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Community-made plugin brings Corona Renderer to Blender

Community-made plugin brings Corona Renderer to Blender

Sunday, February 6th, 2022 | Posted by Jim Thacker

With the recent rise in popularity of Blender as a production tool, most of the industry’s key third-party renderers have now been ported to work with the open-source 3D software.

To that list, we can now add one of the key renderers for the arch viz market: Chaos’s Corona Renderer.

A free Blender integration plugin that works with Corona Standalone
Unlike OctaneRender, Redshift and RenderMan, Corona’s new Blender integration is an unofficial one, and is being developed by artist Odilkhan Yakubov.

It’s based on Corona Standalone, Chaos’s GUI-less edition of the renderer, intended for specifically for plugin developers, or for power users who want to cut RAM use while rendering.

The Blender integration can be used with Corona Standalone 3.0, released in 2019, which is free to download from Chaos’s website, or with commercial builds.

Unlike the commercial releases, Corona Standalone 3.0 only supports path tracing, not the UHD Cache, Corona’s biased global illumination solver, often used to speed up renders of interior scenes.

In addition, the Blender integration plugin itself is a work in progress, and lacks several major features of the official 3ds Max and Cinema 4D integrations: notably interactive viewport rendering.

It also requires more manual scene set-up than Chaos’s official plugins: at the time of writing, it doesn’t automatically convert materials from Blender’s native Cycles renderer to Corona materials, for example.

However, it’s already capable of generating some nice-looking renders, and as the support thread on the Blender Artists forum shows, is being regularly updated, with five major updates in three months.

Yakubov says that he plans to support features from more recent releases of Corona Renderer, including last year’s Corona Renderer 7 and the upcoming Corona Renderer 8.

System requirements and availability
Corona Renderer for Blender 3.0 is compatible with Blender 3.0+.

At the time of writing, there are separate builds compatible with Blender 3.0, the current stable release, and Blender 3.1; and with Blender 3.2, now available in alpha.

It requires Corona Standalone: version 3.0 can be downloaded free from Chaos’s website, or the latest version is available with commercial licences of Corona Renderer for 3ds Max or Cinema 4D.

Download Corona Renderer for Blender from the product support thread on the Blender Artists forum

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