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3D Rendering Techniques – 5 Tips to Help You Streamline The Entire Process

If you have ever struggled to finish your projects because you lacked time, or if you have been unsatisfied with the quality of your renders, don't despair because we have found an easy way to help you achieve the best results.

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!

1. Detailed elaborate your idea

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.

2. Pre-production is crucial for good renders

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.

3. Try to combine various rendering software solutions

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!

4. Keep it simple

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.

5. Sometimes, post-production isn't required

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!

The bottom line

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!

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