Which renderer for Rhino?

It’s probably been asked many times, but I couldn’t find any recent reply (all before 2008).
We use Rhino 5, 64 bit, and we currently use vray. Their choice of using a usb dongle (located on our server) is a pain in the neck, I cannot render when I take my laptop home, and vray checks for the license every time you hit a button, if the network is slow or congested that means freezing or crashing Rhino.
Furthermore, vray for rhino documentation is hilarious. vray 2.0 has benn out for a year and the user manual is stuck at v. 1.0 which came out over 4 years ago. Some suggest the userbase is too scarce to justify a decent support.

Then I was wondering, which renderer for Rhino has the widest userbase?
Brazil and Flamingo claim to be the “greatest and fastest” of them all, of course. I tried Maxwell but I was not very impressed, I would like a fully-integrated render plugin.
We do mostly product design (printers, tools, perfume bottles) and sometimes transportation interiors (trains and buses).
Which one would you recommend as an alternative to vray?

Thank you,

I use Brazil and in my opinion it is the best out there for Rhino. I read about Brazil and Flamingo prior to making a decision and felt that Brazil was the by far the best for rendering when using Rhino.

Here is the link to the Brazil forum I think it is worth a look prior to you purchase. http://brazil.rhino3d.com/forum

All my best … Danny

@idrive There is also FluidRay RT A new kid on the block, that has some nice features & Rhino integration. It is also about ⅓ of the price of Brazil. I have been using this at home for some nice renders and am in the process of trying to get work to buy it.

I use Flamingo because work paid for it, but if I had to choose between Flamingo & Brazil, I would choose Brazil because of it’s Neon integration.

I do mostly silver jewellery, so my render needs are usually the same.


Check out Octane for Rhino. Very fast with a good gaming card from Invidea.

I Have Penguin … Still falls and larger file is not
possible to render.

I Have Flamingo … For a library of trees …Unfortunately NTX mini library, and a larger library of trees does not buy…

Now I’m waiting on Corona-renderer … in the plan is on 2015 render plugin for Rhino to … Clear choice

Maxwell all the way!!!

Hello @idrive, I’m a Vray v2 user and very happy with it.

There is a Vray For Rhino v2 Online Manual:

Perhaps that gets you up to speed with the V2 features and makes Vray an option again.

For interest here is a link to the v1 online manual:
I don’t know why they are in different places? Michael VS

1 Like

I agree that the support for VRay for Rhino is shocking. The lack of a comprehensive manual is unforgivable, especially as v2 has been out for such a long time. It is a fantastic renderer but it isn’t easy to learn. I manage to get decent images out of it but know I am only scratching the surface. I’d love to learn more and improve but have found it almost impossible due to the lack of support.

I can recommend the courses on Lynda.com (the tutor, Dave Schultze posts on this forum). They teach you the basics but don’t take you to an advanced level. Hopefully more advanced courses are planned.

Thank you all for your replies.
Michael, I’ve checked out the onoine manual many times, but I almost never found a reply to my questions.
As MisterB correctly points out vray v2 is great, I know, but support is ridiculous. Every time I get a project that involves different/more advanced materials or lighting techniques than what I’ve been using so far, it means spending a week (uselessly) searching the net and in the end experimenting over and over again.
I guess no one at Chaos Group has a clear understanding of what each single option does.
It’s really frustrating.

FluidRay, Octane, etc. there are so many around there. They’re here today, they might be gone tomorrow.
We use vray for our work, licenses and learning are an investment and we need a business-oriented product that has a reliable support. Ever since it was acquired by Chaos Group support has been…well…a chaos…

Well, from that perspective, Brazil would be my obvious choice. Mcneal support is excellent and support here on Discourse is A+.

Just my 2¢ «Randy

I would guess so, yes. But what with Cycles being introduced as embedded and where is Splutterfish in all of this? I am confused.

Interesting, first I heard of Cycles, as the default Render within Rhino?

Also looking for a decent Render for Mac Rhino, I know they are totally revamping the render engine for OSX Rhino, maybe cycles based?

Found this on Fusion360 discourse;

Blender Cycles render engine

*McNeel is developing a plug-in for Rhino using Blender Foundation’s Cycles GPU render engine.

Cycles offers the same fucntionality like Keyshot but just faster and with a dramatically more mature and powerful material node system.

Rendering in Fusion with the build-in plug-in is incredible slow even on my 8 core MacPro.
Cycles with the GPU does the same image nearly in few seconds.

BTW Cycles engine is also open source.*

1 Like


We do train interior/exterior too and small things too and use VRay daily. We haven’t had any problems with the license server at all though.
What I have been wanting to get is Octane, a GPU renderer. It’s so awesome, it do require a pretty good Nvidia card for the rendering, we bought a gaming card 780ti for $400. The material creation workflow is very different from Vray but really nice when you get hang of it. It renders in realtime and the off-the-shelf quality is amazing.

They have a demo and Rhino plugin.

There seem to be so many render options for Rhino, many of them mentioned in this thread are new to me. I’d never heard of Cycles, Splutterfish nor Octane. More choice has to be a good thing but it does make it difficult to decide which horse to back. I wouldn’t mind trying something other than V-Ray.

Is there an up to date and comprehensive list of all these options that we could refer to?

I’d also like to learn more about GPU rendering. I think I have lots of reading to do.

I’ve had the standalone version of OctaneRender for a while and like it lot. I just purchased the OctaneRender plugin for Rhino and it is excellent!!!

Try also Arion for Rhino. It is as fast as octane but its integration into Rhino V5 is much better.

Arion for Rhino has been chosen by TDM to be the rendering solution of the famous RhinoGOLD plugin for jewelers :wink:

Surprised there is not much conversation backing Maxwell Render. Once people get to grips with the process and setting up of environments etc. I don’t think there is really another way to go. (Apart from KeyShot which is also awesome).


1 Like

Well, the OP had tried Maxwell…
I like Maxwell as well - and the support from JD (responsible for the Rhino plug-in) is fantastic.

1 Like

I have been using Maxwell for Rhino, although it is super slow but it gives me the best result compared to Vray.
Simply because Vray version for rhino is outdated (2.0) if you compare it to 3ds max or maya, Vray for Rhino is no match. that is why I chose maxwell.
it takes a while to get the good setting for maxwell and it is faster to learn compared to Vray (took me 5 years to get a hang on Vray for 3dsmax and only took me less than a year to get a hang on maxwell).

also, if you are an architect, all maxwell unit are in SI, that means your lighting setting will be physically correct and u can use that for lighting study for your interior scene. and multlight feature in maxwell is the thing that is very useful for designers.

the only disadvantage of using maxwell is because it is CPU-based at the moment ( soon they will release GPU-based) that is why it is so slow if you dont invest your comp with enough memory.

the other thing I want to mention is the noise problem, there are some photography techniques to reduce the noise, and it depends on how you light your scene. most maxwell beginner complains about the noise problem because they just expect to get a good clean render by simply hit the render button.

I like both Vray and Maxwell. however I wouldnt recommend using Vray for Rhino, if you want to master your Vray, export the model to 3dsmax to get the best from Vray.
if you want to stick doing rendering in rhino, maxwell so far is the best choice if you are looking for high quality (photorealistic) rendering

if you just want to do a concept rendering then there are many other renderer that can offer a fast and “okay” result.

Maxwell works best for product rendering as it can produce accurate DOF, real world caustic and specularity. not to mention all the settings are in SI that means u can get all the IOR, or other luminance setting info directly from google or Wikipedia.

yes it is a big issue that there is no direct integrity between rhino and maxwell, because maxwell works as standalone rendering engine. you will have hard time at first trying to adjust rhino camera and maxwell camera, and sometimes if you accidentally create a bad object in rhino, it will crash during voxelisation.

so I would recommend you to go back to maxwell, that is the best rendering engine for rhino,

I was hoping one day rendermanPixar would somehow be implemented in rhino, but that is just a dream as for now :))

sorry for my weird english

Regarding Cycles for Rhino (RhinoCycles plug-in) this work is still quite a bit under construction. The last two weeks have been about getting ground work done for adding interactive rendering support for RhinoCycles, targeting at real-time rendering in the view port.

The road-map for RhinoCycles is to first get close to feature parity with current default RhinoRender with regards to materials, environments and lights. But I want to have eventually as much of the features of Cycles available to Rhino users as possible.