First Steps in Corona Renderer for 3ds Max

After succesfully installing and activating Corona, you will probably want to create a scene to test it out. Here is a tutorial on how to create the very first render.

How to Setup and Render a Simple Scene

Text Version

  1. Download and install: Visit to download Corona Renderer, install it and open 3ds Max.
  2. Set Corona Renderer as your render engine: The first step is setting Corona Renderer as your main render engine. Go to Rendering > Render Setup > Common > Assign Renderer, and set Corona as the production renderer.
  3. Add a CoronaSun: We need some lighting in our scene as well. Let’s use the Corona Daylight system to get some simple realistic outdoor lighting. Go to Create Panel > Lights Category > select Corona in dropdown menu and create a CoronaSun.
  4. Your first render: You can now do your first render. You will immediately notice that the scene renders extremely bright. This is because the default exposure is set up for an interior scenario with the Daylight system. To compensate for an exterior scenario, just set Exposure (EV) parameter to -4 in Corona Virtual Frame Buffer’s ColorMap tab.
  5. Add a CoronaSky: Go to the Modify Panel for the CoronaSun, and click Add CoronaSky environment. This will add a CoronaSky environment (which is connected to CoronaSun) to the 3ds Max environment map slot.
  6. Corona Interactive Rendering: You can work on your scene with realtime feedback using the Interactive Rendering. To activate the IR preview in a viewport, click on the viewport label (where it says “top”, “right”, “front”, “perspective”, etc...), go to Extended Viewports, and select “Corona Interactive”. Alternatively, you can run Interactive Rendering in the floating Corona VFB (as shown in the video).
  7. Adjust lighting with the Interactive Renderer: You can tweak scene lighting and shading and observe realtime updates in the Corona IR preview.
  8. Adjust tone mapping with the Interactive Renderer: You can adjust tone mapping settings in the Camera tab of the Render Setup window and observe those changes in realtime as well (or in the Post tab of the Corona VFB in case of using the floating IR window).
  9. Experiment freely: From here on, you can keep experimenting with Corona’s light, materials, and maps. Have fun!
  10. Convert scenes to Corona: You can convert an older scene using the Corona Material/Lights Converter. It comes with every Corona installation. To run it, right-click in any viewport, and select “Corona Converter”. All materials will be converted to the native Corona format, so you can easily re-render your older scenes with Corona.