3D Rendering

5 Business Benefits of 3D Rendering for Architectural and Construction Companies

3D rendering is growing strong and Architectural and Construction Companies should definitely look into it if they haven't already. Here are 5 business benefits to consider.

The business aspects of designing and building beautiful spaces rarely coalesce with the artistic side of architecture and construction. Try as you might, you can hardly make a living as a professional architect if you’re driven by passion alone. If you plan on selling your work, you need business savvy too.

But who’s got time for that, when there's so much to invent and bring to fruition?

Well, if you don’t learn to juggle these two sides of your profession, you’ll soon run out of projects. Everything you’ve created will stay in the realm of ideas until you eventually run out of them too. And need we also mention that without a business to run, you’ll have no financial means to create?

There is one artsy thing that’s very lucrative, though - 3D rendering.

It may be the only novelty in the business landscape of architecture, design, and construction that doesn’t require you to curb your enthusiasm and start thinking in more practical, profit-driven terms. If this tickles your interest, we have a couple of helpful ideas about this topic to share with you.

These are the top benefits of 3D rendering for architects.

1. Staying Relevant and Competitive

So, let’s talk business.

As an architectural or construction company, you deal with all the same problems that all other businessmen must learn to solve. How to beat the competition? How to attract and retain a larger client pool? How to become more efficient at what you do? And finally, how to monetize your work?

By staying relevant and competitive, of course.

The ways 3D rendering can help you with this are as numerous as the opportunities they bring. Having high-quality architectural rendering will help you retain the competitive edge for quite some time in the future, all while establishing you as an authority firm and boosting your brand awareness.

Just think about it - if you were in need of architectural services, you would hardly take your businesses to the company that cannot offer you the same convenience and ease of access as its competitors do. It’s the digital age, guys, and your clients expect you to offer them digital solutions.

2. Communicating Ideas with Ease

Speaking of modern-day client expectations, we cannot but mention a concept called the customer experience. Developed by e-commerce brands and other leaders in the online industry, the idea of CX relies on our ever-growing demand for pleasurable, positive, and frictionless customer journeys.  

Translated to the language of architectural business, customer experience must aim to remove all boundaries between your work and your clients. Those interested in doing business with you must not only feel comfortable voicing their needs but also be able to understand your visions and ideas.

And let’s be honest, architectural sketches are pretty hard to read.

Instead of going back and forth in trying to find some common ground between what they want and what you offer, you can simply greet them with gorgeous 3D models. They are the best medium for communicating ideas behind complicated projects and delivering results in a clean, readable form.

3. Exceeding All Client Expectations

But it's not enough to satisfy only the basic needs of your clients. You must understand that in this competitive market, doing decent work can only suffice for so long. Sooner or later, you’ll have to compete with someone who is better equipped for meeting the growing needs of the modern world.

So the trick is, you must always exceed your clients’ expectations.

If you don’t, somebody else will. Clients are fickle creatures, and that’s perfectly understandable. As a consumer of products and services yourself, you must understand that the only thing they want is to have their needs taken care of in a fast and cost-effective way. Except, they also like to be impressed.

With 3D rendering, that isn’t so hard to achieve. The practice and technology behind it both allow you to be faster and more cost-effective than others and still bring something innovative to the table. It's a level of professionalism and artistry that won’t fail to impress even the most demanding clients.

4. Building an Impressive Portfolio

Thus far, we’ve tackled the two most important sides of client-facing business operations such as your own - conversion and retention. Having a solid base of clients that will keep returning to you for years to come is pretty rare in your niche, as architectural projects mostly function on an on-off basis.

Which means that you must reinforce your lead gen too.

Successful lead generation strategically circumvents the competition, targets the right prospective clients, and feeds your revenue with always new sources of income. In simple words, it's an art of attracting interested prospects and convincing them that you’re the solution for all their pain points.

And how better to generate new leads than with a winner portfolio?

If you think you can attract laics with mockups and sketches, go back to when we’ve previously talked about convenient customer experiences and think twice. You need something attention-grabbing and able to communicate your vision to non-architects. Once again, 3D rendering is ideal for showing off.

5. Increasing Your Online Presence

Once you have a thick portfolio of 3D designs, you can start communicating with prospective clients across multiple channels. Being able to convey both beauty and function, architectural renderings can serve as a great promotional material that all types of audiences can enjoy but also understand.

Publish your portfolio online, share a design or two on social media, and the word of your business will soon scatter across all industries and sectors. Luckily for you, there will never be a shortage of demand for gorgeous architectural designs. The world is your audience, and 3D can make you viral.

The business benefits of 3D rendering for architectural and construction companies don’t end here, of course. Renders can optimize your workflow too, thus making your projects more efficient and cost-effective. But the most important thing is - without 3D rendering, you have nothing new to offer.

The 3D Rendering Software Market is Growing Fast - Here's Why

There are two most important things that determine business success in the 3D rendering software market – a user-friendly interface and cutting-edge technology. The 3D rendering software market has experienced immense growth due to the ever-increasing demand for visualizations and virtual models.

There are two most important things that determine the business success in the 3D rendering software market – a user-friendly interface and cutting-edge technology. The 3D rendering software market has experienced immense growth due to the ever-increasing demand for visualizations and virtual models.

In 2016, this market has begun expanding rapidly but today it's a whole different thing. Due to the high demand for state of the art visualization projects, the architects are using all the means available to provide the most stunning visual solutions to their clients.

It's no wonder that the 3D rendering software market is growing so rapidly – all architects are looking to get the best 3D rendering software possible to gain some leverage over their competition and stay relevant in such a saturated market.

The thing is, since modern technology is advancing just as rapidly as the market grows, you can get that software and provide clients with otherworldly virtual models of their projects. All that growth is only natural, simply because both the clients and the artists get the best service.

Of course, if the clients' demands grow, the technology will advance to meet and satisfy those demands. After all, it's the technology that has the last say when it comes to 3D rendering software.

Growing Demand for Virtual Models

In the architectural industry of today, there's an ever-growing demand for visual presentation and virtual models. In fact, these are the two most prominent driving factors of the entire industry. They directly affect and impact both the industry and the 3D rendering software market. When the demand in the industry is high, so is the demand on the market.

It's absolutely safe to say that the 3D rendering software market is directly stimulated by the growth in demand for high-level imaging. Still, not all markets have the same resources. Underdeveloped nations will fall far behind the most developed ones in terms of IT infrastructure, which will cause their 3D rendering software market to stagnate rather than grow.  

The evolution of the 3D rendering software market has been quite rapid in the last few years. Both the architects and their clients need visualization and virtual models to properly interpret and comprehend architectural projects and scenarios. If both the architect and the client can see what it is that they're thinking and talking about, they'll be able to understand each other much better.

Therefore, everything depends on how advanced the 3D rendering software is that the particular architect uses to visually present the project requirements and ideas to their clients. Once a big project is successfully completed, all other architects and their future clients will understand the importance of a good 3D rendering software.

With that in mind, the demand for software will grow immediately and exponentially with the number of successfully completed projects. As a direct result of that growing demand comes the rapid growth of the 3D rendering software market. Naturally, it won't stop there. The more modern technology evolves and advances, the more the demand for both software and visualization will grow as well.

The Importance of Visualization

Visualization is a great way to demonstrate complex processes, environments, and products. 3D rendering is nothing more than visualizing data in 3D space.

Such visualizations enable architects to follow the exact requirements of their clients. Architects can then incorporate this information into their projects, to allow them to visualize spatial transitions.

Once the clients can experience their own projects in such a visual way, they’ll find it easier to determine whether the result is what they originally wanted. It also helps clients understand the changes that the architects might eventually implement. It becomes clear that visualization and 3D rendering play a crucial role in today's architecture.

In fact, the visualization and 3D rendering software that allow such vivid virtual modeling are the main indicating factors of the growth of the 3D rendering software market. All of a sudden, all clients want virtual models and visual presentations of their projects before they enter the final building stage.

This rapid growth is only possible due to the extraordinary usefulness of the 3D rendering software that brought its own revolution within the architectural industry. Since it offers so many options and possibilities to both the artists and the clients, it's no wonder that it has led to a full-on expansion.

Revolution at Hand

Every architect today is looking for this software. Since it can help them achieve incredible results, it's one of the ways they can use to evolve professionally and personally. On the other hand, thanks to the amazing abilities of this software, the clients are now able to build majestic and magnificent projects. There are some predictions that by 2025, the 3D rendering software market will grow by an incredible $5,63 billion.

As the 3D rendering software trend continues to grow all over the world, it's normal to expect that the numbers will grow even higher in the future. The truth is, the 3D rendering software has revolutionized the way architects present their projects, just as it has revolutionized the client demands.

As their demands become more complex, so does the software. This causes the market to grow as rapidly as the demand for the software grows. What comes next remains to be seen but one thing is certain – this market will only continue to grow and become even stronger as 3D rendering software will give birth to even more powerful technologies.

This ever-growing development will only continue to push the market forward, involving more advanced and enhanced technologies and incredible architectural projects. These projects will help turn the world as we know it into something beautiful and advanced. The future is now.

How to Build a PC for 3D Rendering on a Budget

Building a PC for 3D rendering on a budget is a daunting task. This is why we have decided to help you build one quickly. Check the list of components and the reasoning behind each one of them.

3D technology has captivated both the entertainment and architecture industries. This is great news for all those 3D designers out there. In fact, the freelance market is flooded with 3D designer job posts. The question that remains is – can you build a PC that can sustain 3D rendering, and do so on a budget?

Fortunately for you, 3D rendering is no longer reserved for companies that have copious amounts of cash to invest into hardware. You can have your PC up and running in no time and on a budget. To help you out, we have built two budget PCs, one priced at approximately $1100 and the other just under $1500.


The Ryzen 7 1700

With 8 CPU cores and 16 threads, this CPU is a real monster that you can get on a budget. Its base clock stands at 3GHz. But, you won’t need to overclock it to get the job done. We are also not suggesting it, since you won't be using a pro CPU cooler on a budget.

Since 3D rendering software scales great with multiple cores, the Ryzen 7 1700 will help you render complex creations very efficiently. The new “Zen” cores are designed to manage the CPU resources to achieve high performance over longer periods of time – exactly what 3D rendering needs.

Depending on the supplier, you can get it for around $200.

Intel Core i7-6800K 3.4GHz 6-Core Processor

Intel Core i7-6800K has amazing support for 3D rendering. It has 6 cores and 12 threads, with a processor base frequency of 3.4 GHz. The stability and overclocking capabilities of this CPU make it a great choice for anyone who wants to build an Intel-based PC on a budget.

Let us remind you that this CPU comes with Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0. Thanks to this, the i7-6800K provides increased performance to people who need raw processing power.

This CPU is considerably more expensive. It is listed by suppliers at approximately $400.

CPU Cooler

The Ryzen 7 1700 comes with a stock cooler Wraith Max. This cooler is more than enough for you, unless you want to overclock your new Ryzen CPU. While the overclocking itself will decrease the rendering time by maybe a few minutes, the power consumption by the CPU will significantly increase, and what's more important, its temperature will spike.

This is why we recommend that you stick with the default processor base frequency. Besides, you won't have to spend a dime on an additional CPU cooler.

If you opt for i7-6800K, you have to invest in a CPU cooler to leverage the full potential of this beast. Scythe FUMA 79.0 CFM CPU Cooler is a great CPU cooler, and it costs approximately $50. Its quality design and price range place it in the best buy on a budget category.

It’s unique dual tower design allows it to pack two 2 PWM fans 300–1400 RPM, which enable it to outperform even some of the pricy liquid CPU cooling systems.


ASRock – AB350 Pro4 ATX AM4 Motherboard

AB350 is the cheapest MB that money can buy. What will you sacrifice? Nothing. Its chipset proved itself as very reliable and versatile over the past few years. Remember, this is an extreme budget variation. It’s purpose is to enable you to leverage the power of your CPU, GPU, and RAM. And AB350 does this in a marvelous way. The price? You will be able to get your hands on this gem for only around $80.

ASRock X99 Taichi ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard

X99 is one of the best mid-range motherboards. It has support for your new i7-6800K processor. It’s PCIe Gen3 x4 Ultra M.2 interface will help you efficiently render 3D objects and landscapes. This motherboard supports data transfers of up to 32Gb/s. Down the line, if you want to upgrade your SSD, you won’t have to change the motherboard because of the Ultra M.2 interface.

Also if you decide to overclock your CPU and go for a liquid cooling system, X99 has a built-in header that supports water pumps. The price? The X99 is listed for around $200 by most suppliers.


G.Skill – Aegis 16GB (1 x 16GB) DDR4-2400 Memory

16GB of RAM is more than enough to start with. RAM is ridiculously overpriced at the moment and going for more or anything better will cost you too much. To stay in the under $1100 category we picked DDR4 memory sticks working at 2133MHz. This speed will help provide you with a smooth 3D rendering experience. This RAM will cost you approximately $130.

G.Skill Ripjaws 4 series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-2800 Memory

This is a more expensive variation. With 32GB of DDR4 memory working at 2800Mhz you won't have any excuse for slacking. This variation is better for those of you who are doing a lot of multitasking. 32GB will allow you to have several tools open without experiencing any hiccups in your PC performance. This experience comes at a price of approximately $170.


Seagate – Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive

If you want to save extra cash, you basically have to choose HDD over Solid State Drive. This Seagate model is fast and reliable and, most importantly, it comes with 2TB of storage space. It will help you get the work done.

The speed may reflect the startup time of your OS and loading speed of big projects. But the rendering itself, since it’s mostly based on CPU and GPU power, won’t be as affected. You’ll be able to find this HDD for approximately $55.

Crucial MX300 275GB 2.5" Solid State Drive

Solid State Drives are a work of art. You can still have one and be able to build a PC under $1500. Crucial MX300 is a great option. It has a standard STA interface 6Gb/s, 530 Mb/s read and 500 Mb/s write speed. With SSD, your OS will start up in a matter of seconds and you will be able to seamlessly load projects, export files, and multitask.

We have intentionally chosen this manufacturer because their SSDs are considerably cheaper, and you will be able to get one for approximately $80. We suggest that you get yourself an HDD as well for this setup and use it only for storage purposes, since SSD has a shorter life span. The one we mentioned above with 2TB of space will do the job.

Graphics Card

Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 6GB 6GB AMP! Edition Video Card

Some may argue that GeForce is built for gaming, but the GTX 1060 AMP! Edition packs so much raw power that you can easily use it to boost your new PC’s 3D rendering capabilities. In fact, this card may be easily the best one in terms of getting the biggest bang for the buck. It’s very silent and doesn't heat up much. This beast is currently priced at $300.

AMD – Vega Frontier Edition 16GB Frontier Edition Video Card

This GPU is designed to make anyone who wants to become seriously involved in the 3D rendering happy and satisfied. Vega Frontier will help you go through big 3D rendering projects with ease. The newly designed Vega architecture is capable of handling huge data sets.

Its power lies in the efficient management of diverse compute workloads. This is one of the affordable Pro GPUs capable of bringing real-time rendering up to speed. This is the most expensive part of your setup, since 3D rendering heavily relies on the GPU – it will cost you approximately $650.


Phanteks Enthoo Pro ATX Full Tower Case

Since you are making a budget PC, you don't have to go crazy about the casing unit. This is why we have picked up Phanteks Enthoo Pro for you. This case looks great and, more importantly, it’s very practical. It has a lot of space, thus making components installation and cable management a breeze.

The air circulation is excellent. Enthoo comes with two fans which are more than enough to give your PC a cooling airflow. This case is currently priced at approximately $85.

Power Supply Unit

EVGA – 500W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply

This is the best non-modular CPU for budget PCs built for 3D rendering. It comes with long cables and does the job. If you choose a full tower case, please make sure to double-check the PSU cable length before you buy. This is the most common mistake made by novice PC builders. Anyway, this PSU is very cheap and you can get it for approximately $45.

EVGA – 750W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply

750W is more than enough power for your new PC. We’ve chosen this model not only because of its efficiency and power, but also for the 10 years warranty. It comes with plenty of cables.

Since you are probably going to overclock your i7-6800K at some point, you can rest assured that this PSU will provide the power it needs. Your Vega Frontier Edition will love you for choosing this PSU. Currently priced at approximately $100.

Let’s sum up. The cheaper version will cost you around $1100 while the other one is right there around $1500. As you can see, building a PC for 3D rendering is possible even on a budget. You can save some extra cash by downgrading some components, but you should know that this will affect your PC’s performance and your workflow.

4 Essential 3D Rendering Tutorials for Noobs

Kick-starting your career in the 3D rendering business has never been easier. We give you 4 essential 3D rendering tutorials for noobs to start learning and making a name for yourself in this industry.

Learning 3D modeling and rendering techniques from scratch is a quite challenging journey to take. With all the tools out there and dozens of features, novice 3D artists, engineers, and architects can easily lose their way. We are here to help you understand that this doesn’t necessarily have to be that hard.

Popular 3D rendering tools have amassed great and active communities. Thanks to these communities, you, novice learners, can get your hands on essential tutorials to kick start your career in the 3D industry. Without further ado, we give you the 4 essential tutorials for noobs.

3DS MAX 1-Minute Essentials Series

Autodesk 3DS Max is one of the most popularly used tools in the 3D industry. While it packs some serious power, all the features and options you need to set up make it a bit scary to use. Thanks to Melissa Lax and her 3DS MAX 1-minute Essentials Series, you will be able to learn a lot and, as you can conclude by looking at the title of the tutorial, in a very short time.

This tutorial features 11 lessons:

Get started with 3DS Max – this lesson covers the key concepts and makes you ready to start in 3DS MAX.

Navigating the view with a mouse – in this lesson, you will learn the shortcuts to speed up your workflow and easily navigate in 3DS MAX.

Link and reference content – while it covers only the basics, this part of the tutorial will help you learn the essentials of referencing and linking content

Start modifying geometry – in this lesson, you will learn how to use tools to modify 3D objects.

Locating and managing objects – this lesson covers the Scene Explore, one of the most important features of 3DS MAX, and you will learn how to manage and locate objects.

Working with scale – in this section, you will learn how to master the scaling of objects in your scene.

Apply and edit materials – this lesson covers the essentials of applying and editing materials to the objects.

Starts working with motion – this part covers the basic concepts of editing object motion.

Editing geometry – editing an object’s geometry is quintessential and in this course, you will learn how to do it.

Move and select objects – here you will learn which tools to use to change the size, rotation, and position of objects.

Start rendering – the series ends with a course designed to help you overcome the basic challenges of rendering in this tool.

This tutorial can get you from zero to hero and, more importantly, help you understand the essentials of a complex tool like 3DS MAX.

Unreal Engine 4 Rendering

Unreal Engine 4 comes with some of the most advanced rendering options. In fact, it’s so powerful and user-friendly that it broke out of the gaming world and is used by dozens of 3D professionals in almost all niches. More importantly, the system has support for the most modern 3D rendering techniques. The educational content is out there to help you master the UE4.

You will be surprised to find that most of the documentation and videos come from Epic Games, the company that stands behind this widely used 3D rendering tool. We suggest that you go through the documentation found on their official site to get properly introduced to this tool.  

We have found a great tutorial for you to go through. The series of tutorials is named Unreal Engine 4 Rendering, and we have Matt Hoffman to thank it for. This tutorial covers different parts of UE4 rendering system and explains how they are connected. Matt will help you understand the technical background of shaders. But there is also a practical side to it:

Shader Iteration Tips – in this tutorial, you will learn how to optimize your workflow and you‘ll find out how to efficiently compile shaders.

Adding a New Shading Model – here you will learn how to add materials that respect PBR properties.

Learn KeyShot

KeyShot is a very popular 3D renderer able to create stunning visuals. Mastering it will take time. But to do it properly, you have to build a healthy knowledge foundation. There is a great tutorial, conveniently named Learning KeyShot that can help you do this.

The creator of this course will help you learn the basics of using KeyShot. You will also learn how to optimize your workflow and make it even more efficient. The course covers the following topics:

● Find your way around the KeyShot interface

● Learn how to deal with performance settings

● Learn how to manage the objects in a scene

● KeyShot assets and how to import them

● How to assign materials and modify them

● How to set up the render

● How to create materials from scratch

● Learn how to work with refractions and transparency

● How to use objects as lights

● How to animate parts of an object

● Learn how to create a turntable animation

The course creator is very efficient without sacrificing any of the course quality. You’ll be able to go through all the lessons in less than 2 hours.

Cinema 4D Fundamentals

Cinema 4D is powerful and very popular 3D rendered used by professional artists, designers, and freelancers. If you are new to the 3D world, mastering this tool will help you kick-start your career. It’s fairly simple to use, even though it comes with numerous features and preferences.

The number of YouTube tutorial videos, covering almost every aspect of designing and rendering in Cinema 4D stands as rock solid proof of its popularity. We have found a perfect playlist on YouTube to help you learn as much as you can about 3D rendering in Cinema 4D as possible.

The videos in this playlist will take you on an interesting journey, starting with the Cinema 4D user interface basics and spline modeling, all the way to subdivision surface modeling and advanced rendering.

These 4 essential 3D rendering tutorials will help learn the basic 3D rendering concepts. Since they are very short, you’ll be able to go through 4 very popular 3D rendering tools very quickly. This will help you make your pick while your impressions are fresh. Continue learning and growing as a professional in the 3D industry, there are a lot of free online resources standing at your disposal.

Nvidia Unveils the Turing GPU Architecture for 3D Rendering

On a conference held this month, Nvidia unveiled the Turing GPU architecture for 3D rendering. Nvidia new GPUs are based on the revolutionary Turing architecture. The powerful RT and Tensor cores are designed to make 3D rendering ray tracing possible in real-time.

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.

The Announcement at the SIGGRAPH Conference

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

● AI

● 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.

Nvidia Turing – The Future of 3D Rendering

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.

The Power of Ray Tracing

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.

5 Ways Architects Can Invest in 3D Rendering

Investing in 3D rendering is a great way to grow your architecture business. Here are 5 ways to do just that.

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.

Hiring Freelancers

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.

Entering Competitions

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.

Employee Training

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.

Better Hardware

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.

Entering Virtual Reality

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.