There were two major releases in the pasf few days: Forest pack 6 and Corona 2. Let’s start by Forest Pack. For those of you who do not know this product, it is a 3ds Max plugin developed by iToo Software which allows its users to dispatch and spread items in a scene. It is mostly used to populate scenes with thousand of trees, grass blades, flowers. You can cleverly divert this tool in order to fill parking lots up with cars for instance. It is a must in the arch-viz area.
Summer-cleaning for Forest
The first improvement is visual. Indeed, all the features that were gathered in the past ten years were cleaned up: they rethought the whole thing by sorting them out and assorting them. You can activate or deactivate the display of a group of parameters such as the effects and animations. This feature clearly alleviate the tool interface.
But technically speaking, what’s new?
The most important are the new spreading modes like “Particle Flow” which yields the dispatching of items on particles. The image of the Chinese lanterns typically illustrates this functionnality. Combined to the new effects enabling to link the age of the particles, you can variate the color of the source of light coming from the lantern. There is also the “path” allowing to spread an item on a line and the Reference tool which displays a moveable marker in your scene so that you have more flexibility to place it within your scene.
New tool for updates
Update manager yields you to update your library of models, effects and presets. Thus, you can select the package you need without waiting an intermediate release of the plugin. Furthermore, Update Manager is compatible with the other iToo software software: RailClone.
And what’s new on Render Legion side, with Corona 2?
Corona Render enjoys great success thanks to its great quality of rendered raw image, the optimization of its memory and its interactive rendering which is very reactive and all that with CPU (which means that most of the studios do not have to make investments).
A few weeks after the release of V-Ray Next, what do they offer?
Fire, clouds and Liquids!
Corona 2 is now compatible with FumeFX, PhoenixFD and openVDB. This is not very interesting for the arch-viz sphere even though you can still have fun with OpenVDB clouds or the new “inside volume” to get a realistic mist. I reckon that supporting smoke, fire, liquids… corresponds to a new market, less architectural, that Render Legion is targeting.
Supporting V-Ray assets
The integrated support of VRayLight and VRayMtl grants, even without having installed V-Ray, the use of assets with a V-Ray format (from version 3.60 onwards).
More control on the bokeh
The bokeh was revised and granted more settings such as anisotropy and bias center. Even if it’s not a “major” feature in my opinion, it is still nice to have better flexibility in the treatment of this effect.
The material library is getting bigger thanks to its 110 new materials. Moreover, the old ones will be applied in RealWorldScale and Triplanar mode from now on each time it will be relevant. It will be a time-saver during the setting of scenes.
Among the new features that are considered as less important by the editor, we can underline: faster rendering time with the shadow catcher, a better management of the dark zones in a rendering and an improvement of the bump maps denoising.
Let’s keep in mind that Render Legion decided in the beginning of 2018 to name its versions with an integer and therefore get rid of the dots: no 2.X, next one will be 3. Perhaps it is just my opinion, but with Corona 2, I was expecting more innovative features so I must admit that I’m a bit upset with this new release.
As it is focusing on FX though, it will yield new users to use Corona for a part or their whole production.
To go further:
- Release note Forest Pack
- Master large-scale environments in 3ds Max
- How to populate a car park
- Tests Phoenix FD
- OpenVDB clouds offered by Disney