Experimental Rhino 5 exporter

I’ve been hacking on a Mitsuba plugin for Rhino 5 and have some preliminary results to share.

Disclaimer: This is an early experimental integration plugin—if you don’t like to edit Mitsuba XML files by hand, it probably won’t be useful to you. The plugin currently only exports geometry and does not support editing materials. I am still waiting for McNeel to provide the necessary API hooks to be able to implement full material support.

On the other hand, the geometry export works quite smoothly even for large geometry with instances and all sorts of crazy shape types. It exports directly to Mitsuba’s native .serialized format, hence the export+open in Mitsuba operation is reasonably fast.

To install it, download Mitsuba.rhp and move it into your Rhinoceros 5.0 Beta/Plug-ins folder. This file then needs to be registered in the Settings using the Install button on the Plug-ins panel (see the first screenshot below). Now, restart Rhino. After the restart, there will be a new Mitsuba panel in the settings (second screenshot below). Select this panel and configure the path to where Mitsuba is installed.

Once this is done, exporting the geometry and opening it in the renderer is as simple as entering Mitsuba on the command prompt. Below, you can see a simple clay realtime preview of an object with sun & sky illumination.

The source repository is here.

Many thanks go to Nathan Coatney, who provided some guidance in the form of an early version of his Python-based LuxRender exporter.


  1. Sweet! I was just about to write some code for that serialized format, in C# no less! Thanks.

    Any updates on animation support?

  2. Hi WJ.
    Does it render the nurbs directly in Mitsuba or does Rhino triangulate them?

  3. Very cool, too bad Rhino is a tad expensive D:

  4. Glad I could help and thanks for the mention!

  5. Great! And… How about a rhino 4.0 exporter?

  6. Ok thanks
    waiting for a future ies lights integration :)

  7. Hi Wenzel,
    I just wanted to point out that Rhino 5 SR1 contains a lot more support for custom materials in the RhinoCommon SDK. Release candidates of SR1 are currently available for download and we should have a final SR1 very soon that will be available as an update for all Rhino 5 users.

    Steve Baer
    Robert McNeel & Associates

  8. hello
    I wanted to try the exporter but the link does not work Mitsuba.rhp

  9. thanks
    Fantastico! and fast
    I hope to see soon the materials maybe compatible with auxpecker …

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