It is completely understandable that you want to incorporate 3D visualization into your work process. This amazing technique not only allows you to deliver better results as an architect, but it also helps you pitch your projects in a more effective way to the clients and investors. At the start, you should know that architectural visualization has rapidly evolved over the past few years.
With all that CGY and 3D tech, architects are able to pull off both interior and exterior renders and make them very attractive. Of course, there are some tricks of the trade to know here. If you are new to architectural visualization, you probably don’t even know that there is such a thing as a rendering style.
To help you out, we decided to compile a list of the most popular styles of architectural rendering software use.
Architectural rendering software solutions are very powerful tools that come with a number of built-in features, textures, and models. These advanced tools are designed to help architects deliver top-notch renders.
On the other hand, some architects work by methodology deeply rooted in old styles such as watercolor and sketching. Fortunately, architectural rendering software allows the old to meet the new.
Sketching and watercolor style is one of the major rendering trends. It leverages the fusion of different color combinations, the use of space, and textures to deliver this powerful aesthetic message to the viewer.
Bringing in the real word imagery, 3D element, and dreamlike colors allow architects to create an impression of specific emotion or/and idea. For some clients, these renders will work better than the actual rendering of the space.
Some architects would argue that nobody should pitch projects solely by using renders in this style. The best strategy is to leverage them to communicate the potential feel of a place. Along with renders that display authentic architectural properties, these will make the presentation whole.
When it comes to interior representations, it doesn’t get better than it does with Theodore. The name comes from Spikes Jonze’s “Her” and the character Theodore played by Joaquin Phoenix. What are the main characteristics of this style? The Theodore includes:
● Plenty of airy spaces
● Very bright backgrounds
● Diffused light
If you are working on great interiors, this style can help you pitch projects with great success. To make the atmosphere more lively, you should also add live subjects. You can include people as well as plants to your designs to bring out both the aesthetics and functionality of the space.
This style is great for 3D renders of shopping malls, big office buildings, spacious living rooms, halls of corporate establishments, bus and train stations, libraries, and airports.
Why is the Theodore style so popular? Because it helps to make an inviting atmosphere and habitable space very easily. The use of natural lights and their warm tones help you create a realistic picture and highlight the use case of a specific area.
The Katherine Heigl style is one of the most popular architectural visualization styles used for the representations of the exteriors. This style is particularly useful for the representations of buildings that are planned in the urban areas, where a lot of people live, pass by, and spend their time.
The style features people in all sorts of activities.
The main characteristics of this style include:
● Very high saturation of colors
● Plenty of background characters
All these elements work perfectly towards creating an idealistic, almost romantic scene. The Katherine Heigl style should be used when you want to communicate what your design has to contribute to the quality of life and happiness.
If the investors are worried about whether the design integrates well or not in the existing surroundings, The Katherine Heigl render can swing them in the right direction and help you get the job.
If your focus is on modern architectural designs, the Whodunnit style might have all the answers that you need. This style was created to help architects highlight the most important elements in their designs. When you introduce high saturation and medium to low contracts, modern materials, and angular shapes cannot be seen clearly.
To solve your problems and make your life easier, the Whodunnit style introduces the perfect mixture of:
● Cold color tones, such as dark blue and dark green
● Very low saturation
● High Contrast
It often features cloudy or even stormy skies, a shadowy figure, and other mysterious elements that create tension.
So what does this actually achieve? If you apply this to your renders, you will see how it affects the aesthetics of the end results – the modern materials get their place under the spotlight, strong design features become more prominent, and angular shapes become more visible.
The overall render gets this mysterious note that invites the viewers and captivates their attention.
Experts say that this style comes from the noir detective genre. This is why it appears dark, almost as a crime scene. It is perfect for large-scale projects. For instance, you can use it to communicate the benefits of your solution for large urban development.
This style is built upon modern minimalism thus making it very suitable for representing big buildings and sophisticated architectural designs.
Architectural render primary role is to help you furnish the object you are working on and help others recognize the value of your design. The Mad Max style can help you achieve this by adding context and appropriate lighting.
This style is used for rendering the exterior of the objects. The renders should not only focus on the building itself, but they should incorporate the surroundings as well to help the viewer see how the objects fit in.
Since the Mad Max style is used for architectural representations of big objects, the point of view resembles the classic aerial shots of buildings. Furthermore, this style leverages a fantasy-oriented approach to highlight those aesthetics that provide unique value to the object.
When to use it? If you are working on a large-scale project and you have to innovate, Mad Max can help you create powerful and compelling 3D renders. Also, if your objects feature cutting-edge technology, this is the style to go with.
You can often see it used for representing designs of opera houses, stadiums, arenas, skyscrapers, large shopping malls, and so on.
Michel Gondry is famous for his attractive and distinctive visual style he so often applied to his collages. This rendering style is used for modern designs. You can quite often see it used for the representation of home and building interiors.
3D architectural render done in this style appears as a collage as well. It consists of numerous photos, drawings, 3D objects renders, and other elements, all working together to generate a unique feel of the interior.
Gondry will make each one of your renders unique and incredibly attractive. It can be used when designing modern and luxurious homes, office buildings, restaurants, bars, and clubs. The fusion of different elements can help you create just the atmosphere that you like and communicate the intended emotion with ease.
Thanks to the cutting-edge technologies and 3D rendering software capabilities, architects can now completely immerse their clients and investors in their designs. In fact, VR has the unique ability to let the viewers completely experience the objects long before they are constructed.
This applies to both interior and exterior renders. The only downside of this practice is that it requires powerful hardware to complete the renders.
Furthermore, virtual reality comes with no boundaries when it comes to using different materials, objects, lighting, and sound.
The use of VR in architectural visualization has a practical use for construction firms as well, as they can explore the designs more thoroughly and make sure to prepare completely for the upcoming project. It is safe to assume that as time goes by, we will see more and more VR doing all the heavy lifting for architects.
Architectural rendering software has become so powerful that there are absolutely no limits for architects. Today, architects can use this software to generate powerful 3D architectural renders and pitch their projects with ease. As you can see, there are several popular styles of architectural rendering software use.
Each one of them is distinctive and leverages different techniques to achieve specific results. We suggest that you always consider the client's specific requirements when deciding which style to use to achieve the best possible results and get your projects greenlighted as soon as possible.
For many people, 3D renders and 3D animations are the same things and they make no distinction between them. They are similar and can be used for similar purposes, but this doesn’t mean that they are the same. Even though 3D animation is used less in architecture than 3D renders and walkthroughs, it can have its uses in architecture as well.
No matter if you want to develop a project or you plan on working as an architectural designer to deliver these visual elements to clients, you need to understand the difference between the two and how they can be used correctly.
The first big mistake a lot of people make when comparing 3D renders and 3D animations is that they try to figure out which one is better. They start taking sides like in a football match. This comparison we are doing today is not for the purpose of figuring out which of these two is better, as they both have certain uses.
At the same time, 3D visualizations are also done in various industries which have different needs and might need different approaches to come up with the best product. This is why it is essential to understand both of these terms completely, their differences, and unique benefits.
Ever since architects got the 3rd dimension as an option for various projects, they have been able to make settings, objects, and other visual elements come to life like never before. The ability to use the 3D digital environment has especially been useful for architecture and allowed to present project ideas in a realistic and immersive way.
Simply put, 3D renders can be imagined as looking at objects through a camera and with modern technology, it’s even possible to go through objects, observe elements, and interact with the environment. But, how is all of this achieved you ask?
All the models of a building are first built through the process of 3D rendering. The technology and knowledge we possess allow us to model clear images of projects, and interiors. However, it has gone a step further and lets us take clients on virtual tours and allow them to go through the rooms of a house that hasn’t even been built yet.
This is called a 3D visualization or a 3D walkthrough. It allows the client to walk through buildings that were designed on some digital media by professionals. This 3D visualization allows clients to experience how a certain building will look or work well before it is built. These visualizations create a virtual reality and can be completely lifelike.
The term 3D animation means giving 2D digital objects a 3D dimension. The purpose of this process is to make models even more realistic. When objects are created in a 3D environment, users have the ability to look at them from different angles and rotate them if they want.
At the same time, the term animation is closely tied to the desired state of realism that is associated with and achieved through movement. In 3D animation, objects come to life, as they all have individual movements.
So, simply put, animations are used to move pictures, and all the individual objects in them get assigned with various movements. One of the simplest examples of 3D animation is cartoons, as you can clearly see these two concepts being brought together to make models seem lifelike.
From what we’ve discussed so far, it would seem that these two concepts are pretty much the same. They are similar, and both are used for the purpose of creating a lifelike digital media. However, they have a crucial difference between them that sets them apart and it concerns the movement in the digital environment.
With still 3D renders, the movement is possible but the only thing moving is the camera through which viewers are looking at a certain project. On the other hand, in 3D animations, the objects within the visualization can move as well. All the objects in a still 3D render are stationary and for someone to look at objects from different angles, they will have to move the camera while the object stands still.
In 3D animation, objects can be moved by users to perform movements such as a position change, or rotation. This major difference makes these two similar concepts so much different and it’s the main reason why they are used in different situations. When it comes to architecture, 3D renders and walkthroughs are essential.
They allow viewers to go through the interior of a structure that is going to be built. In most cases, they are used as a form of presentation for potential buyers so that they can understand how a certain structure will look. This speeds up the purchase decision, allows buyers to express concerns, doubts, and suggest potential changes.
As we mentioned, these two concepts also have a lot of similarities. This is why they can be both used for architectural visualizations and improving project presentations. Both 3D renders and 3D animation are digital visualizations that come in the form of virtual reality and can be very realistic and immersive.
They adopt the same effects including drop shadows, gradients, and lighting which allow them to highlight important features and elements, create a better atmosphere, and present lifelike settings and characters. One of the most important effects is called highlighting, as it can make 2D images look like 3D models.
Both 3D animation and 3D renders are created to make a viewer feel like they were walking through a room in the virtual world. They allow clients to view different objects from various angles and have a photorealistic experience of the environment in front of them.
Now that we’ve learned what 3D renders and animations are and what their core differences are, let’s look at them from the point of architectural visualization and how they fair for this use. Today, professionals are looking to perfect their visualizations and improve their skills as much as possible and new concepts are constantly being introduced.
Let's take a look at some of the most important criteria for architectural visualization and how these two concepts can or cannot be used for improving them.
For architectural renders, time is essential. Naturally, clients want to see a presentation of the project as soon as possible and the designers look to deliver it as quickly as possible. This is why 3D renders excel at architecture visualizations, as they can be delivered quickly and they cost less.
For a quality 3D render, a professional with experience would need from 24 to 30 hours, depending on the scale of the project. This is all the time necessary to deliver quality realistic pictures that can represent an interior or exterior in a lifelike fashion.
On the other hand, creating one 3D animated video could require several weeks and, in some cases, even a month. It requires a lot more work and the visualizer needs to have a mixture of right skills to get the job done properly. This means more costs due to a longer process and because the person doing the job needs to know several different fields.
In a way, architectural presentations are a part of marketing. They are there to provide value to viewers and convince them to go through with a project or buy a property. Both 3D animations and render have a lot of power when it comes to presenting something and this is done through visual storytelling.
The visualizer is not only building a property presentation with walls, doors, windows, and surroundings. He is telling a story to his audience and helping them imagine what it would feel like to live in a certain house or building. Even though 3D renders can be designed to allow viewers to move through rooms and explore space, it doesn’t allow models to move around.
This is where 3D animation is better, as it has more functionalities which improve visual storytelling. The architect can add more context that is relatable to viewers, present dwellers, add immersive POVs, and CGI elements which can tell the story much more effectively.
The level of immersion is very important for every architectural presentation. This is what helps solidify your selling points and helps you pinpoint the strengths of your projects in an effective, and obvious way. The goal of an architectural presentation is to help viewers imagine what a certain area will look and feel like, without actually being there.
Both 3D renders and animation can be used to create images that will allow clients to feel and imagine a project. However, this is also where 3D animation has the ability to go a step further as CGI can represent space realistically and through movement, make the viewer feel like they are really in a certain area looking around with their own eyes.
However, with the application of VR in 3D renders it is possible to create a similar effect, as clients can move around the area freely and inspect all its features.
Modern clients don’t just want to look at quality visuals and high-level graphics, they also want to interact with various mediums. This is true for every industry and new technology advancements have brought interactivity to architectural presentations as well. This also shows how far architectural presentations have gone.
Instead of just allowing clients to look at visually engaging images and animations, you also need to let them interact with the project by “touching” it, “examining” it, and “moving” through it. 3D animation allows a higher level of interactiveness, as users can trigger actions that are performed through movements, or animations.
On the other hand, 3D renders that allow movement, 360 degree visualizations, and virtual reality also provide a lot of interactivity. With moving images, users can interact with a design by dragging, changing, rotating elements, etc.
There are a lot of software tools that can be used for creating amazing 3D renders that look very lifelike. But still, no matter how good a 3D render is, it can’t beat a 3D animation, as it is subjectively more visually appealing, triggers more senses, and catches the eye better.
Movement has a far greater impact on the viewer and CGI animations can have a simply breathtaking effect on people. This is why modern movies have so much CGI and are able to attract huge audiences. Naturally, this also means that animations take a lot more time to be created and honed to that breathtaking level.
In most cases, it’s a better idea to focus on 3D renders rather than 3D animations, as they can be very expensive for this use. However, if we are talking about a structure that has a lot of potential and is considered to be a landmark that can bring valuable returns, it would be a good idea to invest in 3D animation to convince buyers or investors.
3D renders is the formula you should go with for your architectural visualizations and everyone does them this way. However, this doesn’t mean that 3D animation should be completely neglected. Inserting animations in the right areas can get your presentations to the next level. The important thing is to be creative and recognize where you can add 3D animations to spice things up.
Previous development of rendering and virtualization software has convinced us that an immense growth of this industry has yet to come.
Each year brought lots of advantages and benefits, especially useful in architectural visualization, 3D animation, visual effects industry, and movie industry. The latest equipment and tools, as well as programs and apps, made us believe that future solutions will be much more useful.
VR and AR technology, the possibility of hyper-realistic rendering and animation, facilitated processes of 3D modeling and rendering, and the wide spectrum of affordable software are only some of the things we couldn't expect a few years ago.
The fastest growing industry continues to surprise 3D art enthusiasts, so we can freely say that big changes and improvements are right around the corner.
There’s lots of speculation, but we decided to peek into the future. However, the users of 3D rendering and visualization software are expecting only solutions that will facilitate all tasks and processes of 3D modeling and rendering even more.
To find out what will happen to the 3D rendering and virtualization software market, we found some analyses related to the top companies, their size, and future growth trends, driving factor analysis, as well as present demand. Let's see what's waiting for us!
Based on ‘’2018-2023 Global 3D Rendering and Virtualization Software Market Report,’’ conducted by Orbis Research, we found out who the key players in the market are. This study reveals the current situation on the market, as well as the leading companies that will stay ahead of the competition in the future:
- Pixar (RenderMan 22)
- NVIDIA- Chaos Group (V-Ray, Phoenix, vrscans)
- AUTODESK (Maya, 3ds Max, Arnold Renderer, Autodesk A360, Fusion 360)
- Solid Angle
- NextLimit (Maxwell Render, Real Flow)
- Robert McNeel (Flamingo, Brazil™, Penguin, Bongo – animation)
- Cebas (finalRender)
- Otoy (Octane Render, ORC, Brigade, Light Field)
- Bunkspeed (3ds) (SOLIDWORKS)
- LUXION (KeyShot)
- SolidIRIS (Thea Render, Kerkythea)
Besides, the same study reveals the segmentation by application, so we found out that Video Entertainment, Architecture, and Transportation are industries with the biggest demand.
However, software solutions developed by these companies are getting better and better over time. The attempt of integration of these rendering programs with the latest virtualization equipment also has a significant impact on the future demand for such advanced tech solutions.
Well-known software solutions developed by the mentioned companies are improving continuously. Since these companies are the best in the industry, their mutual cooperation enabled users to combine favorite software and create hyper-realistic renders, visualizations, virtualizations, and animations.
Various industries, but especially architectural visualization companies and the entertainment industry has been increasing the demand for advanced 3D modeling and rendering solutions, as well as 3D animation and visual effects in recent years.
By simple forecasting, future trends based on current users' demand and innovations, it's clear that VR, AR, and AI are inevitable.
Thanks to the development of VR equipment, 3D visualizations have become more realistic, providing users with the possibility to feel entire 3D scenes in real time. On the other hand, AR apps enabled us to take advantage of augmented reality using our smartphones wherever we are.
Besides, some developers such as Lawrence Lek are already working on digital algorithms that will be able to automatically create 3D models using artificial intelligence.
A study ‘’Unit shipments of virtual reality (VR) devices worldwide from 2017 to 2019,’’ done by Statista, shows incredible results. For example, in 2017, Sony sold 1.7 billion VR headsets, and the forecasted amount for 2019 is 2.2 billion devices. The situation with other vendors is similar.
For example, the latest version of Autodesk's 3ds Max 2019 is compatible with Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets, which means that the increased demand for such equipment has yet to come.
Further proof that the VR and AR industry will continue to grow in the following few years are the results from the ‘’Consumer spending on augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) content and apps worldwide from 2016 to 2021’’ statistic, also done by Statista.
In 2017, users spent about 1.8 billion U.S. dollars on AR and VR content and apps, but in 2021, consumer spending on AR content and apps was forecast to reach about 8 billion U.S. dollars and about 2.8 billion U.S. dollars on VR content and apps.
The increased demand for modern tools and equipment is a sign that the development of such solutions hasn't yet waned. We can conclude that the demand for such apps, tools, and equipment is increasing each year, so we're sure that the next few years will be the brightest for certain industries.
The first report that we mentioned shows that Video Entertainment industry has found the best application of these 3D rendering and virtualization software, so we'll focus on the global 3D animation market.
Based on the information provided by Grand View Research, Inc.'s report, by 2025, the global 3D animation market is expected to reach USD 28.31 billion.
By 2025, this segment is expected to account for the largest revenue and record an expected CAGR of about 10% over the forecast period.
In 2016, this segment was estimated at about USD 2.1 billion.
By 2025, this segment is forecasted to account for about 35% of the total revenue share.
Based on the results, they divided the 3D animation market into the five following groups:
1. 3D Modeling
2. Motion Graphics
3. 3D Rendering
4. Visual Effects
1. Media & Entertainment
2. Architecture & Construction
3. Education & Academics
5. Healthcare & Life sciences
6. Government & Defense
1. United States
9. Latin America
12. Middle East & Africa
The results revealed that North America was estimated for the largest revenue share in 2016, and is expected to retain its dominance until 2025. On the other hand, the Asia Pacific region (Australia, China, India, and Japan) is the fastest growing market.
If we focus on the region with the best results – The United States, 3D Animation Market Analysis By Technique report showed the following results: 3D Animation Market is forecasted to grow to double its size by 2025, in comparison with 2014.
A study related to the 3D animation market conducted by Market Research Future (MRFR) helped us understand the intended audience of such a market.
- Software investors
- 3D animation vendors
- 3D animation service providers
- Production houses / Animation studios
- 3D animation professionals
- 3D animation consultants
- System Integrators
- Research/Consultancy firms
We have to notice that the 3D animation has affected other industries except Media & Entertainment. Industries such as Architecture, Interior Design, Graphic Design, 3D Modeling, Motion Graphics, Visual Effects, Real Estate, Medicine, and many more also found an excellent application for 3D animation software.
However, the combination of all available software, apps, tools, and equipment, made it possible for almost all industries to grow and improve.
We hope that the future development of these tech solutions based on market research and user demand will bring even better results that will facilitate and enhance all the processes of rendering and virtualization. We also hope that such solutions will find a way to expand to all other industries.
What's your favorite 3D rendering and virtualization software? How did its previous development affect your business? What do you think, what will software and equipment developers offer by 2023? Let us know in the comments!
Architects are already using the most amazing 3D visual rendering software to create almost real visualizations of their clients’ ideas and walk them through their creations in a virtual reality environment.
So, it’s safe to say, the big names in the business industry like Sony and Google will make all efforts necessary to push the limits even further when it comes to visual effects.
Visual effects rendering is extremely expensive, as it takes an incredibly huge server farm to house all those machines needed for the task.
To understand what it is that we’re talking about, let’s take the example of the movie Avatar. Weta Digital had to find the space for 40,000 processors that were needed to process up to eight gigabytes of data per second every day.
The only place that could house all those machines was a 10,000-square-foot server farm. The machines working every day, the farm alone, those are all large expenses.
With all that in mind, giants like Google and Sony decided to join forces and come up with a more efficient and simply put, better way to produce the same, if not even better effects. And they did.
Their solution involves cloud technology. That's why the companies joined together to announce OpenCue, a high performance and open source rendering software manager that has the capability of scaling up to millions of shots if given the suitable hybrid cloud environment.
Content production, or more precisely, visual content production continues to grow around the world and the demand for high-quality content is higher than ever.
This is a real challenge for all visual effects studios, as they are forced to constantly find new and better ways to cope with all that demand. That’s how these studios realized that the real solution lies in the cloud.
It allows them to produce the content of the highest quality, while still keeping up with the demand and offering a cost-efficient solution.
According to the product manager at Google Cloud, Todd Prives, on-premises render farms are still the most widely used solution. However, the security and, most importantly, scalability that the cloud offers, are the right tools that a visual effects studio needs to adapt and adjust to the fast-paced and rapid global production deadlines and agendas.
If you look at this from a technical point of view and take the history Sony has in developing the most amazing software tools, it was only logical to put two and two together and come up with something of an ideal partnership.
OpenCue as an open source hybrid cloud rendering software manager is the next step in the evolution of visualization, and Sony Pictures Imageworks use it as their internal queuing system. Its predecessor, Cue 3 was already a product of technological advancement and evolution but 15 years of in-house development finally showed some real results.
This type of rendering software has already been used in the most recent animation and visual effects projects due to its amazing capability of scaling up to 150,000 cores between Google’s suite of cloud computing services GCP or Google Cloud Platform, and Sony’s on-premises data center.
So far, this software has been used on countless movies and other similar visual projects.
The secret to the maddening and unlimited power of OpenCue is its most amazing and quite extraordinary architecture. Any software has one but this one is a real piece of art, a masterpiece.
It has its own tagging system so that users can easily allocate specific machine types with specific jobs within mere seconds to speed up the entire process.
Aside from that, it also supports numerous multiple concurrent machines. Now comes the really interesting part. OpenCue allows for specific jobs to be processed on a central render farm. That leaves visual effects artists and their workstations completely free for more important tasks.
To spice it up even further, each host can be split into a number of different processes where each process has its own memory requirements and reserved core.
According to the minds behind the entire thing, they wanted to allow the visual effects studios to fully realize and use the power and all the advantages of GCP as well as the scale in order to create the most extraordinary visual content.
As of 24th of January, 2019, all documentation, executables, and the entire OpenCue source code are available on GitHub, along with all sample projects and tutorials forthcoming.
When it comes to the visual effects industry, GCP has been around for quite some time now. The Mountain View company acquired Zync Render, a rendering service that made cloud-based effects rendering possible and easier, back in 2014.
While this was a proven success, as it successfully rendered scenes in blockbuster movies, commercials, and feature films, Google needed something even more powerful.
They rolled out Google Cloud Filestore and a cloud GCP region in Los Angeles in 2015, with the main goal aimed at managing NAS, a network attached storage service for rendering software applications, as such apps require a shared file data system and a file system interface.
Since this open source render software manager has been built specifically for a wide variety of needs of the animation and visual effects industry, it has the most remarkable features. These features include:
● A limitless number of processes a single task can have.
● Integrated automated booking.
● The ability to split each host into a number of processes.
● An individual reserved core for each process.
● Individual memory requirements for each process.
● Support for hybrid, cloud, on-premises, and multi-facility deployments.
● Native multi-threading that supports Arnold, Prman, and Katana.
● Tasks are processed on a central render farm so that each visual effects artist has a free workstation.
● The ability to allocate specific tasks to adequate machine types via tagging systems.
● A highly-scalable software architecture capable of supporting multiple concurrent machines.
So, as we can see, Google has been bringing video-on-demand and live video and editing analytics, as well as an end-to-end, fully managed platform for video processing and so much more to GCP for quite some time now.
The end result of this cooperation is a render manager that will create a revolution in the animation and visual effects industry and make things we only dreamed of possible.
Movies like Avatar are just the beginning, as there are already video games with unreal graphics that are taking the world by storm.
Visualization will continue to improve and evolve, and we can expect even more powerful render software managers in the future if this collaboration proves to be a fruitful one, which it already has.
One thing is for sure: visual effects studios that can keep up with the recent trends and changes will succeed, but those that can’t will have a very hard time competing in the following years.
One of the most common concerns among architects and 3D visualizers is the invested time/end product ratio.
The modern environment enables architects to use various software solutions, as well as numerous rendering techniques, including advanced tools designed for the entire process of rendering – starting from pre-production to post-production. The well-balanced ratio between three crucial phases of architectural rendering is the key to hyper-realistic end products.
Very often, there is not enough time to invest in each phase of the visualization. Instead of placing unfinished visualizations in front of a client or investor, architects found a way to streamline the entire process, without reducing the quality.
Well, if you have struggled to finish your projects on time, or if you have ever been in a situation where you passed off your low-quality project, you know how hard the life of an architect can be. Right there is an intersection that will direct your future progress.
You can choose the path of least resistance, and decrease the quality of your work, or you can streamline the entire process. Plan B can bring you higher earnings and better engagement with clients and investors, so it's obvious what you should choose.
We have prepared some tips for you to help you learn what is important for a high-quality render. Besides, our tips will help facilitate the entire process of rendering. We'll try to include everything, starting from the idea development to post-production! Enjoy and get ready to learn how to make your job a lot easier!
Before you start the process of pre-production (3D modeling), you should invest all your efforts in idea development. Using a piece of paper and a pen, or some of the advanced tech tools, you should sketch your idea. Using modern tools, you'll be able to sketch your idea directly at the construction site.
Within a few taps over your smartphone, you'll be able to share your idea with clients and investors in real time. That way, you won't waste your time on unnecessary details. Moreover, you'll see if your idea is good enough. The 3D model from your imagination can be significantly different in reality.
Just sketch everything in front of your client and discuss possible modifications. That way, you'll avoid eventual corrections in some phase of rendering or 3D modeling, and you'll save both your and your client's time and money.
Although this isn't a rendering technique, this bit of advice is a foundation for further development of your successful projects.
Before you start thinking about rendering, you should finish every tiny detail during the pre-production process. The quality of renders and time you must invest in post-production directly depend on the complexity of your 3D model.
If you try to save your time during the process of pre-production, you’ll significantly decrease the level of realism, which further means that you'll invest much more time in post-production, and the results will never be good enough.
Furthermore, you can download and pre-created segments add to your 3D model. Whether you are working on the visualization of interior design, facades of a building or an urban plan, you'll increase the level of reliability if you add some existing elements.
Manufacturers from various architecture-related industries offer 3D models of their furniture or architectural elements such as windows, etc.
So, adding pre-created models isn't cheating. If you follow this advice, you'll streamline the entire process, and you'll convince clients and investors that you know how to do your job.
Well, available technology and numerous rendering and 3D modeling programs enabled architects to combine certain tools and platforms.
If you look better, you'll see that the majority of these software solutions are compatible, which means that you can use the suitable programs and combine them to produce the best possible renders.
Also, you should learn how to use as many programs as possible, because you should use different software for various types of architectural rendering. If one program is excellent for interior design rendering, that doesn't ordinarily mean that you can achieve the same results for urban planning visualizations.
If you invest your time in learning 3D modeling and rendering programs, you won't waste your time, but you'll actually become a better 3D visualizer. Knowledge always pays off!
Moreover, VR and AR tools are everywhere around us. If you're interested in using such equipment, it will be possible only if you get used to detailed 3D modeling. Letting a client see every single part of your scene without finishing them would be a shame!
After you finish the 3D model, the process of rendering can start. Well, it can't start immediately, but you're one huge step closer. It's time for materialization and lighting! The complexity of the 3D model will affect the time of rendering, but the most important factors are texturing and lighting.
Instead of wasting a bunch of time setting the low-quality materials, create your own base of useful and high-quality textures and use only them. With your own library, you won't waste time searching for a perfect match, and you'll facilitate the entire process of setting up a model for rendering.
You'll save lots of time because you won't waste your time setting up some basic parameters such as a bump, glossiness, refract, diffuse, roughness, depth. Besides, high-quality textures are easier to process, which automatically decreases the time of rendering.
The similar rule is applicable for lighting. If you keep using the same lighting methods like for previous projects, whether it's related to the interior design, exterior design or urban planning, you'll decrease the time required for setting up lighting parameters. The option ''As in the previous project'' is available in the majority of rendering programs.
Extra tip: If you don't have enough time to wait for the entire process of rendering, you should choose software such as Lumion and gain high-quality images within a few minutes.
If you manage to complete the visualization perfectly using the right software, you'll save your time and energy and avoid the entire process of post-production. For example, if you choose Lumion for rendering, you can use pre-created scenes with the sky, sun, and landscape settings, so you can forget all about PhotoShop.
Lumion is one of the best software tools for urban planning visualizations because you can add all the necessary elements, such as trees, plants, buildings, etc. Besides, the latest version allows users to add their models in a real environment.
On the other hand, if you choose the golden combination of 3ds Max and V-Ray for the interior design, the only post-editing will be adding the landscape visible through the windows.
So, if you can do it correctly at the beginning, you'll be able to skip some steps, and no one will even notice!
If you must invest some efforts in post-production, then you should do it smart! Instead of trying to improve the entire render, try to highlight lighting and contrast, simply increase the brightness, and take advantage of imperfections. Instead of hiding faults, you should highlight them too, in order to achieve a higher level of realism. Look around, perfection doesn't exist!
Let's try to summarize all this information! The most important for achieving good renders is the process of pre-production. If you are skilled enough, the remaining process will run smoothly.
As long as you're using tools and programs you know how to use, the entire rendering process will be simple for you. Never use advanced software before you're sure that you have gained enough knowledge. The best rendering techniques are those with which you are familiar!
You can always streamline the process of architectural visualization if you skip some steps, but if you want to achieve the best quality with the least effort, you should use tools and equipment provided by modern technology. As technology develops, the entire industry of architectural rendering is becoming better. Stay up to date with modern solutions and never stop learning!
Do you have some tips that can simplify the process of architectural rendering? If you have any idea, share your opinions in the comments!
Venturing into the world of photo-realistic 3D renders is a difficult thing to do. There are a lot of things to keep in mind, and it takes a lot of trial and error until you get it right. But the end result is worth it. When done correctly, it will take a while for people to realize that it’s a 3D render and not the real thing.
3D renders are extremely useful in many industries, from gaming and entertainment to architecture and construction. Adding photorealism to your renders will not only impress your clients, but it will also keep you competitive in the coming years.
So, take a look at the most important things you should keep in mind when you enter the world of photo-realistic 3D rendering:
Think big - what is the overall concept? Are you trying to design a single object, a room of a house, the whole building? What style is your client looking for? Do you want the style to be modern, traditional, vintage?
Make sketches and consider carefully what you want to materialize with your 3D render. At this time, you want to have as much visual information as possible so that you can create a concept in your mind for what you want the end result to look like.
You want to ensure that you and your client are on the same page and that your product meets the client’s expectations in the end.
Once you have a clear idea in mind, find as many objects as you can for references. Look for real pictures online, or if you’re trying to design a bookshelf, for example, examine the one you have in your room.
It’s best to get an exact idea of how something looks like in reality. Examine it from all sides. How does the light hit it? How does it look like under different light sources? Where are the shadows? How different is it under indoor lighting and in the natural light?
When you have something that provides you with a clear picture, and something that you can physically examine, it’s much easier to render it in 3D. It gives you ideas on how you can improve it in your design, what kind of texture the object will need, and it’s a great reference point for all photo-realistic designs.
Now is the time to actually start on your 3D render. Keep to the basics. If you’re designing a room, for example, start with a primitive cube and add the basic architecture- walls, doors, and windows. Decide whether you want to have indoor lighting or not.
Once you have the architectural design in place, it’s time to add 3D accessories and focus on the interior design.
Consider the design as a whole and think about where you want which object to go. All elements at this stage should be basic. Create the major components, and don’t focus on the details just yet. Your design is anything but photo-realistic here, but just be patient.
We all strive for perfection, but to make your photo-realistic 3D render truly perfect, you have to leave room for irregularities and mistakes.
There’s no perfection in the real world, objects aren’t completely clean and glossy, nothing is completely symmetrical. Have that in mind when creating your designs.
Add cracks and scratches to the fine china, leave some dirt on the floors, cracks in the ceiling, crooked pictures on the walls. Adding some irregularities and that human touch is what makes the designs appear real.
Whether you’re trying to photo-realistically render a person or a man-made object, there’s no such thing as perfect symmetry in the real world. So, there’s no need for you to spend hours and hours trying to make it all symmetrical. Realism comes from the irregularities.
There are almost never razor-sharp edges in nature, and there should be no sharp objects in your photo-realistic 3D renders either. Even man-made objects sometimes have a certain roundness to them, so beveling your designs is a must.
Sharp edges make everything seem fake, and your design will be just another 3D render. Beveling adds that layer of realism that you want. The real difference, however, will be seen once you add the proper lighting. If your designs are beveled, you will see them come to life, the highlights and shadows will come together, and everything will fit properly.
The blurred background effect is something we usually get from real-life photography. That’s why adding the depth of field to your photo-realistic 3D renders will take you that extra mile and create a more realistic design.
It’s an excellent tool when you want to emphasize or isolate certain objects, and it makes your scenes appear as if they were photographed.
The key element of photo-realism is the lighting. Just like in paintings and photographs, you have to find the perfect lighting to make your subjects pop.
Add some colors to your designs, and add the basic light. Before you create textures and materials, it’s best to see how the light would affect the objects in their most basic form. Adding light early on will save you time because you can experiment with different light sources and angles before you commit.
Often, we will have more than one light source in our 3D renders, so your best bet is to start small. Create the first light and see how it affects the scene. Make the first light source exactly how you want it to look in the final design before you move on to the next source. If you test your lights one at a time, it will not leave much room for mistakes and problems down the line.
Also, don’t be afraid to play with dark areas. They create atmosphere and add a realistic touch to the whole design.
Lighting plays a huge part in setting the mood of your design. Do you want the scene to be set in daytime, nighttime, somewhere in between? Do you want it in direct or indirect light?
Setting the mood also means playing with the shadows. Some are darker and some lighter. Create obstacles in front of your light sources that will add more definition to the whole scene by casting shadows or dispersing the light.
For a nice final touch, you can add dust particles that are picked up by your light sources which add another dimension to the whole thing.
Textures increase the photo-realism of your 3D renders and put everything together. Even if you have the perfect illumination, if it brings to light the textures that aren’t realistic, the whole design will suffer.
Get back to your reference object and examine its texture and material. Highlight leather or wood, the materials that are easily recognizable. Even glossy objects shouldn’t have perfect reflectiveness. You can add some grit and definition to them as well.
Add reflection, glossiness, or transparency where needed and incorporate some wear and tear into your designs, but don’t overdo it. The best way to keep it subtle is to imagine which places or objects of your 3D render would be the most affected by outside circumstances in the real world, then add the required texture at appropriate places.
Using Specular Maps is a great way to add realism to your designs. This application can detect which objects are supposed to be glossy, and which aren’t based on their lightness or darkness, and you can easily adjust the level of glossiness you need.
Textures can make or break your photo-realistic 3D render, so this is where you should dedicate most of your time and effort.
If you’ve been careful enough in designing this photo-realistic 3D render, there’s not much left for you to do. Fine-comb the image and smooth out any rough edges that you’d missed. If there are some elements floating in space, or there are objects without enough texture, this is the time to fix it.
If you decide you’d like to reposition something, you don’t have to stress about starting over from scratch. 3D rendering allows you to shift things around, change objects, remove or add some elements without starting all over.
You can add some finishing touches by calibrating the colors, making sure the contrasts are good, adding minor details, etc.
Your final product should be of the highest quality and look almost completely photo-realistic.
What’s important to remember is that photo-realistic 3D rendering is not just about the software and applications that you use. 3D rendering requires hours upon hours of training, learning, developing skills, and incorporating your artistic talents.
Without the right skills, not even the best software will be able to help you create a good photo-realistic 3D design. It’s the designers that dedicate their time and energy into creating the most perfect end result, and it’s the designers that make their 3D renders come to life.