Raytraced grasshopper question

So basically I want to learn how to use the RayTraced GH plugin (Shader).

Since I couldn’t find any tutorials that match the latest icons, and since I don’t know anything about rendering’s terminology.

I found this video (by @nathanletwory ):

I get to the point where you “set one material” but I don’t have that XML available. As a matter of fact the whole “Set One Material” is grayed out.

What is the reason for this?

A short N-step list:

  1. start Rhino
  2. add a Cycles XML material in the material editor - give it a useful name
  3. add an object, assign the Cycles XML material to it
  4. switch your view of choice to Raytraced
  5. start Grasshopper
  6. add an Output node
  7. add a Diffuse BSDF node
  8. add a colour swatch - give it a dandy colour of your chosing
  9. wire swatch to Diffuse BSDF colour input
  10. wire Diffuse BSDF output to Output node Surface input
  11. Right-click Output node icon, select the name of your Cycles XML material
  12. force recalculation of your shader solution.
  13. admire your handy work in the Raytraced viewport.


You use the custom display component when you want to assign materials to GH created geometry. You’ll still have to add that Cycles XML material in Rhino material editor, and hook it up to the Output node before you can chose it in the custom display component.

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Can you point me out to a website similar to “Rendering for complete idiots”?
What’s what like what is BSDF and what does Volume mean as a rendering term. What is Closure? Displacement? Fac? IOR?

Learn here:


That is the Cycles engine documentation. Not all is directly available like that, but it should give you a good starting point of understanding the engine and integration as Raytraced.

For the shading you would read specifically


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Uhm, Today I tried two times to render something with Raytraced and Rhino crashes.

I guess I need to lower the resolution or something.

Just a simple box in an empty scene crashes (no materials added, no tweaks of settings anywhere in Rhino, nothing of that sort)?

see that grasshopper canvas up in the screenshot, that’s it. After I added the material Rhino crashed.

I know I’m a bug magnet but damn :rofl:

Cycles XML material, not Raytraced Blend Material. You get the Cycles XML material by giving TestShowPrivateContent.

Obviously Raytraced Blend Material should not crash. Did you send in the report? Are you on the latest version of the Raytraced Blend Material (check in TestPackageManager)?

hold on, I’ll check

Yes I sent the first one.

Apparently not. I’ll update now.

The old one is crashy a bit.

:slight_smile: All is good now.

I’m curious now, what is that blend material and why did it cause rhino to crash :thinking:

The blend material is exactly that - you can blend Rhino materials.

In the material add a Metal and a Plaster. Give the Plaster some distinct color. Orange is great. Now assign the materials to the two material channels in the blend material.

The fun part is when you add a texture in the factor channel. Put for instance a 2D checker texture. You’ll get a great effect. That is seperate from the Grasshopper Raytraced shader stuff, though.

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I see. Sounds interesting.
I’ll test it at some point first I need to understand what channels are you talking about :monkey:

Thanks a lot Nathan.

See if this helps…

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Last Question! (for now)

In order to assign different materials to different objects do I need to create different cycles.xml materials?

And respectively different GH algorithms connected to new output component?

Is there a way to make like a scene component and connect all materials there? With Python for example?


GhShaderNodes isn’t playing that nicely with the rest of GH yet. Really only GH_NumberSlider, GH_Color are understood - and the GhShaderNodes components don’t do anything useful in the rest of GH. They are there (currently) to give you a way to manipulate the shader graph of materials.

I suppose one could possibly hack something like that. I have to think about that in the near future. It might work, or it might not, with the current way the plug-in does its thing. You may want to peak at what the Output component generates though, pipe it to a Panel…

That was three (actually four) questions… (:

HAHA, usually every question that I ask should be considered penultimate.

Also I was thinking about making use of NodeInCode library ;), but how do I create new material from python (you know so I can create cycles.xml for each object in my scene).

You’ll have to read the GhShaderNodes code to see if you could replicate that with a Python script. The most interesting part starts in the SolveInstance of the Output node:

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