Materials

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Render Tools

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Material Editor

Panels

Materials

Materials

The Materials command opens the Materials panel which specifies the color, finish, transparency, texture, and bump for use by the built-in Rhino renderer.

Note

Materials panel

Panel options

Materials panel toolbar

The Materials panel has additional browsing tools.

Back

Selects the previous item in the list.

Forward

Selects the next item in the list.

Current item

Displays the current item icon and name.

Search
  • Click the search box (magnifying glass) to display a menu for searching names, notes, or tags.
Search Names

Limits the search to names.

Search Notes

Limits the search to notes.

Search Tags

Limits the search to tags.

  • When tags: is selected, a list of available tags appears. These tags are gathered from the materials, environments, and textures in the document.
  • In the tags list, arrow keys move up and down and the selected tag is appended to the search.
  • Type a semicolon to keep the selected tag and append a semicolon to the search.
  • Backspace removes the last tag from the search.
  • Once the focus is on the tags list, you can navigate the list using the keyboard with the semicolon and backspace keys appending and removing tags from the search without having to use the mouse.
Show Search Tips

Displays how 'name:', 'note:', 'tag:', '?', '#' and '^' are used for searching items.

Menu

Displays the Tools menu.

Help

Thumbnail preview actions

Drag and drop actions in the list section

Create New Material 

To create a new material

  1. In the thumbnail browser, click Create New Material.
  2. On the menu, select a material type.
Import from material library

Imports a material (.rmtl) from the Render Content library folder.

Use a new material

Creates a new material. Choose a material type to use as a template.

Custom

Creates a new custom material.

Custom materials have all possible settings available in the editor.

Gem

Creates a new gem material.

Glass

Creates a new glass material.

Metal

Creates a new metal material.

Paint

Creates a new paint material.

Picture

Creates a new picture material.

Plaster

Creates a new plaster material.

Plastic

Creates a new plastic material.

More types...

Opens the content type browser to see more options for creating a new material.

Plug-in

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

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

Match

Changes the material properties to match a different object.

Tags

Add multiple categories or descriptions that can be used to search for materials in the libraries.

Command-line options

To access command-line options

  1. Type a hyphen in front of the command name: -Properties.
  2. Select Material or type m.
Command-line options

Assign

Rename

Library

Color

GlossColor

GlossFinish

Transparency

TextureMap

TransparencyMap

BumpMap

EnvironmentMap

Match

Edit

Name

The name of the material.

Type

Sets the material type.

Note

Custom
Glass
Metal
Paint
Picture
Plaster
Plastic
Gem

Custom

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

Color

The Color control sets the material's base (also called diffuse) color.

The color used to render surfaces, polysurfaces, or polygon meshes.

The color option does not affect the select wireframe display. To change the color of the wireframe display, change the color of the object's layer or set the color in Object Properties.

You can drag the color swatch to a folder to create a Rhino color file.

To add this color to a color library

To change the color

  1. Click the color swatch to select a color from the Select Color dialog box.
  2. Click the menu arrow or right-click the swatch to open the context menu.
  3. Menu options

    Color Picker

    Opens the Select Color dialog box.

    Eye Dropper

    Allows picking the color from anywhere on the screen.

    Copy

    Copies the color in the color swatch.

    Paste

    Pastes the color from one color swatch to another.

  4. In the edit box, specify the percentage of strength the color.

Gloss finish

The Gloss finish control adjusts the highlight from matte to glossy and sets the color of the glossy area.

To change the glossiness

To set the gloss finish color

Reflectivity

The Reflectivity setting sets the material's reflectivity amount and sets the reflective color.

To change the reflectivity amount

To change the reflectivity color

Transparency

Adjusts the transparency of an object in the rendered image.

To set the transparency value

IOR (Index of Refraction)

Sets the level of transparency based on the index of refraction (IOR) scale.

Example IOR values are shown in the following table:

Material

IOR

Vacuum 1.0
Air 1.00029
Ice 1.309
Water 1.33
Glass 1.52 to 1.8
Emerald 1.57
Ruby/Sapphire 1.77
Diamond 2.417

To change the transparency color

Textures

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

Supported image formats

Rhino supports the following file formats:

Transparency is not supported in these formats:

Transparency is supported in these formats:

To specify an image

  1. Click the texture control.
    (click to assign texture)
    The check box automatically becomes checked the first time you do this. You can clear the check box to turn off the assignment.
  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.

Color

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

Note: Texture colors override mesh vertex colors. Reducing texture opacity blends texture colors with vertex colors.

Transparency

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

Bump

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

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

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

Environment

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

The image should be an angular map or light probe projection (spherical) image. Other image projections will produce the reflection effect, but it will be distorted and not produce the realistic environment reflection.

Advanced Settings

Self-illumination

Allows the material to render the diffuse color with shadowing and shading by enabling diffuse lighting.


Diffuse lighting off (left) and on (right).
On

If this setting is on, the object renders with shadowing and shading.

Off

If this setting is off, the object will render the diffuse color all over with no shadowing or shading. Turning this setting off ensures that the color the texture of picture frames remains constant over the surface.

Fresnel reflectivity

Causes objects to reflect fully at glancing angles and only slightly reflect when the object is seen head on.

This effect simulates many transparent or semi-transparent materials, such as glass, plastic, and materials that have a thin transparent glaze, such as laminated paper, polished woods, and paint.

Alpha transparency

Allows images with an alpha channel for transparency to make the object transparent in the areas of the image where the alpha channel is applied.


Alpha transparency on (left) and off (right).

Alpha transparency

Reflection polish

Makes the surface reflections fuzzy. For surfaces that are perfectly reflective, such as mirrors and chrome, use 100% polish. Lower values model materials like certain plastics and the sanded surface of frosted glass.

Changing this setting can increase rendering time.

Transparent clarity

Controls the clarity of the material.

Frosted

Creates translucent materials like tracing paper or hand-made glass.

Changing this setting can increase rendering time.

Polished

Creates clear materials such as water, float glass, and diamonds.

Emission color

Adds a color to the shaded result. It does not take into account the lighting, so if the emission color is white, the object will always appear white. If the emission color is gray, all parts of the object will appear brighter than they would otherwise.


Orange material emission color black (left); emission color blue (right).

Gems

The preset Gem materials offer a choice of preset gems. Other settings are pre-determined by the gem type.

Type

Amber

Amethyst

Aquamarine

Diamond

Emerald

Ruby

Sapphire

 

 

Glass

The preset Glass material type allows the Color, Frost, and index of refraction settings to be modified. Other settings are pre-determined.


Glass
Color

Sets the diffuse color.

Transparent clarity

Sets the Transparency clarity.

Transparency clarity

Index of refraction

Sets the index of refraction.

Metal

The preset Metal material allows the Color and Polish to be modified.

Other settings are pre-determined by the metal type.


Brass

Bronze

Chrome

Copper

Gold

Gold (Yellow)

Platinum

Silver

Stainless steel

Steel

Titanium
Color

Sets the diffuse color.

Common metal colors are presented in the limited palette.

Reflection polish

Sets the Reflection polish.

Reflection Polish

Bump texture

Sets the texture style for the bump from a limited list.

Hatch styles available
None
Hatch
Cross Hatch
Dots
Grit
Leather
Speckle
Scale

Sets the size of the bump pattern.

Paint

The preset Paint material allows the Color and Glossiness to be modified.


Red paint
Color

Sets the diffuse color.

Glossiness

Sets the Fresnel reflectivity and Reflection polish.

Picture

The preset Picture materials place a single image on an object using surface mapping.

The Picture material allows the image file, the Self-illumination, Grayscale, and Transparency settings to be modified.

Note: Tiling cannot be modified for a picture texture.

See also Bitmap Texture.

Texture

File

Sets the image file to be used.

Self-illuminated

Turns self-illumination on.


Self-illuminated on (left) and off (right).
Grayscale

Sets the image to grayscale.

Transparency

Sets the transparency of the image.

Use alpha channel

Uses the alpha channel in the image to set the transparency.

Use color mask

Uses a specific color in the image to set the transparency.


Color mask transparency off (left) and on (right).
Object transparency

The transparency in the image also makes the object to which the material is applied transparent in the areas covered by the color or alpha channel transparency.

Plaster

The preset Plaster material is the default matte, non-reflective, untextured material. Only the Color can be changed.

Color

Sets the diffuse color.

Plastic

The preset Plastic material allows the Color, Reflectivity, Polish, Transparency, and Clarity to be changed.

Color

Sets the diffuse Color.

Reflectivity

Sets the Reflectivity.

Transparency

Sets the Transparency.

Transparent clarity

Sets the Transparency clarity.

Bump texture

Sets the texture style for the bump from a limited list.

Hatch styles available
None
Hatch
Cross Hatch
Dots
Grit
Leather
Speckle
Scale

Sets the size of the bump pattern.

Save and share render content

Render content (materials, environments, and textures) are stored in models. They can also be saved to files and shared across models. The Libraries panel displays the default content folder. Content can be dragged and dropped between Rhino sessions or between a Rhino window and a disk folder.

To access hidden command-line options

Command-line options

ShowPanel=Yes / No / Toggle

Displays the Materials panel.

Options

Displays command-line options.

Add
Delete
Rename
Change
Duplicate
LoadFromFile
SaveToFile
AssignToObjects

See also

Snapshots

The Snapshots command saves and restores Named Views, Named Positions, Layer States, as well as rendering settings, object settings including locked/hidden state, display mode, material, position, light settings, curve piping, displacement, edge softening, shutlining, and thickness.

Use materials and textures

Render your model scene

Render Content Conflicts

Rhino detects material, environment and texture name conflicts in the following file operations:

When a render content item name already exists in the current model, but the content settings are different, the conflicted item will be imported with "[imported]" appended to its name.

Material Basics in Rhino 6

Materials and texture mapping in Rhino 6 for Windows

 

 

 

Rhinoceros 6 © 2010-2019 Robert McNeel & Associates. 21-Aug-2019