Friday, May 1st, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Sneak peek: Corona Renderer 6 for 3ds Max

Chaos Czech has released a nice sneak peek of the new sky model in Corona Renderer 6 for 3ds Max, the next major update to the production renderer, improving accuracy when the sun dips below the horizon.

Other new features in the release, which is due to ship at the end of the month, include adaptive light sampling, removing the need for light portals; and support for Phoenix FD’s foam system.

According to its public roadmap, Chaos Czech also aims to release a new standalone edition of the renderer, and to make it possible to exchange materials with the Cinema 4D edition.

New sky system generates more accurate sunset renders
Corona Renderer 6’s new sky model really caught the attention of users on Chaos Czech’s forum when it was introduced into Wednesday’s daily build of the software.

It’s still a work in progress – support for altitude and atmospheric fog will be added in the “next major iteration”, due in “May or June” – and clouds are some way further off.

However, it already gives accurate results when the sun dips below the horizon, as you can see in the side-to-side comparisons of the old and new models, leading to some beautiful sunset renders.

Also coming in Corona Renderer 6: adaptive light sampling, support for Phoenix FD foam
According to Chaos Czech’s roadmap, Corona Renderer 6 will be a “bigger release” than its predecessor, Corona Renderer 5, although it is due to ship just six months after it – and only a year after version 4.

Other key features already listed as complete include adaptive light sampling, removing the need to create light portals over windows and doorways when rendering interior scenes.

The release will also add support for foam created by Phoenix FD, Chaos Group’s fluid simulation app.

Features listed as still in development include a new secondary light solver with a 4K resolution cache, replacing the old UHD cache; a new bloom and glare system; and a new colour picker.

Planned performance improvements include better memory handling for textures, and a reduction in the time taken to load a new scene.

New standalone application and scene format also planned
Perhaps more significantly, Chaos Czech also plans to introduce a new “standalone format and application”, presumably along the lines of V-Ray Standalone and its .vrscene format.

In the case of V-Ray, that enables users to import scenes created in one V-Ray host application into another; and to set up render nodes that work across multiple host applications.

According to the roadmap, Chaos Czech also plans to make materials compatible between the 3ds Max and Cinema 4D editions of Corona Renderer.

Updated 27 August 2020: Corona Renderer 6 for Cinema 4D is now shipping, with the 3ds Max edition due to follow next week.

Chaos Czech has also told us that the new standalone format and application mentioned above will not now feature in either release.

When we asked what the new format would do, the firm described it simply as an “internal rewrite that will help us make the application better in the future”.

Pricing and system requirements
Corona Renderer 6 for 3ds Max is currently due for release towards the end of August 2020. You can try the new features by downloading the latest daily build of the software.

The current stable release, Corona Renderer 5, is available for 64-bit 3ds Max 2013+ on Windows 7+ and Cinema 4D R14+ on Windows 7+ and Mac OS X 10.7+

The software is primarily sold via a ‘Fair SaaS’ rental model, which costs between €24.99 and €44.99 a month ($27-49). The old perpetual 3ds Max ‘Box’ licence is still listed online, but is priced on enquiry.

Read a list of new features due in Corona Renderer 6 for 3ds Max on the product roadmap

Visit the Corona Renderer product website