The Material properties manage render material settings for the selected objects.


Assign material by

Rendering properties can be assigned to layers, or to objects that will be used with the basic Rhino renderer.


The object inherits the render material assigned to the layer. To change the material assignment of the layer, use the Layers dialog box.

Note: Deleting a material from the Material Editor, returns all objects that had the deleted material assigned to assignment by layer.


The object inherits the render material from its parent object.

Example using Parent material

1. Set the material for Layer 1.
2. Draw a Sphere on Layer 1.
3. Select the sphere, and set its material property to Parent.
4. Use the Block command to turn the sphere into a block.
5. Set the material for Layer 2 to a different material.
6. Insert the block from step 4 on Layer 2.

The sphere will display the material assigned to Layer 2 because the block instance is on Layer 2, and the objects in the block are assigned their material by Parent.

7. Select the block instance, and set its material property to object.

The sphere will change to the object material.

Note for nested blocks: Blocks made of nested blocks that include objects set to the Parent material are not affected by further nesting.


Render materials are assigned to individual objects and are used by Rhino's built-in renderer.

See: MaterialEditor.


Render materials are assigned using the current rendering plug-in application.

Note: This option appears only if there is a rendering plug-in loaded.

Import from File

Imports materials from a saved Rhino .rmtl file.

Create New Basic Material

Creates a new material.


This option is only available when the material assigned is from a render plug-in.


Copies the material to a new material.


Names the texture. All textures are automatically assigned a name. You can change this generic name.

Note: When a texture or image file is dragged to a Rhino object, a material with that image is assigned to the object.

Basic Settings

The default material is white and matte, with no reflectivity or transparency.


Sets the material's base (also called diffuse) color.

Gloss finish

Adjusts the highlight (gloss finish) from matte to glossy.


Sets the material's reflectivity.


Adjusts the transparency of an object in the rendered image.


Sets the level of transparency based on the index of refraction scale.


Textures (bitmap images or procedural textures) can be used for color, transparency, bump, and environment.


Images changed outside of Rhino in Photoshop or a similar program automatically update in the rendered view.

Image textures

To specify an image

1. Click in the (empty - click to assign) slot.
2. Select an image file to use.
3. In the edit box, specify the percentage of strength the image will use to affect the color, transparency, bump, or environment.


Specifies a texture to use as the material's color.


Sets a texture to use as the material's transparency.


Defines the name of a bitmap file that will be mapped on the surface as a bump map when you render the scene.

A bitmap image makes a surface appear bumpy in a rendered image but does not modify the shape of the surface.


Sets a texture to use as the material's environment. This will be mapped onto the surface as though it were being reflected.

Advanced Settings

Emission color

Ambient color

Enable diffuse lighting


Add notes to provide extra information. The notes are saved with the document.


Changes the material properties to match a different object.

See also


Render the objects using the current renderer.


Open the Material Editor to manage materials in the model.

Use materials and textures

Manage object properties

Rhinoceros 5 © 2010-2015 Robert McNeel & Associates. 17-Sep-2015