Status update

Forums General Status update

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    Jeremy Hill

    Hello all, just a note to let you know what’s up lately, since we’ve just been quietly working in our caves. 🙂

    I have been working on a new PBR-style material that will be a 1-click type of affair, where you select either a texture from a typical PBR texture set, or a .zip file containing one, and you get a nice material from it:

    To support this I am also creating a new color-mixing node, which allows blending an arbitrary number of colors/textures, using photoshop-style blending:

    Albert has also been working on another new material type, somewhat in the style of Disney’s principled BRDF, Arnold Standard Surface, and other such “uber” shaders:

    This will be more of an all-purpose material than the core Bella types, where rather than starting with a base conductor/dielectric/etc and adding layers and such, you add different parts of the material by changing their weight.

    Oscar continues to work on the core for our GPU solver, with some quite interesting original research, not specifically related to GPU, happening along the way, which will bring Bella some capabilities we’ve not seen in any other renderer. I’ll chat with him and see about putting together some info to show about this.

    So that’s what’s going on, and we’ll be trying to get a new build with these new materials out within a couple of weeks, after we’ve brought them to a decently-mature stage.


    Very exiting news! Thanks JD!


    looks so promising, can’t wait to try!! just please make it user-friendly 😉

    Jeremy Hill

    We will do our best. 🙂

    I have been chatting with Oscar, and though we do not want to give away too many details, and show things before it is 100% sure they will work, he will write something here in awhile.

    Oscar Cano

    Thanks for your words, we really hope you like this new stuff. 🙂

    Without giving too many clues to competition, and promising specific things before we have proved them, I will try to explain a bit about the new solver… This solver is a new technology, I’ve been working half of my life in rendering technology and this solver is by far the most sophisticated, and of which I am most proud. Saying is a GPU solver is to simplify a lot. Is not a mere translation from CPU to GPU, something quite usual today. I have design from zero, absolutely from zero, a new engine, very accurate and very optimized in speed, speed the main priority, with some technologies unknown previously (as far as we know), that will be disclosed, as said before, when we are 100% sure we have something that works well.

    In my opinion, the nicest feature (and hardest to achieve) is that we solve in GPU all kind of complex lighthing (like complex pool caustics, sss, whatever), the GPU solver is as powerful in these ways as its CPU counterpart. Is not just-another-gpu-pathtracer. And this new design is done to simultaneously work at same time in both CPU and GPU. Just working in CPU mode it is by far more efficient than any other solver we have so far.

    So, we have our main branch of CPU solvers, daily improving them, with plans at short term to make a big improvements in Apollo engine. At some moment, we will expect to have our new next hybrid CPU/GPU engine technology (we call it Jupiter here) ready to play, still too early to know if we will wait until it handles the full set of Bella features or we progressive release it as we add more features to it. But as always, we won’t release nothing until we are super sure that is stable and does what we affirm.

    Thank you a lot to everyone who follow and read us, we really appreciate all your comments and we would love to see that one day you use Bella in your everyday basis work. 🙂


    sounds very promising! can I wonder if Jupiter will support the new 3070? #NeedForSpeed_in_my_renders


    Sounds really great Oscar! This will take Bella to the next level! 🙂


    Oscar Cano

    Hi Yossi, I guess by 3070 you refer to RTX, and yes all algorithms are being designed to fully use RT hardware to accelerate the raytracing computations.

    Other good thing I forgot to mention is that we are currently targeting vulkan, which is cross platform, to ensure the widest support for realtime hardware. It means that bella GPU is not only to run in NVIDIA, but the new AMDs too, even future intel raytracing gpu will run with vulkan.

    Thank you Philip 🙂


    Good to know that it will work on my Mac also (Radeon Pro Vega 56 8 GB) 🙂


    Jeremy Hill

    I still have a mining rig with 6 vega frontier edition 16gb 😆

    Jeremy Hill

    Just an update to let people know what is going on these days, aside from routine small bug-fixing and such ..

    Along with some optimizations for IBL, Albert has been working on fine-tuning the principled & uber materials, and producing a new tutorial video to show how they are used.

    Oscar continues to make progress on the new jupiter solver, which has now been moved out of his private project, and is able to render its images inside Bella GUI and/or plugins, using our normal scene/engine system.

    And, I have been working on adding support for layering arbitrary materials over all the core substrates, temperature input for emitters, and adding OpenSubdiv support (and after that, displacement).



    Thanks for the update JD 🙂



    good to know. I must say (again, sorry..) that looked right now into some pre-made shaders for other renderers, all are categorized by “metal”, “glass”, “liquid” etc. – couldn’t find any weird names like “oren-nayar”… and all are made with easy-to-change bump attributes or textures. I know I’m annoying but it’s for a good cause 😉

    edit-ok suddenly I recall seeing “Oren-Nayar” about 15 years ago in Turtle render !

    Jeremy Hill

    The Oren-Nayar node is a core Bella diffuse substrate, and we choose to call it that, because that is the model it uses, so people can learn about it from well-known sources.

    As for how common it is, you will find it used in Arnold, Cinema, Corona, Inidigo, Cycles, Thea, Octane, and many other applications. In some cases they will have a distinct type named for it, like Bella, while in others it will be one of multiple shading models available for a general diffuse shader/material. In others, they may use it — or some other model — without saying so, leaving people to guess.

    When you use a Bella Metal, Glass, PBR, Uber, or Principled material, you may be using Oren-Nayar without seeing the name. In some cases it does not appear at all, while in others it does, through a Roughness parameter in a diffuse component of the material.

    The trick, for us, is to satisfy both people like yourself, who don’t want to know any of this, as well as others who definitely do want to know exactly how they are constructing their materials.


    I think that the way to “tackle” it will be with a simple preset library that saves dummies like me from too much research and lets them pick “shiny iron” and “clear glass” and not only use the typical system as it is now … a nice library can have about 5-10 materials at about 5-10 categories like paint, metal, glass, you know it … most renderers today show you a demo video where they simply drag a nice icon presenting a material preset from the library bar to the model, very simple 🙂

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