Time to leave V-Ray? Some feedback about Bella Render

After Chaos New V-Ray subscription plans and other changes mail i’m thinking about trying other options.
I’ve been using and teaching V-Ray for Rhino for the last 10 years.

Does anybody use Bella Render for professional projects?

The demo mode is limited to 720p (1280x720, by area) and thats not enough for a real test, at least for me because it’s not even a draft resolution.

Could anybody give me some feedback about Bella Render?

Thanks in advance

Hi Nachetz, our demo rez restriction is 720p because we do not put any time limit on it, so it is good for seeing whether you like the workflow/plugins/etc, and for letting hobbyists play with it indefinitely. But if you need to test at higher rez, I can send you a 30 day full license for more comprehensive testing.



thanks a lot for you offering. Would you mind if i send you a DM and explain why i’d like to test Hi-res?

Thanks again

Not at all, feel free.

1 Like

Does Bella GUI has a white GUI? This black everywhere just kills me - awful for people with astigmatism!

Sorry, but it currently does not. But it is not something you have to use, either, though it is recommended to send scenes there for final rendering.

@12Lab any news regarding switching Vray/Bella? I am using keyshot for many years and want to escape from it. I have Vray and Bella on the list, so very curiously how did you decide.

i never used keyshot, but what is your reason for trying to leave it behind? @ThomasAn has some experience with Bella maybe he can elaborate some advantages. i have gathered from him that it was developed by the initial team from maxwell. i´d say quality like it ought to be good.

@Gijs is using Vray maybe he can comment.

First of all, I hate subscriptions. I already made the mistake with Adobe and regret it ever since. Thing is that you need to be a full time user of the software year in year out to make a subscription worthwhile.
For bigger companies it’s probably a no brainer but for most individuals it’s a pain.
I can understand why companies like chaos have gone this path though. Their software has become so good that eventually people have enough quality and will stop upgrading.
And I’m sure they have found numbers were going down with upgrades so they had to find other ways to make money. With subscriptions they know exactly how much money flows to their bank account every month, which makes it a lot easier to know upfront how much development cost can be spent.

Tbh the latest upcoming upgrade is aimed mainly at the archviz industry. I don’t think there are a lot of new features that are life changing even for @Micha that uses it on a daily basis.

What is wrong with subscriptions is that it means you end having access to your files once you stop paying. It’s a big issue.
If I were new to visualization and had to make my choice now, I’d probably go for blender and cycles.

That being said, Vray is still a great product that is well integrated to Rhino. The Vray frame buffer has a huge amount of cool tools to keep even big part of post processing entirely in Vray. And its fast.


Interesting. Chaos no longer gives you the option to own at all ? I think subscription models are trying to reduce the barrier to entry (a good thing) but make it so you never own a copy (a bad thing)

As for alternatives, I haven’t used Vray in 20years so I can’t offer a direct comparison on speed.

Bella is designed from scratch by the original Maxwell engineers after they left (in 2018 I think ?). Their new focus is speed. You get two render engines for the price if one. Atlas is a full spectral engine that does dispersion and caustics and it’s on par with Maxwell (maybe a little faster, but close). Saturn is their state of the art engine that is intended to be their flagship in the future and it’s so optimized that it can outdo Cycles on CPU (They are currently working on a GPU implementation).

From my experience Saturn (from Bella) gives you Maxwell quality renders when you don’t need caustics (like 98% of the time) and is as fast as Cycles but currently only on CPU. It’s entirely nodes based. Their Rhino plugin is very smooth and well integrated. I can attest that Jdhill is an excellent craftsman and will always respond to any issues. He was the Maxwell for Rhino plugin developer up until version 6 I believe.

Given the speed advantages, I personaly only use Bella/Saturn these days (even for Jewelry) and it will even do dispersion inside gemstones; unlike Cycles.


Maybe this insane subscription only price from v.11 onward - Buy KeyShot – KeyShot

That makes VRay’s $70/month look like a steal…

if you want to compare it to keyshot, this is actually not correct, this pricing is per month, for a single month. If you go for a full year it is €35/month

This is one of the most controversial decisions on Chaos forums:

F.e. i use a desktop at the studio and a laptop for teaching Rhino3D + V-ray and if I move to suscription mode (i actually own a perpetual license) i should choose a V-ray Premiun…

Upgrading is also another discussion

Personally i don’t inderstand “includes all V-ray integrations”, how many people switches for V-ray for Maya to V-ray for Modo??

when I developed 4 of maxwell’s plugins, I saw that many offices/people use multiple 3d platforms, and indeed there were a lot of complaints when next limit changed the sales model to be per plugin instead of “1 license for everything” – at some point they had to reverse course and offer a “bundle” license again, with all plugins, and a higher price

1 Like

This article pretty much sums up why this change is happening across multiple industries:


Everyone likes consistent cash flow:
Although I bought V-Ray 3.0 , I was consistently paying for Upgrades to V4 and V5 which is very comparable to a subscription service when it comes to my annual expenses

This is changing now because the cost for upgrading jumped a lot and I still can’t justify the added price for my workflow. for now, I’m sticking to V-Ray 5 and not considering an upgrade. I’m still looking around for a rhino-ready GPU raytracer that can beat the Quality of V-Ray so it is going to take a while.

Hopefully one of these unreal 5-based render engines can come with a better quality.


AutoDesk did the same move much earlier. Jack up price, but hey, in return you get all the AutoCad verticals you dont need and never wanted.

1 Like

you do it only once, to convert your purchased model library from .Max to .vrscene and you are done.

Interesting read about subscriptions - upFront.eZine News Archives: Surviving the Recession, Should One Come (upfrontezine.com)

1 Like