Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Rendering a project


Rhino 4 Essential Training

with Dave Schultze

Video: Rendering a project

In this video, we'll raise the bar a bit with our visuals and generate our first rendering. Keep in mind renderings can take a long time to set up and dozens of tests to get just right. No matter how experienced you'll get, you still spend a ton of time testing, tweaking, then retesting and retweaking etc. So, in interests of time, I've already assembled most of the scene. I will start off by going to the Perspective viewport. Here is our robot primary. I've made some additional copies, so I'm going to turn that layer on right now.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 4m 13s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
    3. Recommended hardware
      2m 44s
  2. 19m 8s
    1. Understanding the three types of entities: curves, surfaces, and solids
      5m 51s
    2. Comparing Bezier curves, B-splines, and NURBS objects
      3m 35s
    3. Comparing isocurve surfaces and mesh surfaces
      4m 50s
    4. Setting measurement units and tolerance
      4m 52s
  3. 18m 16s
    1. Introducing the viewport
      3m 20s
    2. Using construction planes to anchor model design
      5m 27s
    3. Changing the way a model is viewed using shading modes
      3m 11s
    4. Navigating the viewport with pan, zoom, rotate, and reset controls
      3m 24s
    5. Exploring help options
      2m 54s
  4. 29m 48s
    1. Understanding Rhino's command philosophy
      3m 10s
    2. Using toolbars and docking buttons to a toolbar
      3m 33s
    3. Navigating the geometry menus using a "department store" analogy
      3m 35s
    4. Using the command line and status bar to get feedback
      4m 56s
    5. Modifying the nudge control and setting other preferences
      6m 54s
    6. Using the Properties window
      3m 1s
    7. Opening and saving files
      4m 39s
  5. 14m 24s
    1. Creating basic objects: curves, surfaces, and solids
      4m 22s
    2. Performing basic transformations
      3m 14s
    3. Selecting objects
      3m 37s
    4. Organizing a project using layers
      3m 11s
  6. 21m 18s
    1. Understanding lines and polylines
      4m 10s
    2. Building rectangles and polygons
      5m 12s
    3. Creating arcs, circles, and ellipses
      7m 8s
    4. Drawing freeform curves
      4m 48s
  7. 47m 36s
    1. Comparing different types of 3D surfaces
      7m 11s
    2. Extruding surfaces to create features in a model
      8m 58s
    3. Creating surfaces with lofts
      7m 49s
    4. Using Revolve and Rail Revolve to create surfaces
      7m 42s
    5. Using Sweep Rail to create a 3D claw
      7m 49s
    6. Creating complex surface shapes using Network Surface
      8m 7s
  8. 46m 48s
    1. Introducing solids
      5m 42s
    2. Making solids with primitives
      5m 41s
    3. Extruding curves to create solids without primitives
      8m 59s
    4. Creating unique shapes with the union, difference, and intersection Boolean operators
      6m 46s
    5. Troubleshooting solids and Booleans
      8m 53s
    6. Editing with the solid edit tools
      6m 20s
    7. Creating and transforming holes in solids
      4m 27s
  9. 27m 8s
    1. Understanding Rhino's modeling aids
      3m 59s
    2. Working with the Grid Snap modeling aid
      2m 22s
    3. Using the Ortho modeling aid
      3m 4s
    4. Using the Planar modeling aid
      2m 4s
    5. Incorporating the Osnap modeling aid into your workflow
      6m 7s
    6. Understanding the Project and Smart Track modeling aids
      4m 42s
    7. Setting cursor constraints
      4m 50s
  10. 50m 14s
    1. Editing corners with Fillet and Chamfer
      7m 38s
    2. Trimming and splitting with curve Booleans
      5m 37s
    3. Moving and rotating objects with the Drag and Nudge tools
      7m 24s
    4. Copying and pasting objects
      4m 10s
    5. Understanding how Rhino uses Undo and Redo
      3m 42s
    6. Grouping objects
      3m 21s
    7. Scaling objects
      6m 40s
    8. Duplicating objects using the Mirror command
      6m 36s
    9. Making copies and structured sets using arrays
      5m 6s
  11. 20m 37s
    1. Using the Analysis toolbar to understand characteristics of a model
      6m 14s
    2. Defining degrees of curve and surfaces
      6m 6s
    3. Using Rebuild and Change Degree
      8m 17s
  12. 26m 21s
    1. Measuring and labeling values on a model using dimensioning
      5m 22s
    2. Creating screen captures for quick proofs
      5m 16s
    3. Creating 2D views of a 3D model
      6m 44s
    4. Rendering a project
      8m 59s
  13. 22m 5s
    1. Preparing a model for prototyping by confirming that all gaps are closed
      5m 17s
    2. Using the "shelling" technique to create wall thickness
      10m 54s
    3. Exporting to the STL format for 3D printing
      5m 54s
  14. 14s
    1. Goodbye

please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Rhino 4 Essential Training
5h 48m Beginner Apr 08, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Rhino 4.0 Essential Training, author Dave Schultze shows how the 3D NURBS-based modeling tools in Rhino 4.0 are used to engineer products from toy robots to full-sized aircraft. This course concentrates on using Rhino 4.0 for industrial design and rapid prototyping, with a review of common 3D terminology using specific examples. Along with a comprehensive exploration of the Rhino interface, the course includes an introduction to building 3D objects with Rhino's three primary entities: the curve, the surface, and the solid. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Understanding 3D terminology
  • Viewing a 3D model in Rhino 4.0
  • Manipulating objects with commands
  • Creating curves, surfaces, and solids
  • Applying transformations to 3D objects
  • Creating unique shapes with Boolean operators
  • Snapping to objects and planes
  • Defining curve and surface degree
  • Prototyping a 3D model
3D + Animation CAD
Dave Schultze

Rendering a project

In this video, we'll raise the bar a bit with our visuals and generate our first rendering. Keep in mind renderings can take a long time to set up and dozens of tests to get just right. No matter how experienced you'll get, you still spend a ton of time testing, tweaking, then retesting and retweaking etc. So, in interests of time, I've already assembled most of the scene. I will start off by going to the Perspective viewport. Here is our robot primary. I've made some additional copies, so I'm going to turn that layer on right now.

So, briefly I want to discuss just the staging. These were copies that were then been grouped together to keep the geometry together and then just moved and/or rotated. One of my philosophies here is it's very difficult to make a single object very interesting, so I've got a combination analogy and bad joke. While comparing it to painting when you have a still life, it's pretty unusual to see just one fruit or one vegetable. Typically, you'll have multiples together, so this is a great opportunity to add interest to the scene by having copies and also rotating them around so you can get different views and different angles.

It's a great little trick. Additionally, we have the backdrop. I'm going to turn that layer on now. Pan it out here. This is just a curve that has been extruded. So, we want to make sure that it goes underneath the objects and then up out of the viewport, so we have a nice clean environment, much like a photography studio. Finally, we have some lights. I'll turn that layer on now and if you go to the Top view, you can see we've got all three of rectangular lights. We've got one on the top. That's usually the biggest, with a gentle glow.

I've got it about three times the height of the characters. One in Front. That would be the key light and then a little bit of fill light so that it gets no dark shadows along the edges. Key lights usually are about double or triple of the fill light. I want to make a quick light for you. We'd go up to the Render menu > Create Rectangular Light. Instead of multiple steps of clicking, just make a quick one here in Right viewport. So, I'm going to find a rectangle, and typically, you want to hold down the Shift key and then hit the other edge.

That typically also it comes out on the origin, so it will take some maneuvering to get it into the scene and at the right angle. I'm keeping this simple. The three that I'm going to keep here are just every 90 degrees and since the light is coming out pretty much from all directions on these lights you don't have to worry about the exact angle. I will get rid of that last one. One thing also to check is the camera. By default, Rhino will start the Perspective viewport at around 50 millimeters. That's kind of a neutral lens.

I'd like to exaggerate the Perspective a bit. So, I'm going to right-click on the viewport and go to Viewport Properties and switch that lens to about 30, so it's going to be a little bit more wide angle. And notice it looks like the camera jumps back. It actually has got wider, so I'm going to have zoom back in a bit. Okay. Let's check some of our options. We're going to go to the tools and check under Rhino Render. The defaults here typically go to the viewport size, so I'm going to make a change to that.

I want to pick a custom size. I'm going to type in 900x600. It gives us a nice widescreen look, with a ratio of 1 1/2:1 width to height. I'm going to go ahead and just leave the Antialiasing by default. Briefly the ambient light is just the color of light in the room. If it's black, it's none. The background we're not going to even see. We've got this backdrop, and I'm just going to go ahead and leave all these options checked. We'll see how it looks, and then we'll adjust them later if needed.

I'm going to go ahead and say OK. Now the rendering will be on whatever viewport is selected. So, make sure you've got the Perspective selected and then click on this icon here to start the render. We'll probably cut back here as soon as it's completed. All right. The rendering is complete, and it will take a bit of time. It all depends on the complexity of your scene, as well as your computer power. So, looking at the rendering I'm noticing right off the bat a couple of things we definitely want to fix. First of all, the backdrop should be continuously and we shouldn't be able to see the background anywhere, so we'll have to scoot that over.

The other thing I'm noticing is we've got the isocurves showing up. This is supposed to be a rendering on the screen capture. It does look kind of cool so you may want to keep this option for some renders. I want to remember to turn that off when we revisit the options. And then also if these isocurves weren't here, I'm noticing that the highlights or the reflections in some areas are just blowing out. We probably won't be able to see the edge of this robot at all. He is so close to background color. So, we need to adjust the materials. One thing to note, without assigning any materials, everything is pretty much default white and in that case it will just blow out any lights in the scene.

Okay. So, I'm going to close this rendering and start on the fixes. First of all, let's get the backdrop scooted over. So, I'm just going to use the nudge key to scoot that over so we don't see any of it. I'll just drag it from one of the other viewports, and I might need to rotate the camera just a little bit of pull in. Next up, let's fix the materials.

I'm going to select some of the geometry here. I want to pick all of the robots. We can do that by right-clicking on the layer that's currently on and select the objects and then go to the copy layer and select those objects. So, now all of them have been selected. Now, we'll go to the Properties menu here. These items are all selected. I want to go down to Material. We're going to select the Basic material here. So, the default may be different on your screen. We'll click on color. Here's the white I mentioned, which is basically no material assigned.

And with the color wheel, I'm going to pick up a medium gray, but just to be totally accurate, I'm going to type in 128. This is halfway to 255, which will give us a perfect 50% gray. Okay, so the robots and the material changed. We can now switch to the Rendered view, giving it a little bit of a real-time preview here. So, you can kind of see the material color and a little bit of lighting, not the final but just a little bit. I'm going to select the backdrop and fix its material.

It's also got kind of a white default, which means none and we'll just pick kind of a light gray there. That should be fine. Just a word of warning. You don't have any colors in the rendering close to zero or close to 255. Those are just unnatural. So, I would stay away from 0 and select somewhat between 20 and 30 and likewise stay away from 255 and be around 230, 235, hit OK. Now let's go back to the settings and check those, right before we start the next render. Okay, so I'm going to up the Antialiasing.

I noticed some of the edges were a little bit jaggy, and then I'm going to turn off all these options. We don't really need the curves, or any text, or any edges. Okay. So, it's always good to do a double- check here before we start the rendering, since it's a bit of a time investment. So, we've got 900x600, with the Perspective viewport still active, we're uping in the Antialiasing, which is the edge, and then all those options have been adjusted. Notice that the isocurves are not showing anymore, so this update is fairly accurate although not final quality.

I'll go ahead and start the Render button. Okay. The render is complete, and let's take a look. I see a bunch of improvements along the edges that was fixed by the aliasing. The material is now really popping out, and the backdrop has no gaps. One note here. If you like this, and it's ready to share or display, you can go ahead and save it. So, make sure you do the Save As command. This render will not be saved with the Rhino file. When you open it back up, you'll always have to regenerate the rendering if you didn't.

So, save it as a JPEG or your favorite file format. For additional practice, I highly recommend continuing to work on this scene. I might move the camera some more and then focus on the materials, such as adding colors and reflectivity to further enhance the realism. The use of 3D rendering can be a powerful sales tool for any idea or product and skill in this area is extremely valuable. However, the built-in render capabilities of Rhino are nowhere near some of third-party plug-ins. My personal favorite is called V-Ray for Rhino and is produced by

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Rhino 4 Essential Training .

Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
Q: I'm noticing several differences between the options that author shows in the video and my copy of Rhino. For example, I can't select curves on the edge of a surface or turn on control point when vertically extruding a closed surface like an ellipse. Also, I do not get the Sweep option. I'm running on Mac OS X Snow Leopard.
A: This course was recorded on a Windows computer. As of February 2012, Rhino for Mac is still in beta, so it is not yet a full-fledged product. Wait until the full version comes out to see if these issues are resolved.
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Rhino 4 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


Upgrade to View Courses Offline


With our new Desktop App, Annual Premium Members can download courses for Internet-free viewing.

Upgrade Now

After upgrading, download Desktop App Here.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Start your FREE 10-day trial

Begin learning software, business, and creative skills—anytime,
anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts. provides
Unlimited access to over 4,000 courses—more than 100,000 video tutorials
Expert-led instruction
On-the-go learning. Watch from your computer, tablet, or mobile device. Switch back and forth as you choose.
Start Your FREE Trial Now

A trusted source for knowledge.


We provide training to more than 4 million people, and our members tell us that helps them stay ahead of software updates, pick up brand-new skills, switch careers, land promotions, and explore new hobbies. What can we help you do?

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.