Thea for Rhino

A simple comment about Thea for Rhino - I bought a license for Thea as a backup to V-Ray when it was on sale.

They both have strengths and weaknesses but I have to admit, I’m using Thea more and more over V-Ray. It’s fast, flexible and produces great results. For someone looking for a rendering engine for Rhino, Thea should definitely be considered.

Jut wanted others to know …

1 Like

I am a big fan of Octane for some time now, (a bit of a bump in the last couple of weeks with activating on a new machine but got that straight with help from support) but picked up a copy of Thea when they had the last minute early adopters deal. The main feature for that I got Thea for was that it can use Rhino clipping planes for cutaway renders of boat interiors, important in my work. Octane does camera based clipping planes but they are square to the camera and hence are only goo fro ortho views. There has been hope that Octane would someday be able to read and use the Rhino clipping planes but I don’t think that has come to pass. I think this PDF was done in Octane with real geometry to simulate clipping planes. I’ll look for something more recent done in Thea to compare.

Griot 43 Port Inboard Interior.pdf (3.6 MB)

I’ve been using it for the last 9 concepts (exteriors) that I’ve done and initially really liked it. But have found some annoying limitations -

  1. Clipping masks don’t work with the alpha channel when using ‘medium’ volumetric stuff.
  2. Can’t zoom in 1:1 on the frame buffer and all the zoom/scroll buttons are greyed out.
  3. Can’t region render.
  4. Only two or three procedural textures can be used with the presto engine (I’m really not interested in the other engines).
  5. Can’t hide objects from camera but still have them affect the lighting in the scene.
  6. Updates to the viewport after material changes don’t work in a lot of cases, which is very tedious if you’ve got a large model.

It shows real potential but like Vray for Rhino it seems not fully finished/integrated. I’m starting to wonder if any of the ‘within Rhino’ render options are actually truly finished working solutions like you’d get for 3dsMax or C4D etc. I’m even starting to consider exporting stuff out again, perhaps to Blender?

Thanks for the replies -
Great looking renders Joseph. Is that the sort of business you’re in? Boat design?
Rob - You’re way ahead of the curve on this. My usage of the program so far is quite simple. I’m in retail display, we work quick and dirty, no time for the very complicated stuff. I agree with your list, especially render regions and hiding objects. Hopefully those functions will appear in future releases.

As far as finished working solutions like Max or C4D, I have C4D Bodypaint and the Corona beta which I like a lot. V-Ray users seem pretty pleased with the new version for C4D. I’d like to explore Max but I’d more like to never have to enter into a subscription deal with AutoDesk.

Yep, this too. I used to use Max (2009) but quit when all the renting talk started. Plus I never really felt I was getting any improvements with every yearly release on subscription. It always brought more problems than answers. Plus I’ll never forgive them for killing Lightscape…

Agreed, I think for the basic stuff it’s pretty good. Fingers crossed the next release will blow us away!