Corona Renderer users have a good reason to be excited today, as Chaos Czech has just rolled out the latest major iteration of the software: Corona Renderer 7. This release comes just under a year since the release of CR6, but in that time, the developers have added lots of polish and new features that makes it worth upgrading to as soon as possible.
At the forefront, CR7 (not to be confused with Cristiano Ronaldo) has a new Physical Material, which features Clearcoat and Sheen options for bumping the realism of cars, violins, clothing, and what-have-you. There are 35 presets available to help you get started fast. The scene you see below was created exclusively using the new Physical Material.
Corona Renderer scene created with Physical Material
So as to achieve better congruency across the industry, this new Physical Material applies defaults that have become pretty standard across-the-board, such as defaulting to use roughness rather than glossiness, as one example. With Clearcoat, you can make a wooden tabletop stand out with a convincing shine, with or without bumps, depending on what you’re after. Sheen, on the other hand, is perfect for clothing, especially the likes of velvet.
Use of Clearcoat with the new Physical Material in Corona Renderer 7
The ultimate goal of Physical Material is likely obvious, so Chaos Czech made multiple changes to the algorithms chosen in the never-ending battle of improving the realism of a scene, and not to mention make it easier to achieve that realism.
Glass has also received a major boost in CR7, with roughness or glossiness values lower than 1 providing notably different levels of reflections and refractions. You can see an example of that below:
Metal also sees some improvements. A specific example of the legacy material mentioned is that it was possible to create a “plasti-metal” finish, which isn’t representative if anything you’d see in real-life. Now, materials can be defined explicitly as metal or non-metal, which locks in industry-standard parameters to help you achieve a realistic result easier.
Corona Sky is yet another feature that’s seen some nice polish, with the previous “Improved” model becoming PRG Clear Sky Model. The company says that with one click of a checkbox, you can enable Volume Effect, which helps distant objects take on more of the sky’s color, as if it’s obscured by the atmosphere. You can see the kind of improvement Sky Volume Effect has below:
This just covers the basics of what’s found in Corona Renderer 7, but something close to our heart that’s worth pointing out is that performance has been a huge focus of this release, and the end result will be renders that finish 6-50% quicker. It’s stressed that these boosts are based on real scenes, not those specifically crafted just to give Chaos greater bragging rights.
To learn a lot more (and we do mean a lot), check out the official blog post that gives great insight into all that’s been added and improved.