With the growing demand 3D rendering and visualization, there has been an influx of software development targeted at pulling the masses away from household rendering engines such as VRAY and Maxwell. Corona Renderer is one of the underdogs - a feisty and capable piece of rendering software that offers just as much under the hood as the titans of the industry, but leaves the hefty price of admission at the door. Whether you are producing photo-realistic images or concept animations, Corona Renderer is the perfect alternative for artists, architecture firms, and design offices to incorporate into their everyday workflow.
Corona Render began development in 2009 as a project by Czech Technical University student Ondřej Karlík, and since has been undergoing a constant evolution into a full-fledged commercial renderer. It is currently only available as a plugin for 3DS Max, but will soon release versions for Maya and Cinema 4D. It is still very much a product in infancy, but is gaining a reputation across several compatible industries for the high-quality, photo-realistic results it produces.
Browsing through the Corona Renderer Gallery shows off the incredible capabilities the software has in terms of realism. The work is consistently good, and ditches that plastic-y, half-real veil that can haunt even the most expensive rendering software. With the power of Corona in the hands of the right design office or 3D visualization artist, there are few limits to the quality of work it produces.
Perhaps Corona’s most attractive feature is Interactive Rendering. This allows the artist or user to change settings on the fly, viewing in real-time how the modifications affect the rendered image. In fact, you can do all this while the image is rendering. Lighting, materiality, even model geometry can be adjusted as the scene is being rendered in the background, allowing unprecedented flexibility for artists who rely on the ability to continue to tweak the image after they press ‘render.’ Few renderers on the market allow this level of interactivity. Typically, once you cross that line, you’re only saving grace to change the work is in post-production. Interactive Rendering takes a lot of the guesswork out of visualization.
Corona also hangs its hat on being the most user-friendly rendering software on the market. It claims artists “will learn Corona in just one day, and fall in love with it over the next few.” It is a bold assertion, but one reflected by how rapidly the popularity of Corona as spreading. The interface removes the layers of technical mastery most rendering software requires you to learn before being able to confidently use it for professional work. Corona takes a much more natural approach to teaching new users the basics while still allowing plenty of room to perfect.
Going even further, Corona was developed by an artist, with a community of artists, for artists. It has already established an intimate relationship with the underground 3D rendering industry in Europe, and is poised to grow into one of the most widely used renderers on the market. Corona Renderer is here to stay, and finally gives artists a rendering engine to call their own.