This is it. The road was a bit longer than we expected, but we are proudly releasing the version 1.0 of Corona Renderer for 3ds Max today. Cannot wait another second? Go get it now!
Corona 1.0 is the first non-free version of Corona. It can be used in demo mode without any limitations (no maximum resolution, no watermarks, …) for 45 days. After that, purchasing a license will be necessary. You can read more about the licenses we offer here. We have also written extensively on the topic of licensing here on our blog: , .
Even though the demo will work for 45 days, we strongly recommend you get your license sooner, as we have a 45-day launch promo discount for all FairSaaS and Box licenses. With the discount, you can get Corona for as low as 19.99 € per month. See the prices and licensing for more details. Also various discounts and bonuses will be provided during (and sometimes after) this period.
Major New Features
We are sure that you have already seen the features section on our web, but here is a short recap of the major new features introduced in Corona Renderer 1.0:
- Interactive rendering supporting virtually all materials, maps, geometry, and Corona features. It uses the same engine and produces exactly the same results as final frame rendering.
- UHD cache: a new biased caching solution. This cache is very similar to the good old HD cache, but it produces less bias and does not flicker in animations, even in scenes with moving geometry.
- SSS and volumetric scattering capability
- GGX microfacet BRDF model that allows creating realistic metal materials easily
- Reworked UI dialogs: Corona now uses 3 tabs instead of single one, eliminating scrolling and searching for the correct rollout.
- CoronaMultiMap texture allows easy randomization of colors and texmaps with instances. It works with any scatter plugin, and with 3ds Max native instancing.
- Improved Blend material support: it now renders faster, supports nested Blend materials, bump mapping, render elements, emission, displacement, BDPT/VCM, and more.
- CoronaScatter improvements: controlling density and scaling with maps, option to avoid instance collisions.
- ShadowCatcher improvements: added more texture inputs, bump mapping, light lluminators, more reflection controls.
- Uninstaller and Licensing server included in the installer.
- Displacement parsing is now multithreaded (up to 450% improvement on Intel i7)
- Heavy instancing is now processed more efficiently. We measured improvements up to 60% better rendering performance and 30% faster parsing.
- Faster scene parsing: we made multiple improvements here, including making the whole thing multithreaded. Some of the artists reported speedups of up to 1200%.
- Saving big renders is now about 50% faster.
- Direct light sampling has been reworked and is now more efficient, meaning there is less noise in the same time. The difference is particularly visible when using strongly directional lights.
- Sampling of dim reflections on diffuse/refractive surfaces has been improved. This should fix a lot of problems where subtle noise did not go away even after a long time.
- HDRI-only lit scenes rendering is now a bit faster.
- More about speed improvements.
- New material energy conservation mode, closer to Mental Ray and VRay models. This model is now used by default on all new materials. Materials imported from older versions use the previous model so the rendered image look does not change.
- Added time estimation and better progress bar when using progressive rendering with time and/or pass limits set.
- Added two-sided emission to Corona lights.
- Reworked CoronaCameraMod to make it more usable and less confusing.
- Separate category for Corona maps and materials in the list of all maps/materials.
- New “Add sky” button in CoronaSun, that saves some clicking when setting up Sun/sky environment.
- Photographic exposure can now be adjusted in real time.
- Improved UI of CoronaSolid texmap (now named CoronaColor).
- CoronaMix now works with bump mapping.
- Renamed some Corona maps to make the naming consistent.
- Renamed most Corona Maxscript parameters to make them consistent. The names of parameters are now also shown in the online help.
- Render settings no longer need to be closed when changing Corona parameters via Maxscript.
- Top/Bottom and Doublesided standard materials are now supported.
- Added direction offsets to CoronaAO.
- Ctrl +, Ctrl – now zooms in/out in Corona VFB. Double clicking adjusts the VFB window size to the render size.
- Added support for disabling “Display maps as 2D” option in the material editor.
Major Bug Fixes
- Body objects and adaptive splines now render correctly.
- Noise pattern in animations is now more stable.
- Fixed a bug that caused trees with incorrectly set up materials to be randomly visible in the image despite being occluded by other geometry.
- Fixed bug causing random excessive displacement parsing times.
- Fixed display of CoronaRenderer properties in Maxscript.
- Fixed incorrect material sampling in some situations, removing some shading artifacts and performance problems.
- Fixed bug causing DrServer to not recognize newly installed 3ds Max versions, and fixed other various distributed rendering bugs.
- Render elements now have correct gamma when using 3ds Max’s default VFB.
What is Next?
It does not end with the Corona Renderer 1.0. This is just a beginning of a new era for Corona Renderer, the first steps in adulthood if you like. We hope to secure enough funds to speed up and improve the development. We want to expand our small team and widen the portfolio of supported 3d applications.
After today, we would like to speed up the development of Cinema4D version (and release an OSX version), release first public alpha for Maya, and start development for other applications (we are particularly interested in Rhino, Modo, and Lightwave).
Even though the build we are releasing today was tested by hundreds of daily build testers for months, some bugs can appear when the application is released to a much wider audience. We are standing by, ready to fix any problems ASAP. If you find any problem, see our support page where you can contact our technical support, or report a bug using our bug tracker, or using our forum.
As for new features, we would now like to focus on the following areas in the weeks after the release. Some of them should be available in the first monthly build (version 1.1) for our FairSaaS and Box with Subscription users:
- Further speed and memory optimizations
- Adding “render region” controls to Corona VFB
- Creating CoronaBitmap 3ds Max plugin (e.g. for loading HDRIs)
- Creating a Corona displacement modifier, adding option to keep unsmoothed edges from tearing
- Removing the limitation that causes images to suddenly became more more noisy when using more than 250 separate lights.
In the longer run (later this year), we are planning to work on adaptive image sampling, further improving performance in scenes with many lights, support for hair rendering, skin shader, and much more more. Stay tuned!
Buy and Support Us!
This is all we wanted to tell you. Now it is your turn to buy, download, install, and start playing with Corona 1.0 for 3ds Max. Get your Corona copy here: https://corona-renderer.com/prices-licensing/
Since this is the end of one era and beginning of a new one, we would like to thank those who helped us to get where we are now and to make this release happen:
- Corona developers and affiliates: Ales Krivak, Chris Johnson, Haggi Krey, Joel Daniels, Marcin Miodek, Ludvik Koutny, Martin Geupel, Pavel Vojacek, Miroslav Kurcik, Max Kagirov, Ramunas Gerulskis, Stanislav Booth
- Third party developers and discount providers: RebusFarm, Siger Studio, VIZPARK, You Can Do It! VFX
- Artists, studios, conference organisers: Bertrand Benoit, Juraj Talcik, Veronika Demovicova, Jakub Cech, Jeff Patton, Peter Guthrie, Thomas Vournazos, Iain Banks, Marcelo Souza, Francesco Legrenzi, Deyan Minchev, AsymmetricA, The Boundary, VIZE, SOA team, EUE team, Splash team, 3ds London team…
- Our competitors for keeping us on edge ;).
- Families and friends: we have neglected you in the last couple of months. Thank you for understanding our passion and supporting us through this journey.
Ondra, Adam, Jaroslav and the rest of the team