Preparation work for rendering

Hello, I am slowly trying to build up my skills with rhinocero and am now starting to think of rendering. I am just thinking if there are certain preparation work I need to do before I take it to the rendering procewss, like with interior lighting and daylight adjustion or is that done in the rendering itself? I have tried to mess a bit with the lighting in rhino but the model always looks worse after messing with it. Do you know of some good video tutorial to get a better grip on the lighting?
There are few rendering programs with free trial so if I go into that I would like to have my model prepared in a right way so that I can focus only on the rendering part.


Hi Sunna - a lot depends on what you are rendering when it comes to lighting - something like a product shot will be lit very differently than architecture or interior design, or a naturalistic scene… But in general, resist, I would say, the temptation to add more lights until you know more about what you want from the first one or two.


Hi Pascal, thanks for your reply. I am talking about interior design, and architecture ( I am not sure if I understand correctly naturalistic scene, but yes I would like to render a view of the building with nature around it… Would you say I then have to adjust the lightnings in rhino before I go to rendering software?


It depends. A good software with lots of documentation for free is blender. However the workflow will need a plug-in to import 3dm files into blender. I am myself trying to move from keyshot to blender (they have keyshot at my workplace but I am starting to make some rendering services to an architecture office and using my workplace laptop really slows down the process).

Blender have a lot of functionalities and can be an awesome tool for anyone working the 3d modelling, in my opinion.

There is another options, you can get the rhino cycles installed in rhino 6 and use the raytraced render. There you would work with all lighting and rendering without ever leaving rhino.

A third option that I know exists but I can’t really talk much about is Bella for rhino (you can find it in the food4rhino website) the limitations placed by the trial version are that the resolution is capped at 720p and it has a watermark.

Usually, when I work with interior renders I would say that modelling is 10% material stuff 30% lighting 50% and post processing 10% of the hard work.

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Thank you Altamiro, very helpful!

Altamiro have you already found some good pluggin to import 3dm to blender?



Note though that in Rhino 6 the Cycles engine from Blender is integrated as the Raytraced display mode. And in Rhino WIP (which will become Rhino 7) Rhino Render is also powered by that same render engine.

You should be able to get started right there in Rhino 6 (and Rhino WIP) with your rendering skills.

Materials are important, sure. But most important are lighting and composition.

Dammit, beat me for 1 minute while I was looking for the thread with the link :stuck_out_tongue:

Yes, lighting is super duper important to make a good render, I actually got better at my renderings watching some photography YouTube videos about lighting and stuff, both open sky photos and studio photos have amazing tips you should try to reproduce in your renderings, light placement and kinda of lights / color for given product and etc.


The new Cycles can give you more than enough to start learning and stuff, but I find that using an external tool like blender or keyshot can be easier if you get stuck, 99% chance that you can find a tutorial for blender that show how to do or that solves some problem you have. Not so easy to find with RhinoCycles.

And, Blender can import OpenFOAM results to post process and render, that is something else I plan to do in the future, that is why I started learning it.

Maybe once v7 is out I should get of paper my plans to do some youtube tutorials and tackle rendering inside rhino.

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Thanks Nathan,

I am wondering if you know that if I update from rhino5 educational to rhino6 professional, so that I am able to use the blender properly, and than later this year comes rhino7, would I have to pay for another update?



Hi Sunna,

I think there will still be a payment for the upgrade to v7 from v6. This is more a sales thing though, of which I know not much. I’d imagine that @mary can answer that question much better than I.

v7 will be a paid upgrade

Hi Nathan,
One tiny litle question. I think I would like to update from rhino5 to rhino7 as it seems a matter of few months untill rhino7 will be released and I find it hard to justify at the moment to pay two updates within few months.

Is it correctly understood that I can not use the blenderplugin to open a rhino5 3dm file? Instead I could convert the file to another type of file and open it in blender but that would be more troublesome and maybe something missing out in the meshes that I import. Or would there be much to fix when imported, and a greater learning curve when you can not import it as 3dm file? I am struggling a bit with computers but rendering skills will make my live better :slight_smile:

You should be able to import Rhino 5 files as well. You just have to make sure you save your file with render meshes in it: switch to Rendered mode, then SaveAs and ensure “Geometry Only” and “Save Small” are unchecked.

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