Parallel with the development of the latest tools and software solutions, architectural visualization has grown, too. Using the latest 3D modeling and rendering programs, architects and 3D artists can complete various tasks much quicker and more easily than earlier, however, these tasks can also be tedious and time-consuming.
What do the experts have to say?
In an interview, one of the best architectural visualization artists, Peter Guthrie said: "It makes un-built architecture more immediate and allows for greater conversation about the built environment."
Believe it or not, but when it comes to 3D modeling, he uses SketchUp "because it's so quick, easy and so suited to the changeable nature of architectural design." He also explained that during the process of visualization he feels "a bit like a photographer walking around a building to get an idea for what he wants to shoot."
With that in mind, here are some tricks to resort to when using rendering software for architecture. Let's learn how to be more productive and to save lots of time simultaneously, using some available and free solutions.
If you're an architect, you know that the entire process, starting from hand-drawn sketches to the final product lasts too long. However, there are software solutions that can help you streamline some tasks and finish the process of 3D modeling much faster. ArchiCAD or Autodesk's AutoCAD Architecture can be incredibly helpful here.
Using AutoCAD Architecture, for example, you can create the 3D model of your building or interior design while working on 2D floor plans. With simple to use features, you can enter some parameters and create walls, window and door holes, roofs, stairs, and any other elements without lots of efforts.
Based on a few “pre-created” templates, you can adjust any of these elements the way that suits your design the most.
That way, you'll get perfect 2D floor drawings with different layers, line thickness, with suitable hatches – each element will be presented the way it needs to be, and at the same time, you'll get the entire 3D model ready for materialization and rendering. Add some textures and enjoy!
When it comes to 3D visualization, the entire process would be vain if your 3D model didn't include details. Whether you're working on the 3D model of the interior design, the model of the entire building, or you're trying to create a 3D model of your urban plan, your end results won't be hyper-realistic if you don't focus on the tiniest details.
However, the process of 3D modeling is time-consuming, and you'll probably spend hours trying to create street furniture, building elements such as windows, doors, solar panels, street furniture, paving, greenery, and other elements necessary for photorealistic architectural visualization.
Luckily, the commonly used software solutions for 3D modeling such as Autodesk’s 3ds Max or SketchUp allow you to save lots of time and get pre-created 3D models from their libraries.
These libraries contain architectural elements from numerous categories so you can download some items for free and improve your 3D model while saving lots of time. Besides, all 3D models are editable, which means that you’ll be able to adjust everything in accordance with your requirements.
Big corporations in the furniture manufacturing industry usually have in-house 3D artists for a good reason – they provide architects and designers with pre-created 3D models and technical drawings of their furniture, and the situation with carpentry manufacturers isn't any different.
That way, each brand gains more customers, and architects and designers can get the opportunity to use the real products in their designs.
In such a case, you can add realistic and detailed elements to your 3D model and present your clients how their building or interior design will actually look like. Instead of working on custom furniture and other elements, you can use and add something that is actually available on the market and stay ahead of the competition.
It's a win-win both for you and your clients and investors – you'll save lots of time, and they'll get a photorealistic visualization of their future homes.
One of the most commonly used programs for 3D visualization among architects is definitely V-Ray. However, for the best results, you have to adjust lots of parameters and waste lots of time on rendering, except if you own your own rendering farm. Well, as a good alternative to V-Ray, you can use Lumion.
All you have to do is to export your 3D model and save it as a Collada file. If you forgot to add some pre-created details from the library, it's okay because Lumion has its own library. Apart from street and interior furniture, other buildings, a wide spectrum of vehicles and realistic 3D models of humans and animals, Lumion provides you with a large base of photorealistic trees and plants.
Besides, you can choose the environment and select the most suitable landscape – mountains, rivers, seas, or urban environment, but you can also select a plane surface.
Another problem when it comes to architectural visualization is post-production. If you don't want to spend hours and hours editing your model in PhotoShop or some other vector software, Lumion will save you once again.
Well, using Lumion, you can select and adjust the sky, clouds, size and position of the sun, as well as other atmospheric influences such as snow, rain, and fog. That way, you'll avoid the entire process of post-production.
However, the best thing about Lumion is that you don't have to wait for your renders – after you adjust everything, you'll get photorealistic renders in a few seconds.
As we've mentioned before, the industry of architectural visualization supported by the cutting edge technology is an endless field.
If you'd like to amaze your clients or investors, you can spice your visualization a little bit and create a 3D animation. That way, your clients will be able to see the entire location and it will help you prevent some potential issues and mistakes.
Besides 3D animation, software solutions such as 3ds Max 2019 are compatible with VR headsets, which means that you can enter the world of virtual reality while editing scenes and get a better insight into the entire situation. Your clients and investors will be able to see your design from all angles, and more importantly, to feel the entire space before the beginning of the works on the construction site.
Similar to VR technology, you can use augmented reality and mixed reality apps and provide your clients with the quickest but hyper-realistic end results using your smartphone.
Thanks to the available technology, you can present your idea wherever you go, and using these free apps, your clients and investors can see your design even if they're miles away.
Each of these tips will help you increase productivity and decrease the efforts in your architectural visualization firm. You can find numerous architectural visualization software solutions, and each program is designed to help you streamline some processes back at your office.
If you take the best features of each tech-driven solution, the entire tedious process will be much simpler and quicker, but more importantly, you'll enjoy your job – everything will become more interesting and exciting.
By combining these methods, you'll save lots of money because these software solutions are cost-effective or free, you'll increase profits and attract more customers thanks to the better end results, and most importantly, you'll save lots of time. This means that you'll be able to work more, or to simply enjoy your free time.
What's your favorite architectural visualization software solution and what do you do to make the entire process quicker and more exciting? Let us know in the comments!
Since we live in the modern, tech-driven era, architectural visualization has reached its peak – hyper-realistic renders and interactive rendering have become idea sellers.
As one of the most significant tools for communication between architects and clients or investors, visualization has the power to attract patrons and elucidate a designer’s idea.
Today, there are a variety of 3D modeling and rendering software solutions, and each architect or architectural visualization studio chooses the most suitable combination of programs. Each new version of 3D modeling and rendering software accelerates the limit of possibilities, allowing architects to bring their ideas to life and improve their skills.
One of the most commonly used combinations among architects, as well as 3D artists from other industries, are Corona Renderer and Cinema 4D.
Nikola Tomsu, lead developer of Corona Renderer for Cinema 4D said: “When simplicity and power come together, it can change everything,” and he added, “With us tackling rendering and MAXON tackling 3D design, the Cinema 4D community has a lot to look forward to.”
With that in mind, here are some useful features related to this golden combination. Let's see how to achieve photorealism!
Most rendering software solutions provide users with test rendering. After you import, edit and adjust all textures and materials, you can hit that teapot icon, and wait for a couple of minutes (sometimes more than a couple of minutes).
Then you can see your progress, as well as the mistakes included in your visualization. After that, you must repeat the process over and over again until you make sure that everything is fine.
Unlike other rendering software solutions, Corona Renderer is interactive – it provides you real-time feedback! Each adjustment, whether modifying camera, geometry, lighting, textures or materials, each correction appears hyper-realistic within the Cinema 4D Picture Viewer.
That way, you can save lots of time and achieve the best results with less effort.
Lighting is a crucial element of architectural visualization. Using artificial and natural lighting, you can highlight important elements of your interior design, exterior landscape, or even an urban plan. However, the adjustment of lighting isn't a simple process.
Using Corona Renderer, you can interactively regulate and modify the intensity and color of scene lights within all steps of rendering – before, during, or after visualization. More importantly, you can present to your clients the same render with different scene lighting without wasting lots of time!
When it comes to rendering, the material editor is another crucial toolbar – it gives your 3D model life, as a 3D model can't be realistic without textures and materials. However, most of rendering software solutions don't provide their users with the opportunity to edit, create or reuse shaders between channels or materials.
However, the Corona Node Material Editor works with all Corona and many Cinema 4D textures and material sets, allowing you to spread changes over various materials at once.
Once again, Corona Renderer and Cinema 4D are the golden combination for architectural visualization!
Tech development changed the market, and modern users have become more demanding. Architects and 3D artists want their renders as soon as possible, and that's why Corona Renderer uses cutting-edge technology to speed up renders and improve the user experience.
The high-quality central processing unit and interactive GPU-based artificial intelligence denoising integrated with Corona Renderer will speed up all processes of rendering.
The capability of rendering to Picture Viewer, Corona VFB, or previously mentioned Cinema 4D Picture Viewer, make Corona Renderer one of the most advanced choices for architectural visualization. Moreover, Corona Renderer for Cinema 4D is fully compatible with Team Render, allowing Corona Renderer to boost the speed of any process.
Corona Renderer 3 for Cinema 4D is compatible with Maxon Cinema 4D R14 to R20, and it's available for Mac OS and Microsoft Windows (7, 8, 8.1, 10 or newer). However, if you want to use NVIDIA GPU AI Denoiser, you need an NVIDIA GPU with Kepler at least.
NVIDIA GPU AI Denoiser is optional, but if you have AMD or integrated GPU, you can use Corona High-Quality Denoiser, which uses purely the CPU. This denoiser can be applied in any PC which can run Corona Renderer 3.
Like many other software providers, Corona offers two types of license – Educational or Student License and Public Render Farm License.
If you're high school, college, the university student, you can get one floating workstation license and one floating render node for 24,99 €/year.
To get your Public Render Farm License, you'll have to pay 10-15% revenue from all jobs done using Corona Renderer. The minimum fee is 100 € per month.
As one of the best rendering software solutions for architectural visualization, Corona Renderer for Cinema 4D allows you to create hyper-realistic renders and stay ahead of the competition.
Regardless whether you're an architecture student or you own an architectural visualization studio, you should use the combination of Corona Renderer and Cinema 4D to achieve the best results!
Have you ever tried Corona Renderer for Cinema 4D? Share your experience with us in the comments!
The very first contact with architectural visualization is often the same for all architects and 3D artists: high expectations and not enough skills can be the motivation for progress, but also a reason to quit.
Numerous 3D modeling and rendering software solutions and post-production tools, and very often, the wrong selection of programs can cause lots of stress and dissatisfaction.
However, you should start with a simple visualization software solution, and you'll learn over time and improve your skills. With that in mind, here are 7 powerful 3D modeling and rendering software solutions that you can use even when you become a professional.
A hyper-realistic visualization won't be possible without detailed and high-quality 3D models. The oversaturated market offers lots of 3D modeling programs, but the chances that you'll start with software that is too complex or useless are huge.
The following five 3D modeling programs are easy to learn, and more importantly, these are suitable both for beginners and experts!
Even before you start working on your very first 3D model, you have to draw your object in 2D. One of the most popular floor plan drawing tools among architects is clearly Autodesk's AutoCAD. However, the developers of this helpful software tried to simplify some processes. AutoCAD Architecture is, as its name suggests, AutoCAD specially designed for architects.
However, this tool is more than vector software – AutoCAD Architecture allows you to create 3D models while working on your 2D floor plans.
AutoCAD Architecture has integrated tools and functions, allowing you to draw custom walls, roofs or stairs, but also to add pre-created 3D models of the doors or windows. More importantly, everything will be technically correct, and therefore you won't waste your time on fixing your technical drawings.
If you're a student or educator, you can get your three-year license for free!
ArchiCAD, software designed by architects for architects, is another favorite tool both for beginners and professionals. As a BIM and CAD PC program, ArchiCAD can generate 2D floor plans, 3D models, and even hyper-realistic visualization.
Moreover, in the beginning, architects often add lots of superfluous data in their 3D models, and ArchiCAD can store huge amounts of data, which ensures a great experience.
This software is an excellent choice for those new to architectural visualization because it provides its users with easy building design, quick and accurate construction documentation, and cost estimation, simultaneously eliminating the factor of human error.
With Facade Design workflow, ArchiCAD enables you to create modern buildings without investing lots of time and effort!
One of the most simple to use 3D modeling software tools is Google SketchUp. A basic toolbar contains only fundamental options and features, but as you develop your skills, you can add various helpful tools that will simplify all the processes of 3D modeling.
The best thing about SketchUp is that you can finish everything very quickly. If you need furniture, textures or other 3D models, you can download them from the 3D Warehouse library.
For the best experience, you can tour your projects using mixed reality, virtual reality or augmented reality, and moreover, SketchUp's interface is so simple and customizable that you can use and create amazing buildings even if you're a beginner.
Besides, SketchUp is useful when it comes to technical documentation. With a single click, you can get sections through your 3D model, but you also can export 2D facades of your building.
When it comes to rendering, SketchUp is compatible with one of the best rendering software tools – V-Ray! So, using this incredible software, you can finish all tasks without lots of training, but you can also add various extensions and improve your work even more!
Download your trial version and see for yourself!
Rhinoceros 3D is a common choice among beginners, especially when it comes to modeling of complex buildings. Thanks to mathematical representations of 3D geometry – NURBS or Non-Uniform Rational B-Splines, you can create organic forms or surfaces from 2D lines, curves, arcs or circles.
Rhino 3D has a simple interface and it belongs to the group of easy to learn and use 3D modeling programs. Moreover, Rhinoceros 3D is compatible with CAD files, so you can import or export models or 2D drawings.
Rhinoceros 3D allows you to draw 3D models entirely naturally like you're using a digital paper and pen! Using this excellent software, you can create complex and beautiful solutions more easily than ever.
If you want to start your career using the very best 3D modeling software, Autodesk's 3ds Max should be your choice. 3ds Max's interface is similar to AutoCAD's, but it is more complex.
Specially designed for 3D modeling, 3ds Max includes numerous features and options. However, when you start using it step by step, you'll learn how to use the basic tools first, and then you'll slowly develop your skills.
Autodesk's 3ds Max is designed to facilitate various processes of 3D modeling and animation, but it's also suitable for rendering using Mental Ray. However, if you'd like to use the golden combination for 3D modeling and rendering, you can download V-Ray for 3ds Max and achieve hyper-realistic renders smoothly.
In combination with the latest tech equipment, you can use VR headset and edit or tour your 3D models in the virtual reality world.
Autodesk's 3ds Max can help you achieve and design even the most complex ideas, and that's why this is the No. 1 software solution in architecture. Moreover, you can download your student license and enjoy your free software within an hour!
No matter how good your 3D model appears, it won't be hyper-realistic without any rendering. That's why we've found these two rendering software solutions.
One of the most commonly used rendering software, compatible with 3D rendering software such as 3ds Max, SketchUp, Maya, Rhino 3D, Nuke, Revit, Katana, Cinema 4D, and Modo, is the one and only V-Ray.
V-Ray allows you to add textures to your 3D models and create high-quality images. Each material can be edited, which means that you can adjust bump, transparency, opacity, luminosity, and many more preferences. Moreover, using V-Ray, you can add natural and artificial light to your model, and improve the authenticity of the landscape around your building.
V-Ray is suitable both for interior and exterior rendering, it's easy to use, and you can achieve magnificent results!
Even if you're a beginner, you’ve surely heard that rendering can often last more than it should. However, unlike other programs, Lumion will produce your images within a few seconds. Besides being the fastest software for rendering, Lumion also has lots of other benefits.
We should start with the fact that Lumion is the most comfortable to learn and use. You can choose numerous textures and materials from the library divided into two main groups – interior and exterior textures. Moreover, all textures are pre-edited, so you don't have to waste your time on editing materials, but you can if you want to adjust it more.
Another incredibly helpful feature of Lumion is the landscape. You can choose several areas, but you can also add your model in a real environment using the latest version of Lumion. Moreover, sky and clouds are also included in the pre-selected environment, but you can edit that and add rain, fog, or other effects.
However, that's not all. Lumion has a library with hyper-realistic 3D models, which means that you can add people, animals, other building or the entire city, vehicles, street signs, but also furniture, plants, and other necessities for the interior design.
Thanks to Lumion's transparent interface, the process of rendering will appear like you're playing Sims. Well, Lumion is definitely the best rendering software, both for beginners and professionals in architectural visualization!
If you choose the right combination of 3D modeling and rendering software, you'll enjoy visualization! It might appear too complicated at the beginning, but you should give it a shot. The visualization is a common language among all nations, so you should learn how to use some of these software solutions!
What's your favorite 3D modeling and rendering software combination? Let us know in the comments!
Artists, designers, and architects of today are faced with a serious challenge, as their clients have become extremely hard to please. Fortunately, the latest and most innovative technology made a lot of things possible, so these artists can now rely on the most useful and sophisticated tools to garner the much-wanted response which is vital for success.
Well, that's exactly where V-Ray comes into play. It's the universal plugin and fixer of all problems. Regardless of what 3D modeling software you believe is the best, this engine will turn your design into a believable realization and that's the exact reason why V-Ray is the most preferred tool of architects.
V-Ray has been around since the early days of 3D animation and visualization when bites were still measured using mega. Even then, this engine was well-known for its amazing ability to provide the highest quality rendering. It remained a titan in the rendering world due to its incredible ability to create the most outstanding animations and images.
With supplementary content and support staff almost as potent as its rendering capabilities, V-Ray provides its users with a very wide range of texture and material databases, everything they need to create their masterpieces. So, with that in mind, here are a few of the best materials you can use in V-Ray for the maximum effect.
When it comes to visualization and 3D rendering, Evermotion is what makes a true difference. Aside from containing regularly updated lessons, galleries, a tutorial blog, and news all related to V-Ray, it also offers the most user-driven and extensive material library entirely free of charge.
Put simply, if you're an architect or a rendering artist looking for a way to get ahead of the competition in what you do, Evermotion should definitely be your stop number one. There are new tutorials and materials being added every single day and it's a really great source for free textures, materials, and shaders.
While the name already suggests it all, V-Ray Materials is also an extraordinary source of materials that was specifically tailored and customized for V-Ray users.
Containing both paid-for and free materials and textures in its massive library, this source will give your animations and renderings that extra layer of polish that you've been looking for. This is also a great place to start for all those looking to bolster their personal material libraries.
Visual Dynamics and rendering and visualization artists have one thing in common: they both absolutely love rendering. So, naturally, it's safe to assume that this is a great place to look for the highest quality V-Ray materials.
With a robust library full of goodies, VD offers top-notch textures, shaders, and materials. On top of all this, Visual Dynamics is a licensed V-Ray software distributor so rest assured that you will find what you are looking for without any doubt. You can also get a subscription for a modeling program that you prefer, to spice things up a bit.
When it comes to architectural visualization, a lot of it depends on the quality of the materials used. Since this is a highly specialized industry, architects need specific materials and techniques to get the wanted effect with their work. With that in mind, Flying Architecture is the best source of such materials as it's fully dedicated to that specific industry.
Aside from it featuring other software, tutorials, and 3D models, it also offers a very useful forum where you can chat with other users about anything interesting regarding experiences, compliments, and pretty much everything else related to architectural visualization and 3D rendering. You can also share files with like-minded individuals and architectural professionals.
The best thing about this material library is that it targets architects more than any other and architects use it the most for that exact reason.
Aversis is mostly a tutorial website, loaded with amazing V-Ray materials and it has a very user-friendly interface, which makes it extremely easy to navigate.
Rendering artists will surely be pleased with the quality of materials and textures here and there are free samples to start with. Aversis is excellent for advertising, architecture, and product design, as it supports photorealistic animation and 3D visualization.
Most importantly, Aversis provides tutorials for V-Ray, 3D models, V-Ray materials, HDRO maps, textures, Photoshop, Rhino, and 3D Studio Max. Since there are various sub-sectors in the 3D visualization and rendering industry, Aversis provides texture packs for sale.
All in all, it's a good place to find the hottest V-Ray materials, as well as useful tutorials that will further deepen your V-Ray knowledge.
Maya is probably the most popular modeler for industrial designers and animators so naturally, if you're a Maya user, this is a perfect place to find the necessary V-Ray materials but most importantly, the best V-Ray materials.
With all the latest materials and textures at your disposal and a huge database with the highest quality V-Ray materials on display, this should be your number one option when you need the highest quality V-Ray materials on a daily basis.
Aside from a few other similar libraries, there's nothing quite like V-Ray Maya Materials, so if you're an industrial designer or an animator who prefers using the V-Ray engine, this is definitely the greatest source of the best V-Ray materials you can find on the net.
No matter what you use, a texture, material or a shader, with all these materials at your disposal, you'll be able to use your V-Ray like a real rendering professional. The satisfaction of your clients is what determines your success so work only with the best.
Every new version of each Autodesk's software has some advanced and new features. Autodesk is traditionally publishing new software versions since the first Autodesk 3ds Max 8, published in 2008. Every update of the existing version has improved features in accordance with market and user demands as the primary goal. As designers from various creative fields are using 3D max for 3D modeling and rendering, the desire to advance all functions still exists.
This year, the situation isn't different, so we will investigate all the innovations and compare the latest version of 3ds Max 2019 with the earlier version.
Considering 3D animation, everything is still the same. Features like Motion Paths, Camera Sequencer, Dual Quaternion skinning, Populate enhancements, Populate crowd animation, Character animation and rigging tools, General animation tools, Animated deformers, Track View retiming, Text tool (enhanced), Geodesic Voxel and Heatmap skinning, Max Creation Graph animation controllers, Animation productivity are the same as in earlier version. Looks like animators must wait for some improvements until next year.
Options, tools and features like Data Channel Modifier, Blended Box Map, OpenSubdiv support, Enhanced ShaderFX, ShaderFX, Point cloud support, Placement tools, Quad chamfer, Mesh and surface modeling, Texture assignment and editing, Shading and material design, Vector map support, Text and shape map, Fast form hard surfaces, UV mapping, Object tool improvements are still the same, but the latest version of 3ds Max has some new features in this section.
Open shading language (OSL) allows you to use a new OSL map, which is an entirely new category of various OSL maps with over 100 included shaders. Another advantage of this new feature is that you can create your OSL maps using development tools.
This tool is beneficial because, now, you can use Shape Booleans for combining both closed and open splines.
Procedural wood material added from Fusion 360 includes various types of wood (cherry, maple, pine, oak, ash, walnut, and mahogany) and you can adjust the finish coat to be glossy, semi-glossy, or even painted. Pores, ring thickness, and bump also can be adjusted, which additionally helps you achieve more realistic renders.
Considering 3D rendering, no options have been removed, and only one new option is added. Interactive VR engine, Interactive sample VR templates, Arnold, Rendering support, 3ds Max Batch, Physical camera, Iray and mental ray enhancements, Accelerated viewport performance, Enhanced Active Shade rendering, Stereo Camera, Integrated rendering options, Render pass system, Active Shade interactive rendering, Nitrous accelerated graphics core, DX11 viewport rendering, Slate compositing editor, and ART are existing options that were enjoyed by 3ds max 2018 users.
Now, using VR in 3ds Max Interactive, you can use integrated tools for scene editing, and see updates in real time.
With the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift headset, you can edit a level in VR. You also must have controllers delivered with the headset, and then you can move around the scene you created, and you can select, delete, or move objects in the level.
For enabling you access to the latest Arnold's features, 3ds Max has a new integrated plugin - MAXtoA.
The latest version of 3ds Max brought better camera settings. Real-life settings like aperture, depth of field, shutter speed, and exposure are now available within this powerful software.
You still can preview material settings before rendering, but the process of rendering is now quicker.
Rendering of interior designs and architectural objects have never been more straightforward. You can add a model from Revit, Inventor, Fusion 360, and other Autodesk software using the Autodesk Raytracer (ART).
All tools, features, and options are the same except three new features - Civil View vehicles physical material support, Autodesk Viewer workflows from within 3ds Max, and Updated project tools.
3ds Max physical material now can be added to all vehicles created in CivilView. That way, conversion can be reduced, which simplifies rendering.
Online sharing of models directly from your 3ds Max interface is now available. Besides, Autodesk Viewer allows you to review feedback.
Better folder structure flexibility and cleverer project switching will ease creating new projects and make storing custom data more comfortable.
After the latest version was published, Autodesk provided us with two new upgrades. Besides a few new features, some existing features are enhanced, and over 160 issues are fixed.
- Civil View workflow
- Civil View materials for generating renderer agnostic
- New Sun/Sky positioner
- Physical Materials
- Composite Map - Blending Mode drop-down list
- The file I/O
3ds Max has never been better! The fact that they managed to fix all these issues is a significant upgrade in itself, but that they added and enhanced so many features makes this powerful modeling and rendering tool even better! Creating hyper-realistic renders and animations is easier than ever, and - which is the most important - now it fits better to all creative fields. No matter if you are an art director, graphic designer, architect or 3d artist, you'll surely enjoy the latest version of 3ds Max 2019!
I’ve got to go, the HTC Vive headset is waiting for me! Enjoy!
Many years ago, before rendering software developed enough, architects struggled with hand-drawing.
To convince investors that their work was good, architects had to draw 3D models using an old fashion method – a perspective with vanishing points. No matter how skilled architects were, a hand-drawn perspective and then hand-colored with various techniques takes a long time, and it never could be as professional and realistic as visualizations done on a computer.
Architects can sell the projects only if they amaze investors. When it comes to the details of construction, less isn't more, so using software can help architects create detailed solutions.
There is a time and a place for minimalism, but at this stage of project development, adding correct materials and textures, as well as making realistic renders can be crucial to the success of the project.
Earlier, the complete project had to be done by hand. Starting from the first sketches, then developing the idea of the different aspects of the project, including solving object functionality and the construction, and visualization for a conceptual solution until the detailed design is done.
A detailed design must contain everything necessary for construction works. Considering that 2D floor plans must contain various labels and hatches related to the construction, that a team of architects must provide a complete solution, including interior and exterior design and a lot of urban planning, it's almost impossible to imagine that they once had to draw it all by hand.
After the first software for 2D floor plans was developed, civil engineers and architects could take a break. These programs can save a lot of time, but vector programs are also much more precise than manual drawing.
After a while, architects got even more help with the development of software for 3D modeling. Programs for 3D modeling support importing of vector 2D drawings, so raising the 3D model becomes much more comfortable and accurate.
As a 3D model without rendering isn't enough to convince investors to accept the project, software for rendering was developed too.
Programs like 3Ds Max can support all work concerning 3D modeling and rendering. Extensions like Mental Ray or V-Ray can provide realistic photos created from a 3D model. The Autodesk platform, among other things, provides software for 2D drawing (AutoCAD) and software for 3D modeling and rendering (3Ds Max). These programs are compatible, so drawing has become simpler than ever.
The best thing concerning these programs is that they are compatible with many other programs which can import/export .dwg and .3ds formats, as well as many other formats.
There are a lot of rendering programs and each is excellent for something. V-ray is the most commonly used and it's an excellent option for interior and exterior design rendering, but Lumion is much faster and it can provide highly-realistic photos for urban planning.
The latest version of Lumion provides you with scene-building tools and effects which in combination with LiveSync can help architects design in a real-life environment.
After the process of materialization is done, 3D rendering can start. Material adjustment isn't complicated because these programs provide you with the opportunity to choose or import various textures.
After you select textures, you can adjust bump, transparency, ambient color, diffuse color, specular color, glossiness, self-illumination, opacity, reflection and more. Since every material requires different adjustment, every imported and adjusted texture contributes to how realistic the rendering will be.
No matter if you are working on interior design, exterior design or urban planning, lighting has an important role. Use of lighting is excellent for nighttime renders, but creating natural or artificial lighting in daytime renders is also important.
Some programs like Lumion have previously set natural lighting which can be adjusted, but in software like V-ray you have to create natural lighting manually, especially if you are working on the interior design.
Each software tool enables different lighting sources, but most common forms of lighting are omni or point light, rectangle light or plane light, spotlight, dome light, sphere light, IES light, mesh light, and sky and sun.
Adding lighting to a 3D model is an excellent way of highlighting details, but also it provides a more realistic picture at the end.
Several rendering software tools have built-in environment settings such landscapes including rivers, seas, mountains, cities, sky, and clouds, but if you choose software like V-ray, you have to finish your work using PhotoShop or other similar software.
The easiest way of importing render into the real-life environment is using a photo. Many architects take a photo of a preferred location and then import a render into an image.
Greenery is also very important for achieving a realistic rendering. For example, Lumion provides you with the opportunity to select trees, plants, and other objects from a library, but if you decide to use other software, you must be skilled for work in PhotoShop.
You can now create animations to walk investors through the project and show them every corner of a building or park you’ve designed. After a little more effort, architects can provide highly realistic video of their designs.
Rendering software changed the way we approach construction projects for 360 degrees. Walk-through was possible only after construction works are done and exhaustive hand-making of models is replaced with highly realistic renders.
Every mistake during coloring used to be a disaster since architects had to draw a perspective views from the beginning. Besides, the possibility of changing materials and textures during project development is the best thing rendering software brought. Now, you can try different materials and improve the project within a few clicks if the investor isn't satisfied with the work you have done.
Another advantage of rendering software is that you can add some imperfections in your work, which can make renders look even more realistic.
Everything becomes more detailed and super realistic and, most importantly – you won’t waste any time.