05 Jul

A 3D Rendering also called Interior Rendering, Architectural Visualization, Virtual Interior Design, CG Rendering, among others, is a to scale accurate representation of a building or room. Programs such as Sketchup and 3DS Max are used to build the walls, floors, windows, doors and anything that can be modeled easily (like kitchen cabinets and countertops). This is referred to as the "Model". At this stage the model is just a collection of colored geometric shapes and it looks like a house but lacks realism. A "Rendering Engine" such as Blender, V-Ray or Corona Render is used to act as a pair of magic glasses that allows you to see these geometric shapes with realistic textures. The rendering engine is a "plugin" to the program creating the geometry and is owned and maintained by a separate company. I am reminded here that I told my dad I would never use geometry......anyway.....The process is not exactly magic as there are many steps to get to the finished product even with the the rendering engine. For example, if we create a slab that is 10x14' by 4" thick to represent our back patio slab, that slab needs to have a texture applied to it. Textures are basically a collection of jpeg images that are put together and kept in a folder on the computer. The rendering engine once directed to use these textures knows where to find them. Some rendering engines come with a limited number of pre made textures. You can also buy them on sites like cgmood.com or cgtrader.com or turbosquid.com or you can make them yourself if you have time. Furnishings are usually bought as they are more complex to create. Some artists make exact replicas of current home furnishings from brands like Arteriors, Uttermost, CB2, West Elm, Sonneman, Curry & Co and many others. These are referred to as "Assets". The more assets you have, the better and more on trend and current your finished product will look. 

Once we have identified all of the assets we wish to use along with all of the interior finishes and have them placed in the model lighting has to be considered. The render engines have several options for lighting including a representation of the sun. Getting the lighting right is a process. Also to consider is getting the lighting the way the client needs it (to match their existing real photographs of properties). Many CG artists create beautiful moody renderings with beams of sunlight touching the edge of the bed lightly with the bedcovers turned down - oh so dreamy but that isn't going to help you market your new construction build. Renderings need to be fully lit and mimic professionally done interior photographs. 

Once the scene is right, the assets are in place and the lighting is right where we want it, the scene needs to be rendered. This is where the computer program assembles all of the pixels of each item in the scene until it can't pixel anymore. Very expensive high quality computers are require to accomplish this and it can take anywhere from a few hours to 12 or more hours for complex or animated scenes. 

After rendering the images are tweaked in Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom and then delivered to the marketing team in the correct size needed. The process takes time, patience and resources but well worth it in the end! 

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