Friday, March 24, 2017

Road to Corona - The Exterior Setup

Today, I would like to share to you my workflow. If you find something is off with my pipeline, please do tell me.


Before I start anything inside 3Ds Max, I always check my Preferences if the Gamma Correction is enabled. You can go to Customize > Preferences > Gamma and LUT. To learn more about this topic, please visit the Autodesk Knowledge Base for in-depth explanation. 

The renders below shows the difference between On and Off. Note that both renders have the same render and camera settings. 

Gamma Correction turned off.
Gamma Correction turned on.
If you have ultra dark shadows in your renders, you probably need to double check your gamma/lut preferences.

And if you want to dive more into LWF, better check this LINK.


Scene setup is pretty straight-forward, I used CoronaSun BUT linked to an HDRI map for the Environment. I should probably post a separate blog for that. 

I noticed that in Corona, the sun's default is at 1.0, which is too bright. Lower it down and start at 0.1, increase when necessary. Or you could adjust your camera's exposure to compensate the sun's intensity.

The sun size' default is 1.0. Just like VRay, this will affect the softness of the shadow. The larger the value, the softer the shadows. Too large and it'll be unrealistic. In Corona, you don't need to worry about the noise that the larger sun size produced.

CoronaSun Settings


I used CScatter to distribute the trees around the structure. Corona Scatter works the same way as iToo Software's Forest Pack. If you have tried it, this will be easy for you.

That gray box served as the structure's bounding box. 
Since I don't want any trees inside the building, I created a bounding box that served as a MASK. The mask will not allow any trees to be distributed inside the building. To do that, I used the CoronaDistance map.

The bounding box/building mask's must be set non-renderable object.

NOTE: The box must not be visible during rendering. Uncheck accordingly.
Under the CoronaDistance map, I added the building mask accordingly and set the Distance Far parameter at 1500mm. It means that there will be no trees that will be distributed at 1500mm from the perimeter of the building mask. 

Connect the Output node to the scatter map slot.

CScatter configuration. 
The image below is the final CScatter output. You'll notice that the trees, though randomly distributed in our scene, the trees seems to avoid the "building mask". 

I recorded a video about the CScatter, but I am having a hard time uploading it. Maybe next time or I'll upload it somewhere.

That's all for my Exterior Setup. Pretty simple right? Next part will be about the Interior Setup.

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