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Panels > Environments

The Environments command opens the Environments panel to edit background color, image, projection.

Environments panel

Container options

Environments panel toolbar

The Environments panel has additional browsing tools.

Add Environment

Click to select an action to create a new texture.

Import Environment from File

Imports environments from a saved Rhino .renv file.

Choose existing

Creates a new environment by using an existing environment as the template.

Basic Environment

Creates a new basic environment.

More Types

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

Search Names

Limits the search to names.

Search Notes

Limits the search to notes.

Search Tags

Limits the search to tags.

Search info

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


Displays the Tools menu.


Thumbnail indicators

The icons at the lower-right corner of an environment thumbnail indicate usages of the environment.

The environment is used for reflection and refraction raytracing.

The environment is used as the skylight for lighting the scene.

The environment is used as a 360° background.

The external background image used by the environment is missing.

Thumbnail actions

Drag and drop actions in the list section


The name of the environment.

See: Naming conventions in Rhino


Sets the environment type.


Basic Environment Settings


The basic environment is a simple background color and optional texture. The projection of the texture can be set to either planar, spherical (otherwise known as equirectangular or longitude/latitude) or box.

To set the background color

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

To add this color to a color library

Background image

Uses an image as the environment background.

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.


Sets the projection style for the background image.


Maps texture directly to background. Environment looks always the same no matter where the camera is looking.

Light probe

Also known as angular fish-eye projection or azimuthal equidistant projection. Elliptical subsection reaching each border of the texture is mapped onto the sphere.

See: Wikipedia: Azimuthal equidistant projection.


Also known as spherical projection. Horizontal line in the middle of the texture is mapped to the equator of the sphere.

See: Wikipedia: Equirectangular projection.


Subsections corresponding to each side of the cube are located side by side dividing the texture into six equal parts.

See: Wikipedia: Cube mapping.

Vertical cross cubemap

Subsections corresponding to each side of the cube are located in a vertical cross pattern. Each subsection is one fourth of the image in height and one third in width.

Horizontal cross cubemap

Subsections corresponding to each side of the cube are located in a horizontal cross pattern. Each subsection is one third of the image in height and one fourth in width.


Elliptical subsection reaching each border of the texture is mapped onto the sphere. This projection is the result of taking a photo of a mirror sphere with an orthographic camera.


Like spherical projection but the entire texture is mapped onto the upper half of the sphere. The bottom border of the texture is stretched over the under side of the sphere.


Sets the rotation of the environment. This helps put the image in the correct position to accomplish the correct reflections and lighting.


Specifies the strength of the environment.

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 command-line options

Command-line options


Displays the Environment Editor panel.


Displays command-line options.


See also


Open or close the Materials panel.


Open or close the Textures panel.


Render the objects using the current renderer.

Resolving 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 items will be resolved based on the related advanced settings.

Search for PasteConflictOption (for paste) and ImportRenameConflictingEx (for import and insert) in Advanced settings and change the value as described below.

0 = Do not import incoming conflicted render contents.

1 = Import and rename incoming conflicted render contents with [imported] post-fix.

2 = Import incoming conflicted render contents and overwrite existing ones.

3 = Pop up the Render Content Name Conflict dialog and let you decide how to resolve the conflicts.

Intro to Environments in V6

Environments in Rhino 6 rendering




Rhinoceros 8 © 2010-2024 Robert McNeel & Associates. 16-May-2024