Originally posted on 5 September 2022 as a sneak peek, and updated for the final release.
Chaos Czech has released Corona 9, the new version of its renderer for 3ds Max and Cinema 4D.
The update adds new procedural clouds and geometry replication systems, and improves motion blur, the fisheye camera, and the display of Corona materials in the 3ds Max viewport.
Chaos Scatter 2, the new version of the accompanying object scattering tool, gets an edge trimming system.
In addition, Chaos Czech has changed its licensing model, raising the price of subscriptions, but also introducing extra services in its new Corona Premium plans.
Mainly a workflow update, but includes the main new features from V-Ray 6
Chaos Czech’s public roadmap describes Corona 9 as focused on “bugfixing, polishing existing features [and] code maintenance”, so it isn’t intended to be a major feature release.
Its two main new features will come as little surprise to anyone who follows the development of Chaos’s other software, since they’re also the main features in V-Ray 6, released earlier this year.
The first, procedural clouds, is based on technology from Enscape, with which Chaos merged this year.
In Corona, cloud generation is compatible with LightMix, the software’s relighting system, making it possible to render multiple sets of clouds at once, then blend them in LightMix.
The second is a new geometry replication system, called Enmesh in V-Ray, but known here as the Corona Pattern modifier.
It covers the surface of an object with repeating geometry, in a way analogous to tiling a texture, but unlike instancing, no extra memory is used by the repeating geometry: only by the source mesh.
Suggested use cases range from chain link fences to woven fabrics.
Improvements to material overrides, the fisheye camera and 3ds Max viewport display
Improvements to existing Corona features include the option to preserve settings for bump, opacity and the Corona Slicer material when using the Material Override system.
Corona’s fisheye camera gets support for depth of field, while motion blur gets a shutter curve, better recreating the look of photographic motion blur.
3ds Max users also get better support for Corona materials when using the High Quality setting for the 3ds Max viewport: you can read a list of the new materials and maps supported here.
Corona Converter, the renderer’s automatic material-conversion system, gets improved conversion of metal and refractive materials.
Accompanying scattering tool gets support for edge trimming
In addition, Scatter 2, the latest version of Chaos’s new standalone object scattering system, is currently due to ship alongside Corona 9.
Again, it’s mainly a bugfix and performance update, but new features include support for edge trimming: for example, to stop the leaves of plants straying outside the scattering area.
Subscription prices up, but include new services
Chaos Czech has also changed its licensing model, with a new Corona Solo subscription providing node-locked licences for both 3ds Max and Cinema 4D editions of the software for $53.90/month or $358.80/year.
For artists who only use one of the host applications – the majority of users, we imagine – that means a price rise, since the old single-edition subscriptions used to cost $40/month or $277/year.
Chaos has also introduced a new Corona Premium plan, which includes access to online asset libraries Chaos Cosmos and Chaos Scans, fluid simulation tool Chaos Phoenix, and image viewer Chaos Player.
All were previously only available with V-Ray, Corona’s sibling renderer.
Pricing, system requirements and release date
Corona 9 is compatible with 3ds Max 2016+ and Cinema 4D R17+.
Corona Solo subscriptions cost $53.90/month or $358.80/year. Corona Premium subscriptions cost $67.90/month or $478.80/year, and include the extra services covered in the story above.
Read a full list of new features Corona 9 in Chaos Czech’s blog post
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