How 3D Artists Develop Stories Through Their Renders
How 3D Artists Develop Stories Through Their Renders

3D architectural rendering is primarily a way that allows you to transmit a great deal of information using a digital medium. Next to this primary purpose, 3D rendering is also a well-established art form. It’s the new age for evoking emotions and telling stories.

All real estate enterprises find this very embracing, and it is what they are looking for and willing to invest in. In addition, more experienced renderers know how to mingle information with adequate decoration, which makes their renders full of important information while also aesthetically pleasing.

Today’s 3D renders are familiar with the art of storytelling in 3D forms and know which aspects of exterior and interior design they should highlight. After all, 3D rendering is all about visual persuasion and creating symmetry while evoking some feelings to the lookers-on.

A story that each 3D render tells should always be precise, creative, and unique. In other words, each 3D render should tell a story of its own. Let’s now delve into why these stories matter so much and some of the key features that make a 3D render powerful and overwhelming.

Why stories matter

3D storytelling is an essential notion in the 3D rendering world. Namely, it’s not just about presenting realistic images where all the finer details can be shown through interior and exterior designs. It’s a way of presenting real estate projects from the point of view of the customer.

Therefore it can be your crucial asset when you are selling your 3D rendering projects to clients. More experienced 3D artists sometimes just play with textures, tweak the lighting, and simply “bring out” all the textures to light.

If what you essentially want to achieve is telling a story rather than just presenting your project to another naked eye, 3D architectural rendering can do just the thing. The key to good storytelling lies in choosing adequate proportions and working on fine detailing.

Moreover, a good 3D architectural rendering artist will always make sure that the texture looks realistic from literally every perspective. We may as well conclude, then, that good 3D architectural rendering storytelling is all about perspective.

Angles are very important!

Determining the right camera angles is probably the first step in the 3D rendering creative process. The camera angle of each photo, which we also may refer to as its perspective, plays a crucial role and is very important since it can either make or break your final product, i.e., final rendering.

Finding the right angle is an easy decision, but in fact, this decision cannot be changed after it has been built, making it a bit more complex than one might assume. Finding the right angle is not just about choosing which way your camera will face.

It’s all about inducing the emotion you intended to invoke and finding a way to portray spaciousness in your 3D imagery. When it comes to exterior renderings, you have much to think about. The lighting in the sky has to be considered and all other architectural components that surround it.

You have to answer the following questions in this process - what’s essential for my development? Is it the close-up perspective or a perspective at an eye-level? Should the building be centered and more to the front? What details are essential for the audience?

Taking interior 3D renderings into account, a huge variety of different angles comes into question. Whether you want the angle of the lens placed in such a way to make the room of your interior design look grand and spacious or which part of the room to center.

Weather settings set the tone!

The weather settings, or in other words, the environment lighting and texture, is the next crucial step after determining the camera angle. So, when a client approves all the camera angles and the 3D grey geometry, a 3D artist will have to work with several settings and features.

Those settings add adequate lighting, shadows, and all the necessary materials and textures. So naturally, the camera angle that was set will impact the general lighting, regardless of whether it’s an interior or an exterior shot.

Weather settings, of course, play a much more significant role in the creation of exterior shots. These shots are usually much brighter, but the interior images that include windows will also have much light included in the very shot.

For exterior shots, where weather settings play a crucial role, a 3D artist will have to start with building out the outer landscape first and work on adding purely realistic elements.

Imperfections bring more realism!

Let’s face it, most natural things that surround us are never completely perfect. Even those natural objects that are symmetrical in their core are not quite wholly symmetrical. If you look at your face in the mirror, you might think that the left and right sides are symmetrical.

But is this the case? Not quite. Similarly, if we take a look at any particular natural object, we will conclude that it is unique. Nothing in nature is perfectly identical; only manufactured mechanical objects.

Therefore, imperfections in 3D rendering are essential to make any 3D artwork look more realistic. Leaves of trees, for example, are all unique and different, and when you add a row of them next to the house you have modeled, you might as well want to make them look imperfect.

3D renderings indeed need to be designed perfectly, but when there are, say, some contextual bits added to the whole picture, making those bits imperfect is what should be done. As a result, you will only bring more realism to the entire idea and make clients more drawn to your project.

Adding elements for context

CG rendering can include numerous contextual elements. For example, there can be a group of people added to the photo, who are sitting in front of a house, some cars parked next to the house, and a flock of birds flying above it all in the sky.

The critical role of these contextual elements is to convey a friendly, warm atmosphere, which should evoke only positive emotions in the viewer. One might think that these elements can distract the viewer from paying enough attention to the house.

However, they do much in setting the right tone and mood and are the ones that bring your 3D render to life. For example, if some blooming flowers are included in the render and merry people sitting or walking, it can only awaken your imagination and nothing else.

Adding elements for context certainly does help the viewer to understand just how a particular place (e.g., a house in the suburbs) would look like and feel like in real life. Clients, in turn, will always choose those architectural designs that have some emphasis on showing it in a particular context.

Lighting effects create an atmosphere!

Creating the perfect lighting for each of your 3D renderings might be more important than one might think. When a 3D artist is working on a particular render, he always has absolute control over both the indoor and outdoor lighting. So why not make it perfect for a better overall atmosphere?

You needn’t wait for a perfectly sunny day or a perfect sunset to capture a particular landscape or a part of the architecture in the best possible light. Nor do you have to wait for a shadow to move, for the sun to shine, or for the weather to break.

3D rendering can change any lighting effects and create a soothing natural atmosphere. With the aid of 3D rendering, you can control what time of the year it will be, what time of the day your model will have, control the angle of the sun and the sheer intensity of the rays.

In other words, you can control everything. So, for example, it can always be sunny in a 3D rendering (as long as that’s how you want it to be. Now, when it comes to interior designs, you can control every aspect of any particular indoor lighting as well.

You can either sharpen or soften shadows, let some lighting come through the curtains, finesse with the most suitable hues, and more. Namely, any ambiance you like can be created by modifying and perfecting the lighting.

Creating a narrative with motion blur

Motion blur is added just to create more realism. Based on the overall movement of your personal camera, this can be achieved in two basic ways:

  1. Motion blur can be added by adjusting the sample value. Over the shutter period, the image will thus be sampled multiple times. In this way, you can create the most accurate narrative; however, it will take up some of your time (because rendering is done for each pixel separately);
  2. The second option is using VectorBlur to generate the motion blur in line with the motion vectors. This way takes up less time since rendering will only be affected by the pixel resolution of the image that’s final, rather than by the overall complexity of the 3D scene;

Adding details that create contrast

Using 3D rendering software makes 3D rendering models into fully realized 3D images and environments. With such a solution, graphic designers can use contrasting details, such as objects and characters, and place them in an environment that seems graphically appropriate.

Then, a 3D rendered image becomes available for a user to scale it, navigate it, and interact with it. The features included in this 3D rendering software are texturing and lighting so that depth can be added to scenes making them as realistic as possible.

Visual industries such as architecture, entertainment, web design, and advertising always use 3D rendering software to create very lifelike scenes that clients, in turn, purchase and use to create new and various types of media.

Visualizing a story in your mind

In the planning stage of the whole 3D rendering process, visualizing a particular story, i.e., your future project in your mind, can save much precious time. Builders, marketers, architects, and other professionals always turn to 3D rendering for numerous reasons.

These reasons include evading investment in props, travel, photographers, furniture, etc., beforehand. A 3D render with the right 3D artist allows them to visualize the whole project in advance and before completion while also enabling modification on the go.

With a 3D render, conceptually planned first, you will never have to start over. Modification and iteration are always an option with 3D renders and can be done with much ease, fewer expenses, and much faster than, say, when it comes to digital photographs.

Conventional photographs require starting over when all you want to do is recapture a particular location from another perspective. Yet, with all the flexible options that 3D rendering offers, you will be able to complete this with just a few mouse clicks, especially if you’ve visualized it in your head a priori.


With the numerous vital points that we have tackled here today that make storytelling better and more realistic, we hope you better understand why 3D artists employ them. The right angles and the weather settings do impact the overall tone of a 3D render.

Adding contextual objects, working with the proper lighting, and visualizing it in your mind before the actual process starts can also really impact the overall quality of the final product. And finally, as we have already stated, nothing in nature is perfect and symmetrical.

For this reason, adding imperfections to your project can make the story more realistic rather than a project that has flaws. So naturally, every client will only be interested in 3D renderings that look realistic, rather than those which are computer-generated-like.