How to run different Corona versions at the same time?

Sometimes you may want to run two (or more) instances of 3ds Max with different Corona versions running at the same time, or be able to switch Corona-related files (.dll, plugins) without the need of copying them to 3ds Max folders manually.



Full step-by-step guide


Note: this method will work only if you are using exactly the same naming and locations as the ones listed in the below guide. In other cases, you will need to update all of the paths so that they point to the correct locations.

We will show an example using 3ds Max 2014, but the same steps can be used on other versions of 3ds Max, 2013 or newer (older versions do not support -p parameter correctly).

1. Install Corona 1.x and then remove (either delete or move) following files:
  • Corona_Release.dll, CoronaLib_Release.dll from your 3ds Max root folder
  • Corona2014.dlr, CoronaUtils2014.dlt from your 3ds Max root/plugins folder


2. Create directories where the files associated with different Corona versions will be stored - in the following guide we will be using:
  • C:/corona/version1/ - to store Corona2014.dlr, CoronaUtils2014.dlt plugin files and Corona_Release.dll, CoronaLib_Release.dll of the first version of Corona
  • C:/corona/version2/ - to store Corona2014.dlr, CoronaUtils2014.dlt plugin files and Corona_Release.dll, CoronaLib_Release.dll of the second version of Corona

  • C:/corona/ - to store 1.ini and 2.ini files that tell 3ds Max where the plugin files are located

  • C:/corona/ - to store version1.bat and version2.bat - files that run 3ds Max with different Corona files loaded


3. Paste the different versions of Corona2014.dlr, CoronaUtils2014.dlt, Corona_Release.dll, CoronaLib_Release.dll files respectively into /version1/ and /version2/ folders.


4. Open notepad and paste the following code:
 
1
2
[Directories]
corona=version1

 

 

4.1. Save this file as 1.ini in C:/corona/

4.2. Then in the 2nd line change "version1" to "version2" and save the file as 2.ini in C:/corona/


5. Open notepad and paste the following code:

 

1
2
3
SET PATH=%PATH%;C:\corona\version1\
"C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2014\3dsmax.exe" -p "C:\corona\1.ini"
pause

 

The first line adds the directory in which the desired version of Corona_Release.dll file is stored to the system variables. It forces 3ds Max to search for the .dll file in another directory than the default one.

The second line points 3ds Max to an .ini file with a custom plugin directory - it will search for plugins in that directory. Make sure you are using the correct path to your 3ds Max installation.
The third line prevents the command line window from closing, this might be helpful if there are any errors. Otherwise you can remove it.

5.1. Save this file as 1.bat in C:/corona/

5.2. In the first line, replace "version1" with "version2"

5.3. In the second line, replace "1.ini" with "2.ini"

5.4. save the file as 2.bat in C:/corona/


6.
Run 1.bat to start 3ds Max using only the files stored in version1 folder.
Run 2.bat to start 3ds Max using only the files stored in version2 folder.

If you run both .bat files, two instances of 3ds Max should start, each capable of running different version of Corona. You can easily see which version of Corona is running by going to Render Setup > System > About Corona Renerer / Licensing.

After 3ds Max has successfully started you can close each command line window.



Method 2


Another example showing how to quickly swap between different versions of Corona over network has been posted by Martin Geupel aka DeadClown on Corona forums. Additional software required in this guide can be downloaded here.