Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

Chaos Czech previews Corona Renderer 7

The Corona Volume Grid enbles users of Corona Renderer for 3ds Max to render volumes in OpenVDB format. Cinema 4D users will get the same functionality next year with the release of Corona Renderer 7.

Originally posted on 2 October 2020. Scroll down for details of the new PBR material.

Chaos Czech has previewed some of the features coming up in Corona Renderer 7, the next major version of its production renderer for 3ds Max and Cinema 4D, which is due to ship in 2021.

New features in the Cinema 4D edition include import and rendering of OpenVDB files. Both editions will get improved tone mapping, a new PBR material, and better material interoperability.

Cinema 4D only: support for OpenVBD volumes and Multi-Instances
Given that version 6 only shipped last month, Corona Renderer 7 is still pretty early in development.

Accordingly, some of the features that have been announced were actually begun during work on version 6, including the new Corona Volume Grid in the Cinema 4D edition.

As with its counterpart in the 3ds Max edition, it will enable users to import and render volumetrics in OpenVDB format, like clouds or smoke.

The Cinema 4D edition will also support the Multi-Instances system introduced in Cinema 4D R20.

Both 3ds Max and Cinema 4D: better tonemapping and materials compatibility
Both editions will get updates to the tonemapping system, intended to enable users to complete post work within Corona’s VFB, rather than having to export images to software like Photoshop.

The online roadmap also lists a “new (faster) colour picker” not covered in Chaos Czech’s blog post.

Updated 20 December 2020: Chaos Czech has previewed another new set of features due in Corona Renderer 7, including a “new grounds-up PBR material” it calls the CoronaPhysicalMtl.

It’s a very V-Ray-style name, and the new material does include several features that Chaos Group added to V-Ray’s standard material in V-Ray 5, including sheen settings for fabrics, and a clear coat layer for car paint.

The current Corona material will still be available, but has been renamed CoronaLegacyMtl. Chaos Czech is working on a built-in converter to turn legacy materials into their physical material equivalents.

Finally, the old 3D displacement system has now officially been removed in daily builds of Corona Renderer 7, in favour of the higher-performance 2.5D displacement introduced in Corona Renderer 5.

Updated 23 March 2021: Chaos Czech has a new blog post exploring Corona Renderer 7’s PBR material.

According to Chaos, the new material has been designed to increase compatibility with other renderers, and with materials created in tools like the Subtance Suite and Quixel Mixer.

It’s also more physically accurate, properly respecting the law of energy conservation.

Howeever, it hasn’t been designed to be faster rendering or to use less memory: the blog post doesn’t give any information on whether render times and memory usage will increase or decrease for typical scenes.

As well as the new clear coat layer and sheen controls, key changes from the legacy physical material include a Metalness parameter, to improve compatibility with other DCC tools.

By default, the new PBR material supports a metalness/roughness workflow, although users can toggle back to the specular/glossiness workflow used by the legacy material.

In addition, anisotropy is now supported for refraction as well as reflections: among other things, making it possible to create directional caustic effects on glass objects.

At the time of writing, a “near-final” version of the new PBR material is avaialble in the daily builds of Corona Renderer for 3ds Max, and is expected in daily builds of the Cinema 4D edition soon.

Pricing and system requirements
Corona Renderer 7 is scheduled for release in “Q2 2021”.

The current stable release, Corona Renderer 6, is available for 64-bit 3ds Max 2013+ and Cinema 4D R14+. Subscriptions start at $28.50/month (€24.99/month) or $330/year (€289.99/year).

Read more about the new features in Corona Renderer 7 on Chaos Czech’s blog

See the online Corona Renderer product roadmap