Everything related to the integration for Rhinoceros.

I posted something similar in the Rhino 3d forums but though it could be worth posting here.

I'm an architect who's been using Rhino/Maxwell for awhile but want to really increase the amount of tree and plant models i can use similar to grow fx/speed tree etc. Rhino/Maxwell/Fire is a really efficient combo for a designer but is getting left behind a bit by the automated scatter plugins for cinema4d and max.

Does anyone have any experience in filling their rhino models with vegetation mesh models. Will Rhino cope? If you bought a high end card such as a quadro p2000/p4000 will this work?

I work in rendered mode with curves on and have read that increased GPU performance won't help.
Is this the case if the models are meshes too? i bought a lot of Vizpark FBX mesh models when they had massive sale awhile back so keen to use them.

Happy to go into more detail if anyone else is interested?
I'll have to keep it short for the moment but basically you:

1- create your render ready trees inkl. mxm materials in your 3d app and save them to a .mxs file (your 3d app needs to have maxwell plugin that can do that, or use studio..)

2- load the trees in your rhino file via "creat mxs reference" from the rhino plugin toolbar. this will render super fast point clouds for the trees you can display X thousands of trees like that...

3- create a grasshopper setup that will scatter points... and then replace the points by the .mxs references which are basically "blocks" within the rhino file.

this is just a super basic scatter setup.. but possibilities are endless.. you could even use B&W textures to define density, rotation etc.
2018-03-27 16_33_21-Grasshopper - 150110_block_placer_.png
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Thanks Daniel,

I'll have to spend a bit of time looking into it. Has been years since i've used grasshopper.

Would the maxwell trees show up in rendered display mode in rhino?
I generally produce 1-2 maxwell renders per project and the rest are just rendered display screenshots which is sufficient.

I'm approaching this more from a design perspective. I'd like to be able to quickly produce something close to the professional level without getting bogged down in all the additional programs and plugins.

no, you won't see shaded trees in rendered mode. the pointcloud is there for displaying as fast as possible, but you can raise the PTcloud density up to 100% then you will get a lot of vertices drawn which will resemble the tree quite accurately, but w/o shading.

if you need more flexibility with normal geometry types, you can try playing around with the display settings.. a fast way is to hide mesh wireframe, but still display mesh edges or just naked edges.. of course this is faster in wireframe but also faster in shaded modes.

use setObjectDisplaymode to assign a fast display to the trees, but be aware that this command does not work on blocks. for blocks the active displaymode has to be the 'fast' one and the other objects eventually modified with setObjectDisplaymode.


I think you're probably onto something through using set object display mode - shaded on the tree components apart from maybe the trunks which are low poly.
I think if you set the display mode prior to creating the block this should work fine in render mode.
It's my understanding that shaded mode performance scales with the graphics card capability

I've usually found that running in shaded mode with some objects in render mode doesn't really work that well. The lighting just doesn't seem as good.
shading performance is manly dependent on object/entity count.
that is because rhino 5 is still dependent on CPU loading the object table for processing the geometry on the GPU.

so often you don't see much improvement with "bigger" praghics cards.

so what is really important is to keep object count to a minimum, which eg. in case of a tree means that all the leaf geometry needs to be joined into a single mesh.
you could even, once your plants are all good, join all the leaves, tunks etc.. into one mesh, of course only for the ones that share a material.

I also find that lighting can beconfusing in rhino 5, the advanced gpu lighting produces strange results sometimes.
Rhino 6 is much better here, especially the AO shader(skylight) is vastly improved... just waiting for the maxwell plugin, hint hint ;)
Hi Daniel,

Thanks, it's good to know what's actually causing the issue with the bottleneck
I've found that the reduce mesh command on the most accurate setting has made a huge difference. It can shrink most items such as furniture a lot with no real visible difference.

I'm also finding the model export/refresh into maxwell fire is a bit of a bottleneck. It's probably not worth going over the top with a graphics card if there's a substantial wait.
Are their tricks to speeding this up? I thought octane was fairly instantaneous in this regard so assuming it's possible?
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