Bella – a new spectral physically-based renderer

Barcelona-based Diffuse Logic has announced a new render engine called Bella, available as a standalone app and plugin for Maya with new implementations promised in the future. According to the developers, Bella is a spectral, physically-based renderer that features a node-based scene description graph, and an intuitive material model based on several material types including Conductor, Dialectric. These can be layered for complex materials.

Cameras are controlled using Camera, Lens, and Sensor modules, which use real-world settings for artists familiar with photographic principles. 

The camera node supports allows the user to choose from either fully manual exposure control, or automated exposure compensation, with either aperture or shutter priority.

The Sensor node represents the physical camera sensor and provides control over film size, ISO, and sharpness, as well as simulation of sensor diffraction and bloom.

Finally, the Lens node supports optional vignetting, lens shift, and choice of diaphragm shape and rotation, as well as a lens filter stack, for adding lens filters such as the diffraction or ND filters.

Lights are either mesh-based using emitter materials or created using one of 4 types of procedural object for point, area, directional and spot effects.

Bella features 4 solvers that can be used to produce beauty renders. The default solver is Atlas, an unbiased bi-directional path tracer that promises to be “highly optimized for solving complex lighting scenarios”. Similar to Atlas is Ares, an unbiased non-bi-directional path tracer. According to the developers, it may render faster than Atlas in scenes which have less complex lighting.

Apollo is a quasi-unbiased solver using a proprietary new method. The developer claim that it is capable of solving lighting scenarios which have traditionally been infeasible for a bi-directional path tracers.  It is intended that this solver will become the default once it is thoroughly tested and tweaked.

Finally, there’s also an IPR solver for quick previews. Both production and IPR rendering can be denoised using Intel’s OpenImageDenoise library.

Bella is a standalone application that can render scenes exported from other DCCS. Native plugins will also be offered, and at the time of reporting a Maya plugin available. There are plans to support Rhinoceros, SketchUp, Cinema 4D, and 3DS Max,

Bella is currently available for an open pre-release beta. Users who submit images during this period can be offered discounts on the final release. 

For more information, visit the product’s website.

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