Environment tab


The environment tab consists of the following elements:

  • Sky
  • Sun
  • Image Based Lighting (IBL)
  • Global Medium (Fog)
  • Ground Plane

The icon next to each element acts as a toggle switch that can be used to turn it on or off.

Environment elements


  • Power (W/nm/sr): Defines the intensity of the Sun
  • Color: Allows one to assign a custom color instead of using the one coming from the physical sky
  • Soft shadow multiplier: Defines the softness of sun shadows
  • Override Rhino Sun: This checkbox will override the position of the Rhino sun and use the one defined here
    • Azimuth (°): Defines the horizontal angle of the sun
    • Altitude (°): Defines the altitude of the sun

Thea Sun


Click on the "stars" icon to select a sky preset from the default ones. Be aware that a preset also affects the position of the sun.

  • Type: Select between the advanced or simple mode
  • Advanced Type
    • Turbidity: Describes the scattering of the atmosphere that is caused by haze
    • Ozone: Defines the amount of ozone gas in the atmosphere. Values higher than 0.35 will give the sky a blue color
    • Water vapor: Describes the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere
    • Turbidity coefficient: This is the power for exponential transmittance for atmospheric aerosol
    • Wavelength exponent: This number shows the average size of the particles in the atmosphere
    • Albedo: 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
  • Simple Type
    • Sky warmth: Lower values will make the sky more blue while higher values will give it a slightly yellow / orange tone
    • Sun saturation: Increase / decrease the color saturation of the sunlight
    • Overcast sky: The sky will look as if it is cloudy. This option can give nice results when combined with a high softness value of the sun

Sky: Simple settings Sky: Advanced settings


Image‐based lighting (IBL) is a convenient way to add illumination to your scene, coming from captured photos of the surrounding environment. Since a photo of a real scene can be used, the lighting is highly convincing and enhances the realism of your renders. In most cases, the images used for this kind of lighting need to be of high dynamic range (HDR) in order to provide enough lighting for a scene.

  • Illumination: When an image is loaded in the illumination channel, it is also applied to the rest (background, reflection refraction) except if one of them is enabled
  • Background / Reflection / Refraction: These channels act as overrides in case you want them to be different than the one defined in the illumination channel
    One example of where this might be useful is when you want to use a blurry and low resolution image in the illumination channel and want the background image to have a higher resolution. Same goes for the other channels (refraction and reflection)

You can use a solid color instead by switching to RGB.

Image based lighting


  • Fog (Medium type)
    • Fog density (%): Controls the thickness of the fog
  • Custom Medium (Medium type)
    • Absorption: Defines the transmittance color – this is actually the color visualized after a distance of 1 meter. The value defines the density of absorption in 1/m units. The higher the density the higher the absorption
    • Scattering: Defines the scattering color – this is the color that bounced particles (in the medium) have. The value defines the density of scattering in 1/m units. The higher the density the higher the scattering
    • Index of refraction: Specifies the index of refraction of the global space of the scene

Global medium: Fog Global medium: Custom


The ground plane is an infinite plane that can be turned on / off and control its reflection. When ground plane is enabled, Rhino's ground plane will be overridden.

  • Override Rhino ground plane: When enabled, the Rhino ground plane will be ignored and use the settings defined here
  • Shadow catcher: Enable this option and the ground plane will receive shadows from the scene but will be visible to the camera. Use this option when you want to place your model in a real photo. Disable this option if you want the infinite plane to be visible.
  • Color: The color of the surface
  • Reflections: Defines the reflectivity of the surface
  • Roughness: Defines the roughness of the surface

Ground plane


The preview rollout can be used to visualize any changes made to the sun but also set the position of it using azimuth and altitude. Sun's placement can be done either graphically (by click and drag with the mouse) or numerically.

Environment preview