- This topic has 18 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 1 year, 10 months ago by Philip.
September 29, 2019 at 2:51 pm #2218Philip
Hi JD! I saw that you are already working on a plug-in for Rhino. That’s great! When do you think we will be able to test the first beta? I’m so excited about Bella – I just had to ask 🙂
PhilipSeptember 29, 2019 at 3:51 pm #2220Jeremy Hill
At the current time I have one of the hard parts handled — wrapping our sdk for seamless cross-platform access from dotnet. I also have a skeleton plugin, which is able to render in the rhino viewport, but which really only renders a bella file that I load, as opposed to translating the actual rhino document.
I deliberately avoid giving time estimates, because in my experience they always slide, so it will have to suffice to say that rhino is next on the list of things to do, after we finish the final things (docs, finish website, etc) for the first “official” release of bella.
Meanwhile, as I mentioned in the other thread, please feel free to post any thoughts you may have regarding how the plugin should work. Ages ago when I designed my maxwell plugin, rhino had very little awareness of concepts like interactive rendering, physical materials, and such, so it was basically a blank slate, and I was free to (or forced to, depending how you look at it) come up with lots of how the plugin worked, from scratch.
However, in the meantime they have added support for some of these concepts, but I am not convinced that these are always the most friendly or productive, so there remain some fairly fundamental questions about how to approach things — how you interact with the renderer, how you manage materials, and so forth, and I am interested to hear any impressions or opinions you may have, to help me make the best choices. 🙂September 29, 2019 at 6:09 pm #2231Philip
<At the current time I have one of the hard parts handled — wrapping our sdk for seamless cross-platform access from dotnet. I also have a skeleton plugin, which is able to render in the rhino viewport, but which really only renders a bella file that I load, as opposed to translating the actual rhino document.>
Thanks – sounds promising already.
</I deliberately avoid giving time estimates, because in my experience they always slide, so it will have to suffice to say that rhino is next on the list of things to do, after we finish the final things (docs, finish website, etc) for the first “official” release of bella.>
This is of course the best way to move forward – and something we are used to from the development cycles of Rhino.
<Meanwhile, as I mentioned in the other thread, please feel free to post any thoughts you may have regarding how the plugin should work.>
I really liked your plug-in for Maxwell. There were lots of stuff in there, but everything was logically arranged and easy to find. Also for the new plug-in it would be good keep the UI as clean and minimalistic as possible – and design it with the assumption that the user is a complete newbie. This approach would probably not have any negative effects for the rendering experts either.
I’m not a rendering expert myself at all. My interest is in product design and the tools I use are ‘only’ there to help me get a (necessary) 3D-model of my design – and good looking visuals to help me ‘sell’ my ideas. Rhino is very good for getting the NURBS model of the design and (in the ideal world) the renderer should be able to deliver astounding pictures of the design as easy and quickly as possible – with a minimum of tweaking. That’s why a designer like me (who’s not a rendering artist) will appreciate good, ready, “plug-and-play” materials – and a clean, easy-to-navigate UI. The docs are also very important for a ‘simple’ user like me.
</However, in the meantime they have added support for some of these concepts, but I am not convinced that these are always the most friendly or productive, so there remain some fairly fundamental questions about how to approach things>
I think you’re absolutely right – and you seem to be on the right track. 🙂
PhilipSeptember 29, 2019 at 6:29 pm #2236Jeremy Hill
Perfect sir, exactly the kind of input I am looking for. 🙂
I must say that I am really quite excited about this development, since grasshopper + bella’s nodes should make it possible to accomplish the two otherwise largely mutually-exclusive goals of being easy to use, while also being powerful. When I see what people are doing with grasshopper these days, it is just mind-blowing.September 30, 2019 at 2:49 pm #2243Philip
Oh yeah… I was right away thinking about Grasshopper when seeing Bella’s nodes.
PhilipNovember 10, 2019 at 11:55 pm #3745Jeremy Hill
Obligatory first cube render.November 11, 2019 at 7:14 pm #3748Philip
Yes!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂
PhilipNovember 18, 2019 at 8:11 am #3829Jeremy Hill
Progress report, working on bella viewport display mode now, here’s a comparison of cycles raytrace and bella, using the same hdri (there is no sun, and I did enable the denoiser in bella here):
Currently working is interactive camera (supporting focal point/aperture in viewport properties), geometry (add/remove/transform, not yet UVs, not yet sub-object materials), translation of rhino standard material types (not yet textures), IBL (not yet transform of hdri orientation/mapping).
Viewport responsiveness is noticeably superior to cycles, and there are no crash scenarios of which I am currently aware, so the next work is to finish missing things mentioned above, hook up sun, and check that macos build is working fine (also going to tackle catalina support at this time).November 19, 2019 at 11:26 am #3844Philip
I don’t know if following the progress makes waiting for the Rhino plug-in easier or more difficult – but keep ’em coming 🙂November 28, 2019 at 2:58 am #3892Jeremy Hill
Been quiet, but that’s the sound of work getting done. 🙂 Mainly been working on making IBL mapping/orientation match up with what rhino says, handling lights (we will support spot, point, rectangular, and directional), and materials translation. Here’s a ring rendered using “gold” (well, at least on windows, as you pointed out — rgb 243,208,144 on mac) and “diamond” rhino materials (obviously bella is going to use complex ior for these):
The depth of field was set using rhino’s native tools. And the environment is just a simple hdri — I think I need to strategically place some lights, to make the diamonds pop .. if you know any good jewelry-rendering tricks, I’m all ears.November 28, 2019 at 5:27 pm #3903Philip
Very nice! We’re getting closer, aren’t we 😉 It’s looking quite convincing even if you’re not using complex IOR for these, but I’m no expert in this field. I agree that the diamonds could “pop” a bit more, though. I’m afraid I don’t have any jewellery rendering tricks – not my type of work. You would need to consult some professional on the Rhino forum for advice, I guess… 🙂
Thanks for the teaser!November 29, 2019 at 12:41 am #3909Thomas An.
Faceted precious stones need a lot of mini point lights in order to pop. Usually the ceiling has a grid of lights. In Jewelry stores the display cases have rows of LEDs along the vertical and horizontal edges of the case pointing towards the piece.November 29, 2019 at 12:43 am #3911Thomas An.
Cycles, doesn’t have a sun turned on ?
Nonetheless it answers the question I had the other day on how Bella would fair against cycles.November 29, 2019 at 3:16 am #3914Jeremy Hill
Thanks for the tip, I’ll try that. Regarding sun, neither render has sun enabled, bella is just quite good with shadows from hdri.December 15, 2019 at 4:56 pm #4017Jeremy Hill
Still hard at it in the mines here, we have been in the process of augmenting some things in bella to properly support translation of rhino scenes, so we are working on an infinite ground plane, different channels for IBL, more flexible use of sun & sky, among some other things.
Today, in the rhino plugin, I am working on the color management. So here is a boring comparison test, showing RGB chosen in the UI on the left, along with sRGB (.png) texture assigned in the middle, and linear (.exr) texture on the right, both textures using the same RGB color.
If you don’t know much about color management, well the point of this will be that hopefully, you may never have to. 🙂
Other interesting recent news is that bella’s mesh format has been designed to be compatible as much as possible with others — and in the case of rhino it is, so for export we are able to directly copy memory from rhino to bella, which makes export for this plugin much quicker than what I measure for my old rhino maxwell plugin (using the ring shown a few posts above, bella takes less than half the time).
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