It’s not a silly question at all, but a preference will depend so much on the nature of your practice and what you need to accomplish. I never needed to produce high end marketing materials in my work. My interest was always how to best communicate design concept and development to a client. I also recognized in myself an unfortunate compulsive tendency to spend ridiculous amounts of unbillable hours trying to get a photorealistic rendering to a level of perfection no client would ever appreciate or see.
I hardly ever used Cinerender. That’s just me. I never understood a single word of its baffling and obtuse interface and it was obvious from the start that it promised endless hours of frustrating trial and error tweaking. The presets were there, but they left me with no sense of control over what I was doing.
I used Artlantis for years with great results. The reasonably sized real time preview window was a huge asset. But in recent years I’ve used it less and less. I’m not sure it’s even loaded on my current desktop.
Somewhere around the time Graphisoft gave us shadows in OpenGL I found that 90% of the time all I needed was simple screenshot of the 3d window in ArchiCAD with decent bitmap materials and a sun shadow.
But I think Twinmotion is pretty interesting. At first glance it looks like entourage on steroids, but there’s more to it than that. I’m impressed by the philosophy of its interface (though maybe not the interface itself). Instead of giving you hundreds of sliders to fool around with in order to create a night scene or a winter landscape, you simply change the season or the weather or the time and it does the all tweaking for you. Full screen and in real time. That’s a huge timesaver. You can still dig down into the interface and do the tweaks if you need to, but mostly the program gets it right. The direct interface with ArchiCAD is brilliant. In addition, it produces photos, videos, panoramas and a stand-alone 3d executable in a fraction of the time programs like Cinerender or Artlantis take. No more coffee break (or worse, overnight) renders. So far the main problem I’m seeing is that it seems primarily designed for exterior views and the lighting in interior scenes is tough to get right. Hopefully this will change with future updates.
YMMV, but that’s my two cents.
Win10 64bit Intel i7 6700 3.40 Ghz 32 Gb RAM
GeForce RTX 3070
AC 26.0 (3010 INT FULL)