Rendering software is a powerful tool used by many professionals. However, these tools also have their limitations which are bound to change in the future.
At the moment, there are many renderers available for designers and architects to choose from. Essentially, all these software solutions are designed for the same purpose. But at the same time, they are all different, and won’t give the same results. It’s not a simple topic, as there are many things to know about rendering software.
The latest tools are updated very often and with the new hardware options coming out each year, they have to keep track and provide new solutions. Even though 3D rendering has gone a long way, these tools still have many limitations.
Still, the rapid development of technology means that we are likely to see these tools improve in the future and overcome current issues. Even though different tools have different limitations, we will try and present the most common problems that occur today and talk about what you can expect in the future.
1. Rendering is still fairly slow
Most architects are used to the fact that they need at least the whole day to finish one render. We are talking about the moment when you decide that the project is finished and you simply press “render” and wait for the devices to process your work.
Even though computer technology is constantly improving and devices are more powerful, there hasn’t been a significant reduction in time needed to complete a single render, as rendering software is also getting more complex and requires more resources.
Of course, if you want a simple render without many details, effects, and materials, you will be able to finish the render quickly, but for professional work, it still takes too long, no matter how powerful the workstation is.
As standards grow and professionals try to be competitive, the current computers are simply unable to provide fast rendering.
2. Rendering software can be really demanding
Most modern rendering software comes with big demands in terms of GPU, CPU, and memory overall. Some tools are even impossible to use if you have an average computer, as they simply won’t run – and even if you are able to run them, they will work really slowly, making it impossible to work properly.
We are talking about professional tools that experts and successful companies use, not just any rendering software that can provide some outdated results. So, for an architect to meet the current standards, they must be prepared to invest in a powerful workstation that can run these complex solutions.
Many starting architects don’t have the money to afford rendering software that would help them improve their work and compete on the market. This “luxury” is reserved for already established professionals and people working at large companies that can afford to buy state of the art computers.
3. Some renderers work best on certain hardware
Choosing a rendering software is not easy. There are plenty of options available and to make the right decision, a person needs to do their research and learn about their pros and cons. However, this is not everything that needs to be considered.
Some of the rendering software is specifically designed to work better on certain GPU brands and models, which means that they won’t give the same render results if done on different devices. For some solutions to truly reach their potential, the user would need specific recommended hardware.
It’s important to read up on the software you’re looking at to see if the developers recommend a certain GPU and why, which is very limiting, because you would not only need that exact GPU, but you would also have to use only that particular software.
4. Not many solutions offer pre-rendering
Pre-rendering or render preview is a feature that allows the user to see what their project will look like when rendered. Looking at your work while in the project can’t tell you how it will look when rendered, which is why most architects have to render their work and wait for the process to finish before they can see the end result.
This takes a lot of valuable time that could be used more productively. Additionally, if there is something wrong with the render and it requires revision, the process will have to be repeated. You essentially waste even more time just because most tools don’t allow previews.
It has become a form of art and a skill for architects to realize when a render is finalized and visualize how it will actually turn out, which requires extensive experience with certain software but even then professionals have to revise their work and waste time.
What we can expect in the future
Future 3D rendering and architectural visualization will take this process to a whole new level when it comes to speed and quality. Brand new CGI software will not only allow architects to finish designing projects fast, but it will also be easier for them to implement architectural ideas while construction is ongoing.
Here are some of the technology innovations that will shape the future of architectural work and 3D rendering overall.
1. New VR software for real-time project design
With architectural VR solutions, architects will get a digital space where they can cooperate throughout the design process. Multiple professionals will be able to work in real-time on the same task. Designers will be able to use this space with standalone or headsets connected to a PC.
Currently, the best tool of this kind is called InsiteVR and it comes with collaborative markups, mute controls, scaling, voice communication, and cloud models which are synchronized. Architects can join in and work together on building 3D models, making the whole process faster.
These solutions will greatly enhance the design of large projects which require the expertise of different specialists.
2. The construction process will speed up with rapid prototyping
3D printing and rapid prototyping are similar concepts – they allow CGI artists to create their 3D models and print them directly.
Effective and fast prototyping is already used actively for manufacturing and testing construction equipment and products. In the future, 3D visualization will adopt rapid construction, which are mass-produced constructions prototyped with 3D printers.
These kinds of constructions will be built part by part, and then these parts will be assembled. Most of the new visualization and rendering software solutions will support this feature, and this will lead to a much faster process of design and construction.
Additionally, there will be much better communication between models and actual construction.
3. Presentations will become immersive with AR
Compared to VR, which is designed to provide the experience of a new reality, AR serves as an overlay in real-time. With various portable devices in the future, there will be more sophisticated 3D visualization tools that allow architects to showcase products at any given moment.
No matter if we are talking about the beginning, the middle, or a completed project, it will be easy to display it to customers and stakeholders.
They will even be able to demonstrate the whole building process in a live presentation. With quality 3D visualization and AR, customers will be able to see every tiny detail of the project and understand how the whole thing will be implemented.
4. All software will support real-time rendering
Real-time rendering can be a confusing term. It means displaying many computer-generated images in the form of live animations without any broken textures or noticeable lag.
Let’s take video games as an example, as they are similar to architecture projects. When a player is moving, all the images move and they pan instantly, but this is not a simple process.
A lot of processing power, coding knowledge, and digital engineering are required to create a smooth and realistic virtual experience. With the increase of hardware power, the computers in the future will be able to process these kinds of effects within rendering software in real-time, thus improving the whole process of designing and showcasing a project.
These are some of the issues current 3D rendering software solutions have, but also a glimpse of the innovation and development we are seeing in this industry. Ever since visualization and rendering went digital, they have changed and improved in a short period with fast technological development. We can only expect this trend to continue in the future.