This is the recommended type of lighting to use in your scene (although Corona will work with all the native Cinema 4D light types, including spotlights - see later). There are basically four "types" of lighting:
This can be done in one of two ways. The first is to use a Corona Sky. This is a Sky object with the Corona Sky tag applied. The Corona Sky will work alongside the Corona Sun to give realistic environment lighting, where the angle and intensity of the sun will affect the light from the Sky object. More information can be found on How to add daylight in Corona for C4D.
The second approach is to use an HDRI. This is done by adding a Sky object with a Corona Light Material applied, and an HDRI image set in the Emission slot. This allows for more varied and complex lighting than the Corona Sky, and will also appear in reflections, etc. too.
More information can be found on How to set up HDRI environment in Corona for C4D.
This lets you add a sun to the scene. By default, how high the sun is in the sky will adjust the color of the sun realistically. It always generates "soft" shadows since it is physically realistic. You can adjust the size of the sun if required, with a larger sun creating softer shadows. Rather than have the sun color and intensity controlled automatically, you can choose to manually override it and set it to a specific color and/or intensity. More information can be found on How to add daylight in Corona for C4D.
Scene lit by Corona Sun and Sky
This is a very flexible type of light that will let you create any other light source. It can be set to be an area light, using either a circle or rectangle; it can be set to be an object, using a sphere, cube, or cylinder; and it can be set to a sector, using a sector from a sphere.
Scene lit by a default Corona Light set to Object (Sphere)
Scene lit by a default Corona Light set to Area (Rectangle)
Scene lit by a default Corona Light set to Area (Circle)
Scene lit by a default Corona Light set to Cylinder
Scene lit by a default Corona Light set to Cube
The same Corona Light, this time with an IES profile - note how it changes the distribution of the lighting
Any object with a Corona Light Material applied
Using a Corona Light Material on any geometric object will turn it into a light source. There will be no performance penalty for doing this and Corona will continue to render quickly and efficiently. This is ideal for creating glowing neon letters and other light sources with complex shapes.
You can use Directionality to focus the light to get the same effect as a spotlight, and you can apply IES profiles to the light to give it a specific distribution pattern. With these options, this one light type can create almost any type of lighting you need in your scene.
A default Corona Light set to Area (Circle)
''Todoroki House'' by Yurii Suhov
The same Corona Light with Directionality set to 50% - note how this focuses the lighting
A note on volumetrics - volumetrics are not a property of a light source in the real world, but rather a property of the medium that the light travels through. Since Corona is a physically realistic engine, volumetric effects such as fog, etc. are not controlled in the lights, but in the materials. A separate page will follow soon about fog and volumetric effects.
Cinema 4D Native Lights
Corona for Cinema 4D will work with all native Cinema 4D light types, including spotlights. As a note, shadow maps are not supported by Corona since they are not physically realistic - however, you will not get any error if you set the light to use shadow maps; instead, Corona will render the light with normal shadows, so that you don't have to "correct" existing scenes in order to render with those light sources.
Some examples are shown below:
Scene lit mixing native Cinema 4D Spotlights, IES lights and an HDRI.
Scene lit by a native Cinema 4D Omni lights
Scene lit by native Cinema 4D Area lights
Test scene lit by a native Cinema 4D PBR light
It is even possible to adjust some non-realistic values, and while this is not a recommended approach since Corona is physically based, the scene will still render. One example is the Shadow Color for a standard Cinema 4D light (an Omni light is shown below):
Scene lit by a native Cinema 4D Omni light with Shadow Color changed to green
Native C4D Light parameters that will work with Corona
- Specular (whether it shows in reflections)
- GI (whether light bounces around the scene from this light, or whether it is direct lighting only)
Scene lit by a native Cinema 4D Spotlight, GI checked as normal
Same scene, but the native Cinema 4D Spotlight has GI unchecked - note the lack of light bounces
Native C4D Light parameters that will not work with Corona
Lens effects (Glow)
Include / Exclude lists
Checkbox for "Ambient". This is treated the same as Diffuse, as Corona Materials do not have an ambient channel.
This article uses a scene ''Todoroki House'' by Yurii Suhov.