Corona 101: Hit the ground rendering

Hi there!

With the release of Corona 1.0 recently, I wanted to make some videos for new users to get acquainted with it. There's 3 videos which talk about material creation, basic lighting and render settings respectively.

I've been using Corona since one of the first alpha builds and it's been my main renderer for over a year now, with most of the work on my blog being created with it. As I mention in the videos, this is just my opinion on why I like using it. There's no need to start a discussion about which renderer is better, because it all comes down to the workflow you like to use.

That's why these videos are intended for people who are new to Corona to have a look at, outlining basic usage.

If you're interested in trying it out for yourself, you've got two options:

- A free fully functional 45-day trial: No watermarks, no resolution limit and you can even use it for commercial work.

- Corona Alpha 6: This version works up to 3ds Max 2014 and will remain free forever. Even though it's an alpha version, it's very capable.

Check out the Corona website for more info.

If you're looking for more, the Corona documentation also has some great resources. Because it's a very community driven project, posting in the forum is also a great way to ask questions.

Enjoy the videos!

EDIT 12/03: Now in stereo! Audio has been fixed. :)

Caught in the Rain

I decided to take a little experiment from a few months back a little further. You can find the original post here. I really liked working on the image and the general feel the raw render had.

The lighting felt like the first rain was about to hit and it's a moment I really wanted to capture. Weather effects were added with After Effects and two standard plugins. CC Mercury for the drops on the lens and CC Particle World for the rain.

I only needed the camera from Max quickly and used a great script called Sk-Films: Camera Exporter from Scriptspot. This way, I could align the CC Particle World spawn with the view to simulate the rain drops.

Just like the previous image, this was rendered with Corona (A6 this time). Frames took about ~18 minutes to render at 720p, the bricks were done using displacement. I really like how Corona handles this as well, it feels fast and easy to work with, giving you just the right amount of control.

I'm happy with the overall result, the image reflects (no pun intended) what I set out to express with it.

Rumble in the Jungle (R&D)

Just a small post with an R&D render of a personal project.

Rumble in the Jungle project: RnD 1

Celebrating the release of Corona's alpha v6, I used it to scatter a bunch of tropical Archmodels. The new release brought a lot a of new features to the table, be sure to check them out of the Corona homepage.

Render elements have been sorted out, which adds a higher level of post-production options. For instance, the reflections in the water were rendered perfectly clear and blurred in post. This way the full HD render only took about 15 minutes to get where it's at. The renderer never ceases to amaze me, it's so much fun to use and produces truly great results fast.

For me, it combines Vray-esque performance with the level of integration mental ray has in 3ds Max.

Grass was done with the Grass Generator, of course. Still working on the new features, having fun discovering maxscript.

A Place to Rest

Something I've been working on in bits and pieces lately.

I had a lot of fun creating this, again rendering with Corona (alpha v5). The chair model is a free model from Designconnected, they've got a lot of great free and commercial models, be sure to check them out!

It took quite a while to render, as all the incoming illumination is bounced light coming from the sun on the vegetation outside. The floor went through quite a few iterations as well, I eventually bought some great wood textures from 3D ocean.

The models for the two books in the front are free ones from Turbosquid. Click here for the top one, here for the bottom one.

Hour of Power: Canyon Shot

Every now and again, I'll try these quick shots to see what I can get done in about an hour. It's a great little exercise to see how quickly you can prototype something and get a nice result. This one took just a little under an hour, rendering not included.

The final image in 1920 x 1200 and took about 15 minutes to render with Corona. A little post was done in Nuke.

Corona and some... jelly?!

So I've been messing around with Corona for quite a while now. If you haven't heard about this renderer be sure to have a look at the website! The Corona forum is a great place to ask questions and get the latest updates.

Now for the jelly. I wanted something to test Corona with animation wise, so I created this just fooling around. It's done with MassFX particles in Particle Flow, using the glue to keep them together and give the jelly it's soft body movement.

Then, to light it all I used a single overhead rectangular Corona light. A free HDRI was used for some added reflections, courtesy of user zbyg on DeviantArt.

The result isn't anything spectacular, it was just a test after all. At 100 passes Corona gets a frame rendered at around 10 minutes on an i7 3770.