Bella Questions


i have been checking out the offers on the website and saw that you guys are offering a great discount currently. i also saw that you even have an educational licence. my question would be, if i would buy such an educational licence, can it also be used for commercial work, and what happens when i am not a student anymore?

thanks in advance!

Hi @encephalon, following Mcneel’s lead, we do not restrict educational licenses from commercial use. The way Bella licenses work is that they are permanent, and will permanently support any updates we release within a year of purchase. Regular commercial licenses may be renewed at 50% discount off the standard price within a year of expiration, and 25% discount within two years. Being so inexpensive, educational license renewals do not receive this discount. However, when the time comes to move from educational to commercial, the same 50/25 discount schedule is offered, as when renewing a commercial license.

Just let me know if you have any other questions.


hi @jdhill thanks for the fast response i have 3 further questions for now.

i saw that you were planing on utilizing gpu for rendering on your website under features, now i found several mentions of gpu which i am not sure if they are meant for other tasks as you said in features or if that already is working for rendering. if not when would you think that gpu could be coming as a render option?

i am now at the brink of buying a new computer, since the mac mini m2 was released making it a bit tricky to decide whether to buy one or to buy a mac studio instead. i might even make this decision depending on how the development of bella proceeds since this could probably become my main render engine.

is bella working on Rhino8, if not is there already a time frame for its support?

you have mentions of the intel denoiser, is that the only option for denoising? currently i still have an intel macbook pro from 2013 switching to an m2 or m1 mac soon i might loose this option.

HI @encephalon

  1. we do use the gpu now, but not yet for raytracing itself, so it does not yet make much difference, and is more implemented in order to have the plumbing out of the way and widely tested (enumerating devices, etc) when we are able to bring it online for raytracing. That, however is a deep development for us, and we cannot give a timeline on it.

  2. it is not yet working on rhino 8 - it loads, and much of it works, but much is changing with how rhino works, so the plugin does not crash, and the gui bits are functional, but the exporting (translating from rhino → bella) and viewport rendering are not, as of yet. No timeline on this either, as the WIP is always a moving target, but I can say it is a high priority.

  3. yes, intel is the only denoiser we currently provide, but it does not depend on having an intel cpu, it works just fine on apple silicon.

I am happy to answer any further questions, but will also point out that bella is free to try – without a license, it will run in “demo” mode indefinitely, which just limits output resolution, and applies a small watermark.

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Hi @jdhill, how can I uninstall Bella for Rhino?

Uninstall instructions are completely missing from the documentation:

And removing Bella from MacPlugIns folder didn’t work either: Rhino - Uninstalling Plugins (Mac)

Thanks, I have updated the help with information on uninstallation. Regarding MacOS, I am not seeing that behavior here, so please see the note I added there about emptying the trash and/or rebooting.

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Nice! Thanks for the quick update on the instructions.

However, emptying the trash and rebooting didn’t help… Bella is still listed in plugins (preferences > plug-ins).

I have Rhino 6 and macOS 11.7.2 Big Sur, if that helps.

I had been checking on rhino 7, but I can see what you describe on rhino 6, and I think it must be a v6 glitch/bug with the preferences > plugins panel, since regardless that it appears in the plugin list, bella does not appear anywhere else (e.g. as an option for the current renderer), and since if you open the properties for its item in the list, and try to click the link to open its containing folder, nothing happens. So it looks like rhino has stashed that plugin info somewhere in its prefs, and is showing it, regardless if the plugin actually exists.

Please let me know if this correlates with what you see there.

Yes this is exactly same for me. The plugin is listed, containing folder does not work and so on. I also noticed that the Bella commands appear as suggestions in the command bar, but they do not work of course.

Yeah, looking at the rhino plist file (apparently ~/Library/Preferences/com.mcneel.rhinoceros.plist), I find 15 occurrences of “bella”, including commands and other things, so it could be possible to make a backup of the plist and remove the unwanted entries.

Thanks, it was that preference file!

I was able to delete the whole preference file because I don’t have a lot of customizations and because it hasn’t been long since I last deleted that file previously. Now Bella is completely uninstalled.

Needless to say, it is clear that the user experience of the uninstallation could be slightly improved :grinning:

hi @jdhill thank you very much, sounds great. i would love to try it but i had no time to test it yet since i started a new job beginning of february. i am very interested in getting a licence, reading through the feature list and working for a production company where accurate visualisation of glass may be getting very important and using rhino i think bella might be one of the few options.

i just have one more question for now which i had been thinking about lately. i could not find anything to me obvious on the feature list that might explain if bella is capable of compositing, meaning that i can decide what is reflected but not seen by camera directly for instance. or to hide reflections but seeing the object just to name some more. if its not possible currently is that something you might be implementing?

Hi @encephalon, yes, instances (everything visible is an instance) support various render flags: visible to camera, visible in reflections, visible in refractions, visible to indirect (rays), cast/capture shadows (for shadow pass), and there are also various render passes, such as albedo, alpha, beauty, object (id), material (id), normal, shadow, tangent, uv, z

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juchu great!!! thanks, i had the feeling it might be instancing but i was too hasty and gave up on the terminology too fast.

i am happy to hear that because cycles for rhino does not provide any and its not clear if it ever will come. thanks again!

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not at all – I was only specifying instances, to make it clear that different instances of an object can have different flags :slight_smile:

so i got around to download it finally and i am testing it currently. i have trouble getting the render flags to work, either this or i am misunderstanding it. i have a big head light which reflects in the object and i would like to hide it there. but the visible in refl. checkbox does not have any effect. neither do the others i have the feeling. during rendering it looks like it wants to hide it away in the reflection for a brief moment but then while rendering further it reappears.

i am using Rhino in MacOs.

bella test.3dm (3.8 MB)

Looks like something is broken there, the light is getting a render flags node, but the checkbox values are not carrying over. If you look at the scene in Bella GUI, you can select the light’s transform, and then the render flags:

And you will find the values are not set as requested:


I am finishing up rewriting a bunch of code in this area to work with Rhino 8, so I will be sure this is working for the next build; until then it seems it will be necessary to set those flags in Bella GUI.

thanks for the turbo response! i wanted to stay clear from the bella ui for now since i dont have much time to look into it… the render flags would have been important though maybe i manage after will see.

i also forgot, the bottom surface on which this dummy bottle is standing on should have been dark black either, but i can not get it to render anything else than a bleached middle grey. using regular physical based.

well as I say I’ll make sure those flags are working for the next build.

regarding the material, I do go to some length to translate rhino materials, but it is recommended to prefer the use of Bella materials. That said, I’ll take a look and see how it can be improved in this case.

(just to avoid giving the wrong impression, it is possible to go quite a ways with translated materials – the scene below uses only rhino physically based – but you will get better control by using Bella ones, along with various capabilities we have that Rhino doesn’t)


@jdhill i started a coupled of thoughts in the other topic but its just off topic so i pin them down quickly here what i remember and have time to write up. one thing i remember that when the render on bella side got initiated that the zoom/focal lenght differed to the regular view. in other words the rhino focal length does not correlate with the bella result in the viewport once rendered there. also the intensity if the lights is way more sensitive in bella, the same settings blows out the scene completely by several magnitudes.