Rhino 7 is the most significant version upgrade for Rhino 3D in its history. There are many new features, including SubD tools (previously only available to users of the now defunct plugin T-Splines or otherwise in applications like 3ds Max, Maya, Blender and ZBrush), Rhino.Inside.Revit (run Rhino and Grasshopper within the BIM modeller Revit®), QuadRemesh (quickly create a quad mesh from NURBS geometry or meshes), new Rhino 7 Presentation tools and much, much more.

Rhino 3D v7 Screenshot showing work using Physically Based Materials

In this Rhino 3D video, Phil Cook from Simply Rhino looks at Rendering improvements in Rhino v7. This includes the ‘Cycles’ Raytrace Render and how we can add Denoiser elements with the new Package Manager in Rhino 7. Finally, the new Physically Based Materials are discussed.

Rhino 3D v7 Screenshot showing work using Physically Based Materials

Watch this Rhino 7 Rendering, Denoiser and Physically Based Materials video here (if you’d like to follow the video transcript then you’ll find it at the foot of this page):

Other videos looking at new Rhino v7 features are:

Rhino 3D v7 – QuadRemesh – a quick introduction

Rhino 3D v7 – SubD Modelling in Rhino for Mac Video Tutorial

Rhino 3D v7 Rendering, Denoiser and Physically Based Materials Video Transcript:

Hi, I’m Phil from Simply Rhino and in this short video, I’m going to take a look Rendering in Rhino 7. I’ll look at the ‘Cycles’ Raytrace Render and how we can add Denoiser elements with the new Package Manager in Rhino 7. Finally, I’ll look at the new Physically Based Materials.

Version 7 features significant improvements to rendering and, just as with Version 6, Rhino features a ‘Rendered’ Viewport which could be considered a sort of a preview of the ‘Raytraced’ Viewport. This ‘Raytraced’ or ‘Cycles’ mode allows for proper calculations of Reflections, Transparency, Refraction, Translucency etcetera. This Raytraced view mode, whilst being a live mode, does take some time to generate and here because of time limitations I’ve reduced the number of Render passes from 1000 to 500 and speeded up the video.

If I go to the ‘Rhino Options’ and select ‘Cycles’ you’ll see that I can accelerate the Raytrace mode either via CPU or GPU and on the machine that I’m using here my Quadro P3000 card is selected – as it gives better performance than the CPU, but you can also see that now in Version 7 we have a setting called OPTIX and this should let us take advantage of NVIDIA’s RTX GPU technology. Essentially these are graphics cards that are purpose built for accelerating Ray Tracing and we hope to be looking at these in the new year with the help of PNY Europe, but for now we’re using NVIDIA CUDA acceleration.

The next change in Version 7 is that now, when you select the render button from Rhino, it’s the Cycles Raytrace render that is being used; now that may seem fairly obvious but in Version 6, pressing ‘Render’ gave us the older legacy renderer. The ‘Render’ tab here on the right is where you set your variables for the Render, so for example, the output size, the quality settings, Ground Plane and Environmental Settings. So, I’ll hit the ‘Render’ button and we’ll see the Render Process start and the ‘Frame Buffer’ window appear and this will also confirm that I’m using my Quadro card for acceleration – it’s worth noting that rendering this way should be more efficient than rendering in the ‘Raytraced’ Viewport.

Now with any path tracing or Raytracing, whether it’s Cycles, V-Ray or KeyShot, the results tend to be noisy and it takes a certain number of passes, and therefore time, before this noise starts to dissipate.  If you are familiar with V-Ray or KeyShot then you’ll know that these now feature ‘Denoiser’ components that can help to clean up this noise meaning that we can get viable results with less render passes. The good news is that there are now Denoiser components available for Cycles in Rhino and also that these work really well.

These are not installed by default and to do this I’m going to show you another new feature in Rhino 7, and that’s called the ‘Package Manager’. From my ‘New in Rhino 7’ tab I’ll select ‘Package Manager’ and once this is launched I’ll search for ‘Denoiser’ and you’ll see I have two denoiser components that I can use on this particular machine – an Intel Denoiser and an NVIDIA Denoiser. The Intel Denoiser will use CPU and the NVIDIA Denoiser will use GPU -so I’ll install both of these and restart Rhino. It’s also worth making sure that your NVIDIA graphics card driver is up to date in order to run the NVIDIA Denoiser.

I’m back now with my restarted Rhino and if I chck in ‘Package Manager’, I can verify that both components have been installed. Now, I’m going to spin this view around so that I can get to a more shadowy area in the image where there will naturally be more noise in the render and I’ll increase the size of this window slightly now. I’ll go over to my ‘Render’ Panel and choose ‘Viewport Resolution’ and ‘Good Quality’ and leave the other settings at pretty much Default and I’ll hit the ‘Render’ button so we can see the render starting to progress now, going through the various passes, and I’ll just leave it to render out a few more samples and then we can look at the noise.

The two Denoiser Components that I installed are here on this side panel and the small checkbox here removes them from the list and, I can add them back in again here. These are all the ‘Post Effects’ that I can add and I’ll add the Intel denoiser back in again. So, let’s start with the Intel denoiser – I’ll apply that and you’ll see how it smooths out the noise and if I turn it off again you’ll see that the noise comes back. The NVIDIA Denoiser is, of course, going to use the GPU and we’re already rendering with the GPU – this builds and behaves slightly differently to the Intel Denoiser but the overall effect is pretty much the same, so again smoothing out that noise.

If I just Zoom in here and turn off the Denoiser then we’ll see the noise more clearly – now we could, of course, clean up this noise with lots of render passes but of course that takes time and so here the denoiser is effectively taking areas of similar tone and smart blurring those together to remove the noise. At the moment the render has only done a few passes, and you can see that perhaps too much detail is being lost and we won’t be able to resolve that detail until we’ve done a few more passes but you get the general idea here – that this is a really good way of being able to produce a viable Raytrace render in much shorter order i.e. with fewer render passes. The result is very similar to the Denoiser that we see in V-Ray for example. In windows we can use GPU for accelerating the render and for denoising if you’re using a Mac, however, then there is no GPU acceleration for rendering and the only denoiser you can use is the Intel component – however as you can see here Cycles makes full use of all the available CPU cores on a Mac and the Intel denoiser is very effective in reducing Raytrace render times.

Another new rendering feature in Rhino 7 is the inclusion of ‘Physically Based Materials’ and when I navigate to the ‘Object Information’ tab here and select a Material you’ll see that I have the new ‘Physically Based’ option. Physically Based or PBR materials are a compact format that allows a single material type to define materials that would usually need separate definitions – so for example, diffuse, glossy, specular, dielectric, metals, etcetera. Physically Based Materials can be considered as being platform agnostic and cross platform and you’ll see that they are popping up now in many popular programmes such as V-Ray and Unreal.

When we choose the Physically Based Material in Rhino you’ll see that we have a basic level of control by default and we can also expand upon this by going to the detailed settings here. We can create these materials from scratch but there’s an increasing amount of materials available online – many of these being free – and an example of this would be ‘CGBookcase.com’ – when we download a material it will often have a series of Texture Maps that are used to create the Physically Based Material. Here, I’m going to create a gravel texture that I’ve downloaded from CGBookcase. I’ll start with a new Physically Based definition in Rhino and select ‘Add Textures’ next to the detailed settings here and then I can navigate to my textures. I can add all of these textures at once and Rhino will give me an option of checking that the textures have been applied to the correct slot and, once I’m happy with that selection, that’s all I need to do.

Now, this material has displacement applied to it and you can see that this looks a little over the top to say the least, this is because my planar surface is small and the displacement is set by default, in this case, to 100 millimetres – so I’m just going to quickly switchback to shaded mode, pick the surface here, and change the height of the displacement to 3 millimetres.  I’ll zoom in and you can see now that this is starting to look much better,  I’ll change this again to 1mm. Whilst we’re waiting for this to build I’ll just mention that for displacement to work well you’ll need to create a dense render mesh and remember that you can set render mesh on a per object basis.

Emissive Materials are also new in version 7. These are part of the physically based description but also have a shortcut here. We will really only see the full benefit of these materials when we’re in Raytrace Mode and so now if I go to my Environment and I turn the intensity down from 1 to 0, so that I’m excluding all environmental illumination then we’ll see the effect of these emissive materials. You’ll see that I can adjust the intensity of the emission here and you’ll see that the material provides illumination and lights other objects in the scene

So, that’s about the end of what I wanted to cover in this video. Thanks for watching, and please feel free to leave any comments below. If you’ve found this video useful then please hit the ‘like’ button and, remember that to keep up with the latest developments in Rhino then you can subscribe to this channel. At Simply Rhino we offer training for Rhino and all its key plug-ins – so check out our website for more details.

Thanks again for watching and I’ll catch up with you in the next video.