Last edited 23 Feb 2021

3D exterior rendering


[edit] Introduction

The architectural sector has undergone a revolution with the advent of animation, CAD, BIM, virtual reality (VR), and other advances in the digital domain. With 3D exterior rendering, it is possible to produce realistic images that mimic those captured by a high-resolution DSLR camera.

[edit] Checklist

[edit] The sun’s position should complement the rendering

To make the renders realistic, the sun’s position should perfectly complement the exteriors. The sun’s position should be such that the natural lighting would appear to be optimum, neither more nor less.

[edit] Position shadows naturally

For the exterior to look realistic and compelling, the shadows of objects should be aligned with the direction of sunlight. You can enhance the realistic appeal further by adding shadows of objects, such as tree branches, which are not visible in the render. Never position the shadow squarely behind if the angle of the incident sunlight is 45 degrees. Incline the shadows slightly.

[edit] Add the sky

Adding the sky while complementing the look and feel of the exterior design can be really challenging. Never make the clouds resemble those shown in cartoons. The sky should mix seamlessly with the building’s skyline. It is better to keep the sky light-blue without clouds. If you want to portray a rainy day, use slightly-faded dark clouds with the sun concealed behind them.

[edit] Manipulate the reflections on glass very carefully

If glass panes are present on windows, pay attention to the reflections on them. Error-free rendering of reflections adds realism. Add cloud-domes to show the background in the panorama.

[edit] Add vegetation

Make a simple exterior design appear more lively by adding 2D and 3D vegetation elements in the foreground and background. With 3D vegetation, depth can be added to the renders. Use different vegetation patterns and colours to get a layering effect.

[edit] Add vehicles for urban setups

If the architectural renders need to be set in urban backgrounds, vehicles should be added to the scene. Increase realism by adding reflections on windows, license numbers on vehicle plates, and passengers within cars.

[edit] Outsourcing requirements

Here are a few tips to help streamline the process if requirements are outsourced to a 3D rendering company.

[edit] Assess service quality

Share requirements with the company and seek a price quotation. Browse through samples of previous works to get an idea of the quality of their architectural 3D rendering. Ask for references and enquire how they respond to deadline. Check past projects for accuracy of details, realism in lighting, texturing, viewing angles, and resolution.

[edit] Look for uniqueness and creativity

Check if the 3D visualisation projects that the company had delivered have generated unique and creative outcomes. Check if the central theme of the project was reflected accurately in those outcomes.

[edit] Maintain seamless communication

The company must remain reachable round-the-clock communications via different means such as phone, email, text, IM, etc. Check issues related to time zone differences and make sure that the company is committed to meeting deadlines.

[edit] Evaluate cost-effectiveness

If the outcomes delivered by a company are of high quality, the fees may be more. Seek quotations from different companies to get an idea of what the ideal price should be. This way, it is possible to select the best service provider that will offer a suitable package based on your budget.

Always look for an outsourced 3D exterior rendering company that has a proven track record of delivering high-quality work. Reputed service providers will maintain smooth communication throughout the project, will always remain ready to deliver revised versions based on feedback, and will respect deadlines.

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