Corona Siggraph 2014 Presentation

Just sharing Corona Siggraph 2014 presentation made by Ondra Karlik, the main developer. It’s a refreshing way to present a renderer and a nice read for users and developers of Path tracers.

Good points, but personally i think the algorithms (and price) are the main reasons of it getting so popular (Path Tracing + HD cache for secondary GI solver -> archviz holy grail). A “Vray quality” for free until now…not easy to beat.

Good defaults etc helps a lot approaching a new software and getting good results quicker, but users are not so dumb or inexperienced as pointed out so imho it’s not a matter of them having the best and easiest defaults, UI, material system…at all.

My 2c.

I gave it a read through and agree whole-heartedly with their philosophy. This in my opinion is the most important point they made:

I agree that Blender could only gain from better default values. Like automatically adjusting tile size for Cycles GPU rendering from 64x64 to 256x256. Or enabling GPU rendering in the first place, why is it off by default if I have a supported GPU?

Nowadays, almost all renderers have the option to use path tracing + secondary cache. Price is also not the issue in the east, where 99.5% of users just steal the software without giving it a second thought.

Of course all factors play a role, but when we get positive feedback, in 4 out of 5 cases it is about easiness to use. Users write “setting up beautiful render was easy”, not “setting up beautiful render was possible”. :wink:

??? What i see are plenty of engines going with PT and similar non-biased integrators nowadays…in fact when you see good hybrid engines popping out (Corona, Redshift, just to mention…) which they can provide a faster approximation of GI just when you need it, they get attention and create interest.
Because not everybody always needs this damn accuracy unbiased ones provides.

It is not to say you are wrong, those slides are of great content every software house should follow and you did awesome job with Corona default settings for example, but really, i still think the results (quality) + price + speed are bigger factors compared to ease of use, IMHO.

Users are able to setup gamma, solvers, shaders, tweaking plenty of values etc…Vray has plenty of options, flags etc to touch before hit render (which they solved with the recent basic-advanced-expert mode…bye bye SolidRocks…) and still is the most used in archviz…because of the output, speed and resources you find over the net.

Again for me ease of use is really important but secondary, otherwise KeyShot and similar wizard-setup / drag-n-drop software would be much more popular, instead they reside in specific areas (photo studio setup for product viz, with some recent exception for character portraits and concept).

Have you ever considered the fact Vray is so popular mainly because it’s on the market for so long and it has complete feature set? I do not think people like Vray because it has dozens of buttons that can subsample supersampler and increase raspberry multiplier so blueberry sampler get’s more samples and has easier work. It’s most used just because a few years ago, it was simply least shitty renderer on the market. And things do not change from day to day, so it may take a some more years for forces to shift.

Assumption that renderer has to be complex and not easy to use if you want to get best speed/quality ratio is completely wrong.

Maybe you may want to re-read because i never said complexity is a good thing, and i’d say being on the market for years is secondary too…

Just look at Maxwell render, years on the market, dead easy to setup…rarely seen used by the awesome images you can find on dedicated blogs and communities compared to other engines.

Assumption that renderer has to be complex and not easy to use if you want to get best speed/quality ratio is completely wrong.

This makes no sense, who said that…really

The last sentence was not aimed specifically at you. Non the less, most of the people that write positive stuff about Corona mention firstly ease of use, and only then good output and good performance. Ther are many well performing renderers with good output on the market. And they are fairly easy to use if you have some experience, but Corona is really easy to use. And that does not mean only friendliness for newbies, that also means a lot faster workflow for professionals.

Sure that considering how long is Maxwell around, it has strangely small userbase. But that’s not only due to the fact it’s terribly slow, it’s also due to the fact it is actually not easy. Material system for example is so overcomplicated and scientifically based it does not scare away only newbies, but also some of more artistic oriented professionals.

Corona has stolen quite a bit of Vray users simply because they could achieve very similar quality in very similar (sometimes faster) times but without any tedious sampling balancing and tweaking. Really… just default settings. So ease of use is HUGE factor. If Corona did not have that, then it would be just another renderer on the market. It would not be worse, but it would not excel at anything, so no one had a reason to switch.

It’s sort of a triangle: speed - quality - ease of use. And while most of the renderers out there usually have only two of these 3 sides of a triangle, Corona has probably best balance of all 3 sides. Vray for example sacrifices too much of ease of use for inadequately small gain in speed area.