Rendering Software

10 Best SketchUp Tutorials, Resources, and Courses You Can Find Online

Whether you’re a SketchUp beginner or you’re looking to brush up your skills, there are a plethora of excellent resources to help you out. Here are the best tutorials, resources, and courses to help you become a SketchUp pro.

SketchUp is one of the best tools you can use to breathe life into your drawings and get a more realistic view of how your projects will actually look like once you bring them to life. It’s a computer program that turns your drawings into 3D models and allows you to look at them from literally every angle.

This is very beneficial for anyone engaged with 3D design. The program has a wide array of applications, such as architectural design, interior design, video game design, civil and mechanical engineering, and much more.

Whether you’re a complete SketchUp beginner or you already know its ins and outs but want to improve your skills, here are the top 10 websites for tutorials, resources, and courses you should check out.

Official SketchUp Site

Obviously, the best place to find excellent resources is the official SketchUp site. Not only does it have a blog with regular, relevant content, but it also features a SketchUp Community forum where you can learn from experts and get all your burning questions answered.

There’s also a section where you can find various SketchUp trainers, that is, many other sites filled with outstanding resources, tutorials, and online training options.

Yet another excellent section on the website is the SketchUp Campus, where the fundamentals are comprehensively explained in great detail.

While exploring this site, be sure also to check out the official SketchUp YouTube channel, as it has plenty of videos that you can use.

SketchUp School

SketchUp School is among the resources that you can find on the official website. It’s a video course library where you can find tutorials for professionals.

The topics are diverse, and there’s a lot of complex stuff, so skip this site if you’re still a rookie. It isn’t free, so paying for the membership would be an overkill if you still have a lot to learn.

Nevertheless, it’s an extremely good online resource with a huge collection of advanced classes designed specifically for pros. Definitely get back to it once you’ve mastered your SketchUp skills.

SketchUp Artists

SketchUp Artists is another excellent resource for professionals. There’s a very useful Tips & Tricks section, where you can learn how to enhance your images with post-processing by using SketchUp in combination with various other graphics editors, such as Photoshop.

Here you’ll also find SketchUp modeling tutorials, both intermediate and advanced, together with the latest animation, modeling, and rendering packages that you can use.

There are also Styles and Techniques sections to help you further improve your skills, as well as various SketchUp styles available for download.

Furthermore, a huge knowledge base of tutorials is available as well, where you can learn how to use SketchUp with a plethora of rendering software solutions, such as Blender, V-Ray, Maxwell, and 3ds Max.

And as if all this wasn’t enough, SketchUp Artists created a section of a huge selection of other valuable resources you can find online.

SketchUcation

SketchUcation is a community and resource center for SketchUp professionals where you can find hundreds of different models, styles, and materials, and gain access to 800 SketchUp extensions.

It has a community of 500000 users, with whom you can interact on the site’s forum anytime you want. It features tutorials for beginners, intermediate users, and advanced users, which literally makes it perfect for everyone.

This website also comes with SketchUp training. You can choose from hybrid, corporate, and intensive online training, depending on your learning style and needs. Authorized and specialized training courses are available, both of which provide you with a certificate once you complete your desired course.

If you would like to dig much deeper into using SketchUp, SketchUcation can also provide you with very affordable beginner and intermediate books.

The SketchUp Essentials

The SketchUp Essentials is also where you can get excellent tips and tricks for using SketchUp, but also where you can get high-quality training. The online course isn’t available at all times, but you can subscribe for updates and be the first to know as soon as it opens for registration.

There are plenty of tutorials to check out, including for plugins, extensions, and speed modeling. This site is designed for rookies, so you can learn only the essentials for using the program, just like it’s stated in the name. Here you’ll also find books, forums, and downloads.

MasterSketchUp

MasterSketchUp is a great resource for beginners. It features a lot of tutorials, both in written and video format, as well as extensions, books, downloads, and forums.

If you visit this site, you’ll find that a lot of resources are featured from other sites, including all of the aforementioned ones. Nonetheless, it’s useful to have them all in one place for easy access. Of course, there are original tips and tricks to explore and let’s not forget the books and downloads.

SketchUpTrainer.com

SketchUpTrainer.com is one of the best sources for SketchUp training. You can sign up for live training, online training, corporate training, and even private one-on-one SketchUp training.

If you want to learn at your own pace, you can dig into an extensive tutorial library that features more than 12 hours of remarkable content, as well as working files and feedback.

However, you can access the entire library only with the SketchUp Membership, but you can try it for free with limited access.

SketchUp tutorials by Daniel Tal

SketchUp tutorials by Daniel Tal is another site you don’t want to miss if you’re already on your way to becoming a pro. It’s not free, but it’s worth every dime. Don’t worry! There’s a free trial to see if it works for you.

Daniel Tal is a 3D specialist who has published several books and developed excellent methods that he shares in all his tutorials.

The video course library for mastering SketchUp modeling is available with a paid membership, which also includes the introduction to SketchUp extensions, thousands of working 3D models, cheat sheets for basics and functions, eBooks, tips and tricks, articles, and the latest industry news.

SketchUp Courses on LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com) also has great SketchUp training and tutorials to explore. You can engage in various online courses, or dig deep into the tutorials to learn at your own pace.

Whichever the case, you’ll learn both the basics of the program and advanced techniques for architectural, civil, and mechanical engineering and video game design. There are also tutorials for using SketchUp with other rendering software solutions, such as V-Ray.

Udemy SketchUp Courses

Udemy is the largest online learning platform in the world, with over 100000 courses, so you should definitely check it out for some courses for mastering SketchUp.

There are over 100 Udemy SketchUp courses to get you started, and there’s even an app for learning on the go. If you want to learn from industry experts, Udemy is definitely the place to be.

These 10 websites will put you on the right track to mastering your SketchUp skills and joining the world of experts. They will open up a whole new perspective on 3D design and help you create wonderful projects that will absolutely delight your clients.

Lumion 10 and Realistic Architectural 3D Rendering

Lumion 10 is the latest addition to Lumion’s software family, but what new features does it boast? Learn all about its unique capabilities here.

What is Lumion?

Lumion is a 3D rendering software that boasts of bringing life into 3D models that realize themselves through the computing power of modern machines. 3D rendering is a remarkable feat for any architecture, and Lumion’s grand story additionally enriches it.

Lumion is a 3D rendering software provider that originated from Denmark in the late 1990s. While its initial product was named the Act-3D, Lumion can be considered an accumulative successor to this program.

3D rendering as a form of technology was in its infancy, for most of this era, due to the lack of sheer computing power needed to construct such vast landscapes and fully rendered 3D designs.

The next stepping stone after the Act-3D was the Quest 3D. The Quest 3D was an insanely powerful tool and has been considered one of the essential tools in the 3D rendering and architecture industry. It was revolutionary for the time, yet is outdated today by its final successor, Lumion.

Lumion is the technological and spiritual successor to both Act-3D and Quest 3D. It is a popular 3D rendering software that has unmatched technical capabilities and boasts to liven up designs. If you were not paying real close attention to the image, you would have thought it was real.

What is 3D rendering?

3D rendering is an essential process that every modern architect must partake in to survive in this competitive business. Long gone are the days of endless stacks of papers and imagination; now everything is eligible to be represented visually.

The representation is like that through the aforementioned 3D rendering technology. 3D rendering is the computer graphic process that converts 2D pictures into fully rendered 3D models. It has enormous purposes in the planning and presentation department.

You’re far more likely to get your projects approved if you have them fully rendered alongside a technical drawing. While the drawing board may have changed in its essence, the technology that drives this creativity has followed suit.

Since computers are getting more and more powerful with time, the capabilities of 3D rendering software have grown. Rendering a 3D image in 2D has also been a remarkable feat that takes far less computing power to accomplish.

But when the scale of operation is a fully visible, interactable, and observable 3D model, the software requirements are right there with the hardware requirements - sky high.

Real-time rendering is a nightmare in the computer requirement department. Still, with the fast-paced evolution of graphics hardware and software, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes the bare minimum.

Polygon based rendering is the first form of this technology, and it still has some use today. It is used to represent an object through polygons, making for a decent looking, lifelike appearance. The problem is the technology is relatively limited in its design, so it seems far less implementation.

Polygons’ successor, photorealistic rendering, is an extensive and impressive form of rendering which can render 2D and 3D images gorgeously. It provides for a beautiful result, yet it is very dependant on the computing power output of the PC in question.

The merger of polygon rendering and real-time has been speculated for quite some time. It has seen some implementation in part. Yet, this does not change the fact that polygons are a pretty primitive design feature. The merger of photorealistic rendering and real-time is due to occur soon, as soon as commercial technology allows it.

Why is 3D Rendering Significant to Architects and Designers?

3D rendering is an integral tool that has some impeccable uses for both designers and architects. This technology allows people to create something in a virtual 3D environment entirely.

With the rise of AI and AR technology, 3D rendering is well on its way to becoming an unavoidable part of any architect’s day job.

Some of the benefits that architects can reap from using 3D rendering are:

● Better Visual Representation

● Faster Approval

● Improved Time-Efficiency

● AR Integration

● AI and CAD Assistance

3D rendering is both the present and future of the architecture business - and only seems to show improvement over time.

What are The New Lumion 10 Features and Capabilities?

Lumion is a highly-detailed 3D rendering application, and it allows architects to create vast, realistic landscapes program itself. While serving an essential role in the 3D rendering and architecture industry, the question still stands.

“Is Lumion the latest and greatest that the industry has to offer?”

The short answer to this question is yes. With the latest addition to Lumion’s software family, Lumion 10 has numerous different features that help it stand out among the competition, and give it the title as one of the best 3D rendering tools on the market. Some of the new features are:

High-quality preview. The high-quality preview feature allows the architect to observe their work in full, end-level detail without putting a strain on the creative process.

Fine-Detail Nature. The biggest issue with the 3D rendered landscapes are fake-looking nature, and nature has proven itself to be a tough nut to crack. Lumion 10 makes the process quick and easy.

Improved Displacement mapping. Displacement mapping allows the user to fully experience the material composition of a 3D rendered landscape or building. It allows for finer details and is crucial for an excellent 3D rendering tool.

Realistic Skylines, Aurora Borealis, More Heightmaps. These are all features that accompany the existing ones to produce the highest quality and most realistic landscapes and designs.

More Materials, Textures, and Objects. The list keeps growing with every single Lumion version!

AI Artist Styles. The AI Artist Styles option, allows the user to create a pleasing, artistic presentation of a building or landscape through the program’s powerful AI capabilities.

Customization Options. Perhaps the most significant addition to the new Lumion, the customization options on this are just breathtaking. Everything is up for improvement, and it’s left in your hands.

What Does the Future Hold for Lumion and 3D Rendering?

Lumion is a fun software and an essential tool for both designers and architects. It has released numerous different refinements and features across all of its versions and only seems to be getting better with time.

As computing power grows, so do the capabilities of Lumion. Lumion is going to release its next version when the computing power reaches the sheer capability to sustain such a program. It's only up to our imagination to think up the hyperrealistic capabilities the new Lumion might offer in the future.

With 3D renderings future in question, the answer is far more straightforward. Real-time 3D rendering is already seeing implementation within architects' daily routines, and while still having a long way to go, it provides a valuable service.

Another thing that 3D rendering is going to incorporate into its operational arsenal is full, hyperrealistic AR implementation. Augmented Reality has seen some implementation within the architecture industry, but still has a long way to go before going live and commercial.

The fusion of these two technologies is going to change the way we look at architecture, design, and beauty - and that's a given.

7 Software Solutions That Can Help Architects Avoid Losing Time

The trick with being an architect isn't to work hard but to work smart. With that in mind, here are some excellent software solutions to make your workflow more efficient to avoid losing time.

Architects have a lot on their minds when it comes to running their business. Just like any other business, there's paperwork, administration, and other things to worry about.

These administration chores, such as marketing, document and office management, insurance, employee payroll, technology, paying bills, invoicing clients, completing projects, and finding new ones, going through all the emails, and so on, can be extremely time-consuming.

So, what can an architect do to avoid losing time?

The answer is rather simple - use software tools and solutions to not only improve productivity but save money and, most importantly, time. It's essential for architects to fully focus on the project and not waste time on trivial things.

That's why we have gathered these time-efficient software solutions that help architects save time while remaining effective and organized. No more wasting time with administrative responsibilities, let technology work for you and with you rather than against you.

1. Document Management

Since architects are required to handle a lot of paperwork like sketches, photos, invoices, blueprints, plans, and other files, they need an efficient solution to manage all those documents. Fortunately, technology has an answer - an online cloud software solution for document management.

It's exciting, new, and trendy, and everyone is using it. Additionally, it allows architects to get rid of the paperwork while working on multiple projects at the same time.

Time greatly matters in architecture, and it's more productive to be spending it doing something useful rather than going through all the documents and paperwork or risking losing a project because you've been working with the incorrect version of a document.

With online cloud software for document management, you can easily share and store valuable and accurate data with all others who are working with you on a project.

More importantly, this time-efficient software tool allows you and your team to access all relevant files with a computer, tablet, or smartphone anytime, anywhere. The most recommended software tools for document management are Dropbox and Google Drive.

2. Invoice Administration

Online accounting and invoicing are essential for modern architects. Well, online accounting and invoicing in the cloud sounds like an excellent solution to save time while improving efficiency.

Invoicing solutions like Blinksale, Invoicera, or Freshbooks allow architects to set up their administration in an effortless and well-structured way.

What makes these software solutions so useful is the fact that they are easily integrated into many payment methods. Aside from helping save time, you can make your business look more organized and professional at the most affordable prices.

On top of all that, these are online software solutions that allow you to access any essential information anywhere, anytime. Time-saving and convenience as well as productivity, all in one place.

3. Employee Time Tracking

By making a small investment in easy and simple software tools like GetHarvest or Hubstaff, you can keep track of how productive your employees are during working hours. There are smartphone apps that allow you to do the same, regardless of what working platform your employees are using. Whether they're on the job site or in the office, you can track and clock in employees easily.

These software tools have great features that show the exact project your employees have been working on. That way, you can save money by eliminating any tasks that waste time and make the entire workflow more efficient.

Forget about archaic methods like paper timesheets and enjoy the utmost level of ease of use and efficiency as well as other benefits that modern timesaving software tools have to offer.

4. CRM and Client Portfolios

Almost every architect has faced the situation of being overwhelmed with work, having several projects running at the same time. In fact, if you want to remain competitive in the modern architecture business landscape, you have to be able to work on more than just one project.

There's an excellent way to manage projects and clients - Highrise HQ. This software tool allows you to save and organize chat transcripts, SMS, and email conversations, as well as notes from up to thousands of clients.

It also allows you to keep your entire team updated with ongoing information regarding the projects you work on. Highrise HQ helps increase business productivity and you can integrate it in an ongoing project with ease.

Keep customer relationship management, help desk solutions, client chats, marketing, sales and reporting all in one place with this timesaving tech software. What really makes this software stand out from other similar software solutions is that it's integrated with over a hundred plug-ins that you can use to make your workflow much more efficient.

Access any piece of necessary information with only a few clicks and manage your client relationship as well as multiple projects with ease.

5. Project Management

Project management is perhaps the most important element of an architect's workflow. To make sure you're doing it the right way, the most efficient software solutions like TeamworkPM and Basecamp can help. These powerful web-based tools allow you to make project management so much easier.

They provide excellent collaboration features that allow your entire team to keep all relevant information in one place while working on multiple projects. Most multinational architect companies use this software tool as they find its main benefit, the ease of project management, to be very useful.

More importantly, with all vital project data in one always accessible and safe place, architects can easily go through multiple documents regarding projects within mere seconds.

Calendars, time tracking, chat, messages, file sharing, to-do lists, these are just some of the most outstanding features that this amazing timesaving software tool has to offer. Time is money, and saving time means saving money.

6. Website Services

It's impossible to run a business with success without a website. That means that every architect needs a professional-looking and responsive website to promote their services and attract new clients.

Software tools like Weebly, Plebu, Wix, or Webs are easy to use, and they don't require any coding knowledge.

Most modern consumers are mobile and online and they will use the internet to search for businesses and products they need and want. Having a top-notch website is, therefore, the best way to grab their attention and acquire new projects. Organize your website at the most affordable prices and save time by letting your work come to you instead of you looking for it.

7. Creating Site Reports

The ultimate software solution to make you more efficient is right in front of you and it's called ArchiSnapper. It's an online software timesaving tool for architects that allows you to create an online account in mere minutes and eliminate the need to bother with tedious administration duties for good.

Integrate all relevant project data with the software tool and use it on your tablet or smartphone. You can send instant site reports to your clients which is exceptionally timesaving. No more wasting time writing things down. Produce professional and well-organized reports and save time while keeping all vital data safe in the cloud.

On top of all this, this software solution makes all necessary data shareable and accessible to your team anytime. Take your project management to a whole new level with this fantastic software tool that will allow you to make the most of the time you have on your hands.

Conclusion

Running a complex business like an architectural company is all about time, resources, and organization. These factors can make or break your business.

If you prove to your clients that you can manage multiple projects and client relationships simultaneously, you have much bigger chances to get ahead of the competition curve and turn your business into a prosperous company that sets standards for the rest.

Get ahead of your industry with the most powerful software solutions that allow you to enhance and upgrade every aspect of your workflow. Setting up your administration is vital to your business.

There is the power of automation to count on. Stop wasting time looking for double-data entities, documents, and fixing mistakes, dealing with incorrect information, and start dealing with tasks that can guarantee results.

Then, there's also an aspect of being passionate about what you do. If you have to constantly worry about organization, documents, and other things, you won't be able to focus on what matters the most and mistakes and errors will happen.

Avoid all these unnecessary risks and let the passion drive you. Increase your efficiency and improve productivity by saving time and focusing on the most important aspects of your business. That's the only way to become successful. Remember, wasting time is wasting money.

9 Best Software Solutions for Sketchup Renders

Sketchup is one of the best modeling applications for 3D modeling, but it can feel a bit lacking when it comes to rendering. Check out these rendering plugins and reach the level of quality you’re aiming for.

Sketchup is an amazingly popular 3D modeling application that has a wide application with designers of all types and creeds. It’s easy to learn, and users can add to its functionalities by installing plugins specialized for specific purposes.

We’re here to do an overview of the most popular rendering tools for Sketchup. Handling that aspect of a 3D design isn’t something that Sketchup handles well on its own.

We’re going to go through some of the most popular options but also a few more obscure ones. Our goal is to provide users with diverse options, as not all of them will be getting these plugins with the same goals in mind. There are also some considerable differences in pricing, and we aimed to provide options for everyone’s budget - from free to “Well, that’s a lot of money” options.

1. V-Ray - The Classic

V-Ray is one of the legendary software solutions that most designers know about, but did you know that V-Ray is compatible with Sketchup?

This software has a user-friendly plugin that works seamlessly with Sketchup and is easy to set up. If photorealistic rendering is the goal you are moving towards, then V-Ray is the right plugin for you.

It brings a fantastic material editor and a plethora of other useful tools to expand the capabilities of Sketchup. On top of that, it is quite affordable as it will cost only a newsletter subscription.

All in all, an excellent way to expand Sketchup’s rendering capabilities and add some more functionalities.

2. Brighter 3D - Small but strong

The selling point of Brighter 3D is that they offer a simple rendering plugin that packs a punch. What does this mean?

Well, Brighter3D may seem simple, but it has some serious rendering power and can easily handle even the most complex rendering tasks. It also offers a way to get quick previews with its preview tool. This preview tool gives you an image of your work within a couple of seconds.

Brighter 3D uses unbiased rendering technology which means that everything will run fast and easy.

3. SU Podium - Professionalism and support

While SU Podium isn’t one of the most famous plugins for Sketchup but this doesn’t mean that it can’t perform at a high level.  

One of the most significant advantages SU Podium has is its support community. You can find tutorials and will help you adapt to the new plugin fast. This is very important, as getting used to the new interface and figuring out how a new plugin functions can take away so much of a user’s time that a lot of people just stick with what they know.

This plugin produces renderings and visualizations that are more than a match for the current architectural standards. It also has a fantastic interface that is as efficient as the one provided by Sketchup, so this is a match made in heaven.

4. Maxwell - Another legendary plugin

If you are searching for a rendering plugin that has proved it’s reliable and stable over a long period, then Maxwell is a good option.

Thanks to the development team behind this plugin, Maxwell has managed to stay competitive for almost as long as V-Ray and demonstrate similar, if not superior, capabilities.

Maxwell developers realized the potential of Sketchup early on and decided to develop a plugin specifically for this software. The result is a plugin that works perfectly and gives Sketchup robust capabilities when it comes to rendering.

5. Indigo Renderer - Photorealism and lighting

Another lesser-known rendering plugin for Sketchup which expands its capabilities is Indigo Renderer.

This plugin produces some of the best photorealistic renderings out there and can easily be compared to most household names when it comes to rendering quality it achieves.

Indigo Renderer has a high-speed rendering algorithm and is features one of the most advanced physics-based lighting modulators ever developed. Your images and animations are going to look stunning.

It integrates perfectly with Sketchup so you can work without any distractions, crashes or errors - basically a perfect plugin.

6. LumenRT - Topographically capable

If you are having issues with Sketchup’s capabilities to deal with topography, then you might want to check out LumenRT.

LumenRT adds an amazing toolset to the ones that you already have, and this rectifies one of Sketchup's most prominent shortcomings. It is powerful enough to produce high-quality animations as well as images with an added option of quickly importing 3D models from Sketchup to Lumen.

All in all, if you are a landscape architect who’s looking to improve the capabilities Sketchup has to handle these kinds of projects, LumenRT is a great choice.

7. Twilight Render - Free and great for practicing

So far, we’ve talked about plugins that are intended for professional users. Most of them will cost you a decent amount, but what if you want to learn to render and want to do it without spending too much?

Enter Twilight Render!

This is by no means a rendering plugin on par with V-Ray and Maxwell, but it’s free, relatively simple to use and has decent capabilities. Your images will look decent, and their library is filled with decent materials. It is well integrated and is reliable.

This plugin is a great first rendering experience for people who want to enter the industry. So, give it a shot if you want to hone your skills without wasting money on professional rendering solutions.

8. Visualize - Lightweight and free

This is another tool that is designed for beginners. Visualizer is a rendering plugin that is completely free and easy to use.

The visualizations you’ll get with Visualize aren’t going to be top-notch, but we didn’t go for this one with that level of quality, to begin with. It is a nifty little plugin that expands Sketchup’s capabilities significantly and provides the user with an easy to use interface.

If you are looking for a cheap way to hone your rendering and design skills, Visualize is a great option.

9. Caravaggio - Powerful with a great trial period

This is a lightweight plugin that focuses on providing the user with a simple and easy to use interface, but this doesn’t mean it lacks the capabilities to produce good results.

The plugin has immensely powerful material and lighting editors but is primarily designed to be used through Sketchup. It produces solid results and can be used to set up your render up to the finest details.

One of the big advantages of this plugin is that it has a 200 renderings free trial so you have a lot of time to test it before you commit to a purchase.

These are by no means the only rendering plugins that will work with Sketchup - this is just a list of the ones that we found most interesting.

Didn’t you find the plugin you were looking for? Well, leave a comment, we love hearing about software that works well from the shadows! What other plugins, not explicitly focused on rendering, do you use regularly, and why?

Sketchup is a very flexible platform, and with the right plugins, it can turn into a fantastic tool capable of handling even the most demanding 3D design tasks.

Why Unity Is so Popular as a 3D Rendering Solution

Unity is the most popular game engine, but what is it about it that makes it so appealing to indie developers and triple-A companies alike? Read on to find out.

If you’re into video games, whether that’s into playing them or developing them, you’ve undoubtedly at least heard of Unity.

It’s by far the world’s most popular game engine. It powers more than half of all mobile games, and it’s overtaking most consoles and computers.

But what exactly makes Unity so popular? Why is it the number 1 choice for most developers? Well, let’s see what Unity is, and which features make it stand out, and the answer should be crystal clear.

What Is Unity?

In short, Unity is a powerful framework for building both 2D and 3D games. It was founded in 2004 with the aim of making game development accessible to anyone with interest in it.

It truly gained popularity around 2010, since the competition wasn’t the strongest, and Unity was accessible both to indie developers and large companies.

You’ll see many triple-A companies still using this amazing game engine, including Microsoft, Square Enix, Paradox, and many more.

Because of its versatility, flexibility, high-end features, and overall ease of use, Unity has been ruling the game development world for over a decade.

Let’s take a look at some of its best features, and you can find out whether this game engine is the right choice for you.

User-Friendly Interface

When you’re in the process of searching for the right 3D rendering solution, ease of use if probably the first, most important factor you consider. Of course, there’s always going to be a learning curve whenever you start using a new piece of software, but the simpler the interface, the better.

Well, Unity is at the top of its game here. It has an intuitive, user-friendly interface that makes this 3D rendering solution easy to master.

This is the primary reason why it’s so appealing to indie developers and newcomers.

However, just because it’s simple to use doesn’t mean it’s created only for those who are just starting out with game development. As mentioned, Unity’s a preferred choice for many large companies as well. This 3D rendering solution can cater to all needs.

C# for Scripting

Another reason why Unity is so easy for newcomers to understand and use is that it uses high-level programming language known as C#.

C# is somewhat similar to C++ but much simpler to use. It’s based on the .NET framework, and you’ll have access to an abundance of useful features that will keep your code clean and concise.

Even if you’re a complete programming beginner, you’ll likely find it easy to get around developing games in Unity with C#. You have access to many tutorials that explain how everything works, and the community tends to be very friendly. Even if you get stuck, you’ll easily find someone to help you out.

Unity Works with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux  

One of the main reasons why developers go for Unity is because it’s fully compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. Most game engines require you to have at least Windows 7 64-bit, but Unity can work on Windows XP as well, and you’ll be able to develop games on any device you have.

When Unity is installed on Windows or Mac, it automatically installs Visual Studio which is set as the External Script Editor by default. Visual Studio will be used as the default editor for all script files, but you can change that in the “Preferences” as needed.

For Mac OS and Linux, you’ll need to install the scripting backend Mono to use Visual Studio Code for C# code editing.

It Supports Different Platforms

One of the best things about Unity is that it supports a multitude of platforms, 23 of them at the moment to be exact. This means that once you’ve built your game, you can essentially deploy it about anywhere.

Primarily, Unity is renowned as the world's top choice game design platform. Once you've created the game, you can deploy it on Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and even Tizen with a single click.

VR is the next best thing in the gaming industry, and by the end of the year, VR video gaming revenues are expected to reach $15.1 billion. If you want in on this, you can easily use Unity for developing both VR and AR games.

Desktop games can be developed for Windows, Mac, and Linux, the engine supports PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Nintendo 3DS gaming consoles, and you can use a plugin to develop web-based games.

With so many options, it’s truly no wonder that Unity is the most popular game engine.

The Graphics Are Out of This World

Whether you’re developing a 2D or 3D game with Unity, you can rest assured that the graphics will be astonishing. If we’re being honest, we all know that today, many gamers give more value to the graphics than anything else. So, if you want your game to sell, you need to ensure that it looks perfect.

This is what Unity allows you to do. You can create realistic animations and architectural visualizations when rendering in 2D and 3D. The engine has great features such as collision detection, allowing you to create a highly interactive game.

Using this 3D rendering solution, you can create realistic scenes and set the atmosphere perfectly with unified lighting. The smart camera system allows you to compose astounding shots regardless of whether it’s a 1st person shooter or a 3rd person adventure game you’re developing.

3D Rendering Natural Movement

To create natural movement in 3D, speed is of utmost importance. The rendering speed has to be at least 24 frames per second so that the human eye can perceive it as natural movement. Achieving photorealistic, natural movement is a fairly difficult process that requires a lot of sophisticated calculations, but Unity offers you simple parameters that you can understand and use to create fluid movements.

And this isn’t just about the 3D rendered game characters and the nearby objects. If you want the whole scene to be captivating and realistic, you need to ensure every aspect of it is perfect. Unity has an interesting feature known as Wind Zones, for example, which allows you to create natural patterns of movement among trees. You can easily play around and experiment until you achieve a perfect 3D render of natural movements.

Unity Allows You to Do Live Edits

Among the best features of Unity is that it allows you to do live edits. Ne you’ve made some progress with the game, it might seem that it all looks perfect, but you’ll never really know until you test it all out.

Video games are a very complex system, and you cannot predict how that system will behave until you get a chance to see it in action. If there’s a glitch or a problem, it tends to get difficult to dig out the cause and fix it. This is why Unity allows you to make edits in real-time.

When you run the game in the IDE, you’ll get a structural overview of the game asset changes as you play. You can make in-game edits and changes as you see fit.

Toolbox Without Limits

When you get this 3D rendering solution, you receive countless tools at your disposal, you get Event triggers, Audio, Physics, Lighting, Animation, etc. The standard package offers you a wide variety of tools, and if this doesn’t seem adequate enough for the game you’re developing, you can go to the asset store to find additional plugins, pieces of code, animations, and more.

What’s interesting here is that while some of the tools are created by Unity, most of them are actually created by the community. You can find some truly interesting and unique tools, and use the asset store to even sell or share your own creations.

Unity Takes Things to the Cloud

Cloud technology is here to stay, and Unity has found great use of it. It integrates cloud storage solutions that allow you to share, sync, and save your projects. This is excellent for collaborative projects that require you to work closely together with your teammates. You can work more efficiently, and collaboration is made easier.

By relying on Unity Cloud Diagnostics, you can gather valuable feedback from your end users once you’ve deployed the game. By collecting and identifying performance data and user feedback, you can respond in real-time and keep your end-users satisfied.

Pricing

As mentioned, Unity is an attractive choice for many indie developers and newcomers. One of the reasons for this might just be their pricing policy.

If you’re just getting into game development and 3D rendering for fun, or have annual revenue of up to $100,000, you have access to some of Unity’s basic features for free.

If you have a revenue of up to $200,000, you can sign up for their Plus Plan. It comes to $25 a month with an annual subscription, and you get additional features, can create a Custom Splash screen, and have certain discounts at the assets store.

You can get the Pro Plan for $125 a month, and receive access to all of Unity’s features.

Conclusion

Unity was created to make life easier for all game developers, big and small, and all of its amazing features and functions make it perfectly clear why this game engine is so popular around the world.

Architectural Visualization Tools, Software and Best Practices for 2019

The rapid development of architectural visualization is promoted by the newest tools, software, and best practices. Since these tend to change a lot, it is hard to stay tuned to what is best. This is why we give you the best tools, software, and practices in architectural visualization for 2019.

Over the past years, a lot has changed in the world of architecture - tools become more sophisticated and accurate, some of the practices became obsolete, new, more demanding clients entered the market, and so on. Architectural visualization, though, continues to be one of the hottest trends in this field. But it is, as other practices, susceptible to changes because it leans on software solutions on the one hand and the best practices on the other.

If you don't have the time to stay on top of what's new and what's best in architectural visualization, we got you covered. We did extensive research and found out that the following software and best practices are going to rock the world of architects that use visualization to pitch projects and make clients happy.

Best Software For Architects

Did you know that there is even rendering software older that Win 3.xx? Architects may like or dislike using it, but working on modern projects without appropriate software tools is impossible. Here are a few of the best architectural visualization and rendering tools.

Maxwell

Maxwell is one of the best tools in the business. Beside the complex functionality and a plethora of features, what made this tool very popular is the fact that it is free to distribute and use. It provides incredible opportunities to both experienced and novice architects. The user interface is really beautiful and intuitive. Also, the Maxwell community is pretty large and surprisingly supportive. Which encourages beginners to start using this tool.

Maxwell is a standard tool students use on countless universities because it is simple to use while incorporating advanced rendering tools. The only downside is rendering optimization, so expect to have longer waiting times with this tool. Nevertheless, Maxwell will remain one of the most used tools in 2019.

Blender

Blender is another free to use and distribute software. Many would argue that free architectural visualization and rendering tools are pretty much useless, but Blender is living proof of the contrary. It features very powerful rendering tools making designing skyscrapers, bridges, and houses a walk in the park.

Unlike Maxwell, Blender will require you to spend more time mastering its functionalities. There are a lot of guides and tutorials out there, and the community is always standing by to lend a helping hand to anyone who hits a wall.

Autodesk Revit

Autodesk Revit is another tool that we are going to see in architects’ toolboxes in 2019 and beyond. This is one of the most powerful software tools an architect can get their hands on. It streamlines the workflow by introducing prebuilt models and textures that are ready to use. Autodesk Revit also comes with a number of advanced rendering capabilities to help you make breathtaking architectural visualizations.

Unlike Blender and Maxwell, you will have to purchase a license to use this tool. Their customer support is one of the best in the industry and the community behind Revit is huge. There are more than enough free learning materials to get by.

Lumion 3D

With the increasing number of outsourced architectural projects and remote workers, the need for a tool that can keep everyone and everything under one roof become real. Lumion 3D is here to help managers in the word of architecture stay on top of all projects because Lumion 3D is compatible with all other 3D rendering tools.

Lumion 3D doesn’t have a steep learning curve. Its intuitive and simple user interface, advanced rendering options, and fast rendering will turn working into a joy. Professionals will have to buy a license to use Lumion 3D. On the other hand, it is completely free for students.

Octane Render

We can not go on talking about tools used in architectural visualization without mentioning Octane Render. This software tool is one of the most powerful and popular tools used in the industry. It comes with everything other tools have - awesome interface and different rendering tools. But unlike any other tool, Octane Render has its own amazing rendering engine to make those visualizations look and feel outstanding.

Besides the impeccable functionality and a library of prebuilt materials and textures, this tool is optimized to use hardware resources to the fullest. This is why rendering times are significantly shorter than in other tools. Both professionals and students alike will continue to use this tool in 2019.

Punch Home Design Studio

Punch Home Design Studio features incredible architectural visualization tools. On the other hand, it is designed with ease of use in mind, allowing even the less experienced to hop on and get the job done. Home Design Studio is an excellent option to start learning architectural visualization and rendering. When we take into consideration this tool’s capabilities and its price, it is safe to say that Home Design Studio will remain one of the commonly used tools in 2019.

The only downside of using this software is hidden in its name. You can only use it to do amazing room visualizations, landscape, and home renders. But for architects who focus only on this niche, this tool packs more than enough to get projects done.

Architectural Visualization - Best Practices

With more and more architects entering the market, and clients becoming more demanding than ever, staying on top of the best practices has never been more important than today. A slightly better presentation done by your competitors can turn your clients away from you. Here is how to make sure that this doesn’t happen and that your projects see the light of the day.

Render For A Natural Viewpoint

Creating beautiful architectural visualizations that incorporate everything required by the project can do nothing if clients can't relate to them. There is a simple trick to make it easier for the clients to experience your designs better - render for a natural viewpoint. This doesn’t mean that you cannot include renders to show off the lighting and overall design. But make sure that the first person view actually respects the laws of a natural viewpoint.

The More Details The Better

Architectural visualizations have gone far away from showcasing only the building’s exterior and interior design stripped of all the details. All visualization and rendering tools we listed above support bringing more details into the designs. If you want to stay relevant in 2019, make sure to incorporate materials, textures, lighting, furniture, plants, appliances, and other relevant things into your designs. Your competition is already doing it.

Panoramic VIews Are the Flavor of The Year

You have to acknowledge the fact that clients want more! This is why you should create a detailed architectural visualization of the panoramic view. This can help clients relate to your design even more and see how the building will look like in the urban landscape. While this may appear more like visual art than an architectural project, it will help you wow your clients and make sure that your project gets a green light.

Incorporate Neighborhood In Architectural Visualisation

While panoramic views provide a general impression of whether the building goes along with the existing urban landscape or not, you will need to do more to help clients experience your design. This is why architects are often including building surroundings in their renders. This allows clients to take a stroll around the building and see those benches, parks, garages, and pedestrian walkways firsthand. The same rules apply here. Include as many details as possible to make the render as closer to the real experience as you can.

Make The Presentation Count

While your designs may appear like works of art, you should always keep in mind that they can be easily built. This is a really important thing to consider especially if a client said that he is bringing a potential developer to the presentation as well. This is why you should pay close attention to all the demands of your clients. Make sure to include renders of spots where you met those demands so that you can take them there and showcase your work in an instant, should the questions arise.

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality has become, well, reality for many architects. It is particularly useful for describing and showcasing spaces that would be impossible to achieve in any other way. Virtual reality will not only impress your clients and help them visualize projects in an intimate way,  but help you identify and rectify problems before the building phase begins.

It is safe to assume that architectural visualization is not going anywhere, at least not in the foreseeable future. The tools, software and best practices we listed here will remain hot in 2019, some of them even beyond. Architects who want to stay in the game will have to accommodate these new changes and incorporate these tools and practices into their day to day activities.