Architectural 3D rendering is a tough profession, as there are countless details to think of. Sometimes, it can be extremely hard to pay attention to all those details, and that's where some mistakes happen. Fortunately, these can be solved with a bit of patience and skill.
3D rendering is all about the details, down to the tiniest bit. A designer or an architect who makes a living out of architectural rendering needs to pay special attention to every tiny bit of his design to make sure that the end result is perfect. Since this can be an extremely hard thing to do, mistakes tend to happen.
Architectural 3D rendering is essential to wowing clients and attracting investors. Designers can use all the latest, most advanced technology to make photorealistic renders of future buildings, as the latest and powerful 3D rendering software allows them to bring their ideas to life and sell them.
Presenting a realistic design can turn out to be difficult. Why? Because most designers spend so much time perfecting their designs that they make them look overcrowded with details.
Others want to honor the deadline, and they use any means necessary to speed up the delivery. When you're doing things this way, you're prone to making mistakes. There's enough room for mistakes in 3D rendering as it is, and common problems occur every day, just like in any other profession.
With all this in mind, we'll delve deeper into the most common problems and present solutions that will help you solve them.
1. Design is too simple
Real-life 3D rendering is meant to convey a message, to tell a story, as rendering is a compelling way to impress your clients and get them to go along with your idea. On the other hand, the main goal of architectural rendering is to show what a room or an entire object will look like in reality.
This is where many artists make a mistake and show a room with just windows, doors, and walls. This is simply not enough to impress a client. In fact, it's unnatural, unconvincing, and boring. Bringing life into your renders is what 3D rendering is all about, and it's essential for impressing your clients.
This mistake can be easily remedied by adding some basic details like bookshelves, plants, and furniture, anything that will breathe some life into your renders and make them look real. This is better known as adding a human touch, and it was meant to help an artist communicate the idea with the clients.
These details will convince the clients that what you have to offer is an actual livable place, but it's important to include just enough details to present what a building, a room, or home will look like in reality.
2. Too futuristic
While imagination is good in 3D rendering, letting it run wild will do more harm than good. If you design objects to look too futuristic, like in some sci-fi movie, that might make them look uncommon and unnatural.
Instead of wowing your clients, you will drive them away by presenting something that they don't fully understand and can't get behind. Unless you were specifically instructed to make a design look futuristic, you should avoid adding such details.
You need a type of render that your clients can easily understand and conceptualize. You also need to think about the ongoing trends in 3D rendering, as this is what truly sells your ideas. Regardless of how stunning your design may be, making it look too futuristic will likely make people hesitant to invest in it.
To avoid such risks, keep it looking natural and real. An attention-grabbing background, otherworldly lighting, and too many details are nothing but distractions in the eyes of your clients.
They need just enough details to focus on what really matters – the object itself. 3D rendering is art, it takes diligence, talent, and skill to create it, but paying attention to details and instructions is the best way to provide exactly what your clients expect.
Encountering people and scale figures free for downloading is quite a common thing in 3D rendering, as these details can sometimes fit your concept quite nicely if they are at the right angle.
While this is a great way to go in most cases, as it saves time and effort, there's also a downside to this. You need to include people and objects to make your render look more realistic, but be careful when doing it.
The problem with these objects and people is that too many artists are using the same figures and people models, and this can turn out to be a huge distraction that takes away from your design. Instead of focusing on the focal points of your renderings, your clients will be distracted by all those recycled details.
Recycling people and objects isn't a bad thing – it can even be useful on some occasions. The only thing that matters is to avoid overusing them. Instead, go with a rendering library that includes other options as well, just for the sake of making things more engaging.
4. Reflection rendering
Regardless of what type of 3D rendering is in question, reflections are essential. Despite the fact that almost every object reflects light to some extent, recreating that exact effect and making it look realistic is quite a challenge.
If you have to recreate glass or mirror surfaces, chances are that you'll end up with unrealistic renders. To your clients, such renders will look unconvincing, sloppy, even deceiving.
The only way to avoid this is by taking all the imperfections into consideration. You can fix these unrealistic renders by adding a couple of imperfections here and there to make it look more real.
Imperfections like dust or scratches help diffuse the light in the right way to make your design look more realistic. If you only go with sharp and straight edges when rendering a building, your design will feel unnatural once reflections and light are added.
5. Light bouncing
Most artists skip on a few light bounces, as this is a nice cheat they can use to save time when rendering. Light bouncing refers to indirect lighting or global illumination.
It's an effect that allows you to present shadows. You can make shadows look dark with only a few light bounces, and you can make them look partially lit by adding a few bounces more.
Now, this is where the problem arises. Most artists don't pay enough attention to how many light bounces are needed to make their architectural renders look real enough. Too few and it will take away from the realism you need to impress your clients; too many and you’ve got a mess.
Take special care when increasing the number of light bounces.
Architectural rendering is all about textures. If you want to add a human touch to your render, you need high definition textures. Most artists make a mistake by overlooking texture quality, but they fail to realize that this is what actually attracts investors and clients.
The problem with textures is that texture quality impacts your whole project, regardless of how real your render looks. Remember, every single detail matters, and while you need to make every detail look perfect, making it too perfect is nothing more than a distraction.
To avoid your design seeming plastic, make sure you add high definition textures wherever they're needed, but don’t overdo it. Aside from that, textures are just the thing you need to lend that human touch that grabs people’s attention.
7. Wrong perspective
You can spoil even the most beautiful 3D render with the use of the wrong perspective. Not only will you fail to present your design in the right light, but you'll leave a bad impression as a professional.
This is a mistake that can't be fixed that easily. To avoid making such a mistake, keep an eye on the camera angle.
Perspective is extremely important in 3D rendering. The right perspective allows you to capture every detail and highlight features just enough to hide any distractions and imperfections. Then again, the right perspective makes your visualization more believable and immersive.
If you go with the wrong perspective, you will lose that wow effect you were trying so hard to achieve. You can solve this issue by keeping your render at eye-level or by using a bird's-eye view. The best thing to do is to combine the two in a timely manner.
That way, you're taking advantage of both perspectives, providing a unique client experience and showcasing your design in the most engaging way.
These seven common issues are just the tip of the iceberg, as there are so many other things to keep in mind when it comes to architectural rendering. By avoiding these common mistakes, you'll increase your chances of creating a realistic design that sells.