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How To Make 3D Interior Renderings That Sell

3D interior renderings make all the difference in showing clients and prospective buyers why your design matters. Here’s how to get the most out of them.

Interior renderings can be a powerful tool to sell the more finer grain elements of a building design. For architects, they represent the final bit of polish draped over thousands of hours of design work. For interior designers, they are the lifeblood that courses through their entire business, and must be of the highest quality if they hope to do the best work and attract the most respected clients.

But, they aren’t always easy to get just right. There is far less wiggle room with interior renders when it comes to accuracy in lighting, scale, and materiality. There is a greater margin of error with exterior renderings as there is no risk of the scene feeling claustrophobic or skewed. But, with interior renderings it can be difficult to represent accurately how a human will actually be experiencing it.

This article aims to outline a few points of emphasis when it comes to getting the most out of your 3D interior renderings. And more importantly than how to actually create them, is how architecture and interior design firms can use them to help build their business and sell clients on their design intent. They are a tool, and a valuable one at that.

Here’s how to make 3D interior renderings that sell.

Lighting Is Key

Lighting can make or break any rendering or animation. It is how our real life eyes interpret visual data, and we will know immediately if something isn’t quite right. For interior rendering, especially, unrealistic lighting will make the spaces feel fake, materials flat, and the design unbelievable.

But, it isn’t enough just to have the ability to portray a true-to-life quality of life. The time of day, type of bulbs, and direction of interior light should all be decided upon after careful consideration. After all, you are trying to show people why your design is great, so thinking about what an interior looks like a dawn, or maybe even at night, can have a substantial effect on how the space is interpreted. It can also be used as a diagram illustrating where direct sunlight will pierce the interior at a given time of day.

There are many applications for the manipulation of lighting conditions, and it can be the difference between moving the design forward or sending it back to the drawing board.

Activity Creates Scale

Plenty of interior 3D renderings suffer from a sterile quality or scale and movement because they don’t have actual people doing actual people things in them. Rarely are buildings likely to be used in that kind of isolation, so it is important for your 3D renderings of those spaces to be full of life in order to best activate them and make them feel worth experiencing.

Laughing children are great. People playing with pets on a grassy patch of landscape are even better. The point is to show happy people doing happy things so the person looking at it won’t have to use their imagination to fill in the gaps. If you happen to run into a client who just filed for his third divorce, leaving the human element of the rendering up to his own devices could be a monumental miscalculation.

Use Real Materials, Furniture, and Products

When adding textures and giving direction for materiality and color palettes, be sure to use products that can actually be installed in real life. The client won’t be any the wiser when looking at the rendering itself, but could be in for a surprise when the bear skin rug you tucked into the 3D interior rendering couldn’t be properly sourced.

Most architects and interior designers have a massive catalogue they can pull from for any given specification, but they should also be concerned with getting those assets in 3D model so they can be dragged and dropped into their rendering scenes and then show up in real life at the point of installation.

The Cutting Floor is Your Best Friend

Perhaps more important than what you are showing your client is what you aren’t showing them. The impulse might be to present them with as much spatial, material, and experiential information as possible to show them how good of a designer you are. Not only is this approach costly, it runs the risk of overwhelming the viewer with information and muddying the message behind the design intent.

The better, and cheaper, option is to carefully chose one or two important views that will best show off the design. These are known as the ‘money shots’ and are are focused snapshot including all the best components of the design implementation. Edit your approach to 3D interior rendering and make sure the work your clients are viewing is your best foot forward.

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