Rendering issues

I’m having trouble creating rendered detail views and outputting them to pdf. This is one of my first forays into rendering, so any help you can give me would be much appreciated. I have examples I can upload, though I don’t see how to attach them to this forum post.

  1. If I set any of the regular viewports to “rendered” it shows everything correctly. I’ve created a new layout and when I set a detail to “rendered” it doesn’t show shadows correctly – instead it shows some offset “ghost” images.

  2. The pdf output from the rendered image does not show the background, though the background is visible in the detail on screen.

  3. Looking for a workaround, I tried installing Neon. In the detail viewport, the raytraced image and the background look right. On the pdf output the gradient background has been split in two, so instead of seeing one gradient I see two, one above the other.

  4. Also, is it possible to have two details in a layout raytraced at the same time? I only seem to get one at a time to look right.


The first thing that comes to mind is to update the graphics card drivers for your computer. I’m not sure if it will help but it’s the first thought. If you can send a screen shot and also the 3dm file that would help too. The make/model and driver date of the GPU is also something I’d like to know. Can you send a screen shot of Options>Rhino Options>View>Open GL too?

Can you send the 3dm file to referencing this thread or post it here? It might be GPU driver related or the PDF print driver you’re using too. Check out the pdf995 driver listed on this thread… Display questions The user there also had the banding issue you mentioned with the gradient background.

Neon can only raytrace one viewport at a time. You can use ViewCaptureToFile though followed by PictureFrame to bring the rendered image back into Rhino and focus on that in a detail for the layout.

Send any other info and files if you can and I’m sorry things aren’t just working for you here. There are a bunch of software drivers interacting and it’s hard to know what’s happening.


Thanks for your prompt response and your willingness to jump into driver-related issues. This kind of assistance is one of the things I really like about working with McNeel.

I emailed the 3dm file, screen shots of a rendered view and the options>openGL window, and sample pdf output of rendered and raytraced details to

I’m using the latest version of CutePDF (downloaded today) to print to pdf. I looked at the thread you referenced. I don’t mind changing to pdf995, though it sounds like it didn’t help the other user.

Thanks for sending those files Matt, I just responded via email. For anyone else following here, I found a work around for the repeated gradient issue when printing to PDF or an Image file…

  • Make a new floating viewport by dragging the name tab of the perspective viewport off towards the command line.
  • In object properties change the width to 612 pixels and the height to 792. This is the aspect ratio for 8.5x11.
  • Then use the command “-ViewCaptureToFile” the “-” is important. This will allow you to pick a location for saving the image file via the command line.
  • Next in the command line set the width to be 2550 and the height to be 3300. This is the aspect ratio of 8.5x11 at 300 dpi.


I don’t see where you set the width and height in pixels BEFORE using “-ViewCaptureToFile”. I assume this is a critical step, since I made the floating viewport, typed in “-ViewCaptureToFile”, set width and height to 2550 and 3300, and saved the image, which once again has the repeated gradient problem.

What is the object whose properties I should be changing before using “-ViewCaptureToFile”?


Hi Matt,
I just replied in email via the tech support thread we’ve got going.

Just the floating viewport is active with no objects selected. Then the settings are in Object Properties Panel to the right.


Thanks for explaining that – I’m still finding my way around some aspects of Rhino. Now the workaround works.

If there’s a wish list for future updates, I propose this repeated gradient problem – the workaround is OK for this project, but in future it would be better to be able to print straight from the layout view.

Many thanks,

You’re welcome Matt. For future reference, I’ve filed this one as RH-20508, this report is not publicly visible yet but that’s planned.