How Architects and Designers Get Photorealistic Renderings

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Have you ever looked at an architectural rendering and had to do a double-take to see if it’s a real picture? As technology has improved, photorealistic renderings have become more commonplace in the industry. And if you haven’t already, now’s the time to integrate them into your own workflow. 

Design Renderings: More Than Eye Candy

Today’s design renderings can be flashy, but that’s not necessarily the intended goal. Renderings are more than just eye candy that you dangle in front of clients and/or shove into a portfolio. They offer tangible benefits that can elevate your work and enhance your career.

When all else is equal, your ability to take a 2D design and transform it into a visually tantalizing rendering allows the client to experience the design in a new way. It enables them to essentially touch, hear, and smell the design (or at least feel like they can).

Compelling design renderings also eliminate common points of friction and confusion. It becomes much harder for a client to misinterpret something when they can see it for themselves. 

5 Tips for Better Design Renderings

Not all design renderings are created equal. If you’re looking for ways to improve your rendering abilities, these tips will help:

1.     Choose the Right Platform

It doesn’t matter how skilled you are, how creative your designs are, or what sort of work you currently have in your portfolio; the only way to get world-class design renderings is to use world-class modeling software.

The difficult part is choosing the right platform. With so many options at different price points, it’s not always easy to know how to proceed. If you’re looking for the most advanced rendering solution on the market, Lumion 10 is your best bet. It has features that other tools don’t come close to replicating – especially when it comes to things like lighting and shadows.

2.     Pay Attention to Lighting

Speaking of lighting, this is the single best way to enhance your designs and transform them from digital depictions into photorealistic renderings.

The key with lighting is to achieve true shadows with warm light. Artificial light is fairly easy to control, but natural sunlight for outdoor renderings can be more challenging. A platform like Lumion basically automates this process for you and prevents the time-consuming need to adjust and optimize individual objects.

3.     Try Multiple Perspectives

If you’re only able to see a scene from one vantage point, it can be challenging to gain the proper context for design renderings. This is why it’s helpful to provide clients with as many perspectives as possible. Most rendering platforms make this as easy as clicking and dragging to adjust the angle. 

4.     Embrace Imperfections

When was the last time you physically walked into a room and everything was perfect? In other words, the floors were perfect, the baseboards were clean, the drapes were perfectly creased, the rug was free of wrinkles and lumps, etc. Never – right? 

Imperfections are a part of the real world, so they should be embraced in photorealistic renderings as well. Make it a point to add some slight variances so that the scene doesn’t come across as being too perfect.

5.     Gather Feedback

After spending countless hours working on a rendering, it’s easy to become desensitized to the final product. If you aren’t careful, this can lead to errors and omissions. Reduce your risk by gathering feedback before presenting it to the client. This small step can make a huge difference in the outcome of the project.

Never Settle

Technology is iterating at a faster pace than ever before. It’s critically important to stay on the cutting edge if you want to continue experiencing success. Don’t put off trying new technologies and applications because you’re comfortable with the one you’re using now. If you wait too long to adapt, the market will pass you by.  

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