Architects and designers use 3D rendering images to showcase key effects and demonstrate the design details of the structure before, during or after a project is built. We’ve shared many case studies of architectural visualization projects for exteriors, interiors, hotels, houses, shopping malls, museums, and other various types of buildings.
Today, we’d like to introduce a 3D rendering project in a different way. A way from our professionals’ perspective. If you’re looking for a reliable 3D rendering services team, you may understand what we’re thinking in each of the stages and get yourself prepared to accelerate the whole process. On the other hand, if you’re thinking about working as a 3D specialist in the ArchViz industry, this article may provide you explicit details of each step of a typical 3D rendering process.
Okay, let’s get our 3D rendering process journey started!
Step 1: Understanding the Project
Desert Palisades project is a luxury private villa in Desert Palisades, Palm Springs, California. Our partner Paula was looking for 3D renderings to present this amazing structure. First of all, the whole team including the project manager and relevant 3D artists need to understand the client’s requirement. This includes the client’s aim, the vision, and the purpose of the project.
During this stage, a kick-off meeting is ideal for exchanging files and ideas. Or at least, necessary materials and the client’s vision should be shared through email or other platforms. For this project, the necessary information includes:
- The design. Paula shared the Rhino model of the house. At the same time, she sent the CAD plans that helped our 3D artists to gain deeper understanding of the structure.
- The landscape plan. Especially for this project, Paula prepared the reference photos for the desert landscaping. This is important for some atypical environment such as desert, seaside, and snow mountain.
- The camera angles. Paula was very clear about the camera angles she wanted for this project. In some cases, we’d love to offer some suggestions if our clients do not have any idea of the views.
- The materials board. The 3D model had included some materials. Also, Paula shared some images about the textures she wanted for the house.
Also, Paula shared more about the project including:
- The site photos. This is because instead of building the surrounding environment, Paula decided to use photomontage for the surroundings. So she took some photos with the same camera angles of the final 3D renders she wanted.
- The moods. Aka, the atmosphere for the renderings. In this project, we used photomontage for surrounding context, which meant the moods of the final 3D renderings should be the same or at least similar to the original photos. Paula wanted all three views to be regular daytime.
Step 2: Creating the 3D Model
After collecting all necessary information about the project, our team started the production. The first thing to do is to create the 3D model with the materials received. Because we’ve already received a Rhino model, there was no need to build one. However, the model is not ready to use.
During this stage, our 3D artists fine-tune the model. This includes importing the Rhino model to 3ds Max, sorting the elevations and lines, arranging the included textures, adding details to the 3D model based on the design plans received. The following images shows the comparison of the Rhino model received and the fine-tuned model:
When we shared the fine-tuned model to Paula, she was excited and she wrote:
“The renders look already very promising. It’s all good in the model except an area that is meant to be cantilevered in V1. The corner should float over the terrain.
I have placed some reference images so that you can see how the landscape and street looks like in that same development for the next phase.”
With the below image shared, Paula was happy with the model and mentioned a couple of minor adjustments to work on. Meanwhile, she sent through some reference images for the landscaping and materials and textures that were extremely helpful.
Step 3: Applying Materials and Textures
The next stages comes to the materials and textures. When working on the materials and textures, our 3D artists will carefully pick the accurate materials in order to show realism. This probably is the determining step. The final images will look realistic only when the materials and textures are right.
To create photorealistic renders, our 3D artists carefully studied the reference images Paula provided, and looking for the most similar and realistic possible materials in our library and the internet. For real estate rendering, or house rendering, we often care about the façade. That is to say, we pay great attention to the presentation of the exterior roofs and walls, our 3D specialists believe that the first impression of a 3D image depends on the overall photoreal materials.
As a result, our 3D team added and adjusted the materials and textures according to the information in the model and Paula’s comments.
Step 4: Setting the Lighting and Post-processing
In the 3D rendering working process, setting the lighting is the final stage. We will determine the lighting to show a better result of the subject. This is a complex process because the light and shadow will change how the architecture looks in total. Moreover, the lighting is able to improve the realism of the rendering.
Different from other projects, this private house rendering project and other projects using photomontage already has the lighting set. The photo used for photomontage has a fixed light and shadow setting, and as a 3D artist team, we need to adjust the lighting of the model exactly the same as the one in the photo.
As to the post-processing, we mainly use Photoshop to apply visual effects based on the whole image to make it more natural and vivid. Of course, the clients may come up with their ideas sometimes. For this luxury villa project, we added some paperback trees and cactus balls in the front of the image and adjust the landscape especially the road to melt the building into the surrounding environment.
Step 5: Final Delivery of High-res 3D Renderings
When the drafts are confirmed, our 3D artists will output the final high-res 4K/5K images. The resolution is subjected to the clients’ need, but usually is 4K or 5K. Actually, our professional project manager will talk about this issue with the clients before the start of the production. So, if you have any special requirements on the resolution, please mention it as earlier as possible. This is because the 3D team need to modify the resolution during the rendering process. It is quite difficult the change to a much larger resolution when the final delivery occurs.
Now, let’s enjoy the final renderings of this beautiful house in the desert.
What do you think about the 3D rendering process for real estate industry? It can be challenging to get a grip on, so hope we’ve made the whole process easy to catch up on. We’ll happy to hear that you get what you want here.
Plus, AIMIR is a creative 3D rendering studio specializing in architectural visualization from 2006. We’re happy to talk with you about ArchViz process if you have any questions or any projects.