Making transparent objects on a

I need some objects very translucent as I need them for reference only and not in the way of lines I need to draw ‘within them’

Ghost or x ray mode is not what I need as all objects then go as such and thats not of use to me.

Is there a way to control translucency of a certain layer, I need them really ghosty, more so than x ray or ghosted does.





I’ll try that.

Draw cube above a sphere, select cube, type SetObjectDisplayMode hit M chose X ray

I cant see my grid through the cube or the sphere under it

try again and choose ghosted, again cant see grid, seems very opaque. like nothing happened.

in fact its not even like the xray or ghosted views and I expected at least that.

How do I control the transparency of this independent of the display modes, I need this with much more transparency.


Hi @Steve1,
Go into Rhino Properties (File-Properties-Rhino Options-View-Display Modes), and make a copy of the display mode you like the general look of. eg. Shaded.
Go to the Shaded copy and Change the name to something eg. Transparent
In Color & Material usage set this to Objects Color. Below this you can set the transparency.
Click OK
Now in Rhino when you use the SetObjectDisplayMode, you can select the new Display Mode you have just made.
If it isn’t transparent enough, then go into the display mode and adjust the transparency of you new display mode until it suits your needs.
I would also make a new button with the following on to quickly reset all the selected objects back to normal, because the setdisplaymode command is ‘sticky’ and the mode stays with the object until you reset it again.
SetObjectDisplayMode Mode UseView
Michael VS



How do I make a copy of the shaded display mode ?


Here you go:


Or if you don’t want to create a new display mode and just apply to one object…

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Hi, Copy now made, I have altered the transparency setting to 50% see screenshot, however running SetObjectDisplayMode and choosing Transparent Shaded with object selected sees no change.

BrianM…is that for the Rendered window , or possible whilst in shaded view ?,

I tried selecting object in shaded view then selecting ‘toothpaste’ icon (!) and object and transparency but nothing.

run SetObjectDisplayMode and choose rendered then do that and yes success, but:-

  1. object now gray
    how do I get it back to coloured and not transparent afterwards ?


Did you adjust the transparency in the material dialog? - you can also change the colour here as this object is now rendered. The object will remain ‘rendered and transparent’ regardless of displaymode.

To return the object to it’s previous condition, run SetObjectDisplayMode again and choose the ‘UseView’ option.

I have just come to refer to this thread needing to do whats in it again and all images are gone, can the posters put back what was there please.
(one of 6000 images that got lost I am told, and to re-ask/post to fix)



Hi Steve, see if you can follow this

1 select object
2 assign a custom material to it
3 rename material - i.e.’ transparent’
4 adjust transparency for new material
5 ‘SetObjectDisplayMode’ for still selected object and set to rendered



will that work as I draw objects on that layer or must they be finished closed surfaces etc.?



The method above is meant to apply the transparent material to the surface, not to the layer, however, if you apply that material to a layer and draw in rendered mode with that layer as current, then new surfaces will be transparent (while in rendered mode). The surfaces don’t have to be closed, by the way.

A convenient way to toggle a surface between transparent and normal is to have a custom button, provided the custom transparent material is already applied to the surfaces.


Thank you BrianM. Works like a charm for me and does exactly what I need!

Note V7 accepts layer and object colors with alpha - this allows transparency in other display modes.


Thanks Brian