Whether it’s hardware, software, or even office equipment, picking the right tool for your needs can be a challenging process. Even a single company may offer vastly different products to choose from. Marketing materials will usually advertise each of their products as “the best,” user opinions will vary greatly, and online reviews will praise products without consistency or solid arguments.
This is where we come to the rescue: our guide aims to help you choose the Chaos render engine best suited for your work.
CPU or GPU?
Are you planning to invest in CPUs, GPUs, or both? Or do you already own some machines with powerful CPUs or GPUs? Maybe you are planning to upgrade them soon?
- If the CPU is your priority: both Corona and V-Ray utilize the full potential of your CPU.
- If you prefer GPU: V-Ray is the choice for you, since Corona does not currently offer any kind of GPU rendering.
Are you using 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D, or maybe some other software? Are you planning to use any other host software in the near future?
- If you use 3ds Max or Cinema 4D: you can choose between V-Ray or Corona as they both support these host platforms.
- If you are using Maya, SketchUp, Rhino, Revit, Houdini, Nuke, Unreal, or Blender: only V-Ray supports these platforms.
What is your work "style"?
If you prefer to achieve high-quality, photorealistic results out-of-the-box without having to adjust any advanced parameters, but you’re OK with sacrificing some flexibility in turn, then Corona is the better choice for you. Corona focuses on simplicity at the expense of adjustability, especially when it comes to producing non-physical effects. If you use Corona, your lighting and shadows will look photoreal and will render at the best quality, without the need to tweak render settings or object properties. However, the software doesn’t fully support non-physical setups such as disabling shadow castings.
V-Ray provides photorealistic quality without compromise. You can disable shadow-casting, visibility in reflections, or even exclude some objects from environment lighting influence without any consequences. Furthermore, you can tweak render settings to meet your needs, which is useful if you need to render quick draft previews. You can even decide how the render engine should treat each object in terms of quality, which provides additional customization possibilities.
Gallery / Showreel
Check some of the amazing work our clients have done using V-Ray and Corona in the following links:
Stills or sequences?
Are you rendering mainly high-quality, high-resolution stills or animations? Both V-Ray and Corona are capable of rendering stills and sequences, but V-Ray is better optimized for animations. This is mostly due to the fact that you have more control over your render settings and per-object quality, which can help you achieve low render times without sacrificing too much quality.
Corona lets you render high-quality stills with little effort. With V-Ray, you can render both stills and sequences thanks to its flexibility and advanced controls over what you are rendering and how.
Compositing and post-production
Do you have a well-established workflow of splitting images into render elements, using masks, and bringing them into compositing apps for further post-processing? If so, then V-Ray is definitely the better choice. While Corona does provide some basic compositing tools such as masking render elements, V-Ray is specifically designed for these kinds of applications.
When it comes to compositing and post-production, Corona keeps things simple and in a single place. You can adjust the appearance of your rendered image directly in the Corona virtual frame buffer (VFB) using a number of operators, which you can add, remove, and rearrange. With V-Ray, you get similar VFB controls and more: the built-in VFB controls are much more advanced, and thanks to a sophisticated system of pixel-perfect masks and other render elements, you can achieve any effect you wish in post-production.
Corona is more beginner-friendly with good-quality out-of-the-box results.
V-Ray has a slightly steeper learning curve because of its more advanced workflows and extra possibilities. A large collection of documentation articles and tutorials is available, too.
V-Ray is used in many different industries, including architecture, interior design, product design, automotive, VFX, advertising, games, and more. More information about this can be found here.
Corona is mainly intended for archviz, but it is also successfully used in VFX, product design, and automotive industries.
You can use both V-Ray and Corona to get from a raw 3D scene to high-quality, realistic imagery with comparable render times. The main difference is how you get there. That is why we suggest that you consider all points listed above, then download both V-Ray and Corona, try them, and decide which one you like better. Consider the user interface, the number of extra tools, and how easy it is to achieve the results you need.
If you need any further information about our render engines or specific help, feel free to:
Browse our documentation portal at https://docs.chaos.com/
Contact our friendly support team at https://chaos.com/help