Wednesday, August 26th, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Chaos Czech releases Corona Renderer 6 for Cinema 4D

Chaos Czech has released Corona Renderer 6 for Cinema 4D, the latest version of the Cinema 4D edition of the renderer, adding a new sky model and a new distance map.

The release also implements key features from V-Ray, Corona Renderer’s sister renderer, including adaptive environment sampling and improved bloom and glare controls.

The update is compatibility-breaking: changes to the node editor intended to improve stability mean that scenes created in Corona Renderer 6 will no longer load in earlier versions.

Corona Renderer 6 for 3ds Max has also now shipped. You can read more about it in a separate story.

New sky model generates more realistic exterior lighting
The headline feature Corona Renderer 6 is the new sky model, which got a lot of attention when Chaos Czech posted a teaser video for it earlier this year, and which was later incorporated into V-Ray 5.

It’s most useful for dawn and dusk scenes, since it generates more accurate results when the sun is just below the horizon, but Chaos Czech says that it also helps to remove the green cast from daylight scenes.

As with the old model, users can create multiple sun and sky set-ups for a scene, then use Corona’s LightMix system to generate multiple time-of-day variants of a render, although it doesn’t yet support sky turbidity.

New distance map and improved texture randomisation
Other changes include the new Distance Map, which generates a colour gradient based on the distance of a point from a surface to another object.

Suggested use cases include creating dirt and wear where two objects meet, and creating ripples in water around rocks or boats; and it can also be used to drive Cinema 4D’s native MoGraph effects.

The release also improves texture randomisation, with the CoronaUvwRandomizer map now supporting randomised texture tiling, as well as scale, offset and rotation.

Features from V-Ray: new Adaptive Environment Sampler and bloom and glare controls
Corona Renderer also gets a number of features from V-Ray, including the Adaptive Environment Sampler, intended to remove the need to add light portals to interior scenes to mimic light coming through windows.

There are also new bloom and glare controls based on V-Ray’s lens effects, but featuring a “simplified” UI.

Structural changes: compatibility-breaking update to the node editor, exprimental 4K GI cache
Under the hood, Chaos Czech has reworked Corona Renderer’s node editor, improving stability, and making it possible to connect one shader to many materials or material inputs in a scene.

It’s a compatibility-breaking change, so scenes saved in Corona Renderer 6 will not load in earlier versions.

The release also introduces a 4K cache for global illumination, which provides “faster precomputation and rendering on higher-end machines” and results closer to full path tracing than the old UHD cache.

It’s still officially an experimental feature, and must be enabled manually: the UHD cache remains the default.

Other features: support for Cinema 4D colour space, improved interactive rendering and render masks
Other changes include support for Cinema 4D’s native colour space in the Corona VFB, meaning that render previews should display identically in the frame buffer and Cinema 4D’s Picture Viewer.

The renderer also now supports blue noise dithering, intended to make interactive rendering “more useful” by generating a less visually distracting distribution of noise in renders with few passes.

In addition, masks applied to render elements – such as those generated by ID mattes – now propagate to the reflections and refractions in a scene.

One further feature included on the Corona Renderer public roadmap, but not mentioned in the release notes, is a “new standalone format and application”. We’ll add more information if we get it.

Updated: Chaos Czech told us that this is not part of the release, or scheduled for the 3ds Max edition.

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 Cinema is available for 64-bit Cinema 4D R14+ on Windows 7+ and Mac OS X 10.7+. It’s rental-only, with subscriptions costing between €24.99 and €44.99 a month ($29-53).

Read a full list of new features in Corona Renderer 6 for Cinema 4D on the product blog

Visit the Corona Renderer product website

Erratum: this story originally stated that the new distance map was based on the one in V-Ray. Chaos Czech tells us that it’s based on the Corona Distance map from the 3ds Max edition, and is independent of V-Ray.