Neon with HDRI lighting?


Does Neon support HDRI lighting, or do I need to set individual lights manually?

Why I’m asking:

  1. At the moment, I’m sitting in front of an old Windows XP machine, where Neon doesn’t run. So I cannot try it myself.

  2. I find HDRI lighting makes photo realistic rendering much easier, especially for someone inexperienced with lighting like me.

  3. I’m seeing unexpected limitations with Flamingo nXt, and I wonder if Neon is a good alternative for rendering individual objects such as a power drill. I do not need to render large scenes such as architecture exteriors or interiors. What I like about nXt is HDRI lighting.

Rotate procedural wood?
Tweak tint of hdr?

Both Rhino Render and Neon supports HDRI environments, but the results are not the same.
Neon looks much better!
You have add the HDRI to an environment and tune the multiplier and exposure there, and then turn on “sky light” in the sun panel to to get smooth shadows.

I had not done this before, so I just tested this out on a file I made for Holomark2.
This is just Rhino materials and Neon. As you can see I have sat Neon to stop at 12 iterations as I am on a dual core i5 laptop.

And with the HDRI rotated 180 degrees.

(Kyle Houchens) #3

Neon is awesome for product shots. BTW Holo…that model is saaaweet!!



Why is that necessary?

In Flamingo nXt, if I use HDRI lighting, no additional lights are necessary. Note that I’m explicitly talking about lighting, not about reflections in glossy surfaces.


Flamingo NXT has it’s own dome light/environment turned on all the time.
Rhino does not, so you have to turn it on.

Here is what it looks like if you don’t, then the HDRI is not used for lighting, only for reflections.


So, sky light is actually the HDRI lighting dome. Thanks!


Yes. It took me a while to figure that out as well. You may find this video useful:

Why the control to have the HDRI light the scene can’t be with the HDRI controls is beyond me. Very counter-intuitive.


A while ago, I watched that introductory video on YouTube: As @BrianJ uses three point lighting, I was assuming that HDRI lighting is perhaps not available.

At least for me, HDRI lighting is easier to handle, and that’s what I would start out with, before adding custom lights. When I make photos of objects it’s the same: I prefer soft natural lighting.


Later in the video (from about 13:15 onwards) he also talks about using the HDRI for lighting. The 3 point lighting set up is left in place, so it’s perhaps a little misleading, but it does show where to find all the settings when using HDRI. I would have been hopelessly lost without this video as they’re scattered all over the place - not the usual Rhino model of simplicity!


The terms “sky light” and “the color” made me think that this is just a unidirectional light with one color. It is good to know that this is not the case.