What makes a great rendering?

Why use 3D Rendering? To create an image that represents the project before it is built. Anyone with the right software and some experience can create a 3D image but what goes into creating a great rendering? I have identified four main areas, here’s a brief summary of what’s involved with each one:


The camera should be set at a level so as to avoid an unnatural tilt and also the camera angle should not be too wide as both of these can distort the scene. The objects in the scene should be balanced so that the image is aesthetically pleasing. In this example, which was created to help market a luxury apartment building, the bed is the primary object in the room but the client wanted to emphasize the urban view.

I started with the basic image:

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This next step is what I refer to as “dressing the space”  which means placing objects to add realism to the scene. In this room, I’ve added artwork, an area rug, TV on the dresser (with a remote on the bed) and a decorative clock on the wall. For the outside, a cityscape background, table, chairs and a large plant on the balcony complete the scene:

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Materials, Properties & Ray-Tracing

Materials are what define the surface finish of each object in the scene such as flooring, walls, furniture & fixtures, siding, landscape, etc. Not all material finishes are created equal and the quality of the material image can have a great effect on how realistic the final rendering will look. Each one of these materials has properties such as specular quality (reflections and sheen), roughness, transparency and emissiveness to name a few. Each one of these values can be adjusted to enhance the quality of the render.

Many clients ask for a photorealistic rendering and for this I use a process called Ray-Tracing. Simply put, Ray-Tracing generates an image by tracing the path of light and simulating its reaction with virtual objects thus producing a rendering with a high level of realism. When applied to the standard image seen above, the result looks like this:

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Just like a good photograph, a good rendering needs to be properly lit as well. This means achieving a balance between the ambient light in the scene, natural sunlight and it’s resulting shadows plus artificial light which is added to highlight certain parts of the image. The image above was rendered using just the ambient light in the scene and no additional light sources. Shown below is the finished rendering with added light sources to bring out the details in the bedding and the floor (also, take note of the light cast by the bedside lamps). Finally, I add sunlight and shadows to finish the scene:

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There are still more steps in-between and plenty of trial and error in order to achieve the final image but this is the basic process. A well-done rendering can be a great tool to help plan or promote your project by allowing the viewer to place themselves in the room and envision the possibilities of the space.

Please contact EP Visualz at https://epvisualz.com or call (585) 441-5291 for a no obligation consultation on your next remodeling project.