Atmos. Making of-Part 1

Welcome to my first Blog post!

Hopefully one of many that will give an insight into my job and passion - 3D!

To kick things off I thought I would go through a scene I have been working on to test out Corona for the first time.



The light setup is fairly basic - I used a Corona bitmap with a HDRI and input that into the corona background slot in the render settings. I do feel V-Ray's HDRI setup is a bit more intuitive when working out the sun direction as you can lock it to a V-Ray dome light which has the sun position marked on it. In Corona you can rotate it using degrees as a unit in the bitmap settings and combined with the interactive rendering it's straight forward to get the sun in the correct position.

First I put 2 blue Corona plane lights behind the windows (set to invisible), reflection and refraction turned off. These are very subtle but push some cool tones into the scene.

Disk lights are placed in the 2 lamps (far left and right in the above frame) with the kelvin set to 5000 to create warmth.

The filaments in the light bulbs in the chandelier have a corona light material with an orange to white falloff. They are not really lighting the scene but create a more realistic light bulb. In addition I placed spherical lights around the bulbs with the kelvin set to 4500 (warm). These lights are invisible and have "affect reflections" turned off in the light settings so they do not appear in the glass.

Finally I added 2 Corona IES lights above the sofa to add some more directional light into the center of the scene.


Note for old Max users:

3DS Max 2016 introduced a new physical camera which has a tilt shift option included in the parameters (V-Ray cameras also have this option). At the moment Corona uses the max/ V-Ray camera in which you add a Corona camera modifier, but for users of 3DS Max 2015 or below like me you have to add a camera correction modifier onto the camera to add the tilt shift function which is vital for Arch Viz to keep all your verticals straightand to avoid distortion. To add this, select your camera, right click and select it from the quad menu.

The way I light a scene has actually changed since using Corona. When using V-Ray I would set up my lights and adjusting the colour/luminescence with a lot of test renders. In Corona 1.6 they have added a function to the Lightmix that allows you to change all your lights in the scene after the render and then paste those settings back into the scene lights once you've made those adjustments (using the >scene button, screenshot below). My new workflow now is to set up the HDRI light and roughly place the other lights using interactive rendering (very fast in Corona). I then render a low resolution image, playing around with the lights in the Lightmix until I'm happy and paste them back into the scene and that is my lighting done. I'm not sure if this was the intended use but its works for me and saves me so much time compared to V-Ray.


Corona has great post production tools with a big collection of LUT's built in. For these images I used Kim_Amland_Photographic_01. It is also nice to not worry about shutter speed and ISO in the camera settings to adjust the exposure, although the CoronaCameraMod does have these options if you want to use them (i.e. if you have to do verified views and need to match the DSLR settings). I found that leaving them on the default settings and in the post processing use the simple exposure setting. F-stop and Sensor width are important for Depth Of Field and I will go into that in more detail in a future blog post.



This scene is not a client project and is something I have created in my spare time, most of the room and furniture has been modeled by me, with the exception of the side cabinet, plant and a few accessories.


For me this was also a great project to use my art as textures in this 3D scene. The image behind the sofa is an oil painting I finished in January 2017 which is now hanging behind my sofa in my flat. The other image is a pencil sketch. I think this is a nice way to combine my two hobbies so watch out for more of my artwork popping up in my visualisations!

You can see the final results below!