead?

I want to be able to make a personal and corporate library of preferred materials in preferred colors, make them render beautifully in real-time, and know they’ll look the same on my collaborator’s screens.

How do I use environments to make everything look realistic?

How do I customize those?

How do I make it easy for the people designing graphics and colorways to experiment with materials and textures and finishes?


Bumping this because apparently nobody uses Rhino materials? Is there any good tutorial on Rendering in Rhino that will teach me at least how to get a more realistic real-time render?


I use them :slight_smile:

Here’s a webinar I did on Tuesday which was recorded that might help you…

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Omg thank you!

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Hi @BrianJ I wanted to say thanks again, I watched the video yesterday and understood most of it, and I’m finally getting some very nice renders. Both real-time and raytraced. The environment was the big piece that I was missing before, makes a lot of sense if you think about it. I never would have discovered the denoiser (or the package manager at all) without watching this. It was very helpful to see how you interacted with the UI also.

Can you please link me to any good resources to teach myself about the various texture mapping methods and rules of thumb about when to use each?

Hi, it’s me again :slight_smile:

I’m modeling snow goggles, and most of the lenses have this iridescent finish that changes color and/or reflectivity based on the viewing angle. I can see how to fake it, and for example the burnished metals are a pretty good start, but how would you approach this problem of almost holographic(?) finishes?

This would also go for automotive finishes that are green from one angle and orange from another, for example.

I’d be really interested to see your before and after renderings…I’m very interested in knowing why the canned defaults were not working for you.

Irridecence is typically something you get in much more powerful renderers

I think it’s a combination of things, actually. One is that I’ve used Rhino since the 90s, and have only dived into tutorials this year. Another is that I was using Auxpecker materials for a long time, I probably got some weird render settings involved, I’ve been using the same starting template file for 12 years that never included an environment or a sun for example, carrying settings forward through several version of Rhino, basically a whole host of things. Like I never even bothered to ray-trace because it would always always always look worse than a screenshot, and it would change around all the colors.

Btw my co-worker was bringing things into Blender to render, so apparently it’s not just me. Let me render up an old project I worked on real quick, before and after.


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@hanscad You’re welcome, here’s a link to some other rendering and texture mapping tutorials that may help.

An iridescent type look that changes based on the view might be possible with the PBR material but I think it would require an angular based texture type. I believe there was one before but that may have been part of the Brazil plugin that I’m remembering. If I come up with anything useful, I’ll post it :slight_smile:

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i’d just cheat and color map an image with the effect you want on the lens surface.

If you needed it to appear transparent, I’d do a second rendering with out the lens, and then composite them together with a multiply layer in photoshop.

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Hopefully with v8 we can give access to the node system so you could create a custom material.


I think this is a good and practical solution for my needs.

This looks neat, is it a plugin i need to install or a standard grasshopper component?

It is a Grasshopper plug-in call GhShaderNodes. I wrote it primarily as a tool for myself. Its usage needs some attention, it isn’t capable of many of the things Grasshopper users are used to (not integrated). You can find info on how to use it on this forum by searching for it.

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wow so Beautiful~ :heart_eyes:

When you said “hopefully in version 8…” did you mean that the cycles nodes will be exposed via grasshopper or directly within rhino through its material dialogues?