Modern 3D graphics are responsible for the fantastic and mind-bending images of buildings, landscapes, and products we see today on top websites on the internet. Advancement in technologies took rendering and visualization techniques to a whole new level, allowing them to evolve exponentially.
That’s how marketers realized the potential of using both 3D visualization and 3D rendering. Aside from the fact that both techniques are among the most popular today, they are also the most commonly mixed.
Many people think that these are the same things, but they can’t be more wrong. With that in mind, we at Easy Render have decided to create this short guide that is meant to show the main differences between 3D visualization and 3D rendering and explain how both techniques are used today.
3D visualization or 3D modeling is a combination of artistic and technical skills used for demonstrating images of products or product renderings that are yet to be launched. The product manufacturing process is quite a long one, and during the process, the biggest challenge is to design the product itself.
There are numerous steps to follow to complete the design process, including prototyping, modeling, manufacturability analysis, market research, rough sketch, concept design, and ideation. 3D designers have to consider three driving factors before they design a product for manufacturing. These factors include user experience, functionality, and aesthetics.
That's where 3D visualization can help – designers can use visualization software to develop a 3D model of the product they can work on. These product design visualizations include the tiniest details and are digitally processed on a computer. The result is a digital image that allows the viewer to immerse themselves in the information it conveys.
The information includes colors, textures, materials, dimensions, shapes, and so much more. In other words, 3D visualization is the process of using specialized software to create 3D images of products and objects according to the provided specifications.
Compared to 3D visualization, 3D rendering isn’t that visual and immersive, but it’s definitely technically more sophisticated. To complete the process of 3D rendering, you must first create a 3D model. The main goal of 3D rendering is to make objects appear as close to real-life as possible.
The demand for the most photorealistic, immersive 3D rendering services is sky high these days. Put simply, 3D rendering is the process of transforming a three-dimensional model into a 2D image. However, don’t take this lightly. A 2D rendering can still showcase the sense for 3D space and realistic proportions, despite being just a photo.
Unlike a video or an image, 3D commercial rendering is much more demanding in terms of resources. This 3D rendering needs to capture the physical object and all the elements around it.
These elements include color, shadows, light intensity, and lighting. If a video is recorded in an outdoor environment, the commercial render needs to capture the movement of natural elements, such as sunlight, sky, clouds, and so on.
With all this in mind, put simply, 3D rendering refers to a process of creating photorealistic two-dimensional imagery of 3D models. It can be an image or a video of objects that are yet to be built. The main goal of 3D rendering is to allow viewers, clients, and designers to review the entire design process and display how everything will look in the real world.
When done correctly and precisely, 3D visualization of a product can greatly look like an actual product image. The process of 3D visualization transforms a 3D model into its matching real-life format.
That’s why it’s a multi-step process that includes creating the view of an object in the 3D plane. Once the model is approved, a graphic designer adds context by placing the model in the matching real-life scenery.
That’s where the effects are adjusted, the camera angles and positions determined, and the lights, shadows, and textures are added to make the model look like a real-life image. The last and most vital step of the process is 3D rendering.
It’s the step of actually transforming a 3D model into a 2D photorealistic image (rendering) of an object, product, landscape, etc. The designers use the model to generate 2D images in the controlled environment to make it look realistic.
Both 3D visualization and 3D rendering give you a lot of freedom to play around with. You can add texture, color, change lighting, add different objects and items, generate shadows, add real light effects, and so much more. You can even depict a moving object by adding motion blur.
E-commerce websites typically hire 3D designers to provide them with an album of images with different camera angles to market their products more effectively. Users can immerse themselves in these realistic images viewing products from multiple angles.
We can safely say that the quality of 3D renders affects the overall quality of 3D visualization. Because of that, the demand for 3D rendering services is higher than ever, resulting in the appearance and development of a multitude of the most powerful rendering software tools.
3D visualization and 3D rendering are two very connected processes. You need a 3D model to start the process of 3D rendering, and the more realistic the 3D model, the more photorealistic the 3D rendering.
The trick is to take the object that only exists digitally and use all the tricks, features, and tools to add scenery and convert it from digital to real life. 3D rendering pretty much allows you to breathe life into your 3D model by providing options necessary for building photorealistic imagery.
These options allow you to simulate the real-life environment in which the object should be present by adding natural elements, shadows, lights, etc. That’s why 3D rendering and 3D visualization require different software tools.
Some of the most popular tools for 3D rendering are RenderMan, 3Delight, Blender, and V-Ray. The most used 3D visualization software are Rhino3D, Blender, SolidWorks, AutoCAD, and SketchUp.
Initially, both 3D visualization and 3D rendering were meant to help architects make their workflows smoother and easier to improve communication and allow clients to view projects before they enter the building stage.
It also allowed them to eliminate any potential mistakes and errors and provide clients with immersive and exceptional results. Nowadays, both techniques have well-surpassed their initial roles and are now present across a range of world industries.
We at Easy Render keep a close eye on all technological updates that may help improve the rendering and visualization technologies we have at the moment. We expect a lot of great things in the future:
● Construction will be significantly sped up thanks to the development of rapid prototyping.
● Real-time design options will become more prominent due to the advancement in the VR technology sphere.
● Presentations will provide a more immersive and real-life experience by developing the most advanced AR software tools.
● BIM applications with mixed reality support will greatly reduce blueprint and construction errors.
● Clients will be able to fully immerse themselves inside projects through various VR animation tools.
When it comes to visualization in the field of architecture, the simplest way to explain it is to describe it as the practice of displaying a new structure or object in an easy-to-understand way. It’s like a bridge of understanding between the architect and the client, showcasing their ideas in a relatable way to clearly visualize the project before the building process begins.
Architectural visualization is the most recent development completely based on 3D visualization – it refers to using software tools to create 3D models of an object or a structure. Clients can take virtual tours around a 3D model, see its every aspect and view it from all angles.
They can clearly see how natural elements such as lights, paintings, furniture, and carpets will look like in a yet-to-be-built building. These 3D models are highly accurate and so detailed that they look like real-life buildings. That’s how clients can apply their ideas to the 3D model directly.
You can use visualization for many different purposes as it has a wide range of benefits to offer. Let’s mention some of them so that you get a better understanding of how useful 3D visualization can be:
● Visualization improves communication – the main goal of visualization is to improve and enhance visual communication and to ensure that both the artists and the clients are on the same page. They can simply and quickly see what certain aspects of a project will look like before the project enters the final stage.
● It’s cost-effective – the advancement of the latest technology made 3D visualization quite affordable and accessible. It’s one of the biggest reasons why visualization is such a popular marketing tool. You can save a lot of money by using animations in the marketing phase of your project, instead of just spending your resources on promotional purposes.
● Ease of interpreting different project options – every project has many different concepts and options. These can be hard to communicate between all parties involved in a project. However, things become much easier if all involved can see what these different options will look like.
● Accurate and precise renderings –blending 3D renders with real-life images is probably the most affordable and understandable way to communicate project ideas.
● Ease of distribution – in the era of computer technology and the internet, there’s no need to work with physical copies of renderings or drawings. It’s much more effective, simpler, and purposeful to simply upload your works to online storage or platform and further distribute it from there.
● VR – VR technology is the future of every industry, architecture-related or not. Through virtual devices, you can view projects in a virtual reality environment from any angle or perspective you prefer. It will do incredible things for construction projects in the future.
To complete a 3D visualization, you must first cover several basic steps. Everything starts with making statements by asking the right questions.
It helps you understand what the client wants and set the deadline and understand all the details regarding the project. The next step is to gather all the data to start making raw sketches for the interior and exterior.
Then, you move on with using clients’ references to start working on a 3D model and visualization. That’s where you should organize your workflow to save time by avoiding making frequent modifications.
Make sure you keep communication with your clients alive to avoid any misunderstandings. Finally, include all the information you have to create the final model and prepare your project for execution in a real-life environment.
Both 3D visualization and 3D rendering are essential to the future of the world we live in. You can use them for so many different purposes that it’s easy to lose count. Every industry can benefit from these amazing techniques.
The more modern technology advances, the more these techniques evolve with it, providing the world with even more options. The truth is that these techniques will help us build better buildings and structures that will cope with the time we live in.
In the wake of sustainability and smart cities, both visualization and rendering have their roles to play. For more information regarding both techniques, visit Easy Render and find out all you need to get into the wonderful world of visuals.