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Corona for ARCHICAD tutorials

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Jan Špaček:
This is a textual version of the tutorial to get started with Corona Renderer for ARCHICAD. You may wish to watch a video version of the tutorial.

* Installation: Install the plugin using the downloaded installer. A new “Corona Renderer” menu should appear in the ARCHICAD menu bar.
* Open a project in ARCHICAD.
* Rendering: Open the Corona rendering dialog from the menu (“Corona” / “Render”), where you can edit various rendering settings.

* Click “Start” to start rendering. The Corona VFB appears, which shows the current status of the rendering.
* By default, Corona does not limit the length of the rendering, so you will have to stop it manually using the “Stop” button.
* We recommend setting a limit in the “General settings” tab in the rendering settings.
* Enable denoising by selecting “Full” denoising mode in the “Denoising” box in the “General settings” tab in the rendering settings.
* You can start interactive rendering by clicking and holding the “Start” button and selecting “Start IR” from the menu.
* You can modify most postprocessing settings directly in the VFB and they are immediately applied to the image (whether rendering is still in progress, or completed). The most important setting is exposure, which controls the brightness of the image.
* Environment: By default, Corona uses a realistic sun and sky model, but you can easily supply your own HDRI:

* Open the “Scene environment” section in the rendering settings.
* In the “Sun” box, disable the sun by unchecking the “Enable” checkbox.
* In the “Sky” box select “Use texture” and click the “Tex” button.
* The Corona texture editor appears.
* Select “Bitmap” from the drop-down menu a pick your HDR file.
* Close the texture editor by clicking “Ok”.
* Materials: To modify the materials (called “surfaces” in ARCHICAD), open the “Surface Settings” dialog (“Options” / “Element attributes” / “Surfaces” from the menu).

* To edit the Corona materials, select “Corona Renderer” from the drop-down menu.
* The Corona material is composed from a list of physically-based properties in the “Primary options” section. You may also use advanced properties in the “Volumetrics and SSS” section and in the “Advanced options”.
* Most properties are composed from a level, a constant color and a texture. If a texture is present, it is evaluated on the surface of the object and the resulting value is then used. If no texture is defined or if it returns transparent color (with alpha value less than 1), the constant color is used. The level value then multiplies the color, making it darker when the level is reduced.
* The material preview can be rotated (by dragging) and you can select different shapes for the preview object (by right-clicking the preview).
* If interactive rendering is active when you open the “Surface settings” dialog, you can immediately observe your modifications to the materials there.
* Textures: textures in the material editor can be edited by clicking the “Tex” button.

* The diffuse and bump map components are by default initialized with the texture from the ARCHICAD basic material. Of course, you can use any other texture.
* You can pick other texture types from the drop-down menu under the texture preview. The detailed texture parameters can then be modified in the panel below.
* Textures can also use nested textures: for example, when using a checkerboard texture, you may use another texture to modify the appearance of the tiles. Click the “Tex” button to edit the nested texture, and use the “Back” button to go back.
* To change how the texture is mapped to the surface of the elements, use the “Texture placement” box.
* Lights: Default ARCHICAD lights should work just fine with Corona. We also support native Corona lights.

* CoronaLight is a special GDL object, which we distribute in file Corona.lcf
* Corona.lcf is installed into the “ARCHICAD Library” directory in your ARCHICAD installation (usually “C:\Program Files\GRAPHISOFT\ARCHICAD 21\ARCHICAD Library 21”, where you should replace “21” with your ARCHICAD version). ARCHICAD should find this file automatically, but if it does not, add it manually from the Library Manager.
* The CoronaLight object can be added as other ARCHICAD elements. It supports basic editing with hotspots.
* Intensity and other parameters can be changed in the element settings.

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