User Manual - Thea Render
THEA FOR RHINO
www.thearender.com/rhino
USER MANUAL
Revision 186
Copyright © Solid Iris Technologies
1.Introduction ....................................................................................................................................... 3
2. Application Prerequisites ................................................................................................................. 3
2.1 Supported Rhino 5 features ........................................................................................................ 3
3. Installation ........................................................................................................................................ 4
4. Licensing and Activation ................................................................................................................. 5
5. Getting Started – Main Windows ..................................................................................................... 6
5.1 Thea Render Toolbar .................................................................................................................. 6
5.2 Thea Render Darkroom .............................................................................................................. 7
5.2.1 Interactive Render Controls .................................................................................................... 8
5.2.2 Production and Interactive Render .......................................................................................... 9
5.2.3 Display Settings ...................................................................................................................... 9
5.2.4 Network Rendering ............................................................................................................... 10
5.3 Thea Render Settings ............................................................................................................... 10
5.3.1 Thea Render – Rendering...................................................................................................... 11
5.3.2 Thea Render – Environment ................................................................................................. 12
5.3.3 Thea Render – Camera .......................................................................................................... 13
5.4 Thea Lights .............................................................................................................................. 14
5.5 Object properties ...................................................................................................................... 15
5.6 Thea Render Materials ............................................................................................................. 15
5.6.1 Thea Material Preview .......................................................................................................... 16
5.6.2 Browser ................................................................................................................................. 17
5.6.3 Material Panel - Editor .......................................................................................................... 17
5.7 Import/Export ........................................................................................................................... 18
5.7.1 Thea models .......................................................................................................................... 18
5.7.2 Environment .......................................................................................................................... 18
5.8. Changing the Texture paths ..................................................................................................... 19
6.0 Preferences ................................................................................................................................... 19
6.0.1 General .................................................................................................................................. 20
6.0.2 EXR ....................................................................................................................................... 20
7.0 Update .......................................................................................................................................... 21
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1.
INTRODUCTION
Thea for Rhino is an integrated plug-in that enables utilization of Thea Render rendering functionality
within McNeel Rhino 5.
The plugin enables wide range of features which include:

Biased/Unbiased/GPU render modes (utilizing CUDA technology)

Physically based material interface uniform of all render modes

Production render and fluid interactive render

Physically based environment (Sun/Sky)

Physically based cameras and lights using Thea for Rhino interface
Note that this manual covers plug-in settings and options only, thus for a deeper and more detailed
understanding of Thea Render features such as materials design, engines modes please obtain the
Thea Render User Manual.
2. APPLICATION PREREQUISITES
Thea for Rhino requires an existing installation of McNeel Rhino 5 64bit edition and Thea Render Studio
64bit to be available on your computer before executing the plugin installer. Installation of Thea Render
Studio is necessary as major components of our renderer are provided by the main application.
Currently the plugin is compatible for all 64bit Microsoft Windows operating systems from Vista
onwards.
2.1 Supported Rhino 5 features
1.
All Rhino models and blocks (instances/proxies)
2.
All Rhino lights
3.
Rhino Sun/Sky
4.
Rhino basic materials (materials are converted to Thea Render materials when render starts)
5.
Rhino Environment is not supported. Thea Environment has been integrated and should be
used instead.
6.
Both production and interactive render inside the Darkroom are supported.
7.
During interactive rendering all scene change events are handled such as
moving/adding/deleting objects and lights, material assignment to objects as well as showing/hiding
objects and layers.
8.
Region render during interactive render.
9.
Network and bucket render.
10.
Rhino clipping planes.
11.
Import/export Thea models.
Currently there are some features not supported but they are to be added in next releases.
1.
Bongo animation plug-in support.
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3. INSTALLATION
To perform installation of Thea for Rhino plugin you
will need to obtain the installer from our landing page:
thearender.com/rhino
Once executed the Rhino plugin installer will enquire
about user access and therefore please make the
appropriate selection depending on who you wish
have to access to the plugin. The installer will then
copy the appropriate files to the Rhino 5 plugin folder.
Upon completion of the installation process you will
need to start Rhino 5 and then from the Render Entry
option from the Rhino Menu system you will need to
assign Current Renderer to be Thea for Rhino.
Figure 1: Thea4Rhino Installation Window
Troubleshooting:
In the instance that Rhino 5 does not automatically
load the TheaForRhino plugin steps you can perform
manual installation by utilizing the Plugins window
from the menu Tools→Options→Plug-ins. By
selecting the ‘Install’ button you must navigate to the
folder containing the TheaForRhino.rhp file.
Installation folder is:
C:\Users\[yourusername]\AppData\Roaming\McNee
l\Rhinoceros\5.0\Plug-ins”
Figure 2: Rhino Plug-ins options window
under a folder Thea for Rhino.
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4. LICENSING AND ACTIVATION
If you have recently purchased Thea for Rhino bundle and have not performed the installation of Thea
Render Studio, please visit our main download page - thearender.com/downloads - to obtain the latest
installer for Thea Render Studio before proceeding with Thea for Rhino plugin installation and
activation.
Once Thea Render Studio has been installed you must input in the License Input Form the necessary
information required to activate your Studio license. Select from Thea Render Studio application menu
option Help – License Form and in the Main tab insert the license serial for Thea Studio along with
your Full Name and Email (please note uppercase/lowercase information entry is important as your
license key to the entered data).
To complete the Thea Render Studio activation you need to select the Activate License button and
then re-insert your Email per original data insertion. Please note that a live Internet connection is
required as communication with the activation server is essential for successful activation of your
license.
Activation of your newly purchased Thea for Rhino plugin will allow you to enjoy full Thea Render
functionality within Rhino 5. To perform activation of your plugin you must insert your Thea for Rhino
plugin license key in the License Input Form – Plugins – Rhino Plugin option and press the Activate
Plugin Licenses button (figure 4).
Figure 3: License Input Form - Main Tab
Figure 4: License Input Form, Plug-in Tab
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5. GETTING STARTED – MAIN WINDOWS
All Thea for Rhino plugin functionality can be explored through the Thea Render menu bar as well as the
Thea Render toolbar within Rhino 5. Thea materials can be created in the Rhino material section. Also
Sun/Sky can be edited in the Rhino Sun/Sky section. The Thea Render menu is the main entry point for
Thea for Rhino features. Darkroom, render settings, import/export as well as the license form are the
available options of the plugin menu. All these options are explained in the upcoming sections.
5.1 Thea Render Toolbar
Our toolbar provides easy and efficient access to Thea for Rhino features. It provides the Thea for Rhino
commands alone or combined, as well as Rhino commands making the desired and required features
centralized. Figure 5 below provides an overview of available toolbar icons:
Opens the Darkroom window. This is where rendering takes place and is explained in section
5.2.
Opens the Render Settings dockable window. It is explained in section 5.3
Opens the Rhino material editor and creates a new Thea material. This button is a
combination of multiple commands that eases the creation of Thea materials (section 5.4).
Opens the Rhino Sun/Sky window.
Imports a Thea model (mod.thea).
Imports a Thea environment file (sky.thea).
Imports render settings from a file.
Exports a Thea model (mod.thea).
Exports the Thea environment.
Exports the render settings.
Exports the whole scene (scn.thea, pack.thea).
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5.2 Thea Render Darkroom
Thea Render Darkroom provides access to all our production and interactive render modes within Rhino
5. Within this environment you have full access of display variables such as ISO exposure, shutter speed,
f-number and many more.
Thea Render Darkroom has been divided into four major sections. The top section of the Darkroom panel
provides basic render controls as well as the interactive render controls. Render images
are provided
in the center panel while render controls and display controls are at the bottom.
Figure 6: The Darkroom. The place where rendering takes place
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5.2.1 Interactive Render Controls
Figure 7: The top part of the Darkroom. Controls for basic render settings as well as interactive
rendering controls
This part of the Darkroom contains some basic render and interactive render controls.
This is a combo box which can switch from production to interactive render mode and
vice versa. Production render mode renders the scene without adjusting it when a
change in Rhino occurs. Interactive mode responds to every change in the scene
immediately.
This combo box selects the render engine to be used in production or interactive mode.
Interactive mode supports the Presto AO, Presto MC as well as Adaptive AMC.
Production mode supports also Unbiased TR1, Unbiased TR2 and Adaptive BSD.
This combo box controls the render resolution. The default value is set to follow the
Thea camera resolution as set in the interface (section 5.3.3). Also the Rhino viewport
resolution can be set as well as some other resolution presets.
The lock viewport control can be used during interactive rendering only. When
checked, it “locks” the active Rhino viewport and only this one is used in rendering.
Other Rhino viewports can be enabled without changing the active Thea camera in
rendering.
Those two controls enable and handle region render during interactive rendering. The
first control is a button which enables drawing a rectangle on the Darkroom to define
the region. The second control is a combo box containing all the regions selected for a
particular Rhino view and helps enabling different regions without the need to define
them again.
The last six controls can be used during interactive rendering only. The controls that edit the active Thea
camera, also update the Rhino viewport.
When enabled, the interactive “pick focus distance” action gets enabled. By clicking on the
rendered image, camera focus distance is adjusted accordingly.
Camera rotation. By holding the left mouse button and moving the mouse on the rendered
image, the camera is rotated.
Camera pan. By holding the left mouse button and moving the mouse on the rendered
image, the camera is panned.
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Dolly. Using the mouse wheel on the rendered image, the camera is zoomed in/out.
Camera roll. Using the mouse wheel, the active camera is rolled.
Pick material. Left clicking on the rendered image, the material assigned to the object under
the cursor is selected on the Rhino material section. Materials assigned to objects must be
of type “Thea Material”.
5.2.2 Production and Interactive Render
This part of the Darkroom controls both the interactive and production render process. Below these
controls are explained from left to right order.
1.
Save the rendered image. Many image formats are supported such as PNG or EXR.
2.
Shows the elapsed time during production rendering.
3.
Refreshes the rendered image. This is particularly important because if the rendering has stopped
and the display settings have changed, this control will update the rendered image.
4.
Provides feedback about the render status.
5.
Starts rendering. Production or interactive render get started depending on the selection of the
render mode.
6.
Pause rendering. It is applicable only during production rendering. When render is paused, the
only action that can be performed is resume render (the start button).
7.
Progress percentage feedback.
8.
Stops both production and interactive render.
Figure 8: The Darkroom controls that controls rendering
5.2.3 Display Settings
The controls shown below, affect the display settings of the camera. They are very important because
when used along with the camera settings, they can improve dramatically the rendered image. Also the
channel combo box can show the image in a different channel if this channel was selected before render
started. For a complete explanation, please consult the section 5.4 of Thea Render manual.
Figure 9: The Darkroom display controls
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5.2.4 Network Rendering
Network rendering gives the ability to allow multiple computers to contribute to the rendering process.
Network rendering can be enabled in the Distribution section of Rendering tab in Thea Render settings
(section 5.3.1). Darkroom has the Network Log page which displays information during network
rendering. The name, IP address and contribution of the clients are depicted on this page.
Figure 10: Network log page
5.3 Thea Render Settings
The render settings dialog can be opened both from the Thea Render menu as a separate dockable
window or by right clicking on a dockable window in Rhino and selecting the Thea Render entry.
This window consists of three tabs, the rendering, the environment and the camera.
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5.3.1 Thea Render – Rendering
The Rendering tab has all the options needed to set the render
engine and its properties. It consists of many expanding sections
which are collapsed/expanded when clicked on the header. This
helps to isolate the desired render settings and not get distracted
by others.
The main section is the most important one. Render mode,
render engine and some basic options can be set.
Four types of render engines are supported; Biased, Unbiased,
Presto and Progressive.
•
Biased (Adaptive BSD): Can only be used for production
render and is based on field mapping and final gathering.
•
Unbiased (TR1/TR2): Those two engines can be used in
production mode. They can be used to effectively solve difficult
lighting and they are very easy to set up.
•
Presto (MC/AO): Presto AO and Presto MC engines can be
used for both production and interactive rendering. They are
mostly used for direct lighting.
•
Progressive (AMC): It can be used both in production and
interactive rendering. This particular engine uses the logic of an
ubiased engine with some extra performance
Under the Distribution section, the number of CPU threads can
be set as well as the network rendering option. By enabling the
Network Rendering check box, the plug-in runs in server mode
and Thea clients can be connected and contribute to the render
process.
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Figure 11: The rendering settings
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5.3.2 Thea Render – Environment
The Environment tab provides controls the environment of a
scene. The Rhino environment is not supported. Environment
must be set from the Thea Render settings dialog. In this tab
you can see the settings supported by Thea Render
distinguished in expanding sections.
The Sun as well as the Sky can be enabled and set in the Rhino
sun section which is located in Render→Panels→Sun (Or you
can use the corresponding button in the Thea Render toolbar).
1.
Physical Sky
•
Turbidity is a term used to describe the scattering of
the atmosphere that is caused by haze. The term haze refers
to an atmosphere that scatters more than molecules alone,
but less than fog. Haze is often referred to as a haze aerosol
because the extra scattering is due to particles suspended in
the molecular gas. Because the haze particles typically scatter
more uniformly than molecules for all wavelengths, haze
causes a whitening of the sky. The actual particles come from
many sources such as volcanic eruptions, forest fires, cosmic
bombardment, the oceans etc.
•
Ozone defines the amount of ozone gas in the
atmosphere. The standard way to determine the amount of
total ozone is by measuring the amount of ozone gas in a
column of air and is expressed in Dobson units. One Dobson
unit indicates 0.01 millimeter thickness of ozone gas in a
column. The default value in Thea is 0.350 cm. Higher values
give the sky and the scene a blue color.
•
User can define here the amount of water vapor in the
atmosphere. In the same way as ozone, it is measured in
centimeters.
•
Turbidity coefficient is the power for exponential
transmittance for atmospheric aerosol.
•
At this point the wavelength exponent can be defined.
The default value is set to 1.3. This number shows the average
size of the particles in the atmosphere.
•
Albedo option can influence the overall appearance of
the sky. High albedo values can occur for example in winter
scenes by the snow reflectance while small values occur at
environment with grass. Especially in cases with high turbidity
settings, changing the albedo value changes the overall
brightness of the sky.
•
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Figure 12: Thea Render Environment
settings
Copyright © Solid Iris Technologies
2.
Image Based Lighting
It enables an image for lighting the scene instead of the Sun. Notice that when IBL is enabled, sun get
disabled and vice-versa. Wrapping and rotation are related to the image's position. This image is also
used at the background.
3.
Background Mapping adds an image to the background of the scene.
4.
Reflection Mapping adds an image for the reflection of the objects. If we do not enable this
option, reflections are according to the map inserted at the IBL panel. Note: for materials that their
roughness is close to zero (or zero), the reflection is based totally on the Reflection Mapping. Though, for
higher values, there is an interpolation between this image and the IBL image.
5.
Refraction Mapping is similar to the Reflection mapping but it affects the refraction of the objects.
6.
5.3.3 Thea Render – Camera
The last tab contains the settings for the Thea camera.
The camera settings might be different than the Rhino
viewport settings.
Focal length and projection do communicate with the
Rhino viewport but resolution does not.
This way, you might have a small resolution set in Rhino
viewport but render images in higher resolution.
Different camera settings are stored for different Rhino
viewports. When setting a Rhino viewport as active, the
camera settings are updated accordingly.
Figure 13: Thea Render camera settings
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•
Film section contains the resolution, film height and focal length settings of the camera. The “Sync
with Rhino viewport” button is a fast way to set the Rhino viewport resolution to the Thea camera. The
focal length corresponds to the distance of the camera lens to the film.
•
The lens section contains the properties of the camera lens. These are the projection, shutter
speed, shift X/Y, diaphragm and blades.
•
The depth of field options adjust the camera focus. When the f-number value is 0 it corresponds
to pinhole. The focus distance value is the distance the camera is focused on. Objects far from this
distance are rendered blurred. Focus distance can be set both by entering the distance value and by
clicking on the “Pick...” button and select an object on the Rhino viewport.
•
Z-Clipping offers the choice to the user to clip certain portion of the render based on the far and
near distance of the camera.
5.4 Thea Lights
Thea light properties can be configured from a separate dialog.
When a light is clicked in the Rhino viewport, the Thea light
properties page is shown in the properties page. Depending on
the light type, the appropriate controls are shown.
Light properties are divided in two categories which are General
and Emittance properties.
The Emittance properties set the color, power, units, efficacy and
the attenuation. The physically based value of the attenuation is
inverse square which means that the light energy is decrease by
the square distance of the light to the objects. Rhino spotlights
are converted to Thea spot lights. Spot lights have also the
property of setting the angles of both the hot spot (light beam
has constant power) and fall off (maximum angle after which
light is not emitted at all).
Figure 14: Thea Light Editor
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5.5 Object properties
Thea for Rhino attaches some Thea properties to Rhino models.
Those attributes can be configured in the Thea object properties
page. The parameters with the blue label are only taken into
account when Adaptive BSD engine is used. What is more,
disabled means that the object becomes invisible and its
properties (shadow caster, emitter material) become disabled.
Visible/Invisible means that only visibility changes but the
properties might be enabled (e.g. invisible emitter). Mask index
is used in the Mask channel production. Objects with mask index Figure 15: Thea object properties page
greater than zero, will make Thea for Rhino to produce a separate
channel for them when Mask channel is enabled.
5.6 Thea Render Materials
Thea Render materials creation is performed in the same fashion as Rhino 5 materials. When clicking on
the Add New Material icon (Figure 14), a Thea material must be chosen. After the Thea material is created
the material editor is shown. The material editor is separated is two parts. First part provides settings for
the material preview while the second is used to edit a material.
There are three ways to manage material within the user interface:
1.
Import an installed material from the material browser
2.
Choose a material preset
3.
Edit it in the Thea MatLab
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Figure 14: Creating a new Thea Material
Figure 2
5.6.1 Thea Material Preview
Figure 3
The preview settings panel affects the preview
thumbnail from the material list.
The room is an installed scene that is opened to
render the material. Other rooms are installed like
the direct, cloth etc. Each material can be set to be
rendered in different room.
The threads edit set the number of CPU threads to
be used for the preview rendering. Default Zero
(0) value assigns maximum processor threads,
thus full CPU capability.
Custom visualisation in the Rhino viewport can be
achieved through the Rhino viewport visualization
Figure 4
Figure 15: Thea Render Material editor panel
Figure 16: Thea Material preview settings
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properties. The active BSDF layer can be selected,
if multiple exist, and then, the diffuse and
reflection colors in the Rhino viewport can be set
with the ones from the selected BSDF layer.
5.6.2 Browser
Thea Studio comes with a set of materials. The
first button in the material editor of Thea for Rhino
opens a material browser. This browser shows all
the materials that were installed with Thea Studio.
On the left there is a list of material types and
when selected, the materials of this type are
shown on the right. Custom folders can be added
in the browser by right-clicking on the Custom
Folders entry.
Figure 17: Material browser
5.6.3 Material Panel - Editor
The editor section of the Thea Material Panel
provides abstracts all the details of Thea Render
physically based materials and provides the user
with a set of predefined presets leaving the option
for users wanting to explore and use the physically
based Thea material system.
Figure 18: Material editor
The first button opens the material browser that explained above. The next button is a combo box with
the material presets. When a preset is selected from the combo box list, this kind of material is created
and the available edit options are shown below. Figure 14 shows the editor when a Plastic material has
been created. Color or a texture can be set for the material's color, reflection and roughness percentage
can be set and finally a bump texture can be added on this material. Furthermore, materials can be saved
as plain material files (mat.thea) or as packed material files (mat.pack) which will add all the textures in
a single file.
The last button opens the Thea MatLab as an external application.
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5.7 Import/Export
Import and Export can be accessed through the Thea Render menu. Environment, Thea models and
render settings can be imported in Rhino. In the export entry, Thea models, environment, render settings
or the whole Rhino scene converted to Thea can be exported.
5.7.1 Thea models
Thea models (.mod.thea files) can be imported in Rhino. They are imported as blocks and thus, many
copies of them can exist without increasing the scene size. When importing Thea models, the Thea
content browser opens listing the installed Thea model libraries. When exporting Thea models, the first
step is to select the Rhino objects (if multiple objects are selected they will be grouped), then provide an
image for the preview and finally save the Thea model.
Figure 19: Importing Thea models.
5.7.2 Environment
Thea environment (sky.thea) can be imported as well. The Thea content browser opens pointing to the
installed environment libraries.
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Figure 20: Importing Thea environment.
5.8. Changing the Texture paths
By going to the Thea Render→Misc→Change Texture Paths or running the TheaChangeTexturePaths a
window is popped up to select a folder. After selecting the folder, all the texture paths from the materials
as well as the environment point to the new folder.
6.0 Preferences
Some specific options can be set through the Preferences window. This window can be opened via the
Thea Render menu. It consists of two pages, the General options and the EXR options.
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6.0.1 General
In the general page, the default paths of saving rendered image, IES files and render settings files can be
configured.
Figure 21: General settings.
6.0.2 EXR
In the EXR page, the multi-layered EXR settings can be set.
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Figure 22: EXR settings.
7.0 Update
By selecting “Update” from the Thea Render menu (or typing TheaUpdate in the Rhino console) the
update window pops up. From there, you can check for new Thea versions and resource libraries and
download them.
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Figure 23: Thea Render update.
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