Creating renders for your projects can be rather tricky, especially because there are so many options nowadays. Here is a post on how to get exactly what you need from your renderings.
Do you think that your renders aren't perfect, no matter how much time you devote to your project? After many hours of work, does the end project still appear plastic and insufficiently realistic? Don't worry, the process of learning can take a while and require some trial and error. This is why we prepared some tips that will allow you to quickly master 3D modeling and rendering.
Before the process of rendering starts, every part of a 3D model must be drawn detailed
Before you start working on your 3D model, draw floor plans and detailed sections. After you draw all the details in your 2D drawing, import the .dwg file in your preferred 3D program.
Take enough time to create all the details of your 3D model. Even if you are working on a minimalistic design, try to create every piece of your future renders. If you won't be creating any animations, save time by drawing only parts that will be visible on the renders, but do it correctly.
If you don't have enough time for modeling furniture or other details, consider downloading free 3D models from the Autodesk library. If you are working in some of Autodesk's 3D software like 3Ds Max, Revit or Maya, you can find many various 3D models online for free.
If you still don't have 3D software and you are a student, the Autodesk platform provides all students with a 3-year free trial software.
Carefully adjust materials
Adding materials into a 3D model doesn't mean roughly adding textures. Every texture must be carefully adjusted before the rendering, no matter what software you are using. You might find some fast rendering software, which will directly impact the quality of your renders, so always choose complex and powerful rendering tools.
Adding materials from a library might save you time, but the main trick is to add custom materials and textures. Autodesk offers 3Ds max texture library, but don't be afraid to google for a while to find more appropriate textures. Many companies in the interior design or industrial design industry offer a wide range of their product's textures.
After you select the most appropriate textures for your 3D model, it's time for the adjustment! To achieve the best results, you should adjust every added material. Ambient color, diffuse color, specular color, specular level, glossiness, self-illumination, opacity, filter color, bump, reflection, refraction, transparency, and displacement are some of the most important settings of materials and textures.
Lighting is also crucial for gaining realistic renders. Lighting impacts color shades, warmth, adjusted reflections of textures and materials, and many more. For achieving hyper-realistic visualization, you must add lighting to your model correctly.
Each rendering software has different lighting settings, but if you choose the most common combination – 3Ds max and VRay, you can add and adjust various types of lighting.
Let's start from the sunlight and daylight systems. It's a hybrid light source with a compass for simulating the position of the sun. This type of lighting is crucial for achieving realistic outdoor lighting. If you are working on interior design, you must add artificial light sources.
You can choose from Omni light which radiates light in all directions from one source point, Spotlight which can illuminate the whole area with a cone light, and Directional light for illumination of the whole area but with parallel sides of the cone. If you are working on an urbanism project, artificial light also has an essential role in gaining more realistic renders.
Adapting to the environment
If you have chosen a program other than Lumion, you'll have to show your PhotoShop skills. A simpler way for adapting your render into the real environment is photoshopping. The first thing you should do is searching for some perfect elements.
So, you must find an image of the perfect sky, grass, city or a landscape. If one image doesn't contain everything you need, you can simply crop the sky from one image, grass from another, paving from a third, and that way complete a customized and suitable background for your render.
After you find a high-quality image online that fits your needs, or you take a photo of the desired area, you must adjust the image so that it corresponds to the shades, saturation, brightness, and contrast of your render.
In the end, highlight all imperfections
You might do everything that we described above, but still feel that your renders aren't good enough. If this is the case, you have forgotten the most important thing – breathing in some realism.
If you turn around, you'll notice that nothing is perfect. Even brand new objects have some imperfections. Adding a trace of water leakage, or some imperfections in the paving, grass or any other element of your render will make everyone look twice and wonder if it's a photograph or a visualization.
If you left your render untouched, it would appear plastic, and everyone would recognize that it was done using computer software.
Bump also has an important role. Adding textures in 3D models sometimes isn't enough, so you have to do it afterward in PhotoShop. You can select one of the many templates and add a bump to a grass field, around your object or any other object found on the ground of your render.
The bottom line
You must practice a lot to master the process of rendering. Besides the described steps, there is a lot of additional adjustments, for example, size and quality.
The quality and level of realism most often depend on the modeling and rendering software. After you find rendering software that suits you, you'll notice an incredible improvement. Every visualization will be better than the previous one, and that must be your motivation for further learning and working on developing your skills.