Prices & Release Date of Corona Renderer 1.0 for 3dsmax

Thanks to a discussion with Corona Renderer users, we have decided to adjust some of the things in this article. Please read follow-up article here.


Prices & Licensing

One of the most complicated topics which we have encountered yet. We are talking about this for the second time. This time we have much clearer image, but still it is a big step into the unknown. We have done our research, calculated costs of future development, compared licensing options, exchanged numerous emails, made countless hours on skype and killed couple of hours on meetings regarding this topic. You can read the results below.

Constructing prices

When deciding the prices, we had 2 goals: to secure reliable enough funding for future development of Corona, and to maximize user’s benefit. Decisions contradicting these goals were scrapped. We made a tough decision recently about reselling our software. We had to decline couple of request from resellers willing to promote and sell Corona, because the sales provisions were set too high. We would have to either take that percentage from our part, which would leave us with less money for development, or put Corona prices up about tens of percent. Neither of those options would benefit you – users. Hopefully it will not backfire at us.



Corona Renderer The Big Issue

What is the Big Issue?

It is not the developing kick ass renderer. It is not even budget constrains, setting up sales channel or sorting out taxes for sales which will go all over the world.
It is license politics, pricing, and all legislation burden which comes with it. Corona Renderer is actively used in 134 countries around the world.  In some of these countries monthly average Purchasing Power Parity is less than 226 USD while in some others this number is almost over 4.000 USD. Even with the invention of the internet and fast connection our job as CG artists is not really that global. Most of the artists still do most of their jobs for local customers for local prices.
So that is just the basics of the the problem.



The Traditional License Options

Another problem comes with licensing. After researching various license models we have rounded two possible solutions which are used today. Box License and traditional SaaS License.
They both suck and here is why.

Why Traditional Box License Sucks

  • Updates  Are Limited
    Since updates are paid and companies rely on them heavily in their budgets, they need to wait some time (typically 12-24 months) to accumulate enough new features so users will want to upgrade. We instead want to deliver you our the latest tech as soon as possible, as we were doing until now. We do not want to postpone any features release to optimize sales.
  • More risky for the company
    If the company has only one product (as do we), each update needs to sell well to keep it afloat. One bad update would mean losing considerable income for next 12-24 months, which could be fatal, since you don’t know in advance how it will sell. Steady income is much easier to manage.
  • Immediate Expense for the Users
    So a new product or update is out and your competition is getting it. You should probably get it too. But what if you need many licenses, and you do not have the money saved up? Lately artists are asking us when we will release the commercial version, because they want to know when they should start saving money to buy it. This is not an issue with SaaS – steady expenses are much easier to manage.

Why Traditional SaaS Sucks

We are aware of the bad rep of SaaS models implemented by other companies. Users especially complain about:

  • SaaS “per month” is actually per year
    Some products advertise themselves as pay per month solution, however you must pay once for whole year, only the price is divided by 12 in the marketing materials. Real pay monthly fee is not available, or only with ridiculous conditions/prices.
  • Paid Monthly, but if you will decide to cancel, then pay 6 months
    Again, what is the point of this behavior? What if that product is really worthless, do you have to pay for this mistake whole 6 months?
  • Want older build? Forget that and be forced to install new one
    Re-branding the same old product as a “cloud solution” during the SaaS transition can go horribly wrong.  Running auto-updater on background that will install new version with new bugs during live jobs is just… plain stupid.
  • Once your license expires, you will lose access for your files
    This is simply not fair. There must be a way to open and at least export the files.

Both of this solutions have their limits and we are aware of them. However we kind of like original idea of SaaS (Software As A Service) but we have to fix it a lot to make it work for you and us.


Corona Renderer The Solution

 Fair SaaS

We call it simply Fair SaaS. It is SaaS based model without the common problems mentioned above. Why do we think that?

  • True per-month payment
    Not paying 1 year up front.
  • No minimal “contract” length
    Ever. If you want to cancel, simply do it. No more months will be charged.
  • (Non-mandatory) Updates are Available On Daily Basis
    If we will produce something really good, we want to share it with you. We would like to commit to publishing One Stable build per month, plus the regular daily builds we do now.
  • Users can “punish” the developer for bad decisions
    If we decide to go a wrong way which is against interest of the users, you are not obligated to update to the new version, or to pay us for another month.
  • Access your files even if you do not have license anymore
    Even if you will decide not to continue using software, there will be always free version which will allow you view, preview and export your files. Promise
  • Scale up and down licenses as needed
    If you are small or big studio and you need to hire more artists just for a short term project, simply buy more licenses and get rid off them right after job is done. Save money.
  • Flexible – Pay only when you need the software
    If you or your employees go to extensive holidays you can stop your license(s). Do not pay for something you do not need.
  • Affordable
    We really believe that this option makes our software more affordable worldwide. It will also help you do the budgeting for the jobs.



 Licensing Types

Corona Renderer will be available in two main licensing options.
Fair SaaS & Box License for more the more stubborn users 🙂

Corona Renderer SaaS Box


 Fair SaaS License

We think that our Fair SaaS is the best option for you and also for us. We can see how happy you are with our development, we can easily plan and scale our business on the go and you can easily budget jobs and get Corona for great price. It brings benefits to both sides. Standard price is 24.99 EUR, but if you subscribe during the first 30 days of sales, we will lower price to 19.90 EUR per month during the whole first year!

Corona Renderer Fair SaaS Price

  • Paid Monthly
  • Cancel Anytime No minimum length of contract
  • Free upgrades – Do not pay for upgrades, get them free as soon as they are ready
  • Daily build access  – You will always get your hands on the latest tech if you want
  • Render Nodes – You will get 3 render nodes for free with your license! CHANGED> You can get more render nodes now. Read more here
  • Access your files  – In case that you will get rid of your license, you can open, view, export a preview your renders with free version of Corona Renderer (Some limitations regarding resolution/number of passes/… will be placed)


 Box License

We also understand that some people just don’t want SaaS at any cost. Well so even for you we have the traditional Box Model. You can buy the licence once and have it forever. You can sell it or do whatever you want. It is yours. Forever. There are some little disadvantages when compared to SaaS. Free updates are only for 90 days after purchase. No daily builds or additional upgrades are for free. CHANGED > read more here. There will be a subscription that will get you access to daily builds and all upgrades exactly as you have it with the Fair SaaS license.
This box version comes also with 30 days launch promo price of 349 EUR.

Corona Renderer Box Price

  • Paid Once – Just once.
  • Keep it Forever The license is yours, use it, throw it way or sell it.
  • Free upgrades only for 90 days – You will get free upgrades just for 90 days. CHANGED > read more here
  • No Daily build access  – But you can buy subscription to get both daily builds and updates for additional year.
  • Render Nodes – You will get 3 render nodes for free with your license!



Other License Types

Special license types, which will be  available upon request.
Educational & Farm licenses.
These licenses will not be available to buy in our online web store, they will have their own set of requirements and you will have to contact us prior buying.

Corona Renderer Edu Farm


Educational / Student License

Educational / Student License is aimed to students and schools. Students of any high school & university of any type are eligible to get the license.  Schools and universities can also buy licenses for their computer systems. Student can use their license for commercial jobs.

Corona Renderer Educational Price

  • Paid Yearly – Yes, the price of 24.99 EUR is paid once per year
  • Free upgrades – Do not pay for upgrades, get them free as soon as they are ready
  • No Daily build access  – Sorry guys, no benefit here
  • Render Nodes – You will get 1 render node for free with your license!
  • Commercial Jobs – Yes, you can use your license for your commercial freelance/employment jobs
  • Access your files  – In case that you will get rid of your license, you can open, view, export a preview your renders with free version of Corona Renderer. (Some limitations refarding number of passes and resolution will be placed)


Farm License

If you are Commercial Renderfarm owner or if you run Cloud Renderfarm service you can easily get licenses for all your machines without initial investment on as many machines as you want. Payment is based on sharing revenue model. Please contact us for more info.

Corona Renderer Farm Price

  • Share Revenue – 10-15% revenue from all jobs rendered using Corona Renderer
  • Free upgrades
  • Daily build access
  • Render Nodes unlimited



Availability & Release Date

Sales will start in November When it’s done. We do not want to give you exact date yet – we still want to cram in some new features. Let’s leave it as surprise. We will try to deliver Corona Renderer for 3ds max as soon as possible.

Corona Renderer Release Date



What will be included in version 1.0?

We will write additional  articles where we will show you the technologies we cook for you in depth. Here is the preview of what you can expect:

  • Full Featured Interactive Rendering
  • SSSR – Sub Surface Scattering Revolution
  • GGX Microfacet Model
  • New Corona Scatter
  • New Blend Material
  • New UHD Cache for Animations
  • Speed improvements: approximately 25%



Other platforms

These prices are for the 3ds max version only. We will keep other versions (standalone, Maya, Cinema4D) free even after New year, until they are stable and feature-complete enough for commercial release. Then we will decide their pricing  based on the principles we have described in this article.


Ask them here on the blog or on our forum (in this thread). We are always open for discussion. We are doing this for you, so please let us know your opinion.

 Adam & Ondra

69 thoughts on “Prices & Release Date of Corona Renderer 1.0 for 3dsmax

  1. Seems really Fair, in my case i will go for box solution, i like the price and the possibility to buy the box or Saas, prices for both solutions seems very nice, i will wait for the C4D official realease to get it!

  2. Looks like an interesting system and definately a competative price. . Some Qs.

    1. How much are additional render nodes after the 3 free ones?

    2. How will the security work (Im on C4D and its usually just a serial tied to the C4D serial)? So can we have a license on a desktop at work and a laptop at home type thing?

    3. If we buy the ‘box’ option does that mean there are no opportunities for ‘upgrades’ paid for or otherwise after 90 days? So there will be no corona v2 just constant smaller increments?

    Looking forward to the C4D version to get up to speed, its a great set of features for V1.

    1. 1. How much are additional render nodes after the 3 free ones?

      3. If we buy the ‘box’ option does that mean there are no opportunities for ‘upgrades’ paid for or otherwise after 90 days? So there will be no corona v2 just constant smaller increments?

      I would love to hear answers to these questions too – I would love to have option to upgrade from version 1 to version 2 in future.

      And I am waiting C4D version too – I will add this to my shopping list too.

      1. And did I understood this correctly:

        “No Daily build access ” – so no access to daily builds in Box version?

        But updates (bug fixes) will be possible? I hope there will be free bug fixes.

        And if there comes version 2 (“and 90days free upgrades” ) – I can get it for free if there is only 90 days from version 1 purchase?

        I hope that I understood this correctly.

        1. Hey Jusu,
          today I will publish new article which will cover your questions in detail.
          To bug fixes. We will always provide bug fixes for everyone. That means for users with or without subscription on box.

      2. Hey Jusu, as i mentioned earlier. You will find answers later today in new blog post.
        1 – Will be in that article
        3 – there will be opportunities to upgrade from 1.0 to 2.0 as with usual “box” software.

    2. Hey Rob, answers to your questions will be in today’s follow up article.
      1. that will be in the article
      2.we would like to keep this confidential. but with SaaS we want to let users to install corona on every machine they want, but they will be able to use only one at a time
      3.There will be always opportunity to upgrade like with any “regular BOX” software out there. You will just pay upgrade price from 1.0 to 2.0

  3. Thanks for announcing this finally. What seems to be missing is information about whether the licenses are node-locked or if there is any kind of network license available? Is the license portable?
    Would love to see some info on that as well.

  4. Were can i put my money????? ups directly to your hands maybe?? 🙂

    Well i will talk to my boss.
    One question regarding the Fair SaaS, how will the licenses be applied to the computers? flotating ones or installed on each pc?
    And the most important would be, How is the payment do? Each month some one at the office needs to pay? or it will be auto pay or something??
    In this case it would be nice to have a Fair SaaS of one year (yes i read the whole post about it) i could be with a 10% discount or so for paying the whole year.

    1. Hello Daniel, today I will publish new blog post which should cover your questions.
      Yes, monthly payment will be automatic, but we will add option also to pay one year in advance for slightly smaller price (because we will pay less on transaction fees). But one disadvantage for some will be, that cancelling immediately then will not be possible. So something to think about.

  5. Sounds fair – and exiting with the new features.

    It’s mentioned that there will be 3 render node lincenses for free with the packages, what is the price for additional render nodes?

  6. Hi, very interested in this. Just got a questions, will there be any format so let’s say scenes created in max’o or so could be transferred to standalone? (Like OTOY guys make for their OctaneRender) I would preffer Standalone, but I see it’s so far only news about plugin for 3dsmax, & considering soon they are going to switch to different pricing model that might become an issue for some =)


    1. Hi Tom, at the moment we bring info only about 3ds max version. We did not update standalone for a while so it lacks some functionality. At the moment there is just blender exporter which feeds data to standalone. We did not write it. But if you can code, I am sure you can write some exporter for any 3d app to standalone. Regarding new 3dsmax pricing policy. In new article there will be solution to that. We will offer crossgrades in the future which will be free. That means that you can swap your max license for cinema, rhino…etc. for free if you are on box. But if you are on SaaS, you will simply just ditch your SaaS max license and get SaaS license to something else.

  7. You don’t make mention to plataform blender. This means that will don’t have any chance for it? Or is a priority question?

  8. Couple of questions/requests
    1. Pricing for additional render nodes after 3
    2. Licence Method – Preferred is Network Floating
    3. Licence seats – 1 for work 1 at home/portable – given your pretty generous allowance of student versions in commercial paid work it would be nice to see one a one for work and one for home/portable to take work home /away on.
    4. I think the model you have of SaaS with daily updates and Box is the right way forward, keeps it simple and you guys have a regular payment model. Would suggest going to a 12 month prepayment (with a discount ;o) ) this would make it easier for larger companies to manage payment times. We’d likely just go monthly as it’s a reduced capital outlay.
    I think its a pretty good pricing regime, just hope your render nodes are not too expensive as they pretty critical to workflow

    1. Hey Jacob, today I will publish follow up article which will hopefully answer all your questions. So in short
      1 – there will be more info about this one in that new article
      2 – Our intention is do that too, question is if we can make it till release or month or two after release (so if you will have SaaS, you will get it soon). But it is one of the priorities
      3 – Answer to that will be in the article. But this should be easily done with SaaS model – you can log in from any machine you want and use your license.
      4 – We think that too. 12 month prepayment will be possible too on SaaS with little discount (because we will save on transaction fees). However advantage of cancelling exactly when you want will be gone by then. So something to think about.
      Regarding nodes, I think that if you will go with SaaS option, then you will be pretty happy with our adjustments.

  9. That does sound really smart, I’m really happy you guys approached it this way!
    btw, what about hair rendering in Corona? is it going to be supported for 1.0?

    1. Native hair rendering is not yet supported in Corona and I think that we will not make it till version 1.0, however we will publish roadmaps for functions. So people will be able to see exactly when feature they want will appear on SaaS or daily builds. That’s why we want SaaS users mostly, so once something is ready, they can get it straight away. Also once we will start new website, there will be complete and updated feature list published. So you know what you will be getting

  10. so pity, I want buy it ,but it does not support XP64…..The world there are 15% people use XP…..

    1. Actually that is 32bit XP, which have 4GB RAM limit and are not suitable for any CG work, and new 3dsmax versions do not support them. XP64 themselves are no longer supported by microsoft, and have only about 0.23% market share (source: This OS is missing some important functionality we would have to implement ourselves, which is currently unfortunately not worth the effort.

    1. We are not developing blender plugin. Thanks to restrictions of Blender license. The blender exporter is not developed by us. It uses old version of Corona Standalone which was not updated for some time.
      So we do not have any thoughts about pricing or creative native blender plugin at the moment.

      1. Thanks. So will it be a standalone versión to import some format and apply materials?. In that case which will be the Price? will also be a free versión of the standalone the same as it is with corona for 3ds max?

      1. Thanks. So will there be a standalone versión to import some format and apply materials?. In that case which will be the Price? will also be a free versión of the standalone the same as it is with corona for 3ds max?

        1. Hello Fernando.
          Standalone version is basically command line application. There is no GUI and we are not developing any at the moment. So at the moment standalone is free but it has not been updated for some time now.

  11. I like the Fair Saas license model you came up with, but with 1 exception. You mention that we have access to our older resource files, but are limited to the render output and the number of passes. I think this actually defeats the purpose of access to archive files. We still want to access those files in its full glory. Anyway, box version still seems to be the best version for me. How about shortening the box update cycle with cheaper upgrade pricing.

    1. I think that you might misinterpreted that information. If you will stop having license = stop paying for SaaS, then you cannot have full featured product anymore. It means you can download demo which will have some limitations. It is not like you not having license and not having any access to the files. Imagine you having your files ready in mental ray and then uninstalling mental ray from your machine. you can still access the file, but you cannot display materials or render them. This is what would happen normally. But we will let you download demo or something similar, so you can preview those materials and do preview renders which will be limited in terms of maximum number of passes or resolution.

  12. Just limit the resolution in the demo version, leaving the render passes alone will be win – win, in line with your goals.

  13. Hey, I’m interest on the box license. Kindly advise how to pre-order this software?
    1)When “box license” launch?
    2)Is it promotion price for first 30days launch or pre-order?
    3)Can use paypal to make payment?
    4)Any link website to order and purchase?

  14. Hi,
    Will the box version require an internet connection once for activation and then not anymore ? I really hope you succeed, but I don’t like the Idea to loose years of work if your buisness close and your license servers with it. No offense here, just can’t risk that.

    1. If you have 3 computers as 3 workstations, then you need three box licenses. If you have one computer as workstation and other two as nodes, then you need just one box license.

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