Tech Development – Is Real-Time Architectural Rendering Even Possible?
Tech Development – Is Real-Time Architectural Rendering Even Possible?

For decades, architects have used different forms of visualization to present their ideas to their clients and show them what the end result of their work will look like. They used sketches and hand drawings to help clients visualize their thoughts and ideas, but it was difficult to present them in the best light.

This is where technology played a huge part and enabled architects to showcase photorealistic 3D renderings of their visions and really bring them to life. They can use various pieces of software to visualize anything that they imagine so that their clients can see exactly what the finished project is going to look like.

Now, the world of architectural rendering has brought yet another innovation that takes rendering to a whole new level – real-time architectural rendering.

What Is Real-Time Architectural Rendering?

Real-time architectural rendering is pretty much what its name suggests: producing animations that are rendered in real time, or at least what seems like real time. It represents creating 3D architectural renderings and turning them into real-time animations in less than a second.

Real-time renderings are measured by the number of frames generated in a given second. Depending on your requirements, you would normally use from 24 fps (frames per second) to 60 fps to create an animation. However, real-time rendering technology enables you to reduce that time to milliseconds. That speed means that you could produce a rendering instantly and, as a result, see it in real time as an animation.

By rendering images in real time, you can create an interactive experience and completely eliminate the waiting process by removing the rendering phase from the pipeline.

However, you should have in mind that it takes great processing power to create real-time renderings. If your computer doesn’t have enough processing power, it will have difficulties with properly displaying everything in your designs.

Real-time architectural rendering is not exactly something new, as it has been used in video games for quite a long time. It is because of real-time rendering that 3D environments in video games can actually change to create an illusion of motion.

However, architects and designers didn’t use it until very recently, and it is gaining huge momentum with each coming day. You should definitely join the ride, so read on to find out the most important reasons why.

Why Use Real-Time Architectural Rendering?

Why should you bother with creating real-time animations of your designs when you can simply continue producing stunning 3D renderings that perfectly present all your ideas?

Static images, no matter how photorealistic they are, have certain limitations. While you can help your clients visualize what you have in mind for a particular project by providing them with static images, you cannot really help them see the full depth of your vision. They cannot see your entire design, because they only have access to a fixed point of view.

With real-time architectural rendering, your clients can “walk through” your model scene and really explore your whole design. They can take a look at all parts of your design from different angles, instead of looking from just one vantage point. They can even see differences in light and shadow, in colors and materials, and even how your design will look like at different times of the day.

Think of it like 360-degree renderings, or like interactive virtual tours that your clients can take to truly see your entire vision before it actually comes to life.

The second reason to use real-time architectural rendering has to do with relevance and competitive edge. If you evolve with the times, you will stay competitive and stand out from the crowd. You will delight your clients, who are used to seeing good old 3D visualizations that are, let’s face it, more than enough to visualize any idea.

But, that’s exactly the point. They are used to such visualizations that any good and experienced professional can create. Not everyone uses real-time architectural renderings these days, so you can have the upper hand. However, a lot of people are already trying it out.

According to the 2018 Architectural Visualization Rendering Engine Survey from CGarchitect, more than 20% of the 2000 designers and architects who participated in the survey said that they are using real-time rendering as part of their presentation workflows. Another 40% of the survey participants said that they are trying out real-time rendering.

Therefore, to gain that upper hand, you should definitely take the time to master real-time rendering, as you will be able to reach much greater heights.

Mastering the technology will also be much easier for you because you will save a lot of time and headache in the process. This is because you often need to consult with a client a bunch of times before the actual project can commence. That’s completely normal, as they need to be absolutely sure that your design is precisely what they want.

However, with real-time animations of your designs, you can eliminate that continuous back-and-forth feedback and significantly speed up both your workflow and your clients’ projects. Naturally, saving time will also save you a lot of money in the process.

To sum up, real-time architectural rendering can help you greatly optimize your workflow, saving both time and money by eliminating the waiting process, both related to rendering and your clients’ feedback. It can also help you delight your clients by providing them with the full depth of your vision and enabling them to explore your designs to their finest details.

Furthermore, using real-time rendering will set you apart from your competition and help you stay relevant in today’s fast-changing tech world. This technology will become a requisite in the world of architectural rendering before you even know it, so the sooner you embrace it, the sooner you will reap amazing benefits.