Using PureRef for Color Matching in 3DS Max and Corona Renderer

Installing and using PureRef - Archviz Explained

Hello, everyone! In today’s blog post we are going to learn how to use Pureref with 3ds MAX to quickly match any color reference in your projects. This tool is a game-changer for overlaying project references quickly and efficiently.

Step 1: Downloading Pureref

Start by downloading Pureref from Head to the download section and choose the version for your platform. While there’s an option to contribute to the development team, you can also opt for a custom amount of $0 if you’re just trying out the software.

Step 2: Installation Process

Once downloaded, run the installer. Accept the terms, select your desired destination folder, and choose the components you want to install. The default settings usually work fine for most users.

PureRef Instalation Selection of components

Step 3: Initial Setup

Upon launching Pureref, you’ll see a black rectangle on your screen. Right-click on this and select ‘Settings’. Turn off ‘Image Borders’ and leave other settings as they are. Then, right-click again, go to ‘Mode’, and select ‘Always on Top’. This ensures Pureref stays visible over all other applications.

PureRef Preferences setup

Step 4: Navigating Pureref

Pureref is user-friendly and versatile. To move the window, hold the right-click and drag. Resize by dragging the edges. To add images, simply drag and drop them into the window. You can manage multiple images and even multiple windows. To reposition images within the window, use the left-click. Resizing and rotating images is easy – just select an image and drag the blue circle at its edge. Zoom in and out with the middle mouse wheel and pan around using the middle mouse button. Pureref automatically normalizes image heights and widths for consistency.

Step 5: Advanced Features

Right-clicking in Pureref reveals more options. Under ‘Window’, you can maximize or minimize the window, resize selected images, or lock the window position while still moving images inside. The ‘Image’ section offers tools to align or resize your images. While there are many other options available, I recommend exploring them at your convenience.

PureRef Options - Images
PureRef Options - Window

Step 6: Integrating with 3ds MAX

Now, let’s apply Pureref in 3ds MAX. The goal is to use it as an overlay window on top of our 3ds MAX screen or interactive rendering. This allows real-time matching of textures and references. Ensure your lighting and post adjustments are near final to avoid rework.

For color matching, the Corona Improved Color Picker is invaluable. And to expedite the process, use Region Renders for each object you’re adjusting.


Although this workflow might seem unusual at first, it significantly speeds up your work and improves material accuracy.

I hope this guide has been informative! If you have questions, please share them in the comments below. Thanks for reading, and happy rendering!

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