Learning to use Rhino materials

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?

Some form of integration where maybe GH UI is somehow integrated in the materials panel. Unclear how it’ll end up. But ability to create custom shader graphs is the goal.


Seems like a good idea.
At the end of the day a node-based material editor is very similar to how grasshopper is structured.

I just wanted to give a quick update on this project. Basically, my computer has been crashing ever sine I learned how to render. Probably not insignificantly, I got a 4K external monitor for Christmas, which means I’ve been trying to run 2x 4K monitors off a laptop (Nvidia RTX 2080, 97 degrees C).

Just absolutely magnificent crashes, especially any time I try to go on skype with my boss lol. Battery swelling, case too hot to touch. I’m trying to resolve this so I don’t have to buy a new computer (if I didn’t already ruin this one), but I’m starting to see that if I want double monitors and rendering and increasingly heavy grasshopper usage, a workstation is probably bound to become necessary sooner than later. I saw a couple of posts from McNeel employees lately that makes it seem like there’s been some frustration with this back at the office. I’m definitely seeing that as soon as I plug in the external monitor, the integrated graphics take over the laptop display. At first I thought that maybe an external GPU would solve it for me, but idk it seems risky and I doubt it’s going to help grasshopper at all. But I digress.

Today I dialed the resolution back by half (which is actually not significantly changing my Rhino experience, since I had to scale up the text by 250% anyway), and disconnected the external monitor. Is there a way to disable textures globally in Rhino? I feel like that’s one thing that’s probably been killing my performance here, please let me know if I’m off base.

If you have one of those laptops with desktop cards you cannot expect to run those at their max capacity. Most of those laptops are not designed/engineered correctly to keep up with cooling. So 2 x 4K displays are a nonstarter, let alone trying to render at the same time.

I have a Precision 17" (excellent cooling design) with a Quadro RTX 500o and I could not run 2 4K displays on it reliably. I now run the 2 4K displays with an external eGPU and it all works so well: eGPU on Windows Laptop. First tests - #3 by gustojunk

I suggest you go back to only one external 4K, or you do renderings, but not both at the same time. I hope this helps.


Yes that definitely helps, thanks for being the one to try an eGPU with Rhino and post the results. I’ll ask questions in your thread.

@hanscad one thing to try is increasing the throttle setting. This is a sleep amount between passes in milliseconds. Larger numbers means longer sleeping, means less work for the GPU in a time unit. Less work means lower temperatures at least from Raytraced point of view.

But it also means longer rendering times



RTX A6000 :eyes:

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A great GPU to have and render a lot with when it is -13°C outside.

Lol I took the back off of this machine for the first time last night, and it turns out that cleaning the cat hair out of the blower fans does wonders for a laptop’s thermal performance.

Two monitors running at 4K seems totally fine now (the laptop monitor runs fully off of the Intel 630 integrated graphics afaict), as long as I’m not raytracing, and when raytracing I was able to fire off a final-quality render before the temp got up into the 90s. With the battery (inflated to 1.5x) out, it also cools down a lot quicker.

Nice to be back in business, and thanks so much to everyone for your help.

OT but I’m considering upgrading my RAM from 16 to 32 Gb, what should that do for me when rendering and/or doing Grasshopper-intensive tasks?

And will a second, external, GPU also give me any grasshopper gains?

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