Rhino General Feature Questions and the future of Enscape

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  • Hello,

    I just learned about your program yesterday on the Rhino McNeel forum and have been reading over your website, looking at tutorials etc. Wow! Enscape looks amazing and I think this program is a HUGE asset to the Rhino community.

    It is my understanding that the Rhino version is currently in Beta, which is why I was not able to find much information on the Rhino specific features on your website. And I’m sure, being in Beta, it’s not feature complete yet.

    I’m evaluating if Enscape will be a good program to adopt into my company. My company has several services that bridge over a few different industries. Currently we offer, Creative Exhibit Design, Product Still Shots and Animations, and Architectural Still Shots and Animations, and full blown print ready Marketing Ads. We currently have several pieces of software to accommodate our needs. Over the years, we’ve slowly been able to whittle the number of software we use down and would like to continue to. The upcoming Rhino6 will help with this. I’m hoping Enscape can satisfy several needs, but I’m not sure at this point. Thus, I have a few questions. Depending on the answers to these questions, some may lead to feature requests.

    1. Does Enscape work with only Rhino Created Materials? The new Rhino6 will have the integration of Cycles, as I’m sure you are aware. Since Cycles is running off of Rhino materials, where I’m going with this question is, could I do a scene/material setup in Rhino and create BOTH a Cycles rendering and then turn around and create an Enscape video without much fuss? Octane, which we use as well, will also use Rhino materials. Is it that simple with Enscape? The reason I’d need to use two render engines at this point is that the still Shots I create require a high degree of photorealism, which is why we’d still need to use a fully featured render engine Like Octane or Vray. Currently, most of our still shots are done in the Octane for Rhino plugin.
    2. It is my understanding that Enscape will use Rhino lights. However, will Enscape allow for emissive materials? If so, are the emissive materials just an effect, or do they actually contribute to the lighting calculation? Emissive materials are very important to the Exhibit work we create.
    3. I see a “Grass” feature in the Revit version. Is this, or will this, be in Rhino as well?
    4. There’s also an animated “Water” feature in the Revit version. Will this also be in the Rhino version?
    5. Displacement – it doesn’t look like this is in any of the plugins now, but is this on the Road Map somewhere? I think this is an extremely important feature. Bricks, stone, wood carved interior elements, tufted leather walls . . . I could go on endlessly. I use it A LOT in both architecture and products.
    6. Will the Rhino Render Effects Work? Edge Softening, Curve Piping, etc . . .
    7. It doesn’t look like more advanced features are supported like Sub Surface Scattering – do you have plans to look into this in the future? Really important for plastics, rubber, etc . . .
    8. It looks like HDRI is supported but I wanted to double check – is it?
    9. Does Enscape have any Film Response Curves within the software or is all rendering Linear? We can always add anything necessary in post, but this is a feature other programs have that is used frequently.
    10. It looks like this program is geared specifically for Architects. However . . . Rhino has a HUGE community of product designers as well. This is a huge request that I know is not yet implemented and I’m sure would be quite a bit of work, however, I do think it would be well worth your time. Any chance to get Enscape working with Bongo Animation for Rhino? The Camera and Sun animations currently supported are terrific, but there are so many product designers using Rhino out there that being able to have object animation at the speed of Enscape would open up a whole new set of doors for many. Honestly, I think this is Huge for Rhino Users. A product designer being able to quickly do a presentation on how their products works would be amazing. And for my company, using Enscape to GREATLY reduce the production time of product animations would be a game changer. We could take on a lot more work that we currently do in our small office. I’d also like to point out that some of the architectural animations we do also have object animation in them – from the simple door opening, to the more complex remote timer controlled Sun Shades on the exterior, to the flags and curtains blowing in the wind, adjustable hinged kitchen pantry shelves, fold out wall beds, opening and closing of blinds, drop down home theater projection screens, etc . . .
    11. Do Rhino Blocks work with Enscape?
    12. This is my last and most generic question – what exactly is the end goal of Enscape? Is it just to be a mid-level presentation tool for Architects only? Or is the end goal to be a Photo-Realistic Fully Featured presentation tool for Architects and Designers Across Multiple disciplines to replace current mature render engines? Obviously, from my question, I’m hoping the latter . . . it would be great to be able to use Enscape for more Marketing Type Cinematic animations rather than just informational type animations.

    Thank you very much for your time,


  • Enscape for Rhino is not in beta, it is included in our normal release.

    1. [Question missing]
    2. Yes
    3. Yes
    4. Yes
    5. Yes, it already is.
    6. Displacement is not yet supported via a texture map, but it may be in the future.
    7. Yes, at least if it's a geometric modifier like the edge softening.
    8. Right now, we support subsurface for thin leafs. A proper documentation on Rhino material tweaks is coming soon on our knowledge base. The subsurface capabilities of Enscape are subject to upcoming improvements.
    9. Yes
    10. Yes, filmic tonemapper. Also in the upcoming version you'll be able to use EXR as a purely linear output in HDR.
    11. This is related to https://trello.com/c/FVZRKaqB/78-animated-people-and-doors , it is not on our short term agenda but it may be added!
    12. Yes
    13. It's the latter: Enscape is a tool for design review and client presentation, but we're aiming for the highest possible quality while maintaining an easy user interface.
  • Hello Thomas,

    Thank you very much for taking the time to review my questions and provide answers. This is all very exciting to say the least!

    It was a typo on my part for the missing question 1, I only had 12 questions, oops.

    I do have four other questions that came to mind:

    1) any chance for Enscape to support proxies for Rhino? We use this feature a lot in the Octane Plugin to create forests behind or around scenes as well as cars and big cities.

    2) has your team been seeing many issues with Multi-GPU rigs? I have 4 - Nvidia GTX1080s on my machine is why I ask.

    3) what are the different export options for video output? I'm sure MP4 is one, but do you also support uncompressed AVI? The reason I ask is that we ALWAYS bring our animations into either After Effects OR Hit Film to create the final video to do any necessary color grading and VFX work. We generally like to keep things fully uncompressed until creating the final video output, that way there's no loss during the work process.

    4) will Enscape also export an animation as traditional animation frames (single rendered images) ? This can be very helpful during video compositing.

    Thanks again,


  • Hi Thomas Willberger, any chance to get the Rhino edge softening working? We are a half year later now and I suppose it's only a little communication issue between Rhino and Enscape, that the softened edges are not use at the Enscape side. The softedgeded meshes are ready behind the scenes, the only need to be used. Other render plugings are using this data too since a long time. So, please don't forget to enable this Rhino feature. Can I do something as user? Is something what is needed from the McNeel side and I could ask for?

  • Micha

    we tried to switch to the API introduced in Rhino 6, which is the preferred way if you ask McNeel. With this implementation we get edge softening works, decals and better material IDs without any code from our side. We really want to make the switch ourselves.

    Unfortunately there are serious shortcomings regarding live updates when editing blocks. You can see the same problems when using Cycles (switch to Cycles, edit blocks, end editing, see how Cycles renderer gets out of sync). In our opinion it's better to have a synchronous rendering, even if this means to miss out on a few other features. You can try it out for yourself and give feedback. How serious are these sync problems in your opinion?

    McNeel is aware of the bugs in the API, probably it's not as easy to fix as it might seem. I'm not aware of any ETA for the bugfixes.

  • How serious are these sync problems in your opinion?

    In my opinion the Render Mesh modifiers trump live sync any day, as far as my testing showed as soon as I switched Cycles off and then on again the problem was solved? I'd prefer restarting Enscape for the times I'm editing blocks over not having edge softening at all. I'm also guessing this is a bug that the rhino team will try to squash and when that time comes Enscape is already ready to go?

    We, at our office, use edge softening on a daily basis to get a decent level of realism without bulking up the model and destroying the Make2D capabilities for printing. This allows us to work on the same file for a much longer period without having to create break-off files for render, 2D work, and so on.

  • I am sorry to rewake this old tread, but since the problems are still very much there I think it is probably necessary.

    In my opinion the Render Mesh modifiers trump live sync any day

    I couldn't agree more. If total live sync is sooo important than why not make at least make an option for the user to chose. I don't mind pressing the synchronize buttons from time to time if I could get some features that are obviously problematic to implement otherwise.

    Please do not sacrifice features just for the uncompromised dogma of total live sync.