Understanding the Concept of 3D Rendering and its Role in Modern Design
Understanding the Concept of 3D Rendering and its Role in Modern Design

3D rendering has gone a long way from being confined to the gaming industry to one of the pillars of modern design. Today, 3D rendering powers the wheels of many verticals, ranging from architecture and interior design to gaming and marketing. It is the number one visualization tool that helps people communicate their ideas and take viewers on authentic and colorful adventures.

Nevertheless, for many people, especially those that are not familiar with it, the concept of 3D rendering remains a mystery. Well, today, we are here to shine some light on it. Below you can find everything you need to know about 3D rendering to understand its implications and role in modern design.

What exactly is 3D rendering?

3D rendering encompasses all the processes a computer uses to transform raw information into a 3D scene. The raw information refers to lighting, materials, and polygons. Thanks to specialized 3D rendering software, a computer can use this information to build 3D images. This leads us to the deliverables of 3D rendering, which are either a series of 3D images or a single image.

Suppose we take a look at the process of 3D creation. 3D rendering is the final step. 3D rendering also refers to rendering 3D animations. These are the series of 3D images put together and exported as a video file.

3D rendering can be a team effort or the effort of a single person. To complete a 3D render, a 3D rendering artist has to have a scene ready. When all the information about lighting, materials, and polygons is set, a specialized software computes the data to generate a 3D visual.

What software do we use to do it?

To generate fully-realized 3D images, we use what’s popularly called a 3D rendering tool or 3D rendering software. These tools come with various features that streamline building 3D models, and, more importantly, efficiently complete the 3D rendering process. Some of the 3D rendering tools are free. You should be aware that the majority of the best ones are paid, though.

There are hundreds of these tools on the market. However, not all tools are the same. They may differ in the number of available 3D creation and rendering features and complexity of settings. Most importantly, they come with different libraries. In some, you will find libraries stacked up with thousands of materials, models, and textures. Others have limited libraries.

Knowing the differences is very important as they can make or break a 3D rendering process. Less powerful tools make the process unnecessarily long and hard. Let’s quickly go through ones often used by established 3D rendering artists:

●        V-Ray - this is one of the best 3D rendering tools on the market. It comes with a very powerful library and all the features you’ll ever need to create stunning 3D visuals.

●        Blender - when it comes to reliable and free 3D rendering tools, nothing beats Blender. Its intuitive user interface and abundance of features make 3D rendering a walk in the park.

●        Maxwell - this 3D rendering tool has a great community that you can take to your advantage and learn how to use it in no time. It doesn’t lack in the features department despite being free.

If you want to learn more about what software we use to do it, you should read our previous article that addresses this topic in great detail.

What about hardware?

So far, you’ve probably learned that a computer is what powers a 3D rendering process. When it comes to hardware and 3D rendering, there are a few things that you should know.

First of all, you should know that there are two types of 3D rendering: GPU rendering, often referred to as “real-time rendering,” and CPU rendering. You need a processor to complete a 3D rendering task. And both CPU and GPU have it. However, they don’t deliver the same results.

GPU rendering is lightning-fast. It powers video games and allows users to experience 3D renders instantaneously. But it comes at a cost. GPUs are not able to efficiently render complex texture data and lighting algorithms.

This is where CPU rendering comes in. CPUs can run significantly more complex operations. It does make it more time to complete 3D rendering tasks then GPU, but it delivers more accurate renders. No matter how complex texture or lighting data is, the CPU can run calculations accurately.

This is why CPU renders look photorealistic, which can not be said for the GPU renders.

Lastly, a storage device plays a huge role, as well. Hard Disk Drive (HDD) is considered a legacy solution nowadays. Their performance is hindered due to some nuances in their original design. This is why their counterpart, Solid State Drive (SSD), is taking over. SSDs come with remarkable writing and read speeds, which takes the 3D rendering process to another level. Most of the top workstations use SSDs today.

Industries that use 3D Rendering

3D tech has revolutionized processes across verticals. Let’s quickly go through the industries that use 3D rendering in one way or another.

a) Architecture

A few decades ago, it was unimaginable to think that something else than pen and paper could be used during the design process. Thanks to 3D technology, the design process in architecture today seems nothing at all like its predecessor. However, 3D rendering didn’t become popular in architecture because of its beautiful and realistic deliverables.

Thanks to 3D technology, architecture models are now more accurate. Communicating about ideas with clients has never been easier, as well. It seems that architecture was the industry that benefited the most from 3D renderings and 3D technology overall.

b) Interior design

The case with interior design is pretty much similar to that of architecture. The 3D rendering is slowly but steadily pushing out the drawing board, paper, and pen. 3D technology simply makes the process more feasible in terms of production time and costs.

3D rendering deliverables in interior design take the presentation to a new level and make it easy to implement the changes a client agrees to. 3D interior renders can be stitched together to create a walk-through tour and deliver the eyes-on experience to investors and other clients.

c) Gaming

3D tech and gaming go hand in hand. Ever since the success of the first 3D game, Battlezone, in 1980, 3D tech is an inseparable part of the gaming industry. While GPU rendering is dominant in this sector, we can still see some photorealistic renders done in real-time. 3D rendering and gaming appear to overcome the boundaries together.

Such was the case with smartphones. 3D games are now available on mobile devices. Even specialized tools, such as Unity, streamline 3D rendering on these devices successfully utilizing their limited hardware power.

d) Real Estate

The real estate industry recognized opportunities created by technologies and decided to pursue them. Most of the use cases are towards selling or renting properties, though. Nevertheless, 3D rendering found its role in this vertical. 3D rendering deliverables became the number one marketing resource for real estate companies.

Information is vital in the home-buying and renting process. And what better way to convey the story but through the images - 3D rendered images. Thanks to 3D rendering, real estate listings have become more informative. Customers can now view realistic images of properties both from outside and inside.

e) Marketing

Finally, we arrive at marketing, one of the fastest-developing verticals at the moment. You can see 3D renders becoming a dominant ad content in both digital marketing and outdoor hoarding. The reasoning is simple. 3D renders are more realistic and contain more information than 2D drawings. There is one more important thing to consider.

The use cases of 3D rendering come with no limits. Once the scene is set, you can export 3D rendering in whatever format and size you want. Thanks to it, everything is possible. You can share 3D renderings on social media, use it in blog posts, or add it as a featured image in your paid ads.

How to distinguish good from bad rendering

As we’ve stated earlier 3D rendering is the final stage of 3D creation. The deliverable depends on the quality of the 3D scene (information about texture, materials, objects, and lighting) and 3D rendering settings. Not all 3D renders look the same. Some are better than others. How can you tell the difference?

First of all, a good render looks realistic. We’ve even used a term photorealistic. What does it mean? Everything ranging from textures and materials to objects and lighting should appear natural. You can see that it is a lousy rendering if there are odd proportions, artificial colors, and poor composition.

Details also play a vital role. In a good render, you will see a lot of details that can easily skip the eye of an inexperienced viewer. Details are what adds to realistic render. What falls into the “Details” category?  Details are everything running from materials and textures to lighting and shadows.

All these details should promote realism. The lack of any or poor choices will make the render look less like a real-world space.

At last but not the list, an excellent 3D rendering should tell a story - a story able to invoke emotions. When you take a look at a perfect 3D render, you should see and feel what it is about - comfort, relaxation, warmth, work-ethics, and so on.

How to hire a reliable 3D rendering artist

Whether you want to hire a 3D rendering artist for a long-term or only one project, you need to find a reliable one. Reliability means high-quality renders and deliverables submissions before the deadline. To do it, you need to use a top-notch 3D rendering artist platform such as Easy Render.

These platforms don’t let just anyone compete for client projects. Feel free to check their profiles and see their ratings. There is a lot you can learn by just spending one minute reading their client feedback and comments.

If your project is complex, you should also factor in a language barrier. Fortunately, Easy Render allows you to get in touch with 3D rendering artists from over 60 countries. Easy Render also delivers something vital to finding a reliable 3D rendering specialist - a 100% quality guarantee. Once you set the standards with the artist, you are allowed to skip a payment if the artist doesn’t deliver what was promised and when it was promised.

Lastly, you should take advantage of online portfolios to check the work of 3D rendering artists. The artists often have rich portfolios that put you in a unique position to see their deliverables. Each artist has a unique approach to 3D rendering. You should dive into the details to see whether the artist has done something similar to what you need.

The most important thing is to assess the needs of your project. When you know what you need, you will know what to look for in a 3D rendering specialist.


Hopefully, this article helped you understand the concept of 3D rendering. As you can see, 3D rendering is so much more than it was when it began some 40 years ago. Its impact on modern design is enormous. 3D rendering is used across all industries that rely upon powerful visuals.

3D renderings are powered by specific hardware and software. While these two play essential roles in 3D rendering, 3D rendering artists are people behind the wheel of 3D rendering. It is why you need to pay special attention when looking to hire a reliable freelancer for your project.