Chaos Corona Renderer: Overview

17 november 2023 year
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History of Corona Render

The development of Corona Renderer started back in 2009 as a solo student project of Ondřej Karlík at Czech Technical University in Prague. Corona has since evolved to a full-time commercial project, after Ondřej established a company together with the former CG artist Adam Hotový, and Jaroslav Křivánek, associate professor and researcher at Charles University in Prague. In August 2017, the company became part of Chaos Group, allowing for further expansion and growth.

Despite its young age, Corona Renderer has become a production-ready renderer capable of creating high–quality results. The latest versions for 3ds Max and Cinema 4D are currently available for sale via Corona Renderer online shop.

Corona Renderer is one of the easiest to learn render engines. Its setup really is as simple as pressing “Render”! Most new users will learn Corona Renderer in just one day, and fall in love with it over the next few.

Corona Renderer Overview

What is Corona render used for

The mission of Corona Renderer is to liberate users from technical and unnatural processes. They are constantly trying to simplify the creative process by removing or hiding any unnecessary technical settings, so that artists can focus on their vision. The era of studying manuals and tweaking sampling is over. Just press render and let Corona do its magic.

Corona Renderer is compatible with a huge range of third-party plugins, so you can continue to use any tools you already have integrated into your workflow - whether you are using Corona's Interactive Rendering or doing a final render, you can keep right on using iToo’s Forest Pack and RailClone, Siger Shaders, Quixel Megascans, Allegorithmic Substance, Phoenix FD, FumeFX, Ornatrix, Hair Farm, and many more.

Corona Renderer is also compatible with the core V–Ray Materials and V–Ray Lights, which allows you to render those using Corona even if V–Ray is not installed. This is ideal for downloading V–Ray assets from model stores, or if you already have a library of assets in V–Ray format, or if you are studio using both engines, and so on.

Corona Renderer has proven itself to be excellent for architectural 3D visualization in interiors and exteriors, because it allows you to achieve high-quality images with minimal effort on the part of the artist.

Another advantage of Corona Render is the active window (rendering in real time using a video card), where you can see the image in real time. For example, when staging a light, you can save a lot of time by not having to do test renders.

Corona Materials

Corona Renderer installation comes with a dedicated Corona Material Library, which offers more than 300 high – quality materials. You can additionally download the following material sets, which were created for earlier versions of Corona Renderer.

Corona Render features a specialized set of materials and maps, complemented by support for standard ones like Blend material, Multi/Sub-Object material, MultiTexture texture, etc. The Corona Legacy Mtl serves as the foundational material from versions 1 to 7, simulating properties of various real-world materials. Note: textures are images, while materials encompass a full set of object properties (color, reflection, transparency, etc.).

Present in Corona Render from version 7 onward, the Corona Physical Mtl has become the default standard material. It facilitates the creation of physically accurate, realistic materials for your renders, ensuring authenticity that aligns with the real world. Compared to the older Corona Legacy Mtl, the new Corona Physical Mtl offers enhanced simplicity, convenience, and functionality. It is designed to replace the standard CoronaMtl in future releases, making it the default material, while the older one (CoronaLegacyMtl) is retained for scenes created in earlier versions.

The Corona Physical Mtl is recommended for new material creation, and its integration includes presets for simplifying work with basic materials. With 34 ready-made presets covering materials like aluminum, chrome, bronze, glass, gold, plastic, satin, velvet, and more, it provides a starting point for crafting custom materials. The presence of presets streamlines the workflow and is a valuable resource for both beginners and experienced users.

For those who want to switch to Corona from other rendering engines, there is a Corona Converter. With Corona Converter you can effortlessly transform your scene into the Corona Physical Material with a simple click. This applies whether you're transitioning from other render engines like V-Ray or updating from older Corona materials like the Legacy Material.

Plugins and Scripts

List of plugins and scripts that are compatible with Corona Renderer is huge. Some of them on page bellow:

  • Phoenix FD
  • Forest Pack Lite/Pro
  • RailClone Lite/Pro
  • MultiScatter
  • MultiTexture Map
  • ColorCorrect
  • BerconMaps
  • Ornatrix
  • SiClone

And many more.

Corona Renderer Overview

Corona Render System Requirements

For Corona Renderer 2 and newer, you will need a CPU that supports the SSE4.1 instruction set (SSE4.1 has been available since Intel i3/i5/i7 and AMD Bulldozer architectures – so, any processor from within the last 10 years). Here is a list of compatible CPUs - List

Recommendation System Requirements for Corona Render

RAM (Random Access Memory):

  • Minimum 8 GB for rendering individual objects.
  • Minimum 16 GB for interior work.
  • Minimum 32 GB for exterior projects.

Processor:

  • Minimum requirements: 2 cores / 4 threads or 4 cores / 4 threads.
  • On a computer with such a configuration, an average render can be completed overnight.

Graphics Card:

  • The graphics card's specifications are not critical, but using an NVIDIA card is recommended.
  • The program supports the advanced NVIDIA OptiX noise reduction feature, which is not compatible with cards from other manufacturers.

Intel or AMD, which is better for Corona?

Below is a table with tests for rendering speed. AMD Ryzen, Threadripper, Intel i5, i7, i9, XEON, Pentium, some with more cores and others with high core frequencies.

In the end, it all comes down to baseline CPU rendering performance, which we measured with Cinebench R15, the leading CPU rendering performance benchmarking software currently. The table also contains the number and power of cores, the approximate cost of each processor, as well as its performance/cost ratio.

To use optional Fast Preview Denoiser (NVIDIA OptiX), you need an NVIDIA GPU with Maxwell or newer architecture and the newest GPU driver. Not all mobile GPUs are supported.

Note: this denoiser type is optional, and Corona Renderer will work fine even if it's not installed (for example if you are using an AMD or integrated GPU). Corona also offer a High Quality denoiser, which utilizes purely the CPU, and this denoiser can be used on any computer which can run Corona Renderer.

Corona Renderer Software Requirements

  • 3ds Max version: Autodesk 3ds Max x64 version 2014-2021 (Corona Renderer officially supports 3ds Max 2018-2021. Corona Renderer will also install and run under 3ds Max 2014-2017 and should work as expected; however, support for these versions is unofficial as we cannot test Corona Renderer under versions prior to 3ds Max 2018, due to Autodesk licensing restrictions.), Microsoft Windows (7, 8, 8.1, 10).
  • Cinema 4D version: MAXON Cinema 4D R14-R23, Microsoft Windows (7, 8, 8.1, 10) or macOS (10.7 or newer).
  • Standalone: Microsoft Windows (7, 8, 8.1, 10).
  • Corona Distributed rendering: (available in 3ds Max only) requires Backburner on render nodes.
  • GPU Denoiser: to ensure smooth operation and best performance of our Fast Preview Denoiser (NVIDIA OptiX), please make sure you are using the newest driver available for your graphics card. The drivers can be downloaded from nvidia.com
  • Corona is x64-compatible only.

Supported operating systems:

  • Microsoft Windows, versions 7, 8, 8.1, 10 (3ds Max and Cinema 4D).
  • macOS, versions 10.7 and newer (Cinema 4D).
  • Corona is x64-compatible only.
  • A version for Linux is planned.

Corona Renderer Overview

Which is better V-Ray or Corona?

Choosing between Corona and V-Ray for your rendering needs? Here's a brief guide to help you make the right decision:

CPU or GPU:

  • Corona: Utilizes the full potential of your CPU.
  • V-Ray: Ideal for GPU enthusiasts, as Corona lacks GPU rendering.

Host Software:

  • Both support 3ds Max and Cinema 4D.
  • V-Ray supports additional platforms like Maya, SketchUp, Rhino, Revit, Houdini, Nuke, Unreal, and Blender.

Work "Style":

  • Corona: Simple, photorealistic results with minimal tweaking, sacrificing some flexibility.
  • V-Ray: Photorealistic quality with extensive customization options, perfect for those who want more control.

Supported Features:

  • Both offer a range of tools for great renders.

Stills or Sequences:

  • Both can handle stills and sequences, but V-Ray is better optimized for animations.

Compositing and Post-Production:

  • Corona: Keeps it simple, with basic compositing tools.
  • V-Ray: Specifically designed for advanced compositing applications, offering more control.

Learning Curve:

  • Corona: Beginner-friendly with good out-of-the-box results.
  • V-Ray: Slightly steeper learning curve due to advanced workflows and possibilities.

Industry:

  • V-Ray: Used across various industries, including architecture, interior design, product design, automotive, VFX, advertising, and games.
  • Corona: Primarily for archviz but successfully used in VFX, product design, and automotive industries.

Both V-Ray and Corona deliver high-quality, realistic imagery with comparable render times. Download and try both to see which aligns better with your preferences, considering UI, extra tools, and ease of achieving desired results.

Corona Renderer Overview

Link to Corona Renderer official website: https://corona-renderer.com/

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