Corona renderer is new (un)biased photorealistic renderer developed by Ondra Karlík since 2009, available as both fully integrated into 3ds MAX and standalone. It is still under heavy development and as such does not support some features and is not as stable as the final product will be. Yet still, it can produce high-quality results, as shown on top of this page, and multiple people use it in production.
Main souce of information is currently the Corona forum, as there is no proper website yet. There is an open alpha-test going on - everyone can download and use Corona for free after registering on the forum!
Some of the supported features are:
- Full 3ds MAX integration
- Unbiased/consistent rendering with path tracing, light tracing, bidirectional path tracing, progressive photon mapping, and Vertex Connection and Merging
- Biased rendering with radiance caches
- Corona material supporting: diffuse, reflection, refraction, translucency, opacity, bump mapping, displacement, emission, and anisotropy
- Physical sun & sky, area lights, IES light profiles, and fast geometry lights
- Physically correct depth of field and motion blur simulation
- Progressive and bucket rendering modes
- Own simple and fast scattering and proxy plugins, custom texmaps
Getting started with Corona is surprisingly easy. Just create an account on the forum and download and install the latest build. You can quickly try Corona by converting an old scene via the conversion scripts. To learn the basics of the renderer, view the videotutorials, or go through the online documentation. If you have any questions, suggestions, feature requests, or bugs to report, be sure to post them on the forum!
Frequently asked questions
- What are the minimum hardware requirements?
- There are two versions of Corona - standard and legacy. The standard one uses the SSE4.1 instruction set to achieve maximum speed on modern CPUs, and needs an Intel i3/5/7 CPU or newer Core 2 (e.g. 9xxx). Legacy version should run on all CPUs of the last decade, but is about 20% slower.
- What are the minimum software requirements?
- You currently need an x64 3ds MAX 2011/2012/2013/2014 running on Windows Vista or newer.
- Is Corona CPU or GPU based?
- It is entirely CPU based with no intention of making a GPU version in the foreseeable future. The reason is that the CPU version is fast enough, and there would not be nearly enough speed improvement to justify the amount of changes required and reduced flexibility.
- Is Corona biased or unbiased renderer?
- It is both. It does not follow the traditional division and tries to combine the best of the two worlds - the speed and flexibility of biased renderers with the image quality and simplicity of unbiased ones. As such, it supports both unbiased and biased rendering modes, that can be additionally combined together to get the best bias/noise ratio.
- Is Corona commercial software?
- Currently, it is free to use, but there are plans to make it commercial in the future, after it is fully developed. It will however always have some free versions, and active betatesters will get access to the full versions for free.
- Will Corona support 3D packages other than 3ds MAX?
- This is definitely planned. The architecture of the renderer has been prepared for it from the beginning. There is currently a finished CLI standalone version and Cinema 4D version in development.
- I've found a bug, what should I do?
- Post it in the bug reporting section of the forum. Be sure to include good description of how the bug manifests, how to reproduce it, and attach the scene if possible.
- Who develops Corona?
- Corona was written by only one programmer, Ondra Karlík, but there are few people helping with propagation, documentation, etc., most prominent of them being Ludvík Koutný.
- What are the plans for the future?
- Main priorities are to add the last remaining "big" unsupported features, such as SSS, distributed rendering, interactive rendering, etc., then create better user interface, and try to build wide user-base.
- Why does this webpage suck so much?
- Because I am not a webdesigner and I do not have the time right now to do a proper website with all the stuff one would expect. That being said there will definitely be one in the future.