Forums Gallery Beetle

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    Jeremy Hill

    I was lent an excellent 1966 VW Beetle to play with, modeled in Rhino 7 SubDs by Rhino master Jorgen Holo:

    His original Rhino forum thread for this project can be seen here:

    Did a bit of hot-rodding to it, to lower the stance, put on some Porsche wheels, and a custom paint job:

    Added some technical details in the head/tail/marker lights, which are using realistic reflectors, with glass & plastic+sss lenses — double lenses in the case of the headlights — with bump mapping to simulate the prismatic forms you see in typical automotive lenses. The paint in the first image is also quite subtly detailed, with a realistic orange peel.

    I also found a ridiculously-detailed engine & transmission on grabcad, so will hope to play with this a bit more as time permits.


    I like the paint and the lights! I once had a 1965 Beetle and I think the paint looks quite accurate. Nice!


    Jeremy Hill

    Heh, I told Jorgen the downside to playing with this model is that I now want to build it for real. 🙂





    The lighting around the indicator looks very real.

    When I model car lights for unbiased rendering I tend to get it wrong first go, with tiny amounts of geometry intersecting the lens or reflector or even the emitter. I usually turn the exposure right down in the render to see whats up, but I also like when a render engine produces fireflies as another clue that something is wrong. I also try to simplify reality to get the most efficient setup.

    Does Bella give you any clues that the light model is inefficient or that geo is intersecting?

    Jeremy Hill

    I suppose you might say that, though I don’t much run into it since I generally try to avoid such issues in the first place. That might be easier to do (e.g. to know whether things are intersecting) in Rhino than some other platforms, where you’re animating, deforming, etc.


    the model and it’s materials look quite good but general setup, well you said you’re no expert 😉

    overall looks promising, I still wait for a usable demo to try and render one of my scenes 🙂

    Jeremy Hill

    ouch, heh 🙂

    I’m unsure what you mean by saying a usable demo, is the demo mode resolution restriction too small, or?


    usable – for me at least – is to easily create materials and adjust lighting, and I just can’t. I can’t figure out the material structure as every type has a different basic role-up in the attribute editor, I find it hard to adjust lighting – esp. the sun, and it’s annoying to try and manipulate the nice materials you gave us on the download section, instead of having a simple library and fixed structure of layers and attributes…. maybe that’s just me, I just can’t seem to transform a typical scene to bella scene.

    Jeremy Hill

    Ok, thanks for elaborating.


    tried again with the new release… sorry but I guess I’m used to other system too much. I just can’t get materials right. Can’t find simple things like “bump” attribute or understand which node for what? I wanna make a piece of simple fabric, I just don’t get it: blendmaterial? conductor? orennayar? sheet? why make things so hard and feel like we’re still in 2005 trying to figure out mental ray 🙁  ?? I think the most important feature missed here is simple materials with logical arch-viz or product-viz names, presets, and fixed attribute order or else it will be too hard to create stuff. really frustrating. I must tell you that what you did with maxwell at the time is way better for materials. simple slim library with basic and easy to get attribute editor, and all attributes are ordered always at the same order no matter what material is going to be created… who cares about names such as “bellaComplexMaterial” and what should be done with it? I prefare something like “bellaMetal” which is good and logical to understand – and if all attributes are kept fixed and easy to remember (bump is here, normal is there’ albedo here etc. without all those tabs to click and click) it would make a real difference.

    Jeremy Hill

    Thanks for the feedback, it sounds like you will prefer when we introduce a higher-level material more in the style of the arnold standard surface, and a PBR type of material to automate use of texture sets. Regarding bump, you add bump or normal mapping by connecting either a bumpMap or normalMap to a material’s normal attribute:

    This works the same for every type of material.


    I guess there is no point to build a Material UI until you have the right material model to work with. It should be able to represent most of the surfaces we see everyday, They keep inventing new materials, the buggers, so it’s ok not to include the latest nano-tech whatever thingy.

    I think there should be one material layer type for all opaque surfaces, and another for transparent volumes.

    One more for ‘soft volumes’ like luminous gasses / clouds.

    And a thin sheet material layer ofcourse..

    If they can combine into one UI like Maxwell did that’s cool but perhaps maxwell combined everything too much, I’m not sure.

    Jeremy Hill

    The model you suggest is not far from what we have. The main core types of materials are conductor & dielectric. The complex material may end up being either of these, depending on the nature of the complex IOR data. Conductor represents a reflective (opaque) surface, and dielectric is a reflective/refractive (transparent) one.

    Separate from these we then have the subsurface material, which like dielectric is reflective/refractive, but which simulates subsurface scattering using the fast random walk method.

    Over any of these substrates may be placed a layer, but a layer may also be used on its own as a material — this is the sheet type: a layer, used as a material, without any substrate.

    Building on these core types we then have the “smart” types, which expose just a few parameters, and build more complicated materials internally, from those parameters. These cannot do anything you cannot do with the core types, but they can save time & make things simpler when maximum control is not needed.

    What I refer to above are two further types, which also build on the core types, and which can be made as complicated & all-inclusive as we wish.


    well all I can say that it looks too complex from a user’s point of view. I think what I didn’t like with native Maya’s materials and other render engines I used like Mental Ray or Vray, is all that mumbo-jumbo of node names and description that is not helpful. On the other hand, Maxwell’s approach is (imho) way better: simple layers like you have in photoshop or autopcad, constant attributes no matter what material you want to create, and a simple wizard to help you get started with typical materials. So I don’t really think about strange node names and what they do or where do I find simple IOR or BUMP attributes…. they are always at the same place and all I have to do is punch in the numbers or textures and I have a perfect material without having to think what’s under the hood 😉

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