Monday, April 24th, 2017 Posted by Jim Thacker

Render Legion ships Corona Renderer 1.6 for 3ds Max

Originally posted on 6 January 2017. Scroll down for news of the final release.

Render Legion has posted a preview video showing some of the new features coming up in Corona Renderer 1.6, the upcoming release of its 3ds Max production renderer.

Changes include improved sampling of HDR images, support for triplanar texture mapping and rendering stereo images in side-by-side format, and new interactive rendering functionality.

Improved sampling of HDR images and support for triplanar texture mapping
New features due in Corona 1.6 include improved sampling of HDR images with high contrast ratios: for example, those in which the sun is visible.

The functionality results in significantly less noise when rendering images with HDRI-based lighting, as you can see at the start of the video above.

Corona also now supports triplanar texture mapping. The technique – also supported in V-Ray – enables artists to texture objects without suitable UV coordinates by projecting separate texture maps along each object-space axis and blending between them to avoid visible seams.

The renderer can also now render stereoscopic images in side-by-side format as well as 360-degree panoramas, as you can see at 09:35 in the video.

Pan and zoom or perform curve adjustments in the VFB
Other changes include the addition of channel adjustment curves to the Virtual Frame Buffer, along with the option to pan and zoom in the VFB – during interactive rendering, at least.

In addition, render regions can now have soft edges, as you can see at 04:10 in the video.

Updated 24 April 2017: Corona Renderer 1.6 for 3ds Max is now shipping.

As well as the features covered above, the release introduces the Corona Image Editor (CIE), a sister application for loading EXR files and adjusting post effects in the images.

The tool, which is designed as a less system-intensive alternative to opening an EXR in standard image-editing software, supports all the features of the Corona VFB.

That includes denoising and LightMix, Corona’s system for relighting scenes without re-rendering them.

CIE also reads ‘regular’ EXRs – that is, those not generated in Corona – and can output the edited image in EXR, PNG, JPEG, BMP formats.

There are also updates to the VFB and LightMix themselves, including the option to bake changes made in the VFB into a LightMix scene, removing the need to edit lights individually in the viewport.

Distributed rendering (DR) has been overhauled, with slave machines automatically gathering missing assets from the master and caching them locally; and spawning 3ds Max immediately after the DR server starts.

The release also bundles new libraries of IES lights and LUTs with the core software. You can read a full list of changes via the link at the foot of the story.

Pricing and availability
Corona Renderer 1.6 for 3ds Max is available for 64-bit 3ds Max 2012+, running on Windows 7 and above.

Users have a choice between a perpetual ‘Box’ licence, which costs €449 (around $499), and a ‘Fair SaaS’ rental model, which costs between €24.99 and €44.99 a month ($28-50). You can find more details here.

Read a full list of new features in Corona Renderer 1.6 for 3ds Max on Render Legion’s blog