This week, our Jack is exploring the complexities, advantages – and problems – that come with two giants of the animation industry joining forces: Render Legion and Chaos Group.

The love that artists have for the software they use day in, day out, makes the world of 3D so rich. As someone working in software for several years, courting CG pipes around the globe has taught me that whether studios vouch for V-Ray, are mad for Mantra, or rave for Redshift, their tools become more than code and software: they weave into the fabric of studios, and become a foundation of their identity.

Consequently, when a render engine and modelling software company is acquired or end-of-life their product, the intensity of love can quickly turn to fear that pipelines will be left out in the cold by changes outside of their control.

Happily, one change of direction that I think offers hope, rather than destruction, is the marrying of Render Legion and Chaos Group.

A positive development

YellowDog recently compared several render engines and in terms of Central Processing Unit or CPU, V-Ray came out on top.

One of the render engines that we didn’t include in our comparison was Corona, and lots of people wanted to know what we at YellowDog think of it. If it had been included in our render analysis, I think it would have provided some stiff competition at the top of the scoring chart.

Chaos Group’s desire to join forces with Render Legion doesn’t provide as much conflict as you might think; Corona and V-Ray offer different things to different people. The cross-pollination of separate teams sharing ideas will also improve the two engines in parallel, and simultaneously under one value.

Here at YellowDog, we are huge fans and proud partners of Chaos Group, V-Ray, Render Legion, and Corona – amongst others. They are companies that share similar values and vision; why compete with one another at all? Sometimes, you really are stronger together.

V-Ray & Corona or V-rona

Some say that Corona is the automatic to V-Ray’s manual transmission. You can just jump in and go…almost. 3D artists tell me on a weekly basis that when you’re not thinking about how to change gears, you can concentrate on the road; that’s why Corona developed the reputation of being so artist friendly. That said, some people like to feel they’re working the gear box too, so there really is no ‘best’ philosophy for all. Every different approach requires a different toolkit.

Chaos Group and Render Legion now have the opportunity to produce the comprehensive toolkit for rendering: appealing to both those artists who like to get to grips with the nuts and bolts as well as those who enjoy just jumping in and stepping on the accelerator.

We decided to take a closer look into how V-Ray and Corona work together, and our YellowDog fan Dorothy recently converted a V-Ray project into Corona. You can read how in the links below:


Part 1

Part 2


Perhaps in the future, a conversion from one Chaos Group engine to another could be common pipeline practice. Perhaps Chaos Group will cleverly tailor the two engines to different customer types – or perhaps, over time the two engines will become one. Who knows?

One thing is for sure, if Chaos Group fans and Render Legion fans can continue to create incredible CG, artists win. Here’s to a previously unlikely future: one that unifies two of the most exciting render engines on the planet.


Chaos Group’s acquisition of Render Legion has mutual benefits, and yes this is a good thing for end users. As an investor, Chaos Group has extensive industry knowledge and financial reach and will improve the Corona business model, most likely releasing to other software versions, similar to V-Ray. They now own another great renderer, in a similar way Autodesk own 3ds Max and Maya.

You mentioned benchmarking other renderers but I see this was limited and excluded many other renderers, including the all-new finalRender. The rendering marketplace is fierce with competition with fanatical customer loyalty. As a developer that supports all leading renderers, my business has the neutral privilege of working with all of them. Each has strengths, studio pipeline integration and personal preferences.

Don’t be surprised to see more mergers, acquisitions and others disappearing altogether…Mental Ray, Fstorm etc. One thing is for sure, there will be another up-and-coming renderer that everyone will fall in love with, unveiled in the near future!

Jack Davies says:

Your comment totally passed me by – so i suppose it is now happy new year!
I couldn’t agree more; – i also agree we missed a few out in our render comparison and i suspect if we were to run the same one in 12 months (watch this space) it would not only be a more intense scrutiny, but also more extensive.
I think we are at a tipping point: there are many indie developers and countless engines and tools but there are also big players looking to consolidate that variety into easy to use, all in one, pipelines. Its hard to see both models sitting comfortably alongside each other in the long term.
I 100% will be checking out finalRender and what it brings to the table on a train to Paddington later this week. Thanks for the tip off.
RIP Mental Ray.

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