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simple render strategies? what are you doing?


[for reference, we are designing small projects: single family residential & small commercial]


From what i can determine, the nicer render examples I see (whatever the render engine) are often the result of a careful & time-consuming strategy that is targeted at generating a model purely for rendering. The strategy usually consists of:

1) accurate/careful modeling of the space id'ed for the perspective view, including isolation of surfaces by material;

2) accurate/careful material/texture application for the surfaces in the specific view;

3) careful lighting of the space specific to the selected view; then

4) push the render button then post production/image correction/editing/entourage.


Each step, as best I can tell, takes equal efforts. Not necessarily the dream sold to us of rendering a parametric model with a click or two; and FWICT the models are often produced in Rhino or Sketchup, not Archicad. Producing a balanced archicad model is about making decisions that use the parametricity that's useful & not just infinitesimally modeling each atom of the structure/site.


What strategies work for you in your process for generating SD & DD level renderings?


mac ACv27/4001, US full, Sonoma 14.1.2, 2020 iMac/2023 MacBook Pro
Tim Ball

I work on similar projects and use a few different approaches depending on the work stage and the overall fee:

Sketch design - I keep it simple and quick by using screenshots of the internal 3D views. I would use live views but the resolution is awful (it’s been complained about for years). I also use 3D docs a lot.

Detailed design - I use the standard rendering but sometimes overlay with Sketch Renders which can give you a fuzzier look. I have also wrestled with Twinmotion but it’s quite slow in terms of workflow

Working drawings - exclusively 3D docs because they are live and you can annotate


Overall  I try to manage client expectations and concentrate on design rather than realism

Tim Ball

AC26, iMac

User since V5

To date, while we find 3d essential to show clients, we’ve avoided photoreal render efforts. We’ve tried to concentrate on monochromatic spaces with somewhat reasonable lighting to give a feeling of the space.. But I’m starting to see them as more prevalent in our colleagues work.

mac ACv27/4001, US full, Sonoma 14.1.2, 2020 iMac/2023 MacBook Pro
Erwin Edel

I find that having artist impression not be super photorealistic, invites the client to discuss the design. Some people assume super photo real renders are the final design and there is no more room for input.


The biggest time sink is image size, in my experience. 195x135 mm at 300 dpi prints fine blown up to a full A4 sheet and looks good on HD displays and mobile devices.


BIMx is a good tool for clients to explore the design as well.

Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten

Windows 10 Pro
Adobe Design Premium CS5

I’ve been frustrated by watching the how-to videos from Twinmotion & Enscape that seem to avoid the issue of how intensely modeled, or textured, or lighted, a model needs to be; or whether there are things we can skip in that process that are ultimately negligible for an effectively lighted image. The intro videos I see seem to gloss over that part as if gorgeous models don’t take time or particular strategy. Those intro videos seem to spend time on landscape tools, or whether or how to install plugins. Those are important, but the essential components of well-rendered projects seems to be assumed, when those skills and techniques may be more fundamental than all the bling-y aftereffects to producing an effective rendering.

mac ACv27/4001, US full, Sonoma 14.1.2, 2020 iMac/2023 MacBook Pro