Chaos Czech released Corona Renderer 6 for both Cinema 4D and 3ds Max, with a new sky model, new lens effects, and new library materials.
For the tl;dr generation, here’s the New Features video for a quick overview of what is in this release:
Here are some quick facts about the Corona Renderer 6:
- New Sky Model has a better overall tint to the lighting in the daytime, but most importantly supports the sun being below the horizon (as low as -2.85 degrees, or roughly 5.4 sun diameters) for dawn/twilight.
- Randomized tiling in the UvwRandomizer lets you avoid the “repeating pattern” look that even seamless textures have.
- New Adaptive Environment Sampler removes the need for Portals, saving you the time (and pain!) of setting those up while giving more accurate results.
- New Lens Effects give you vastly more control over bloom & glare.
- Material Library update with 78 new materials!
- New Masking options that work in reflections and refractions giving you greater control in post.
- Support for Phoenix FD Foam so you can take full advantage of Phoenix FD water simulations.
So let’s dig in!
New Sky Model
The new Sky model provides greater accuracy, and most importantly, the sky continues to be accurately illuminated when the sun is below the horizon, down to as low as -2.85 degrees (or, approximately 5.4 sun diameters below the horizon), which enables dawn and twilight effects. You can see the difference with the sun below the horizon in the comparison below:
The Textured mode in the Corona Sun also allows for realistic banding in the sun when it is low on the horizon, which looks great with the new sky:
The new Sky model lets you use multiple procedural skies with multiple suns, and connect each sky to a particular sun. When you use the “Create Corona Sky” from a Corona Sun, the two are paired automatically. For when you create Suns and Skies separately, you can either use the Automatic mode, where the Corona Sky will look for a similarly named Corona Sun (e.g. a Sky named “Evening Sky” will look for something similar to “Evening Sun”), or you can manually choose which Sun the Sky will be connected to.
Randomized Texture Tiling
Even seamless textures show obvious patterns when you repeat them often enough across a surface, which is very distracting to the eye, and a giveaway that an image is CG. Now, the UvwRandomizer includes Randomized Tiling to avoid this. It works for all channels in the material, including displacement and bump, and it also works with procedural maps too.
For this to work, either the object has to have correct UVW mapping (via unwrapping, or the UVW map modifier), or you can use the UVW Randomizer in combination with the Corona Triplanar map, which will both randomize the texture and prevent seams and stretching without the need for UVWs.
You can see several examples below:
Pool house scene, using regular UVW Mapping:
You can also use procedural maps as input. The example below uses a native Noise map, connected to a Corona Triplanar map to avoid having to unwrap the bust:
The UvwRandomizer also takes into account the UV scaling of the input maps, which allows handling of real-world scale textures.
There’s also a High-Quality filtering option. This greatly increases the quality of the resulting blend, especially on tile boundaries, at the cost of slower computation. This is enabled by default. You can compare the difference this makes in the image below, both using randomization:
Below, you can see the material setup used for the landscape:
New Adaptive Environment Sampler
Let’s say it together – NO MORE PORTALS!
Based on V-Ray technology, this new sampler means you never have to spend time setting up portals ever again – and you will still get even better results than Corona Renderer 5 with portals, saving you render time too!
The new Adaptive Environment Sampler is more accurate than when using portals, so you may see some changes to lighting and shadows in a scene from previous versions where portals were used. Noise may clean up faster in interior scenes, so as well as more realistic results, you may save render time too!
In our example above, we turned off any filtering, denoising, blur & sharpen, etc., and only let it run for a small amount of time, to make sure the noise was as visible as possible so that you can compare the differences.
You can see some user examples from the daily builds on the New Adaptive Environment Sampler Playground thread on the forums.
The new Adaptive Environment Sampler is the default in all-new scenes in Corona Renderer 6 and newer, so you never need to think about setting up portals again.
Note 1: This is the Adaptive Environment Sampler, so it does not benefit render times or noise for non-environment lighting. This means that scenes, where the environment lighting is the dominant light source will show the biggest improvement.
Note 2: The difference is most obvious with an HDRI as the environment lighting; there will be little or no difference with simpler environments such as a Corona Sky.
Note 3: Portals have been completely removed from Corona Renderer, so when rendering a scene from before Corona Renderer 6 you will get a warning for each portal object, allowing you to select and safely remove it (there is no automatic or global “remove all” because the portal may be part of some larger, otherwise visible object that you may want to keep!)
Material Library Update
We’ve added 78 new materials to the library, including:
- A new category, Flooring, with 15 new materials
- A new category, Carpet, with 19 new materials
- A new category, Ceramic Tiles, with 31 new materials
- 13 new materials added to the Concrete category
Support for Phoenix FD Foam
Foam in Phoenix FD can now be rendered using Corona Renderer. This includes support for motion blur, rendering masks for the foam, and render elements such as Velocity.
New Lens Effects
We’ve taken the cool features and power of V-Ray’s lens effects, and then simplified the UI to make it easier to use! This means you now have more options, features, and control over the look of bloom and glare in your scene.
New Masking options in reflections and refractions
Masking render elements can now be propagated through refraction/reflection. To propagate them you have to set it in the material (Corona Mtl -> advanced -> propagate masks).
For more information, see this article.
In the example below, you can see a comparison with the new “Always” propagate masks option with the old method which never propagated masks in reflection and refraction. Masks were used to adjust the hue of the leaves, the branch, and the book in the post.
Two objects featured reflection, refraction, or both – the glass vase, and the mirror.
With the new “Always” propagate option, those changes can be accurately applied to reflections and refractions of those objects too, while previously the masks would not allow selection of those reflections and refractions so they’d remain unchanged (unless you manually painted in masks – tedious!)
In this case, the mask used the Instance ID, and below you can see the differences in the mask from the various propagate options:
Please note that diffuse a reflection is still counted as reflection for the purposes of mask propagation, which means that even with a Reflection of 0, a surface may still propagate in masks via diffuse reflection.
And those were all the major features Corona Renderer 6 offers!
The article referenced from Blog Corona Renderer