First impressions and feedback

Forums Rhino Plugin First impressions and feedback

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    First, WHOOOHOOOO!!!!! 🙂

    It has been a while since I’ve been excited about a new element to my workflow, and the first rough images I am getting from Bella are super exciting. So well done you guys!!!

    Rather than wait too long before giving some feedback I thought I would just post a quick list now, while it is fresh. As always some of these may be a case of me not finding the correct info from the help files… so my apologies in advance… And just to be clear this is mostly feedback related to the Rhino plugin, although I have a couple of quick thoughts on the GUI…

    – First, thanks for posting the tips & tricks. Super useful. The most important one for me was to un-select the “linear workflow” as all my images looked awful, and I couldn’t understand why. Now everything makes sense, and I’m off to the races. It messes things up so much I wonder if the plugin shouldn’t warn users that it is turned on…

    – I’m a little unclear about whether I should be exporting BSX or BSZ files because I’m not sure what the difference is. Both seem to give me good images 🙂

    – It would be nice to be able to select a location for the files being exported. Is that a Rhino thing? I originally didn’t like the idea that the plugin has so little configuration options, but the more I think about it perhaps that’s OK (also it keeps you from having to manage too many platform-specific things), although I think there will be a few items that are must-haves. This seems like one of them.

    – I also think it would be worth having some camera-specific settings, like exposure, so that one can save these in Rhino so every image can be reproduced exactly without having to tweak EV in the GUI. I realize this may be a pandora’s box.

    – I think I read this was going to be in the next version of the plugin, but it would be nice to have the option to launch the GUI and immediately start rendering. I had to stare at a black screen a few times wondering why I wasn’t seeing anything, only to realize I hadn’t hit “render”! 🙂

    – I noticed that the Bella plugin is not respecting the resolution setting in the “Render” panel, but I also think I read you are fixing this in the next release.

    – I noticed that in the GUI the info at the bottom of the preview goes wonky when you zoom in and out. The cursor position, for example, shows the wrong x y info.

    – Are you planning on having a skydome whose properties vary with location and time? It looks like maybe Rhino is the culprit, as you can only set position and time if you have the sun on, which sounds a little simplistic to me. Should we be asking the guys at McNeel to change this?

    – I am of course curious to know where you will be going with materials, and I understand from your notes that this is the next area of focus. I think based on what I have seen so far I can probably create 75% of the materials I use daily just using the simple Rhino material, but for textured materials of all kinds, we will be needing more. Presumably, you can create a new “type” of Rhino material, that has Bella specific settings? I see that at least one other render engine has taken this approach.

    – Final quick thought relating to the GUI. I doesn’t look like I’ll be accessing nodes directly in Bella, but I wonder if it would be worth having containers in the various node lists. Although I like how democratic things are with every node being at the same level, it feels to me like geometry nodes should be under a geometry branch of the tree, so I can collapse all the geometry into one line if I wish to access the other Bella specific nodes without having to scroll past a giant list of geometry nodes. Just my 2 cents 😉

    Again – GREAT JOB ALL!! This is SUPER exciting!

    Keep it up, and I wish everyone to stay safe and healthy in the coming weeks.



    Jeremy Hill

    Thanks for taking the time to write this Sir! 🙂 I’ll go point by point…

    Linear workflow: good idea on warning about this, a box with “don’t show me this next time” checkbox could work well.

    BSX vs. BSZ: this comes down to your intention — BSZ is just a zip file, with the BSX file inside, as well as all referenced assets. If you are working locally BSX will be quicker, but BSZ will be good if you want to render on another machine. Btw, in general if I say BSX I mean either BSA (bella’s ascii format), BSX, or BSZ, depending on context.

    BSX export location: indeed there is no control over this yet, but we can discuss what will make most sense.

    Camera: definitely, one of the next things is to add more control here, to allow exposure control, among other things.

    Rendering on GUI launch: yes, it was purely an oversight that I left commented-out the “-r” that I need to pass to the gui to make it start rendering upon opening the bsx.

    Resolution sent to GUI: also an oversight, the bsx export uses the same code as the viewport renderer, and it just slipped my mind to find out the render settings resolution and apply it.

    GUI readout glitches: I am not observing this here, so am not sure if you are seeing the intended behavior (x/y & rgb is shown for the image pixel under the cursor regardless of zoom level) or something else.

    Skydome: I see what you mean .. actually we had to add the ability to render skydome without sun, just because rhino allows that scenario. But I did not notice that to change time/location you must enable rhino’s sun, since they hide all the controls when it is disabled. So for now, I guess it will be necessary to temporarily enable sun to set that, then disable it again. Mcneel could choose to leave those controls enabled, but we can also have a discussion about it, when we come to exposing our native environment & sun types in rhino.

    Materials: that is the basic idea, it will be the textures that are the first tricky part. Ultimately all the bella types will be available natively in rhino, but there may be an intermediate stage where I make a type of multi-purpose bella material that exposes commonly-used things in a friendly way, while hiding some of the complexity.

    GUI organization: my focus will not be on the GUI too much, but we can indeed talk about various things like adding search/filter functions for node lists, as well as other “views” of the scene, than you find in the hierarchy panel. The hierarchy panel could benefit from options for filtering various types of nodes, consolidating xform/mesh pairs, and such.

    Hopefully this answers some questions & gives you an idea of where things are headed. And thanks again for the detailed feedback, it is really invaluable, and I likewise wish safety to you and yours. 🙂

    Oscar Cano

    Tom, thank you very much for your kind words and your so detailed feedback 🙂 We appreciate it.

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