1.6 Daily Builds preview, Feb 2017

We wanted to share a quick preview of some of the features that are already in the daily build of Corona Renderer 1.6 as of February 2017.

(Visit here if you want to try out these features in the Daily Builds for yourself!)

Read about what is the current Daily Build!

 

New improved Random Sampler

This gives significantly reduced noise in the same time limit, as seen in the comparisons below:

1.6 Improved Sampling 01

1.6 Improved Sampling 02

 

Improved Sampling for HDRIs with High Dynamic Contrast

As well as the improvement from a new random sampling algorithm, sampling has also been improved for HDRIs with high dynamic contrast (for example, those with a bright sun). This allows renders to clean up faster.

The animated GIF below compares the time taken for 1.52 and 1.6 to render to a 15% noise limit (using the new Random Sampler in 1.6 would have resulted in an even greater speed increase in 1.6).

HDRI sampling speed improvement

 

Improved Distributed Rendering

Corona Distributed Rendering (DR) has been improved, although this is still in progress and the version in the Daily Build is experimental – keep that in mind if you use Corona DR in a production setting.

Current improvements include that 3ds Max is spawned on slaves as soon as the DR Server starts, slaves now gather missing assets from the master and cache them locally, Adaptivity now works with DR, and slaves now respect VFB regions.

Also, a new interface for both the master and the slave machines shows more information:

DR Improvements 01
New DR UI for the master
DR Improvements 02
New DR UI for slaves

 

New VFB Layout

Changes to the VFB will allow you to enable or disable Tone Mapping, LUTs, and other options using a simple checkbox, plus the tools are now in their own roll-outs:

1.6 new VFB layout

 

LightMix Checkboxes

This makes it easier than ever to enable or disable a particular light or group of lights via a simple checkbox:

1.6 LightMix checkboxes

 

Copy LightMix Settings to Scene Lights

Still in development in the current Daily Build (so not yet fully functional if you want to test it), the “>Scene” option lets you copy adjustments made using the LightMix into the scene lights.

1.6 LightMix to scene

 

Improved Round Edges

The Round Edges map now gives even better results, more closely matching modeled bevels:

1.6 Improved Round Edges

 

Improved CoronaMix to CoronaMtl Bump Channel

CoronaMix is now fully evaluated before the result is sent to the Bump channel in a Corona Material. This allows for more advanced options in creating bump maps. Below is a material using CoronaMix in the bump channel:

CoronaMix into bump material

And the rendering results 1.52, where the Mix is ignored, and 1.6, where the Mix is processed first:

CoronaMix into bump comparison

 

Frequency Spinners in Corona Multimap

The new Frequency settings in the Corona Multimap let you easily adjust the balance of colours in the result:

1.6 MultiMap frequencies

 

Triplanar Mapping

Triplanar Mapping (sometimes called box mapping) allows a quick and easy way to apply a UV Map to a complex object without having to explicitly unwrap it:

1.6 Triplanar mapping

 

Sharpen / Blur Control

The VFB now features an in-built Sharpen / Blur control – values of greater than 0 will sharpen the image, while those less than 0 will blur the image, with an adjustable Radius parameter:

1.6 Sharpen / Blur

 

Improved Vignettte

The Vignette effect has been improved – it is now applied before other tone mapping options, resulting in an improved and more dynamic look:

1.6 Improved Vignette

 

Lens Distortion Support

Support has been added for the Lens Distortion effects in the 3ds Max Physical Camera:

1.6 Lens Distortion support

 

Stereo Camera

It is now possible to create conventional side-by-side (SBS) stereo images and animations. These are not panoramic/ 360, and can be viewed on YouTube, stereo monitors and TVs, etc.

1.6 Stereo camera

 

Curves

The VFB now features Curves to adjust the look of your final image. You can edit all channels at once, or edit Red, Green and Blue independently, and can use spline or linear points. The settings for the Curve editor can also be saved and loaded so that you can easily store and recall different settings.

1.6 Curves

 

Soft Render Regions

It is now possible to soften / feather render regions, and each render region can have its own soften / feather adjustments. To adjust the softness of a render region, hold CTRL and click and drag on the edge of the region to expand the area which will be feathered.

Soft regions

 

Prevent Black Appearance of Lights with Directionality

A new checkbox allows you to prevent light sources from appearing black when their Directionality is increased. While it is physically realistic that they would appear black when their Directionality means the light would not reach the camera, it can be an undesired effect, and that is why it can now be disabled. By default, lights will have “Prevent black appearance” enabled when created.

1.6 Prevent black appearance

 

 

LUTs do not Clamp the Final Image

In 1.5, applying a LUT would clamp the saved image into the 8-bit RGB range. This no longer occurs in 1.6, allowing you to save 32-bit images that preserve the full dynamic range when a LUT has been applied. This will be most noticeable when working with the image in post-production.

The example below shows the difference between 1.52 and 1.6 with a black & white LUT applied in the Corona VFB and the result saved to 32-bit EXRs, and then an Exposure adjustment made in Photoshop:

1.6 LUTs do not cause clamping

 

2D Pan & Zoom

1.6 supports the 3ds Max native 2D Pan & Zoom functionality which lets you zoom in and move around an image without affecting the position of your rendering camera or viewport. This is ideal for tweaking materials or working on small details.

2D pan and zoom

 

Rendering Focus on Zoom in Interactive

During Interactive Rendering, if you zoom in on the image, all processing is focused only on the zoomed area, and rendering is suspended for anything not seen in the zoomed view, allowing the zoomed area to clean up faster. (Note: this does not affect final renders of course).

IR Zoom focus

 

 

Support for Mirror Ball and Cross modes in Corona Bitmap

Corona Bitmap now supports Mirror Ball and Cross modes, which expands the range of images you can use for environment maps.

Mirror Ball mapping

 

Rendering progress now shown on the taskbar

Now you can keep an eye on your render progress while browsing the web or working on something else, as the 3ds Max entry on the taskbar will show the rendering progress:

Taskbar rendering progress

 

Bloom & Glare on 360 panoramic / VR images

Bloom & Glare has been improved for 360 panoramic / VR images, removing the seams that used to occur in 1.5 – note how 1.6 correctly adds the glare to the left of the image, since the image wraps around in VR:

 

LUT and Bloom & Glare Speedup

Caching recently used LUTs and improvements to the Bloom & Glare processing gives better performance when using these features.

 

VFB Regions are now saved with the scene

If you create VFB render regions and save your scene, next time you load the scene those regions will be automatically restored and ready to use.

 

Reduced Memory Requirements

Corona now uses less memory.

 

Links

Information on daily builds:
https://coronarenderer.freshdesk.com/support/solutions/articles/5000570015-daily-builds

Corona for 3ds Max Roadmap:
https://trello.com/b/EfPE4kPx/corona-road-map-3ds-max

1.6 Daily Build Forum Thread:
https://corona-renderer.com/forum/index.php/topic,13401

Full 1.6 Daily Build Changelog:
https://corona-renderer.com/forum/index.php/topic,13400.0.html

14 thoughts on “1.6 Daily Builds preview, Feb 2017

    1. Hi, Corona 1.5.2 should work fine with Deadline. There are some minor issues such as CEXR format support, but other than that they should mesh smoothly. In case of any troubles with Deadline, please contact either our support (support@corona-renderer.com), or Deadline directly.

    1. Hi, if you mean the standalone application for handling Corona renders, then we have to wait a bit more for it.
      If you mean an external viewer for LightMix only – so that you could send LightMix results to a client for example, and he could play with various lighting configurations – we have received such feature request already, and we will definitely consider it!

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