Why Not Make it A Renderer


I hope I’m not crossing any lines here, or stirring up the pot. I’m just curious about Neon capabilities and have some questions / comments.

I’m in the trade show business. Time is a luxury a designer never has. Many, many times, a project is about how fast you can get it done, rather than how creative or how well you can do something. Rendering high-quality images that Brazil, Vray, AIR, even Flamingo NXT, can knock out, sometimes can take way too long than my industry allows.

And then I found Neon. For what I do, and the time it takes to render 256 passes, is excellent. The simplicity of using Rhino materials and using the viewport to visualize the output is amazing. No USB stick to worry about, fully integrated into Rhino (rhino renderer, etc.).

Using HDRI environment maps for lighting and background to easily to achieve reflections, etc. is absolutely incredible. Bottom line, the quality and time balance is great for what I do. Neon with the Rhino Renderer makes doing some of the more complex settings, surprisingly easy.

My point being is, Neon for me, is filling a gap of a very much needed rendering capability. Super simple to use and fast with some qualities of a high-end program. Maybe with a few extra capabilities, Neon could really hit the mark for some folks. So why not make it a full-blown renderer?

Now, because of the -ViewCaptureToFile, I cannot save an image past the size of the viewport.

For example, rendering a 750px x 500px image works perfectly. Rendering 1650 x 1275px extends past my screen size. My work around was to set my view at 750 x 500, then resize the viewport and then render. It would be easier if I could maintain my aspect ration and still hit the targeted output.

Anyway - I really think Neon could fill some gaps.

(Andrew le Bihan) #2


We understand - and we fully agree that Neon needs to become a renderer.

But - “-viewcapturetofile” (with the hyphen) should work at sizes larger than the viewport.

  • Andy


That’s pretty good news, Andy! Is it a relatively “easy” job, i.e.: taking well understood parts of code from existing Rhino renderers and stitching it into Neon, or a “harder” job of writing all the additional code from scratch and going through a full test program?


Totally agree. I’m in retail display and the work we do is often designed, installed and then taken back down in the time it would take for some of these rendering engines to complete an image. And don’t get me started on the USB stick / dongle issue. I upgraded to V-Ray 2.0 for Sketchup last night and now I can’t render out of SketchUp (the license manager doesn’t recognize the dongle, the dongle can’t find the ‘right’ driver, SketchUp doesn’t recognize any of it and, to top it all off, the upgrade disabled my previous version of V-Ray which didn’t need a dongle). Get me back to Neon, quick!

I agree that Neon should become a ‘renderer’ but I hope not at the expense of it becoming too complicated. Right now it’s simple, fast and does a surprisingly good job of banging out a good looking image in short order.


Of course it will become a renderer, (far as any of us know anyway, so far) it will be called Brazil 3.


Absolutely agree! I’m working as a furniture designer in a retail shop. We have ready models that need a little change to meet the clients needs - this is perfectly done with editing solid control points (thanks Rhino team for this lifesaving). Clients are sitting next to me in the shop waiting to see their new furniture - I need a minute or two to show them a picture! No one wants to wait an hour to see my amazing renders - if they go, usually they newer come back! We are still using SketchUp because of its OpenGL viewport display.

And please - make default texture mapping like Flamingo!


Sorry - I should have explained more carefully. View capture to file DOES work. However, the view extends past my screen size. So I have to setup and save my view at a smaller size. Then increase the view size (which extends beyond my screen and I cannot see the progress bar). After I have to guess when the rendering is finished. When I capture the view, it works properly.

When I render using AIR for example, I can set my view to 750 x 500 (my desired aspect ratio) but render at 150dpi in that view. I hope I’m explaining this properly. In other words, I need my view to be the same size as my final render… grr. I hope you understand.


@Jim - maybe I misunderstand you, but I hope Neon does not become Brazil 3. I’m hoping Neon remains a lightweight, low-cost, easy to use renderer as it is now.

Per my original post, I believe Neon is almost there. Just a few light-weight additions and it’s done. At least for what I do. I installed the Brazil demo just to try it out with Neon. The complexity of Brazil and feature rich settings immediately slowed render times. When I switched back to the Rhino renderer, times dropped and the quality was still there.

I’m not attacking these high-end programs. I’m just saying, for what I do, Neon is almost perfect in every way. I love AIR, Vray, Flamingo NXT, Brazil - their all great programs. But if my clients don’t have the time or need the level of quality to understand the concept, Neon fills that gap by proving a great balance between quality, ease of use and time.

(Willem Derks) #9

Hi BillyRaygun

As Andy pointed out you need to type a “-” (hyphen) in front of the command. That will give you access to settings that allow to capture specific pixel size and well as a multiplier of the current viewport size. Changing DPI could easily be done afterwards with a third party software.

@Andy as this issue comes up regularly would it not be good to add to V6 a GUI more discoverable that allows for capturing with some more control (size but also DPI) Maybe an enumerator that auto numbers the captures for you…



Originally, I expected to abandon SketchUp for Rhino but I’m finding that there are a handful of things SketchUp does better (I put that in italics because ‘different’ might be a better term) than Rhino. One significant feature that SketchUp has that Rhino lacks is the ability to output perspective views in vector. And SketchUp (Layout) has a hybrid mode which generates vector lines with raster surfaces. That’s something I really wish Rhino could do.

But generally - I think many of us are expected as part of our work flow to generate something more detailed than simple line drawings with annotations but not of the quality expected of a magazine ad. I hope Rhino develops Neon with us in mind - fast, accurate, flexible and simple.


Ah! I see - I wasn’t using the multiplier. Thanks! I will have to try that.


And texturing in SketchUp is very easy with Fredo’s ThruPaint! We are using mainly laminated chipboard and the default surface texture mapping in Rhino just kills my productivity!


Hi Andy …

Is there any possibility of Neon working with NxT the way it works with Rhino render … I’d sure like to use all the materials I have for NxT.


(Andrew le Bihan) #14

It’s possible. I suspect that it will involve quite a bit of work from the Flamingo nXt team to make it happen.