The Best 3D Visualization Software

Finding the right 3D visualisation software for you is going to be something of a journey in itself; there is no objectively ‘best’ software out there, and every professional in this industry has their own opinion on which one you should use.  Choosing the right package for you has to factor in your personal needs, area of work, budget and prior expertise in using such programs.  However, you’ll be happy to know that, like in every industry, there’s a few roses that have risen above the thorns, and you’ll find that certain names keep cropping up again and again.  Therefore we can recommend that you look into the following well-regarded and critically-received programs to see if they suit your requirements.

Your PC and your CGI dreams

Some of the prices of the high-end software might shock you, but even these prices can be deceiving; you’ll also need a computer with the specifications and hardware required to run whichever program you want.  Thus, ‘can my rig run this thing properly?’ should be one of the biggest questions to consider.

Don’t forget that software developers specify both ‘minimum’ and ‘recommended’ system requirements for their programs; meeting the recommended specs ensures that you can run the software comfortably and largely without worry, while having the minimum specs will mean that the software could tax your computer considerably and have repercussions on your machine’s longevity.  Furthermore, the power under your PCs hood will determine how fast the software will run; rendering 3D graphics can take a long time, and as time is money, programs running slowly could end up costing you more in the long run than forking out enough cash to upgrade your personal computer.

Beginner/Intermediate software

Are you looking to pick up 3D visualisation from scratch?  Whether you want to dive right in and immerse yourself or just dip your toes, there are a number of surprisingly versatile programs for beginners to get stuck into, without having to spend thousands on licences. Here are a few of our top picks, perfect for both a hobbyist or a beginner.

Sculptris / free / win, mac (http://pixologic.com/sculptris/)

Pixologic’s Sculptris is rightly recognised as one of the best free digital sculptors available, and is well-regarded for its easy-to-use interface and gentle learning curve.  However, it seems to work best as a tool used in conjunction with other, more expensive software, such as Maya and Blender

Clara.io / free or premium version $100 per year / browser (https://clara.io/)

Innovation is no stranger to Clara.io, a potent 3D visualising program that has a wealth of powerful tools and can even be used for 3D animation.  Clara.io’s real strength, however, lies in its collaborative capacities; much like Google Docs, you can easily share your files with other Calar.io users and allow them to work on your design, allowing for true collaboration at the click of a mouse.

SketchUp /$600 for premium / win, mac / (https://www.sketchup.com)

Designed for flexible application, SketchUp is a versatile program that is simple and not too difficult to master.  While it is mostly used in architectural rendering, interior design and real estate development, its uses don’t extend to far beyond that.  However, if this is your industy, SketchUp is a solid choice.

Professional / Industry-level software

Blender /free/ win, mac, linux / (https://www.blender.org/)

Proof that sometimes the best things in life are actually free, Blender is an open-source 3D powerhouse that can do a little bit of everything.  It’s steep learning curve and sometimes strange design choices require patience and perseverance, but it excels in its capacity for multi-stage development, with tools to take care of all manner of tasks from modelling through rendering to full 3D animation.  It’s clear to see why Blender is a championed by its passionate independent following.

3DS Max /£204 per month / windows (www.autodesk.co.uk)

A marquee product of premium software developer Autodesk, 3DS Max can be found in offices and studios the world over in industries such as video game development, architectural visualization, and visual effects.  Mastering it will take both training and patience, but what else would you expect from one of the best 3D visualisation tools on the market?

AutoCad / £186 per month / (www.autodesk.co.uk)

Another product from Autodesk, AutoCad isn’t going to get a lot on highly artistic and graphical visualisation projects. However, for engineering, industrial or architectural visualisation or product design, AutoCAD is the go-to program for many companies, and it’s use is taught in many engineering degrees.

Cinema 4D visualise /$2,295 per year /win, mac (/www.maxonshop.com)

Cinema 4D has a reputation as one of the best for 3D modelling, and its advanced tools for adding layers of complexity to its models make it great for visualisations.  The only drawback is that it doesn’t go much further than 3D modelling, so those looking to use animations in their projects might be better off with something else.

Inventor / $2060 per year / win, mac (https://www.autodesk.co.uk/products/inventor/overview)

Another high-quality Autodesk product, Inventor is specifically designed for prototypes and proof of concept designs for mechanical products.  As such, it is highly efficient useful product simulation, mechanical design, and tool development.  As expected from Autodesk, Inventor is a versatile and powerful tool if you have the technical expertise to use it..

Solidworks /£9950/ windows (https://www.3ds.com/)

Much like its chief competitor, Inventor, Solidworks produces wonderful solutions for visualisation specifically geared towards mechanical and industrial engineering, and is commonly used in aerospace, nautical, automotive and industrial product design.  It has also been used in medical modelling and architectural design. As you might imagine, anyone using this software will need fairly advanced engineering skills and extensive training.

3 Effective Property Development Marketing Strategies

Choosing the right property advertising strategies when selling your property is necessary to achieve desirable results. No matter what kind of property you’re selling, marketing strategies will surely be beneficial.

However, before you start choosing the right marketing strategy, you should first know what property development marketing is all about.

What is Property Development Marketing?

Property development marketing is all about creating effective marketing strategies to encourage people to buy your property. Aside from that, it can also open many doors for new potential buyers and for people who want to do business with you.

Always remember that the most significant factor that affects your campaign is you. If you are starting a business, you are also beginning to create your brand, so make sure to choose the right marketing strategies. In connection to that, you should make sure that you’re respectable and you know how to handle yourself. Earning respect from clients starts with professionally-designed business cards and communicating professionally with your clients. Possess desirable qualities like honesty, integrity and professionalism 24/7 and people will inevitably begin noticing you.

You may think that applying marketing strategies would be quite expensive. That idea is the most common misconception made by people who are not yet aware of the industry, most primarily by a newcomer. The amount of effort that you will put into your real estate marketing mainly depends on you.

Take for example social media marketing and networking – these two are free, it requires minimum to zero investment from your marketing budget. With those marketing strategies, you can advertise your business and reach many people without spending too much money. Establishing your brand successfully, creating an effective marketing campaign, and having consistent communication with your clients are the key factors in achieving an excellent word-of-mouth system.

Three Marketing Strategies That Will Engage More Clients to Your Business

A good marketing campaign must make an excellent first impression to clients or other potential buyers for it to be called successful and efficient. If you are planning to advertise your business through the use of social media, then you need to do it efficiently. But promoting your business is not enough, you need to be creative and do more than that.

You can try including some humor or something that can pique the interest of anyone who sees your campaign. You can also add some information which might be interesting or helpful to your potential clients.

However, some marketing strategies are full of surprises – clients and competitors won’t see them coming because investors prefer a silent campaign. To do that, investors will target a particular group of individuals or find properties that are off-the-market. If you make a quiet attack as an investor, you can make sure that you can get a particular deal without going out in the open.

If you want to make your property development marketing business successful, then you might consider applying these three marketing strategies:

  1. Try to find properties that are off the market

Multiple Listing Service or MLS may not include Off-market real estate properties. If you are interested in applying this marketing strategy to your business, then you should make sure that you can complete some vital tasks. You should be able to do some market research first and follow your due diligence. These kinds of properties can be beneficial to investors because owners sell them at a lower price.

However, you might be wondering how you can locate a particular property if they are not on the MLS. All you have to do is to undertake a lot of networking – useful and beneficial networking. You need to establish a network involving a lot of people, especially with wholesalers, local builders, and estate lawyers.

Aside from those, you can also find these properties by attending auctions – either online or traditional. Auctions are a great place in finding foreclosed properties, bank owned properties, and short-sale properties. But make sure to do your homework and research everything about the property before you get too excited about placing your offer.

  1. Target People that are Motivated to Sell

These kinds of people want to sell their property as soon as possible and will be willing to agree to even with the most unusual terms. They can be beneficial to an investor or a business since they can help them reap big profits. To add to the excitement, finding them is also a piece of cake.

You can find them by getting a copy of the “delinquent tax list” in your city. In the list, you can see the people that weren’t able to pay their taxes. Unpaid taxes mean that the city will foreclose the property soon.

If that happens, the people living in that property will be desperate to sell it Instead of waiting for the property to be foreclosed and not receiving even a single cent, they will be selling the property even at a low price.

  1. Make Use of Direct Mail

According to statistics, 92% of shoppers prefer receiving direct mail when they have to decide between buying something. Direct letters can provide many benefits to your business. Aside from the fact that they can remove from your business the need of doing complex analytics; it can also make your business stand out from other companies.

Direct mail is tangible; It can create a particular connection between the investor and potential client. Creating that kind of relationship cannot be achieved when you use email or social media advertising.

To start using direct mail as a marketing strategy, you need to identify the right audience first. You should also be specific as possible in creating your target list to achieve fantastic results. After that, you can start composing your mail – it should be something that would require action and not only to inform. If everything is ready, start sending them out.

Make sure to send them to a limited number of people, so you can easily track the results afterward. You can always repeat the process anyway, so don’t rush yourself.

There are many property marketing strategies available that are also effective. However, those the three which have been mentioned above are the most useful and beneficial to those who are only just starting in the industry.

What is Product Visualization

Product visualization, also called product rendering, is the process of realistically and accurately illustrating a product.  This visualization begins early in the design process, and can take the form of images, diagrams, plans, models and animations or any combination thereof.  The end product needs to not only clearly show the forms and functions of the design, but also communicate the ideas and concepts behind the products creation.

In more complex terms, product visualization requires the use of software for manipulating and viewing 3D models. It can play an integral role in product lifecycle management. Thanks to the high levels of photorealism, product visualization allows you to see the product before it is manufactured.

Kinds of product visualizations

There are a number of different approaches that can be taken in this process, and different types of visualization are effective for different purposes.  3D designs, animations and artistic renders are great marketing and promotional tools, while photorealistic renders will be more useful for investors or shareholders who need to understand the product to a more technical degree.  For engineers, craftsmen, constructors or patent applications, 2D technical visualizations would be best suited.

While there are many different types of product visualization, the end goal is almost always the same. The end goal should be to showcase the product in the best possible light. A true 3D artist will be able to achieve that goal with extreme precision. A combination of 2D and 3D visualizations can be used for the maximum impact.

Benefits of product visualization

At every stage in taking a product from its initially concept to its final design, product visualization is necessary.  Everything from presenting the product to shareholders, analysing the aesthetic and technical quality of the item, through creating prototypes, testing with focus groups and finally marketing and selling the product, visualization is key in assessing, amending and perfecting the design, and it will ultimately be a huge element in the products success. The benefits of product visualization are truly endless. First and foremost, this technology can greatly speed up the production process. Sure, it might be a sidestep so to speak, but it can make a big difference.

By using product visualization, you’ll be able to pinpoint potential problems in advance. This can help you rectify problems, before the product is ever delivered to the consumer. The visualization can also be very helpful for convincing others. Whether you’re trying to attract investors or seal the deal with the buyer, the product visualization can make a huge impact.

Who Uses Product Visualization?

Product visualization is primarily used by manufacturers. It can be used by companies that want to showcase their products to the customer through television or online commercials. The visualizations can also be used at tradeshows to entice investors and business partners. Product visualization could also be used by researchers and inventors.

How Is Product Visualization Achieved?

Generally, the product visualization will start with an idea of the product itself. You can also make a draft drawing on a piece of paper in front of you. After that, you’ll want to turn your work into a 3D object, which can be manipulated and viewed on the computer screen. There are numerous programs that are very beneficial for this purpose. Maxwell Render is one of the most popular. This software was developed by Next Limit Technologies. It is completely stand-alone and has been used in animation, film, and for product visualization. Various plug-ins are available, so the software can used for pretty much any purpose imaginable.

SOLIDWORKS offers another similar software. The software gives you the ability to design and market products better by transforming your idea and imagination into reality. The software, which was previously known as Bunkspeed, is standalone. It is compatible with many imported file formats as well.

The best product visualization Software

As you can imagine, with such a large industry of different designers working in their specific areas, there’s a lot of conjecture around which kind of software is going to give you the best options for product visualisation.  In truth, any fairly good 3D modelling and rending packages are going to be valuable in the hands of a skilled artist.  That said, here are a few of our top picks for 3D which are especially useful in product visualisation or industrial design.

TinkerCAD /free/ brower (https://www.tinkercad.com/)

An offshoot of the discontinued 123D Design from Autodesk, TinkerCAD is a simple yet powerful 3D modeller that runs right from your browser.  Through its simple interface and easy to learn interface, TinkerCAD is obviously popular with the hobbyist crowd, but you might not know that may industrial designers keep it on hand as a quick 3D modelling tool, especially as it is a great 3D printing tool. The perfect place for any beginner to start 3D sculpting.

SketchUp – /from $695/ win, mac (https://www.sketchup.com/)

SketchUp is a brilliant tool for designers starting out in product rendering thanks to its ease of use the speed at which it works.  If you want an intuitive solution with a gentle learning curve that will let you knock up stunning visualisations quickly and effectively,  SketchUp is worth considering.

Rhinoceros 3D /from $695 / win, osx (https://www.rhino3d.com)

Much like its namesake, Rhinoceros 3D is an absolute beast of an engine and comes with literally thousands of built-in sculpting tools for modelling and editing.  Throw in the fact that it is compatible with almost every design, rendering or animation software you can think of, Rhino might be one of the most versatile tools on the market for a visualisation.

Adobe Photoshop 3D / from £19 per month/ win, mac (www.adobe.com)

Whether it is used for a project from start to finish or just to add those finishing touches to a render from a different program, Photoshop is an industry standard, and anyone with experience using it will know exactly why.  With tools for rendering, editing, lighting and 3D animation, Photoshop is proficient in every area, and its license fees is barely a fraction of what other engines cost.

Zbrush /from $795/ win, osx / (http://pixologic.com/features)

Zbrush might be known for its use in HD graphics for games and films, but it is also a firm favourite with product visualisers due to its powerful plugins like NanoMesh, Arraymesh and GoZ.  Zbrush is known for allowing artists to cram an astounding amount of detail into their renders while still keeping a relatively low polygon count, and as such, it is used extensively in industries where very complex designs are required.

Autodesk Product Designer Suite /from £3,500/ win, mac (https://www.autodesk.com/suites/product-design-suite/overview)

The name really says it all here.  This package doesn’t come cheap, but it gives you a number of brilliant Autodesk programs, including industry stables like as Inventor, Vault  and AutoCAD, making sure that you are fully equipped for whatever problems the product visualisation industry can throw at you.

Punch Home Design Studio / $399.99 / win, mac (http://www.punchsoftware.com/)

With the word “punch” in the title, you know that this software has to have some power behind it, and that it does. This is without a doubt one of the most powerful and versatile rendering tool available on the market. Even if you are still learning and consider yourself a newbie, this tool is one of the best places to jump right in and start learning. With intuitive and comprehensive design tools you really won’t have a problem getting started and mastering the basics right away.

Cinema 4D / Starts at $600.00 and goes up/ win, mac (http://www.maxon.net/)

Cinema 4D is a powerful tool for beginners and experts that are looking to achieve breathtaking results fast and easy. With its wide range of tools and complete reliability this is the perfect tool for any fast-paced architect that needs to meet demands in a hurry.

MODO / $1799.00 a year / windows, Linux / (http://www.foundry.com/)

There is a good chance that you have probably never heard of MODO, but now is most certainly the time to check it out. Not only does it comes with an extremely powerful modeling program, but the on-board features are so easy to use. However, do not be fooled by the simplicity user interface, because this software has a unique set of cutting edge tools that other programs may not offer.

Octane Render / Starts at $399.00/ windows, mac, Linux / (http://home.otoy.com/)

Here is another 3D visualization software that is backed by a great brand. You know anything with the name Octane in the title is going to be bringing some firepower. This tool without a doubt lives up to the name, as it offers a large variety of textures and tutorials. When it comes to texture and lighting you will simply not find a tool with more options.

Lumion 3D / $1,857.94 / windows / (http://lumion.com/)

The biggest benefit of this software has got to be its compatibility. This software is compatible with just about any type 3D program you can think of. When you combine this with its walkthrough capabilities and animation integration, this really is a go-to 3D visualization program for any beginner looking to enhance their skills.

VRAY Maya/ $1,500 / windows, mac / (http://vray.us/)

When it comes to rendering software, VRAY has got to be at the top of the mountain. Even though it is already the best, it continues to evolve with continuous updates that are even impressing the most qualified experts in the field. Of course, you are going to have to pay for these kinds of features.

Best software for Architectural Rendering

As with any burgeoning technology, you’ve got your work cut out for you choosing which engine to use for your architectural renders.  While some professions use common 3D graphics software like Blender or Maya for architectural renders, our list below shows out top picks for programs specifically with architectural application in mind. If you’re looking for the best software available for this field, we recommend you check out the following:

VRay / $ depending on your main software (www.chaosgroup.com)

VRay is highly-used plug-in that is compatible with most major 3D rending engines, such as Maya, Blender and Modo.  With its vast library of assets and its extreme flexibility, VRay is a must have if you are looking to accurately depict colours, lighting, shadows and textures as they appear in reality.  Its gonna take a bit of effort to get to grips with, but you can rest easy knowing that there is a wealth of online tutorials available to help you.

Modo /$1779 / win, mac, linux (https://www.foundry.com/products/modo)

Despite the fact that it is a little more under the radar than other programs on this list, Modo is one of the best solutions available to architects out there, especially considering the fact that it models and renders, eliminating the need to switch between apps. Moreover, Modo has a number of impressive and unique 3D sculpting tools that are perfect for architects. It’s also a super-fast program that won’t tax your computer as much as its peers.

Modo allows artists to experiment with their imagination, without needing to jump through so many technical hoops. It offers numerous features, including modeling, UV workflows, sculpting and so much more.

Archicad /$4,250 / win, mac/ (http://www.graphisoft.com/archicad/)

With origins dating back to the 1980s, Archicad is recognized one of if not the first CAD and BIM program for personal computers capable of generating 3D images, and its current version is one of the few programs designed by architects for architects.  Archicad’s strength comes from the fact that its programming cleverly anticipates your next actions and begins preparing for them, greatly reducing the amount of time waiting for things to load.

Archicad offers a wealth of features that will definitely make your job easier. For instance, it includes a convenient stair tool. Designing stairs can be incredibly tough. With the Stair Tool, you’ll be able to lay stairs in your work within a matter of seconds. A similar railing tool is also available.

Vectorworks Architect / from $2950 / win, mac  (http://www.vectorworks.net/architect)

Vectorworks Architect is well-known for its robust tool set that allow the artist to bend, shape and manipulate 3D objects with ease, making it a favorite for those working on complex and innovative projects.  It also gives you the benefit of working in a fantastically designed digital environment with great work flows and easy options to collaborate with other users.  This one is definitely cutting edge.

Autocad architecture / from $190 / win (www.autodesk.co.uk/products/autocad-architect)

Developed by 3D graphics giants Autodesk, Autocad Architect is one of the most streamlined and accessible programs on the market. Built from the ground up with architects in mind, it makes some of the more lengthy and repetitious tasks of 3D rendering faster and much more efficient, drastically cutting down on the amount of time a project takes.

SketchUp / License for $695 / Win and Mac (https://www.sketchup.com/buy/sketchup-pro)

SketchUp aims to be one of the most simplistic and user-friendly rendering programs on the planet. The software’s LayOut feature gives you the ability to add model views to pages, adjust line weight and add graphics and dimensions. The software is also very versatile in terms of exporting your files. After you’ve finished your work, you can choose to export the file in numerous formats, including images, PDFs and CAD files. This ensures that you’ll be able to use your files pretty much anywhere and everywhere.

The software comes with access to a 3D Warehouse. Instead of modeling everything from scratch, you can download tons of free 3D models from the warehouse and speed up your work.

Revit / Starting at $245 / Win 64-bit only (https://www.autodesk.com/products/revit-family/overview)

 Revit is a 3D rendering software developed by Autodesk. The software is designed for BIM or Building Information Modeling. It offers features for a wealth of purposes, including MEP, structural engineering, construction and architectural design. As a student, you can get the software for free years for free. It is also available in a comprehensive collection with AutoCAD and others. Or, you can buy it as a stand-alone software.

The powerful tools available in Revit make it possible to plan, design, construct and manage any type of building or infrastructure project. You can also use the software to collaborate with many contributors.

Honourable mentions: Rhino 3D, Lumion 3D, Chief Architect, Maxwell

5 Things You Need to Know When Hiring an Architectural Renderer

You may be asking yourself, what is an architectural renderer? And why do you need one?

Well, a 3D renderer is a person specializing in creating photo-realistic images of the exterior and interior spaces of a building.  If you are working in the design industry, hiring a renderer is helpful in boosting your business. If you’re a homeowner wanting to renovate your space, an architectural renderer can help you visualize your design before you even buy a can of paint.

With the increasing demand for architectural images and virtual tours, more and more artists are specializing in 3D rendering services. Architectural visualization (arch viz) is a growing trend that gives designers and clients a preview of their proposed design.

Nowadays, you have the option to hire a freelance architectural renderer or outsource a company that provides such services. Either way, here are some things you need to consider before working with a renderer:

  1. Years of Experience

Like any other services, rendering is a learned and acquired skill. Thus, the first thing you should check in a contractor’s profile is the number of years he or she has been in the business. For a rendering company, you also have to know the cumulative hours of experience of all their artists on-board. You’ll want to avoid companies whose employees have only a few months experience on their hands.

If you want to hire a freelancer, you have to check if he or she has a background in rendering. A couple of years’ experience working in an established company is a step in the right direction.  But, you have to be wary of people who have worked at many companies in a short amount of time. It could mean that they don’t have the essential skills to be proper architectural renderers.  

  1. Portfolio Quality

Aside from the years of experience, an ideal architectural renderer has a healthy quantity of high-quality portfolio in their repertoire.  So before you sign a contract, it is necessary to view samples of the renderer’s output. A wide variety of 3D architectural artwork will also help you understand the artist’s skill range. You can check out if he has handled similar projects to yours. You also have to know the rendering styles they can offer.

Keep in mind, though, that quality is subjective and different for everybody, which is why you have to decide and consider who your target spectators are. People who work in advertising and marketing industries, for instance, would prefer to use high-resolution photos. For example, real-estate agents would want hyper-realistic images to showcase to their clients. On the other hand, a homeowner planning a small renovation project for his house doesn’t need photo-realistic imagery. The point of architectural visualization for small projects is to give the owner an idea of their design concept, rather than impressing a specific demographic.

  1. Time Zones and Turnaround Time

Rome wasn’t built in a day. And rendering can take a long time, depending on the level of quality you want to achieve. So, don’t expect to get your final product overnight.

Most companies have an average of three to five working days to complete a project excluding revisions. So, before you provide all the materials to your architectural renderer, you have to ask for an initial quote on estimated turnaround times. Keep in mind, though, that superior quality images and animations almost always take longer than regular ones.

If you opted to avail services from an overseas rendering firm, the time zone differences could be a challenge for you to work together. This is because communication is a vital part of a successful working relationship with your renderer. You don’t need to micromanage each part of the project, but being able to talk to the artist is essential in ensuring that the output won’t stray from your original idea.

  1. Revision Policy and Guarantees

When working with a rendering contractor, you have to provide all necessary drawings and specifications so that they are able to work smoothly. Even so, there are still some things you might want to change or tweak a little bit in the output to meet your criteria. Most often, renderers will include a certain amount of revisions with their base price. Suppose that the renderers have reached that particular number of alterations and you still want to change something, you will have to pay for extra fees. That’s why you should include revision policies in your contract.

But, unlimited revisions from a provider can be a red flag on your part. It could lead to the artist’s carelessness and a compromise of skill and time. As a client, you might save financially, but you’d be stuck in a near infinite revision loop just to get the proper output. Established and confident renderers will guarantee that they can accomplish their work within the time and quota they have provided.

  1. Rendering Price

Whether you are buying a product or availing a service, your top priorities will be the same: time, quality, and money.

In a perfect world, you would get high-quality renders in a short amount of time and within your budget limit. Yet, the harsh reality is, you could only get two out of these three criteria at best. You might get the best quality on the market, but expect that you have to pay more or wait a long time.  That doesn’t mean that you won’t find good works at an affordable price, but there might be some compromises you have to make in the process.

A successful architectural renderer or an established firm would rarely get involved in a bidding war. A renderer can prove his value by the consistent quality he can and had produced. Also, he must have strong ongoing relationships with clients and continuously hone his skills to make his visualization truly amazing.

So, should you ignore your budget for a good quality render? The answer is no. Several factors, such as turnaround time and final quality can affect the price range for an architectural visualization. If you keep these factors in mind and adjust accordingly, you could definitely find a way to work around your budget.

So, there you have it. These are the five things you must always take into consideration when hiring or working with a renderer. As a businessman, architectural visualization is a great way to improve your business, and you should take advantage of it. If you’re a homeowner, arch viz could help you immerse yourself in your dream home’s design before laying the first brick.

Keep these tips in mind, and you are sure to find the best architectural renderer who will meet your criteria and meet your rendering needs.

What is Architectural Visualization

The rapid advancement in technology makes the building process a lot simpler for those involved. When constructing buildings and other structures, you need to be precise with your design. Any minor error in the design could result in alterations, and this will also mean an additional cost will be incurred. But, with the use of architectural visualization, design errors and mistakes can be kept to a minimum.

What Is Architectural Visualization?

Architectural visualization is a strategy that is utilized before the actual structure design is built. This can either be a simple sketch or an intricate one. It also has more defined options such as interactive virtual tours and computer generated images.

Real estate agents, architects, contractors, and interior designers use this method to attract clients to purchase their products and services. When possible buyers or customers see the image, they will have a clear idea of what they are buying. When clients see a 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional picture, they can have a closer look at the characteristics of the suggested project.

Advantages of Architectural Visualization

  1. Improved Visual Communication for Clients and Prospective Buyers

For designers, it can be challenging to help clients understand the minor details and vision of a project. Describing a design verbally to a client can often lead to misunderstandings, since it is difficult to ascertain if they have grasped what you mean immediately. More specifically, there are architectural terms which are difficult to interpret if you don’t have sufficient knowledge about the subject.

Customers, especially those who are not familiar with the concepts of designing, will have a hard time comprehending the vital information provided to them on CAD plans.  However, with architectural visualization, both designers and clients are able to easily see the final result of the proposed project.

  1. Efficiency in Spotting Errors

When structures are built and clients request that you change even just a little part of your design, it is highly likely that additional expenses will be incurred for the client.

When things like this happen, it could have a negative impact both on the client and the construction company’s business. This will reduce your chances of acquiring repeat customers or getting recommendations.

Through architectural visualization, owners, designers, and builders can closely look at the design and correct any errors even before the building stage is initiated. This has an influence on the project’s expenses, as well as the time of execution.

Classification of Architectural Visualization

  1. 2-dimensional Visualization

Architects and builders traditionally use flat floor plans and basic blueprints when presenting or selling their product. This kind of visualization is 2-dimensional, and although this is still widely used today, it may not provide the clients with all crucial details of the project.

Looking at a 2-dimensional diagram, it can be hard to picture out how the structure will look like in relation to its surroundings. It’s also challenging to imagine the flow from one room to another with the use of 2-dimensional sketches.

  1. Computer Generated Visualization

One of the latest methods when it comes to architectural visualizationis 3-dimensional images, which can give you a clear picture or a 360-degree view of the structure. This strategy allows you and other people to check out every angle as if you are looking at the actual structure. Here are some programs that make use of 3-dimensional visualization:

  • Computer-generated motionless pictures

A 3-dimensional image will convey to the clients the value of your designs because it delivers facts crucial for the formation of their emotional connection. This option is ideal for companies which are on a budget and can’t afford 3-dimensional virtual tours. Computer-generated motionless pictures are not as sophisticated as the new architectural technology, but it’s still a valuable resource.

With the use of a 3-dimensional picture, clients can have a clear view of the structure’s interiors or exteriors and its landscaping.

  • 3-dimensional virtual tours

If the computer-generated motionless pictures provide clear images, 3-dimensional virtual tours enable 360-degree viewing of a structure and its surroundings. Using this technology is like eradicating the borders between fantasy and reality. This method allows you to make something that does not exist but still convinces people that it’s real.

With the help of architectural visualization and in using 3-dimensional visual tour, architects and builders can easily sell even huge projects since clients can see the details. Some layouts that could benefit when using a 3-dimensional visual tour include industrial buildings, shopping malls, offices, hotels, residential buildings and more.

How Various Professions Benefit Using Architectural Visualization

  • Real estate agents

Selling a property which is still under construction is difficult. You can’t present to a potential client a picture of unfinished buildings. This is where architectural visualization comes handy because real estate agents can make a presentation of what the property will look like once the work is done.

  • Landowners

For those who own a lot and plan to build, this method of using 3-dimensional images can help owners visualize the structures and rearrange them as needed.

  • Architects

Every architect could benefit from using this method not just by using it to explain their concepts to clients but also in expressing themselves and their ideas through the images while building their portfolio.

  • Businessmen

It’s hard to find investors when they can’t imagine what they are paying for. That’s why businessmen should consider using 3-dimensional visualization. When a plan is presented together with feasibility reports and other essential documentation, it could attract more investments and makes the presenting company look professional.

Architectural visualization could help both professionals and their clients since it allows them to see even the smallest details and variations from a different point of view. If you want to take advantage of the benefits of this strategy, make sure to invest in a quality contractor as to do this yourself will take time to develop your skills.

Exploring The History Of 3D Animation

Scientists had been experimenting with computer animation since the 1960s, but birth of 3D animation is widely attributed to pioneers Ed Catmull and Fred Park, who created the world’s first 3D rendered movie, A Computer Animated Hand, in 1972.  The techniques used by Catmull and Park, such as creating wireframe skeleton and then rendering surfaces on the models, formed the basis of the 3D animation as we know it today.  Catmull went on to found Pixar, and he is currently the president of Pixar and Disney Walt Animation Studios

Interestingly enough, the original Star Wars was the third movie to ever use this kind of technology, with CGI wireframe models being used in various scenes.

However, it wasn’t until 1983’s Tron that audiences all over the world were introduced to solid 3D animation, such as digital terrain and digital vehicles. Since then, due to the huge advances in animation software and the success of fully 3D movies like Toy Story, 3D animation has become just another part of life in the 21st century.

Introduction Of Computer Animation

It is believed that computer animation originated sometime in the early 1940s or 1950s. Around this time, experiments in computer graphics were just beginning and computers were still in their infancy. John Whitney is known to be one of the first artists to delve into computer graphics. However, it took much longer before computer graphics took off. By the early 1960s, digital computers became widely popular and computer graphics began to blossom. Artistic experimentation with computer graphics began in the mid-1960s.

Around the mid-1970s, computer graphics were just starting to enter into public media. At this time, pretty much all graphics were 2 dimensional. As computers and associated technology continued to improve, more and more emphasis was placed on achieving 3-dimensional realism. It was until the late 1980s when photo-realistic 3D images started appearing in cinema movies. By the mid-1990s, the technology has improved greatly and it was then possible to create a complete feature film using nothing, but 3D animation.

The Improvements Of The 80s

Major improvements in the 80s paved the way for 3D animation. Silicon Graphics and Quantel released new hardware and software that enabled the development of 3D animation at the time. In 1982, Japan took a leap forward. The country’s Osaka University built a supercomputer specifically for rendering 3D computer graphics. That computer, the LINKS-1 Computer Graphics System, was considered the most powerful computer in 1984. The University of Montreal also played a rule role in bringing 3D animation to the forefront. The university actually produced three short 3D films with 3D charters in the 1980s.

In 1982, the public was introduced to 3D CGI. Walt Disney’s Tron was the first cinema money to use solid 3D CGI heavily. The film, which was directed by Steven Lisberger, was considered to be a milestone for the industry. However, it should be noted that less than 20 minutes of animation were incorporated into the film. Two years later, Universal Picture and Lorimar released The Last Starfighter. The film used CGI extensively. With The Last Starfighters, 27 minutes of CGI footage was produced. The film went on to be a box office success.

3D Inbetweening

3D inbetweening and morphing became popular around the same time. In 1988, Ron Howard’s Willow, became the first movie to use morphing. The film portrays the main character, Willow, using magic to convert into animals and a sorceress. In 1986, Hollywood took 3D inbetweening one step further with the release of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. The movie included a dream sequence in which the characters travel back in time. It shows their faces transforming into one another. This was one of the first successful implementations of 3D scanning and 3D inbetweening.

The 1990s

By the 1990s, 3D animation had really taken off. At the time, there were numerous 3D programs used for this purpose. Wavefront was popular, but most Hollywood studios relied on Alias Research’s PowerAnimator. This software was used for numerous films, including Jurassic Park, Batman Returns and Terminator 2. In 1993, the company began developing Maya. Their software would go on to be used by Sony, Warner Brother, Pixar, and Walt Disney.

The 2000s

In the 2000s, 3D animation took another step forward. During this time, motion capture became immensely popular. In 2002, Peter Jackson shocked the world with the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. This film was the first to utilize a real-time motion capture system. It enabled Andy Serkis to directly control a 3D CGI character, Gollum. Now, this same technology is very popular in video games and it is still frequently used in modern cinema. In the 2000s, most studios relied on three programs. Blender, Poser and Pointstream were commonly used by enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Improvements In the 2010s

In the 2010s, major improvements were made to CGI. In 2013, USC and Activision collaborated to create a real-time digital representation of Ira. This was done using the USC light stage X. The techniques that were once only available in high-end virtual cinema have since been adopted by video game developers. This is a trend that will likely continue well into the future.

Continually Evolving

While 3D animation has evolved significantly, it is safe to say that it is still in its infancy. There is no doubt that 3D animation technologies will continue to evolve and grow well into the future. In fact, it will be very interesting to see what they can come up with next.

Types of jobs in 3D rendering

With such a wide variety of opportunities to apply their skills, 3D rendering artists ply their trade in every industry which needs to generate 3D digital content. Professionals specialising in rendering usually form part of larger projects in established studios or companies.  However, it is not uncommon for these artists to work from home, either as freelance contractors or as part of a company.  Some of the most popular vocations for someone with 3D rendering skills include:

  • 3D artist (video game, special effects in film, cartoons/animation)
  • 3D designer (products, clothes, cameras, interiors etc)
  • Application engineer (mobile etc)
  • Environment artist (driving simulations etc)
  • Architectural designer
  • Database engineer

Freelancing

 While it is possible to team up with a big company, you should also consider plotting your own course. Once you’ve developed your skills and have proven yourself as a master 3D renderer, the possibilities will be endless. Becoming a freelance artist is one possibility. Just think about it. As a freelance 3D artist, you’ll be able to work on your own time and plan your own schedule. You’ll never have to worry about having a boss breathing down your neck. Instead, you will be your own boss. However, freelancing can be a lot of responsibility. You’ll be responsible for finding your own clients and that can be tough.

As a freelancer, you’ll likely be engaged in numerous projects. You’ll be invited to help build video games, commercial, product showcases and so much more.

Game Development

 There is a good chance that your parents complained to you about the amount of time you were spending behind the video game console. They didn’t realize that you could eventually transform your passion into a career. In reality, the video game industry now generates billions of dollars each and every year. As a 3D artist, there is a good chance that you’ll be able to get involved in the action. Pretty much every video game on the planet today requires a 3D world. Someone has to design those buildings, streets and cars.

As a 3D artist in the game industry, you’ll be able to create your own virtual world. You may even have a little say-so in the game’s story. In this type of position, you’ll definitely be able to make a mark on the world.

Architecture

 It should come as no surprise to learn that 3D rendering is immensely important in the architecture industry. Clients love being able to see the finished product, before the foundation of the property is even laid. This is where 3D rendering enters the picture. With 3D rendering, it is possible to take the blueprints for the property and transform them into a 3D image on your computer. 3D visualization has become integral in the real estate market. It can be a helpful tool for convincing the client to seal the deal.

Television Work

 A lot of 3D artists have managed to find work in the television industry. Truly, the possibilities are pretty much endless. After you’ve become a skilled 3D artist, you’ll be able to find plenty of work in this industry. You can definitely get involved in cartoons. Lots of really popular cartoons now use 3D animation. Alternatively, you may want to consider making commercials. 3D commercials are very popular, because they’re cute and attractive. On top of that, they’re considered less expensive than working with human actors.

Can you imagine the excitement of seeing one of your works on the television screen? As a modern 3D artist, the possibilities are truly endless!

Developing a career in 3D rendering

While some companies might have schemes to take on school leavers for internships, most employers will be looking for a bachelor’s degree in a related field as the very minimum. You’ll also need to develop your own personal portfolio and get experience, as many companies ask for 2-5 years of experience in industry, depending on the role.  As you can expect, this role is definitely not for the faint of heart, as you will need dedication, innovation and perseverance in order to develop your career in this competitive environment.  You should also remember that the work of a 3D rendering artist won’t necessarily fall into a comfortable 9-5 pattern; expect late nights in the office and coming in on the weekends, especially when crunch time descends upon your project.

Specialization

While there may be elements which are common in all sectors, most training and experience in this field is industry-specific. For instance, a professional working in video game graphics will bring different capacities to the table than one working in industrial design.  Thus, employers will be looking for long-term experience within a certain field and the ability to use software and processes especially developed for their line of work.  We recommend that you therefore think seriously about what industry and specialisation you would be interested in if you are considering a job a renderer.

3D rendering salaries

As you might expect, the type of salary for a 3D rendering specialist will vary from industry to industry and take into account the level of specialisation the designer has.  In the U.K. salaries for 3D artists with rendering skills range from £18K to £40K per year, with the average salary at around £25K.  These figures do not take into account bonuses, which can be considerable. It is vital to understand that each job is unique. A freelance artist may be paid less than an architect and vice versa. Also, each firm will offer different salaries. Therefore, you should expect the pay to differ significantly depending on numerous factors.

 

12 Awesome 3D rendering tricks and techniques

3d rendering is one of the newest art forms. It requires patience, skill and a lot of trial and error. Before you’re able to master the art, you’ll need to sit down and go to work. With hands-on experience, you’ll begin to learn how to perfect your renderings and make your work appear more realistic than ever before. Below, you will discover some tricks and techniques for making your 3D renderings look so much spectacular and realistic.

 Start with good reference materials

Long before you boot up your software, collect as much reference material as you can, especially photographs.  Remember, don’t copy another artists’ work, but get inspiration, look at how the light flows and spills, and see how different surfaces reflect in different contexts.

Use a linear workflow

A linear workflow is a mathematical formula which ensures that the light flows correctly throughout your design and fall appropriately on all the surfaces in it.  Using a linear workflow will make sure that the light and colours in your design are properly displayed and give you a realistic looking image.  Without it, light and shadows can look very artificial.

Test your lighting with low resolution renders

Objects with high resolutions will take a long time to render, so when it comes to testing out any lighting in your render, have your objects set at a low resolution and keep the shadow and reflection settings down, allowing for quick renders.  Start with the first light source in the image, and then add more one by one.  This will allow you to quickly test and adjust all the lighting in your design

Name your lights

This may sound a little strange, but descriptively naming each of the lights in your image will save you a lot of time in the long run as it prevents you from getting them confused.  Moreover, if your render is a model for something which will eventually be built, for example, a theatre stage, having each light properly named will be of great help to the engineer tasked with the construction.

Break huge scenes into separate files

Rendering large and complex scenes, such as cityscapes, can take what seems like forever even on a high-end PC.  Many veteran rendering experts get around this by breaking the scene down into separate files, which allows them to be managed more easily, and then rendered together at the end.

Observe the rule of thirds

While 3D rendering may have replaced traditional photography in many industries, a good 3D artist will apply the compositional rules of photography to their work. One well-known example is the rule of thirds, in which an image is divided into 9 equal parts, and points of interest are placed along the lines dividing these parts of where the lines meet. (photo)  Some things never go out of style, and artists and photographers have been observing the rule of thirds for hundreds of years.

Add in Asymmetry

While your 3D graphics engine will perfectly balance all the angles in your renders and produces images of perfect symmetry, the real world doesn’t always work like that, and your brain will pick up on something that is ‘too perfect’ even if your conscious mind doesn’t.  If you’re going for photorealism, add a touch of asymmetry to your work to make it more lifelike.

Bevel Frequently

 One of the most common errors for beginners is forgetting to chamfer or bevel edges. Remember that real life very rarely has sharp edges. In fact, it is nearly impossible to find sharp edges in nature. On top of that, pretty much every man-made object will have edges with a little roundness. Bevelling is a minor tweak, but it can really make a huge difference. Adding bevelled edges to your works can help add realism to your works, while also bringing out all of the small details. As a 3D modeler, you should force yourself to learn the bevel tool first and foremost.

Increasing Realism With Blurred Backgrounds

When you stare out into Mother Nature, you will note that the objects in the distance tend to blur a little. They’ll usually begin to lose their color intensity as well. Using something similar in your work is highly recommended. The depth of field or just adding a blurred background will help to greatly increase the realism of your works. Add a shallow depth of field to your work. This will help isolate the subject and enhance your composition. It is possible to add depth effects at rendering time or in post-production.

Dirty It Up A Little

 Perfection is almost always a pipe dream. Have you ever seen a perfect image in real life? The answer is likely no. When crafting your works, you should never to be afraid to add a little grit or dirt to it. If you want the most photorealistic images possible, you need to emulate what you see in Mother Nature. Consider adding cracks to concrete and make sure those trees aren’t entirely perfect. Mixing it up and eliminating the error of perfection is recommended for achieving a more realistic rendering.

Don’t Force Bounce Colors

 Many mistakenly believe that global illumination means that extra bounce lighting is not needed. It is vital to understand the global illumination will replicate the lighting almost identical to live-action cinematography. With this in mind, you should realize that each surface can easily reflect light elsewhere. When adding bounce colors to your images, it is absolutely vital to use the right colors. If you’re adding bounce light to characters, you should be sure to use a warm color. Adding a little red or pink to reflect the skin tone is a good idea. The bounce colors for buildings should more closely reflect their natural color.

Using A Gradient Map For Cloud Shadows

 If you want maximum photorealism, you should definitely add cloud shadows. The best way to do this is by using the gradient map. The spotlight and Gradient’s phase can be a great way to simulate moving clouds. You can also use a similar setup to emulate forest lighting.