When it comes to architectural rendering, one can never know enough.
The worst thing that can happen to you as a rendering artist is to lend a huge project that requires a technique you haven’t mastered yet or materials you don’t have. Do you decline the offer and miss a chance to go big? Or do you accept and try to figure it out on your feet?
You’ll go for the second option, of course, so you’ll need to be resourceful.
After superior technical skills and outside-the-box thinking, this is probably the third most important characteristic of any 3D rendering artist. It’s crucial for building your portfolio and business, as it directly translates to how much you learn and develop on an everyday basis.
Today, we’ll talk about two types of resources for rendering artists:
● Learning resources that will help you develop new rendering skills quickly.
● Online catalogs of 3D models, textures, and materials to use until you do.
The following is a real smorgasbord of useful tools and reliable libraries every architect should check out. If you don’t need them now, bookmark them for later. Your big breakthrough project is coming any day now and you’ll want to be ready when it does.
3D Total probably has a perfect answer to every rendering-related question you’ve ever asked (and then some.) Boasting both creative contests and a comprehensive gallery of free materials, this site is your go-to source of great textures and inspiration.
But that’s actually not what we’re recommending 3D Total for. This amazing site also offers free rendering lessons and tutorials, as well as an engaging community of artists and teachers interested in sharing their knowledge and advancing the field.
There are much better tools for photorealistic visualization and modeling than SketchUp. That being said, this simple software still provides a nice alternative to the much popular Blender. It is a good choice for beginners who are learning the basics of the craft.
Now, SketchUp is a lightweight, quick, and budget-friendly solution on its own, but its full potential can be unlocked through integration with another tool, LuxRender. The two pair seamlessly, allowing you to produce quality renders straight from your model.
As a 3D rendering artist, you never really stop learning new tricks. Professional development in this field takes years of experience, just like professional-looking renders take years of accumulated 3D models. Until that time passes, GrabCAD is at your disposal.
GrabCAD hosts not only one of the most comprehensive databases of ready-made models but also one of the best search engines. Whatever you need for your projects, you’ll be able to find here, and quickly, so that you can spend your time improving your skills.
Every architect has a different learning curve, and you’re not an exception. There isn’t a one-fits-all solution for getting better at 3D rendering, but there is an all-in-one rendering program that can help you produce great results at any stage of professional development.
Blender 3D is a modeling and rendering tool that every architect knows about. We’ve all used it at some point, mostly because it is completely free to download and use. Over the years, the platform has grown into an industry-standard for beginners and professionals alike.
There’s no shortage of helpful resources at CG Architect, nor lack of support and guidance. Launched as an online place for architects to hang out and exchange experiences and ideas, this brilliant site has quickly become the social network for architectural visualization.
You’ll hardly be able to find a more welcoming community anywhere in the industry, especially because CGarchitect relies on the kindness of strangers to deliver top advice and insiders’ tips on anything related to the practice. No need to say, it’s free to join.
As your reputation grows, you’ll be expected to create models from scratch. But while you’re learning the ropes of architectural rendering, it’s always good to have a reliable library of copy-paste-friendly texture resources and materials you can use for your projects.
In our experience, the following are the best and most useful on the market:
Although smaller than most on our list, Xoio-Air takes the cake when it comes to the quality-price ratio. Without a dollar spent, you can use it to access gorgeous cut-outs and textures and add value to your photorealistic visualizations in a blink of an eye.
A similar description can be attached to 3D Textures as well – a host of free yet quality textures and other materials for post-production are here at the tips of your fingers – but this trusty architectural resource is actually much more than meets the eye.
Let’s begin by saying that 3D Textures is huge, much bigger than you’d expect from a free 3D texture library. You’ll be able to find cool materials for interior and industrial design too, along with diverse PBR textures with diffuse, occlusion, and other maps.
But there’s more. 3D Texture collaborates with Blender 3D, which means that you can also use it as a learning resource with a myriad of in-depth rendering tutorials. 3D Texture will let you download cool textures and then teach you how to use them as well.
For concrete, steel, stone, and wood textures, look no further than TurboSquid. Boasting one of the most popular online databases for architectural rendering, this trusty resource keeps expanding at the speed of light. Plus, its friendly contributors are always willing to help.
As TurboSquid’s main competitor, Poliigon keeps it fresh by offering both free and paid content. Its catalog of free textures is not in any way inferior by quality, only smaller than the library offered to its premium users. Also, Poliigon earns bonus points for its frictionless UX.
A similar offer can be found on Textures.com, though this popular database employs a different (and more convenient) subscription model. All its 3D textures come with a price tag, but the service allows you to download and try out up to 15 textures for free every day.
We’ve also loved Textures.com for its hierarchy system. Unlike many other online resources for 3D rendering, it comes with categories and subcategories that are effortless to navigate. You can search its robust database by keyword or if you can’t think of any, by meta tag.
Diversity is a key selling point for Texturer.com, as this library offers just about anything you might need for rendering, from people to pets to vegetation. It’s a great place to start looking for high-quality textures and materials if you’re specializing in interior design.
The checkerboard effect is easily one of the most frustrating obstacles rendering artists face at the beginning of their career. It happens when you use stock-quality textures, but you won’t find any of those in SWTEXTURE’s unique catalog. On the contrary.
This site offers nothing but textures that leave no trace of tiling, which is pretty much crucial for any photorealistic visualization project. To help you navigate its offer, the site posts daily blogs that focus on specific types of textures. It’s both helpful and fun.
Tony from Tony Textures creates engaging blog posts as well but doesn’t focus on specific types of textures only. Though we’ve seen more impressive 3D texture resources on the internet, this one grabbed our attention with its collection of user-friendly tutorials.
You’ll hear architects describing Flying Architecture as the Amazon of the rendering industry. They are not far from the truth, considering what this comprehensive site has to offer to both beginners and professionals. And need we say, it’s gorgeous just to look at.
Along with a truly superb gallery of textures, materials, and cut-outs, Flying Architecture also offers a plethora of top-notch tutorials. A lot of them are about VIZ Render, though, as users of this rendering tool are somewhat of a niche audience for Flying Architecture.
Another great 3D texture resource to check out is 3DXO, a modest database of free-to-use models that compensates its lack of diversity with the amazing quality of textures. 3DXO users rank materials themselves, which can be a huge time-saver when you’re in a rush.
Whether you’re still learning the basics of architectural rendering or trying to complete a project on a tight budget, these resources will certainly come in handy. They are a valuable addition for those relying on low-cost rendering programs to deliver high-quality results.
But that still doesn’t mean that these resources (at least some of them) can’t be of help to rendering professionals as well. When it comes to budget-friendly solutions, they are considered an industry staple. Be it as it may, checking them out doesn’t cost anything.
Best case scenario, they’ll help you grow as a rendering artist.
While technology advances, architectural visualization is becoming more complex, and investors and clients are getting even more demanding. Standing in the middle of the battlefield, architects and 3D artists always have to choose the best software solution to achieve hyper-realistic results and stay ahead of the competition.
It's known that architectural visualization has the most powerful influence when it comes to selling projects, and that's why you have to carefully consider each decision.
Among numerous software solutions available on the market, there are always a few that work almost equally well, so we can't decide which one to choose. Right now, if we're talking about the best architectural visualization programs, we have to choose between Unity 3D and Unreal Engine.
Let's learn something new about the mentioned engines and compare features, preferences, and results! That appears like the only way to choose the most suitable solution for architectural visualization.
The modern world of architectural visualization requires access to various platforms, compatibility with the latest equipment and gadgets, as well as the possibility to use the software on various devices. The wider platform access you have, the larger your customer base will be. Let's compare these two engines.
Unity 3D: Windows PC, Mac OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone 8, Tizen, Android TV, Samsung SMART TV, Xbox One & 360, Web Player, WebGL, SteamOS, PS4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, and VR (including Hololens).
Unreal Engine: Linux, Windows PC, Mac OS X, SteamOS, Android, iOS, VR, HTML5, Xbox One, and PS4.
Unity 3D vs Unreal Engine – 1:0
Ease of use is usually the first and the most important factor while deciding what software to use. Of course, the quality of the end product is also very important, but if the software is too hard to use, the chances that most people will actually use it are low.
Although both interfaces are quite similar, beginners should start with Unity 3D. Movable and resizable toolbars are the positive characteristics of both programs, but Unity 3D is unmistakably simpler to learn and use.
User experience is crucial in determining the better solution, and we can freely say that Unreal Engine takes second place behind Unity 3D. Unity 3D is faster – assets take a shorter time to save or import, and, unlike in the Unreal Engine, simple tasks don't require any extra steps.
The secret of Unity's fast response lies in the fact that it can run on Windows XP, while Unreal Engine requires at least Windows 7 64-bit.
Unity 3D vs Unreal Engine – 2:0
When it comes to graphics, both engines support 2D and 3D animation. Physically-Based Rendering, Global Illumination, Advanced shaders, Volumetric lights, and Post Processing are also common features for both software solutions, but, we must say that one engine is much better than the other in terms of graphics.
Unreal Engine can help you achieve any type of visual style, allowing you to create complex particle simulation systems. Moreover, the advanced dynamic lighting, which is a crucial element in architectural visualization, is much better in Unreal Engine.
In comparison with Unity 3D, Unreal Engine is capable of creating much more accurate and smooth lighting. Moreover, it's important to mention shadows, too. A polished look and nice falloff of shadows will make your renders more realistic.
Unity 3D vs Unreal Engine – 2:1
Sometimes, the opportunity to import ready-to-use 3D models, environments or textures can save you lots of time and even improve your end product. It's important to mention that both Unity and Unreal have asset stores.
However, the number of assets in Unity's and Unreal's stores differs. Unity 3D has a better asset store, where you can find everything from the ORK Framework for creating RPGs, extensions for AI control, to intuitive animation, motion capture software, and GUI generators.
Unity 3D vs Unreal Engine – 3:1
In the beginning, only Unreal Engine had a material editor, but recently, Unity 3D released a beta with a material editor included. However, Unity's material editor is too complicated and hard to learn and use, and it requires specific graphics settings.
The Unreal Engine's material editor is similar to 3ds Max's or Maya's editor. Using the node graph, you can edit and adjust materials quickly.
Unity 3D vs Unreal Engine – 3:2
When it comes to the quality of visualization, we can freely say that Unreal Engine is way ahead of Unity 3D. Thanks to its fully integrated and ready to use post-processing, visualizations done in Unreal Engine have smooth cinematographic quality. Various grading, volumetric, and lens flares effects are also a plus for this engine.
Animations of architectural visualizations done in Unreal Engine are more realistic because of Unreal's ability to produce high-quality and realistic natural and artificial lighting, as well as the landscape around your building. When it comes to interior design, you can highlight all the imperfections and achieve hyper-realism simpler than ever.
Unity 3D vs Unreal Engine – 3:3
Another important factor while choosing your architectural visualization software is pricing. Pricing, both for Unity 3D and the Unreal Engine depends on your funding.
If you're just trying to practice for fun, then you can use any of these for free. On the other hand, if you're earning lots of money, you can consider the following pricing methods.
Unity 3D – If you decide to use Unity 3D, you can download a completely free version. However, there is a Unity Pro with broader features. If you want to upload your free Unity 3D to Unity Pro, you'll have to pay $1,500, or you can pay $75/month.
Unreal Engine – Recently, the Unity Engine went entirely free. If you're a student or educator, you can download your free version and enjoy. However, Unreal Engine, unlike Unity 3D, has royalty fees of 5%.
Unity 3D vs Unreal Engine – 3:4
When we've compared all the features of Unity 3D and Unreal Engine, we have to say that both engines are awesome! Depending on your goals, you should pick the most suitable solution and start creating advanced architectural visualizations even today.
What do you think, which software is a better solution for architectural visualizations? Let us know in the comments!
If there is anything architecture firms struggle with that is project pitching. Getting investors interested to the point when they actually want to give you their hard-earned money and support your project is a tricky business. You have to consider all the options available for you to stand out from the competition and play the right hand.
Sometimes whiteboards, presentations, and the 3D physical model are not going to be enough to cut it. Today we are going to explore architectural visualization as one of the opportunities you have. Let’s see how it can make project pitching easier and put you in a position to get more investors interested in your designs.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then 3D renders of your design are worth a novel. Quite often, the investors are worried about how the building’s exterior will look like. And, more importantly, how it will fit in the surrounding area. Presenting them with sketches or even with a physical 3D model won't be enough for them to experience the exterior to the fullest.
3D architectural renders really shine in this department. You will be able to incorporate all the surrounding structures into your designs, including buildings, trees, lawns, benches, and so on.
The clients will be able to take a take a virtual walk and see what the building will look like once it is finished, and how it will make the entire area look more engaging and beautiful.
When it comes to the interior of your architectural designs, you are very limited in choosing the methods of showing it to your investors. A 3D physical model that can have its parts removed or sketches of the interior are all viable ways to do it. But the question is: “Will it be enough to make your investors give you a green light?”
Architectural visualization can help you with this as well. Since you can have an entire building’s interior rendered at a time, you can take your investors on a virtual tour of the building.
Let them experience it from a natural perspective and see for themselves how it feels to walk the hallways and rooms of your design. This is an efficient way to show them that your design is worth their money.
The details in your architectural designs can help you complete the experience and tell a story to the viewers. The sketches and models are very restrictive in this case. Putting details in the models may overcrowd them and make them appear messy and overstuffed. You can play with sketches, though, but it will require you to spend a copious amount of time doing so.
Architectural visualization is a real savior here. You can incorporate all the details you want and do it fast as well. Whether it is the furniture, lighting, plants, tapestry, wall textures, or colors, you will be able to add it to your design. This is a great way to show your design in its full light and delight the investors, making their decision an easy one.
Presenting the clients with panoramic views by using any of the old school methods is borderline impossible. And there are clients who specifically demand to see the building in the environment. For instance, they might ask to see how it sits adjacent to the local river, hill, neighborhood behind it, and so on. Failing to deliver this will cost you precious projects.
But, on the other hand, if you decide to use 3D software for architectural firms, you will be able to generate realistic panoramic views of your building from whichever angle you want. A visualization of a panoramic view is great, as it allows the investors to take a look at the building from whatever height they want to.
Many investors closely cooperate with potential developers as well. In many instances, a developer representative may be present when you are pitching your project to make sure that your design is realistic to the point that it can easily be brought to life. On top of that, there are specific demands and conditions investors might require before they can greenlight your project.
With software that makes architectural visualization possible you will be able to deliver renders and get instant approval. If investors want to check a specific thing, you can take them directly to your solution in a matter of seconds.
Very rarely do investors say “great job” when you pitch a project. More often you will have to answer dozens of questions and make adjustments they want you to. Answering the questions is easy, but making changes is really hard, especially if you have access to limited assets and resources. This is where architectural visualization can really help you.
First of all, it will help you completely showcase your project to investors so that they can identify the things they would like to see changed. And secondly, you will be able to make those changes very quickly via appropriate software and send them new renders. This means that they won’t have to make room for you in their busy schedule to get the things they asked for.
If you choose to use 3D rendering software for your projects, you will eventually build a large portfolio of designs which you can use as marketing material. You can share it on your official website and social media platforms. Doing things in this fashion will also help you build a reputation of a trustworthy firm that puts the requests of the investors and clients first, and complies to them in very short notice.
As you can see, architectural visualization can help you a lot in terms of pitching your project to investors. You can take them on virtual tours, present them with landscape renders, incorporate details in your designs, and make all the necessary changes efficiently.
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!