In General, Virtual Reality

Those using Rhinoceros, by Robert McNeel and Associates (RMA), as their 3D authoring tool of choice will be excited to know that Enscape has expanded their popular real-time rendering and VR experience to work with it. If you already know about Enscape, you will be happy to hear that all the same features work in Rhino. If you are new to Enscape, I think you are in for a treat! Whatever your exposure to Enscape, this post will provide you with an overview which will allow you to get start with this cutting-edge technology right away.

Accessing Enscape from Rhino


If you have an Enscape license you can not only use it for Revit, but also with SketchUp and Rhino. As seen in the image below, a single installation process includes all three add-ins.

The image below shows a sample Rhino model courtesy of LHB (

A sample model shown in Rhino

The next two images show the Enscape commands in Rhino. If you are at all familiar with Enscape in Revit or SketchUp, you will be happy to know these are the exact same commands in Rhino.

Enscape toolbar; the primary commands

Enscape toolbar; capturing tools

If you are new to Enscape, here is a quick overview of the most used commands:


Starting Enscape

With a Rhino model open, simply click the Start/Play icon to launch Enscape. The initial result is shown below. Notice the sky  and sun , as well as the reflections in the glass. From here you are free to navigate the model  at this same quality using the input references at the bottom; H toggles this menu on and off.

Initial view of Rhino model loaded into Enscape

Enable/Disable VR

If you have an HTC Vive, or an Oculus Rift properly setup on your computer, simply click the Enable/Disable VR icon to be able to jump right in to your model! Check out my previous post on VR… everything there applies to this Rhino to Enscape workflow.

Enscape Settings

Clicking the Enscape Settings icon gives you access to the various controls which can be used to manipulate the image, if needed. Each tab has a Reset button, and the first tab has a Reset All button if you need to quickly get back to “square one.” Also, if you double-click on a slider control, it will reset to its default. The point is, feel free to mess with the settings to see if you find something you like better, as you can always reset.

TIP: The default settings are based on the last time Enscape was used… regardless of which project or program you last viewed.

Enscape settings dialog; General tab

Save Screenshot to File

Clicking the Save Screenshot to File icon allows you to save the current composition of the model to a file; PNG is the default format. Be sure to check out the Capture tab in settings. You can export any resolution you want. However, higher resolutions take additional time to save the file.

Enscape settings dialog; Capture tab

Create Standalone Executable

If you want to share an Enscape model, you simple click the Create Standalone Executable icon. This creates a file which contains Enscape and the model! For example, if you send this EXE file to your client or use it for presentation , they can just double-click on it to open and start navigating the model in real-time. They do not need to have Rhino or Enscape installed on their computer.


Rhino Light Sources

Light sources placed in Rhino are recognized in Enscape as highlighted in the next two images.

Light Source added in Rhino

Here is a nighttime image in Enscape to highlight the effect of the electric light source in Rhino:

Light Source Effect in Enscape

Rhino Materials

All the Rhino materials  are automatically used in Enscape. Any materials containing the word “grass” will get the 3D grass effect applied within Enscape as shown in the image below.

Natural grass texture in Enscape

When an element’s material is changed in Rhino, the open Enscape scene is updated automatically.

Material properties for selected element; Glass

The result of changing the glass material, shown above in Rhino, can be seen in the Enscape view below.

Glass material automatically updated in Enscape

The next image has all the glass changed and the Depth of Field adjusted to make the background a little blurry.

Material and focal length adjusted


Whether you are new to Enscape, or have used it with Revit and/or SketchUp, you will benefit from this new opportunity to visualize your Rhino design in real-time. Enscape is a great tool to use during the design process or in front of a client as a fluid “go where they want” navigable model, static images, Virtual Reality  or via a Google Cardboard viewer . This really is an “easy button” that you have to try yourself to believe; click here to download the trial today: Free 14-day Trial 

Reflective glazing example

Full tower view in Enscape

Dan Stine

Dan Stine
He is an Author, Blogger, Educator,
BIM Administrator and Wisconsin registered architect.
He works full-time at LHB – a 250 person full-service design firm.