How to create basic materials?

Note: Starting from Corona Renderer 7, the Corona Material has been renamed to Corona Legacy Material and you will find a new and more complete material called Corona Physical Material which will allow you to create more accurate and realistic materials for your projects. Please visit the following link to learn more about it: 

See: Corona Physical Material.

The C4D file containing simple materials presented in this guide can be downloaded here: [link]

To create a new Corona material go to Corona > New Material in the material library panel.

"Plaster" type

The default Corona material has diffuse component only. It is gray with a diffuse level (brightness) of 70%. This makes it useful for basic materials such as plaster, painted walls, and similar. 

Simple "plaster" material

Shiny plastic

To introduce some reflectivity to the material, enable "Reflection" property.

Shiny plastic

Rough plastic
To make the reflections more blurry, go to reflection properties and lower the "glossiness" value.

Rough plastic

Additionally, rounded edges effect can be added to make the material look more realistic. To achieve it, add a RoundEdges shader into the material's bump texture slot (click on the image below to enlarge it and see the subtle rounded edges effect) . 

Rough plastic with rounded edges


Since Corona supports native Cinema 4D procedural maps, they can be used to create details in materials. In this example, a noise map was used to control diffuse color, reflection glossiness, and bump amount. 

Procedural concrete material


To create this material, native C4D procedural "Wood" texture was used. Reflection glossiness was set to 0,8. Reflection IOR was increased to 2 to make the wood appear as if it was slightly polished.

Procedural wood material


For most metal materials diffuse property can be disabled (or set to pure black color). Metals have high reflection IOR values. Below are some examples with material settings:


Chrome - mirror-like material with high glossiness


Gold material


Copper material

Rough aluminium

Rough aluminium


Mirror - a reflective material with very high glossiness and Fresnel IOR value of 999


Glass materials use both reflectivity and refraction. Refraction can be set either to solid or thin (Refraction > Thin (no refraction)). Solid glass should be used for objects that have thickness - such as vases, bottles, liquids. The thin mode disables any refraction, while keeping the object transparent and reflective. This mode should be used for objects with very thin surfaces that do not refract light - such as window panels, or soap bubbles. 

Thick glass

Thick (solid) glass

Colored glass

Colored glass - refraction color is changed, which means that the color is purely dependent on the object's surface. The effect is as if the object was made of clear glass coated with a thin layer of paint. 

Colored glass - absorption

Colored glass - absorption color is used, which means that the color is dependent on the object's volume (thickness). The effect is as if the object was made of colored glass. Thin parts will be more clear, thick parts will be more colored.

Thin glass

Thin glass


Clear water

Clear water - the material is identical to "solid glass", with the exception of refraction IOR value, which is set to 1,33

Dirty water

Dirty water - based on "clear water"; volumetric absorption and scattering was added to make the water look muddy

The C4D file containing simple materials presented in this guide can be downloaded here: [link]