This post is for enthusiastic
architects and designers who need to render professionally, but don't want to
spend large amounts of time or money to achieve it.
You can to render either directly from your current platform or through
the products specified in this post. Rather than an in depth approach I will be
presenting to you a wide arrangement of software capable to help you use the
best approach for your specific needs. It will help you avoid long hours and
are many ways to render with an assortment of renderers and you will be shown
the best option for you. Many internal renderers of architectural software do
not have the capabilities to give the renderer the quality images to really
impress the client. There are some that have above average internal rendering
capabilities, but the user just needs a push into the right direction to give
the renderer's image that missing spirit.
renderers have long rendering hours for a single image and even then do not
produce excellence. Yet there are magnificent software out there that
specifically counters this hassle.
Rendering shouldn't be
time consuming. Therefore the info given in this post are for the architects or
designers who needs stunning renderings fast.
Basics to rendering methods
biased renderer is what we may call a
faux rendering solution. They typically take shortcuts in producing a near
realistic image. They also typically render faster than unbiased renderers.
unbiased renderer computes light photons
with extreme accuracy. These renderers have great difficulty with interior
scenes, although they are very realistic, be prepared for extreme long
rendering hours. New renderers are trying to solve this by adding a little
biased techniques. But still nowhere near the speed of a biased renderer. These
renderers typically have a grainy image which over rendering time diminishes
have over the years experimented with an array of these two types of rendering
methods and found that I use an unbiased renderer for exteriors and a biased
renderer for interiors. I particularly love unbiased programs because they have
incredibly simple interfaces. You basically import your model and throw some
textures on if needed and hit the render button. Whereas with fast biased
renderers I always seem to be adjusting the endless configurations to get the
light and settings just right. Although I am very proficient in these biased
renderers, I hate using them in times when I do not have time.
renderers are fast with exterior scenes. I use them on all my exterior scenes
because they work so easily and within 20min or so you can have a decent
exterior scene with no hassle. But with interior scenes expect render times to
go up to 10 hours or more, definitely not what you want during crunch time.
interior scenes that look realistic and render fast it will require you to use
a more intricate biased renderer. The best of all that I have tried is
unarguably Vray. It is an expensive option but little comes close to speed
quality ratio. Vray can handle extremely large scenes with little slow down
whereas many other biased renderers suffer with high polygon scenes. If your
business is more aimed at interior design, Vray is the absolute ultimate for
rendering beautiful realistic scenes fast.
To GPU or
not to GPU?
a rendering program uses the GPU to render it can be up to 40x faster than
conventional CPU rendering. Although the rendering is vastly faster, the lack of
memory on your graphics card will hinder you from rendering large scenes. A
typical graphics card has between 1gb to 2gb memory a lot less than a 64-Bit
machine's unlimited amount. Lots of memory is crucial when rendering. The amount
or speed of memory makes little difference in rendering speed but a large
amount of ram preferably minimum 4gb will ensure that your rendering speed is
linear and that your rendering does not crash half way through. GPU only
renderers do not utilise the system's memory constricting the user to smaller
scenes. As with hybrid GPU & CPU rendering programs they do use system memory
and will handle large scenes but with a higher price tag. Nvidia Cuda which is
now almost standard is the hardware to look for if you want to use GPU
rendering. Keep in mind that an Intel i7 is a quick CPU processor for
rendering, and that an affordable Nvidia Cuda based graphics card won't come
close to the speed of the i7. So only a very good top of the line GPU or SLI
configuration will have great benefit.
32Bit system windows only allows 2gb per application which makes it difficult
to render large scenes and your rendering program could crash more frequently.
is not faster in rendering than a 32Bit solution when the scene uses little
memory. But because a 64-Bit system can utilise unlimited ram the rendering of
very large scenes won't crash as regularly. 64-Bit solutions offer the ability
to render as large as you need, just pop in more ram. There is a slight
downfall with a 64-Bit configuration. I find that windows vista/7 64Bit has
difficulty in distributing memory across open applications. When a 64-Bit
application is open it normally uses a lot of system memory and Windows has
trouble freeing memory to other applications when needed. In a 64-Bit system the
user will usually make use of one application at a time. If the user uses a lot
of programs at once the user will need a truck load of memory at least 8-24gb
while using a 64Bit machine.Ram is becoming cheaper so soon 64Bit will rule!
Do you need an expensive
Many who buy an Nvida Quadro or ATI
FireGL and only to find that it didn't improve there productivity. They typically
had a slow and unresponsive 2D plan environment. Workstation cards are pretty
much the same as there far less expensive gamer cards, but the drivers are very
fine tuned to enhance certain capabilities of the card. The
memory on the cards are not the same as normal system/gamer memory. Normal
system and gamer cards memory are affordable because the hardware does have a
few tiny flaws in them that cause them to fail more often if used for days on
end as to workstation hardware which are very near flawless and minimising
CAD software when panning in plan or
elevation views won't utilise a
workstation card's performance. Rather 3D views will, but only when OpneGL is
used. Engineer's using software like Solidworks see great benefits using
workstation cards. Only a few 3D software programs are designed to implement
such a card. Sketchup also has great improvement, but take into account that
improvements over normal gamer cards are only seen when a workstation card of
at least 10x the gamer card's price, yikes! So keep in mind that those cards are
basically for 3D views only and minimising crashes.
Rendering will not be affected by an expensive workstation card
as the cards only purpose is for development stage. Al tough Nvidia has launched
there Tesla cards that are mostly used by scientists to calculate massive
Tesla has now made those
cards available for GPU rendering! Still expensive though they are by time of
writing the fastest rendering solution and the old days of having a building
with thousands of CPU's can now be in your PC for a fraction of the price.
is a list of best rendering solutions for your budget. There are many on the
market, but few have the capabilities and quality needed to render
wich of the the above renderers do I recommend?
All of the above renderers are great for
photo realism.You'll have to look at the platform you use and your budget. The
advantage of buying a rendering option is GPU capability.
I have been through all of them and at the end of the
day I use Archicad and Maxwell Render although Maxwell Render is an unbiased
renderer it is a great plug in for Archicad to render exterior scenes.I can
render directly from Archicad and if any geometry needs to be changed it won't
impact my rendering settings that has been setup in Archicad.
From an interior design standpoint, Studio Max/Cinima
4D and Vray is by far the King of rendering. Incredible speed and realism, but
Vray has a slight learning curve. Vray and Maxwell Render have a Real time
rendering engines that display the result as you work that really helps to save
Sketshup's Vray and Kerkythea plug ins are very easy to
use and no post settings have to be adjusted to get a decent render.But I found
that Sketchup had great difficulty importing large poly count scenes.Sketshup is
very raw and to design any object I have to start from scratch.The online
library isn't bad bad in comparison with Archicad and studio max's vast support
I always seem to run back to the latter for object rich scenes.
free Renderers like Indigo and Thea are very powerfull
but there interfaces are clunky and further object editing can't be done, only
textures can be added and manipulated. So if something needs to be changed the
file first has to be re-edited in the original application and then imported
back into the standalone renderer and reconfigured from the start over
again.These are a great start to experiment as a beginner and if the scene is
set up perfectly, the rendering will be very easy to do.
Of all the above renderers Vray is the leader by far.
It doesn't support Archicad yet damn! It
doesn't have a standalone application and for good reason as object
manipulation wil make it a very expensive cad program. It integrates into
almost all well known packages.
The other thing that needs consideration is texturing.
Maxwell Render, Vray,Arion &
Kerkythea have vast shader libraries to download for free and buy.
Probably the most time goes in at texturing. To start from scratch in getting a
realistic effect on an object can be very time consuming and a good shader
library is a must. In times that a custom shader needs to be created a real time
renderer like Maxwell render, Vray and Arion have the advantage because as you
adjust the settings the result are displayed in real time.