Last Monday, on the 13th of August, Nvidia wowed us by unveiling the brand new GPU architecture – the Turing GPU. Nvidia’s new GPU was designed and developed for the visual effects industry. Nvidia has recognized the needs of the visual effects industry and answered by delivering the GPU that can power some of the most realistic interactive experiences we’ve seen so far.
Apparently, the new Turing architecture is about to help millions of artists and designers out there to render high-quality scenes in real time. With such a powerful GPU, they can also expect fluid workflow, even when they are working with the most complex scenes and highly detailed objects.
This year's SIGGRAPH conference was scheduled to start August the 12th and it was held in Vancouver, British Columbia. Jensen Huang, the founder and CEO of Nvidia, announced something very interesting regarding the new Nvidia products:
● The ray tracing
● Advanced shading and simulation
All of their new GPUs feature this brand new architecture tuned to enhance 3D rendering, including:
● Nvidia Quadro RTX 8000
● Nvidia Quadro RTX 6000
● Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000
Rob Pette, the VP of Professional Visualization at Nvidia had his own presentation, he said:
“Quadro RTX marks the launch of a new era for the global computer graphics industry. Users can now enjoy powerful capabilities that weren’t expected to be available for at least five more years.
Designers and artists can interact in real time with their complex designs and visual effects in ray-traced photo-realistic detail. And film studios and production houses can now realize increased throughput with their rendering workloads, leading to significant time and cost savings.”
Jensen Huang also announced the new Quadro RTX Server designed as a solution that provides high performance and scalability. With it, experts in the visual effects industry and scientists can easily go through massive workloads.
This applies to scientific visualization but also to rendering photorealistic scenes and highly demanding simulations. The Quadro RTX server is a new architecture that can be used for on-demand rendering. It is a highly configurable virtual workstation solution.
Now, let’s see what is this new and revolutionary Turing architecture.
If you are a PC hardware enthusiast, then you probably remember Nvidia’s big leap back in 2006 when the CUDA GPU was released. Many experts regard the new Turing architecture as they did the CUDA. By bringing together simulation, rasterization, AI and ray tracing, and all that in real time, Nvidia is definitely bound to make a huge impact on computer graphics.
Nvidia’s engineers have reinvented computer graphics by making real-time ray tracing possible. They have developed completely new GPU cores – RT cores and Tensor cores. The RT ones are there to speed up ray tracing, while the Tensor cores are used for AI inferencing.
How does this affect the 3D rendering? RT cores are used for the computation of how sound and light travel in 3D environments. Turing architecture enables RT cores to process the ray tracing 25 times faster than the previous generation of GPUs did. The maximum speed is 10 Giga Rays per second.
The Tensor cores are there to breathe fresh air into the Turing architecture. They are used for inferencing and deep learning. According to specifications, these cores provide up to 500 trillion Tensor operations per second. The Tensor cores are exactly what makes the AI-enhanced features lightning fast. Some of these include video re-timing, denoising, and resolution scaling.
Thanks to their brand new architecture and lightning speed RT and Tensor cores, new Nvidia GPUs are ready to deliver the technique popularly known as Ray Tracing on an entirely new level. Ray tracing is used by the experts in the visual effects industry to produce high-quality images.
All those shadows, refractions and reflections that you’ve seen in movies that use CGI are processed by the GPUs. For those of you who don’t know what ray tracing is, let us explain.
All of us see objects thanks to the light beams being reflected from their surface. Ray tracing is the technique focused on reversing this process. It follows the path of light beams backward from the viewer's eyes (camera view) to the objects that are currently in focus.
Ray tracing reinvents the way computers generate 3D images, thus making Nvidia the first company to transition to making GPU architecture for 3D rendering.
The ray tracing technique completely removes the now obsolete rasterization, a technique that was computationally very intensive. This was simply because 3D objects can sometimes consist of millions of polygons, each of those containing information about texture, color, and a metric that determines the surface orientation in the environment.
Now, imagine a scene with several 3D objects. With millions of polygons, millions of pixels in modern 4K displays, and 30 Hz to 90 Hz refresh rate per second, rasterization puts tremendous strain on the GPUs.
Ray tracing works completely different when generating a scene. It traces the path of a light ray and it does so through each pixel on a 2D viewing surface. It then uses the information to generate a 3D model of the scene.
The information that ray tracing gathers can be any of the following: light blocks, shadows, light reflections from one object to another, refractions, and so on. As you might have guessed, Ray Tracing is also computationally intensive. This is why Nvidia had to wait for the Turing architecture and powerful RT and Tensor cores to put it into action.
This year’s SIGGRAPH conference has definitely had an impact on us. Nvidia has launched brand new GPUs based on the revolutionary Turing architecture. By making ray tracing possible in real-time, Nvidia has set a steady course towards changing the world of 3D rendering forever.
Architecture firms are loaded with responsibilities and obligations that all funnel towards the design and execution of beautiful buildings. The foundation lying beneath all of it is the ability to draw, visualize, and present ideas in a way that people who don’t have a lifetime of experience at their backs.
Whether an architect is trying to communicate their ideas to a client, consultant, contractor, jury panel, or the general public, their ability to conjure effective visuals always lies at the heart of the problem.
3D rendering is something every architecture firm should be investing in because it is the conduit between what they are thinking and what they want everyone else to understand. It can be the difference between following through with the design intent or falling victim to something not being built correctly because it wasn’t properly communicated.
Here are 5 ways in which architecture firms can invest in 3D rendering, and, as a result, make better architecture.
Perhaps the most obvious way architects can invest in 3D rendering is to hire capable freelancers who work on a per project, flat fee basis. They offer the ability to create professional-level renderings and visualizations, while remaining flexible in the face of fast-approaching deadlines and presentations.
Using job-finding services such as Easy Render or UpWork is the best way to connect with talented individuals who can work within your design budget. These services allow architects and designers to browse potential freelancers, connect with them directly, and contract work that is quality-ensured. Before long, you can collect a small team of rendering talent to pick and choose from depending on availability, skill, and cost.
Competitions are not only great for landing high-profile architecture work, they allow your firm to exercise design and presentation skills they might not otherwise get an opportunity to practice. Entering competitions is a team-building activity that might just lead to the big break for your design business.
However, competitions can be a costly investment with a low chance of paying off in a design fee. But, an investment it is, and one that can - at the very least - be used to create rendering and visualization content that helps your firm land work in the future. No work is done in futility, and everything can be used to promote your abilities and build up a body of content that will always look good on a website.
Investing in your employees continued education is vital to cultivating a workforce that is constantly on the bleeding edge of technology, design trends, and software innovation. And while it’s not always easy to have workers slave away on unbillable hours, it will pay off in the long run in the form of a finely tuned architectural machine.
Rendering and visualization should be a key cog in this machine. Be sure to keep programs like Rhino, V-Ray, and Revit available to employees - and build space into their workweek for them to master those programs. Train employees to not only be good architects, but good artists when it comes to representing the work they do on the front end of a project.
Computer technology is always evolving, and making sure your office has hardware that allows them to work quickly and efficiently is an expensive endeavor. However, having a strategy for maintaining currency with your computer hardware is as important as having a skilled workforce in the first place.
Next time you start thinking about replacing the computers in your office, consider spending a bit more to future proof your fleet of PCs or Macs for the next 5-8 years. You’ll be investing a bit more in the short term, but that investment will pay off in happy employees and better visualization work.
There’s no mincing words here - VR (and AR) is the future of visualization. Architecture firms who are investing money in not only purchasing VR equipment, but training employees to use it, are being rewarded with happy clients, and better built work. VR lets the viewer get inside conceptual work in a way previously reserved for massive physical models - which are time consuming, expensive, and impossible to change.
VR will open up a whole new world of visualization, and can aid in walking clients through the project, or bolstering the feedback loop that lets architects view, critique, and improve the design. At this point, it’s probably the best way to spend money on visualization in the architecture and design industry.
Being a freelance rendering artist means you’re always on the lookout for the next job or client to keep the lights on in your modest studio apartment. Finding new work is one of the most important duties as a freelancer, which can be a frustrating, often times deflating, journey.
Luckily, there are plenty of online resources that are geared towards connecting capable freelancers with the design studios, marketing offices, and architecture firms that need help with their visualization needs. These hubs are community-driven havens where artists can bounce ideas off each other, showcase their work, and grab attention of people willing to pay good money for their services.
This list consists of the best online resources when it comes to finding fruitful 3D rendering opportunities. Freelancers are only as successful as their next job, and using these sites will ensure there is always something new and interesting on the horizon.
Easy Render has grown its reputation in the past few years as one of the best places for freelance rendering artists to showcase their abilities and produce meaningful work. It’s a place where rendering artists can create a profile, upload a portfolio of their best projects, and wait for the offers to come rolling in.
It’s equally as easy for employers looking for rendering work to quickly browse through freelancers and choose a handful who align best with their values, budget, and standard of quality. Easy Render guarantees all contracts, and makes sure the work delivered is as promised by the artist. It’s a free market that satisfies all parties.
While not specifically tailored to 3D rendering artists, there is still a lot for industry freelancers to get excited about. The vast reach of UpWork alone is enough for a look. There are a lot of big fish out there, and weeding through the bad jobs to find them is worth the effort. UpWork is the largest job finding service on the internet.
Of course, being such a popular avenue for job searching means the competition is incredibly stiff. Expect to take a few less-than-stellar jobs in the beginning in order to grow your reputation and attract higher-paying, more intellectually stimulating work. Invest in UpWork, and you’ll be rewarded with a steady stream of new clients.
Much in the same vein as Easy Render, ArchiCAD is a job-finding hub developed exclusively for the 3D rendering and visualization industry. But, artists will find a lot more than just jobs here. There is an entire community of freelancers who contribute to the site in a way that helps beginners and professionals alike navigate the choppy waters of the visualization world.
You’ll find tutorials, texture libraries, tips, forums, message boards, and groups who are dedicated to furthering the careers of freelance rendering artists. Create a profile, and you’ll have access to all of it, including a job-finding service that will provide thousands of leads for worth-while rendering work.
With a name that couldn’t possibly be more on the nose, Freelancer is a job-finding service that puts the power in the hands of people looking for work. While it’s up to the artist to sift through the seemingly endless pile of bad jobs, there is incentive to those willing to put in the time and build up their portfolio.
It’s easy to find work on Freelancer, but not all jobs are created equal. Much like UpWork, your standing with the better clients entirely depends on both your body of work and your reputation on the site itself. If you’re new to Freelancer but have a backlog of experience, you can start demanding the best, highest-paying work right away.
If you’re looking for a highly organized, easy-to-navigate job finding service, look no further than PeoplePerHour. As its name would suggest, the site allows you to choose jobs based on their per-hour offering. Of course, you can still do work on a fixed fee basis (and it will be clear when that’s the case), the main draw remains a job search focused on the bottom line.
Higher paying jobs tend to be more difficult, more rewarding, and harder to get. However, there is enough work on the site so that there will always be something for someone no matter their skill or experience level.
When looking for freelance rendering work, it’s best to diversify your approach and put your name is as many hats you can get your hands on. Use the sites on this list to jump start a budding career, or fill out the gaps in your upcoming schedule.
As far as the saying goes, and architectural rendering goes, there are many ways to skin a cat - which goes a long way to saying there is really no right or wrong way to do it as long as the information is communicated and the client is impressed. For interiors, the specific end goal is to make the viewer feel as if they are already living, or experiencing, the space for themselves.
It requires a very careful allocation of materiality, lighting, object placement, furniture alignment, and an attention to architectural detail that will sell the design and move the process forward.
For your next design project, consider one of these 7 rendering techniques for presenting your architectural interiors. They might breath new life into your feedback loop, and provide clients with something from you they’ve never seen before. While the end goal is always the same, how you get there can make all the difference.
Natural light and how it interacts with the architecture itself is always one of the most important aspect of the design. People want to inhabit spaces that are bright, airy, and full of life. Introducing direct sunlight - through windows and skylights - adds dynamic lighting effects to the rendering and gives off a vibe of exuberance. Be careful not to make the sunbeams too intense, or you run the risk in producing an image that is washed out and hard on the eyes.
A night scene is the best way to showcase interior lighting design and establishes a mood that evokes comfort, hominess, and tranquility. Interior lighting can be a tricky aspect of any rendering to get right, and it’s especially important when it’s the only source of light you’re relying on for atmosphere. Depending on the activity in the space, a low-light character can go a long way towards making the rendering feel like home.
Showing activity in an interior rendering makes it easier for the viewer to imagine themselves in the same scene. It evokes energy, scale, and humanity. Depending on what kind of interior you are depicting, the people - and what they are doing - should respond appropriately. Kids playing with their dog, dad reading the newspaper, or a group of business people laughing around a water cooler are tropes people can connect with, and make your work read more successfully.
Sometimes photorealism can work against you. If the design isn’t far enough along in the process, a realistic rendering can give the impression that the work is done. That’s why it’s important to have the ability to create process renderings that relay the conceptual information of a project without making it feel like you’ve skipped a few steps along the way. It takes a steady hand to make this work look professional without looking complete.
Keeping in line with the above style, line drawings are great ways to show the idea behind an interior design without having to spend the time and resources on a high-quality, photorealistic image. Line drawings are as architectural as they get, and can show off detailing, space, organization, and view in a convincing way without being literally descriptive. This type of rendering should be quick, decisive, and confident.
For many clients, a simple 2D floor plan doesn’t do enough to allow their imagination to fill in the gaps in real-world information. Instead, consider utilizing 3D floor plans from a top-down perspective that show furniture, objects, and other content that will help them wrap their head around the design. You can even use this perspective for circulation diagramming, material options, and other avenues for providing information.
Along with the floor plan, section perspective drawings not only convey interior space, they give the viewer and idea of construction, detailing, and how vertical spaces interact with each other. The necessity of this type of drawing will vary based on the project type, but for large public spaces, they are invaluable to killing several informational birds with a single stone. It should have all the aspects of any other interior rendering, with the added layer of construction data that can help people digest the project.
3D rendering and visualization artists are always looking for the next big leap in technology to take their work to the next level. Typically, these jumps are incremental, represented by modest upgrades to computing power that might make their machines work a little faster and their textures pop a little better.
However, we are in the midst of a revolution in not only how we work as 3D rendering artists, but how information is communicated, consumed, and digested.
I’m talking, of course, about real-time-rendering. The concept is nothing new, as video games have been using the technology since...well...video games were a thing. However, technology has finally moved far enough along to give the power of immersive experience into the hands of commercial rendering applications, and businesses everywhere are taking notice.
We’re going to take a look at what real time rendering is, and why it has the potential to usher in a much bigger leap than usual in terms of rendering and design communication.
To be perfectly frank, it’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s computing power working to display a computer generated image as a fluid animation without any noticeable lag to the human eye. Think back to a video game. You move, pan the camera, and the image moves and pans instantaneously. You might not think about it, but there is an immense amount of digital engineering, coding, and processing power making that all work in a seamless virtual experience.
Now, imagine giving that kind of power and flexibility to architecture firms, digital marketers, and even the average freelance rendering artist. It has implications on workflow, design process, and the ability to showcase canned virtual tours of work that has yet to be physically conceived.
There’s a reason video games look better as processing power gets faster. Game makers are limited by how many pixels, polygons, and behind-the-scenes systems and physics models any given processing set-up can produce. This is because all of it must be rendered in real time, depending on player action and circumstance.
Rendering engines have only recently had the kind of processing power necessary to bring real time rendering into the palm of an artist’s hand.
Typically, renderers work in very basic, sometimes wireframe, versions of the finished, rendered scene. This applies much guess-work to the process, and can make waiting around for the computer to render a regular aspect of your day.
If utilizing real time rendering, you can be working on a project - panning around, applying lighting and materials - while the rendered scene is in perfect, plain view for you to manipulate. No waiting around. No more frustrating results. No more zooming through deadlines because your machine ran too hot and you lost all your work.
Real time rendering gives artists the freedom to work within the rendering, so when they finally start exporting images and animations, they already know how lighting is going to react, how materials are going to interact, and how perspective and experience will shift.
For architecture and design firms, the primary purpose of visualization work is to communicate the fundamental force behind their designs. This is not always easy, as much of the time you’re trying to spoon feed this information to people who might have a lot of money, but little to no experience with design. Simply saying ‘trust me’ is never enough, and will likely have you pulled off a job faster than you can say ‘Corbusier.’
So, renderings and diagrams and floor plans are a must. But, what else can be done to bring those suits away from their apprehensions and towards that ever-elusive badge of trust? How about an interactive virtual experience that allows them to move around freely within the building they just paid over seven figures to construct?
Exactly. Real time rendering gives architecture firms the ability to not only design buildings, but design experiences that will showcase the best, most important aspects of their work. Clients will be blown away by little more than the presentation of it all, and can marvel at your work as a designer without having to take your word for it or guess how it’s all going to turn out.
Of course, executing an architectural design is the much more difficult aspect of the process, but having your clients’ trust will go a lot way to letting you do your job, resulting in a finished work that reflects the initial idea.
We are already seeing a handful of rendering programs implement real time rendering into their base interface. Programs like Keyshot are making waves for their use of computer technology, and we can certainly expect to see others follow suit in the near future.
The possibilities for real time rendering applications are vast, giving everyone in the rendering industry something to get excited about. As computers get faster, so will this technology become better, making for more streamlined workflow, impressive visualizations, and a continued bond of trust between designers and clients.
Architects are drawers. It’s drilled into their maleable brains the first day they step into design school, and probably something they’ve already been doing since their tiny fingers were capable of holding a number 2 pencil. They have to be - it’s their conduit to the rest of the world. An architect draws so they can communicate their ideas to themselves, their colleagues, and the world.
About 20 years ago, computer technology advanced enough to give architects the ability to draw digitally in three dimensions - an event that brought forth a revolution that changed the way buildings were designed and communicated. Design and promotional drawings no longer had to be produced pen mark by pen mark, but with the sweeping arm of rendering algorithms and computing power.
We’ve come a long way in 20 years, and architects have found more ways than ever to use rendering to craft better buildings and sell their ideas more easily. Here are 7 ways architects can use 3D rendering.
If you wowed them with that napkin sketch the first time you ever met, imagine what you can do with a photorealistic rendering of their future home. Rendering gives architects the power to establish trust with their clients. You can’t sell a design idea without visual proof to back it up, which is what visualization is at its core.
Never show up to a client meeting without scaled drawings. And never show up without something to make their jaw drop.
Having great built work will naturally get you bigger, better, and higher-paying jobs. However, it helps to have a body of conceptual or ‘on the boards’ work that shows people you have a fresh, active practice that is proud to show off its work before the shovel hits the dirt.
3D rendering can help build out blind spots on your online portfolio and offer perspective clients something to dream up as their are imagining how their next project will take shape.
An architecture practice is nothing without the rigor and discipline displayed in their process. Ideas must be worked within a finely tuned machine to come out the other side as a polished, well-executed built work.
Inserting certain milestones throughout that process to make room for 3D renderings and visualizations will provide designers with the most accurate design information possible. This will allow them to make confident decisions about the design, and move forward knowing they are heading in the right direction.
There isn’t always a clear line of reliable correspondence between architects and builders. It’s a shame, too, as the status of that relationship is often the difference between a bad project and a great one.
3D visualization can create a form of visual communication that goes beyond your typical 2D line drawings. It allows the builder to get inside the designer’s head and see how the end result was planned to look, and let them build to a more accurate specification.
An architect’s office is often the first opportunity for them to make an impactful impression on a prospective client or employee. It’s a chance to show what they can do, both in the space itself and the images and models that populate the walls and shelves.
Renderings act to establish that office space as one where great ideas happen. You don’t need to go overboard, but showcasing a few select in-process projects (along with pictures of built ones) will get the relationship with whoever is viewing it off on the right foot.
Yes, design drawings make for better designers. The simple act of drawing something - sometimes over and over again - will not only make what you are drawing better, it will give you the practice that is required to be a truly great architect. Sometimes it’s important to outsource visualization work, but there is great opportunity to learn and get better if architects perform those tasks themselves.
An architect is only as good as the people they hire to manage project, craft construction drawings, and properly execute the initial ideas. One of the best way to attract the best employees is to do good work. To do good work, 3D rendering and visualization must be a key cog in the design machine.
More than that, renderings will showcase your work in a way that colleagues can respect and appreciate. Render well, and you’ll be up to your neck in portfolios to sift through.