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About built-in and 3rd party, classic and real-time rendering solutions, settings, workflows, etc.

Best rendering software for Archicad Architectural?

Not applicable
Hello all, I work for a high profile architectural firm in NZ
we are looking at upgrading to a new visualisation software for presentations of our mid-high end architectural projects

We currently use the latest Archicad and we are using Artlantis studio 4.1
but arent impressed by the latest offerings from artlantis 5 of the upcoming 6 as rendering times appear to be even longer in each subsequant version

We came across Lumion 3D and thought it looked like a good option for us.

Also had a look at Unity

We currently use artlantis 4.1 to produce Photorenders + Animations
as well as the VR object (not many programs allow the use of a VR)
however we could look at dropping that feature for breathtaking realistic movies.

Currently Artlantis is taking 4days(on a single high spec machine) to render a 1280x720 with Low Anti-Aliasing (ideally we like to use high but dont due to time constraints) and Normal Radiosity (also as opposed to high)
To produce a 1min 40sec single path movie animation

And up to 1hr to produce (15mins at best) a 4K Photorendered Perspective
3840x210 (200dpi) High-Antialiasing, Normal Radiosity

attached is the latest renders I have completed on our last project
to give you an idea on scale and complexity of our projects

Ideally we are wanting something that is more realistic in terms of lighting
and also good more realistic tress cars people & objects
but also something that takes a bit less time to render if possible.

Has anyone used Lumion in conjunction wtih Archicad that has any feedback about it like how long rendering takes? or any other preferred software?


Karl Griffith
Looking at the Artlantis Help file for the new Render Manager, it refers specifically to "networked computers". No reference to using the internet. I suppose it might work, but it doesn't seem intended for that.
ArchiCAD 22

Win 10

Not applicable
Maxwell Render

OctaneRender (using superb Archicad plugin)
W8.1(64), AC19(5005), OctaneRender plugin, Corel, Adobe Premiere Elements 11.
Cosmos II, MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC, i7-5930K 3.5gHz, multiple GPU (1080Ti+Titans: 4Z+X+2Black), 32GB, 1500W.

Not applicable
I note that OctaneRender requires a CUDA based graphics card which I currently dont have for the machine i will be using it

Anyone have example renders of Octane render they have done?

Steve Jepson
methy wrote:
One thing i was curious to know is if artlantis can parallel process with just networked computers... or over the internet as well?
I would be interested to know why you don't want to use CineRender?

ArchiCAD 25 6000 USA - Windows 10 Pro 64x - Dell 7720 64 GB 2400MHz ECC - Xeon E3 1535M v6 4.20GHz - (2) 1TB M.2 PCIe Class 50 SSD's - 17.3" UHD IPS (3840x2160) - Nvidia Quadro P5000 16GB GDDR5 - Maxwell Studio/Render Multilight 2 - Adobe Acrobat Pro

Karl Griffith
Speaking for myself, I have been using Artlantis for years, but just got CineRender last year (upgrading from ArchiCAD Solo to Full version), so I am much more familiar with Artlantis.

I think CineRender can probably do a nicer rendering if one gets the settings right, but Artlantis is better when it comes to showing a building in its context. And the primary reason my clients ask for renders is to see the building in context. With the ability to set up background and foreground images, and the site insertion tool, Artlantis works well for this. I’ve actually used Twinmotion for a couple recent projects, which enables me to create the context in the TM model. Both softwares work well exporting from ArchiCAD.

And while CineRender can probably create a more refined image, that is due to the user having access to all the settings. Artlantis has focused on simplicity of the interface, and reducing the need for the user to adjust all those settings. So while you lose some control, you can work very fast, and I think, it is easier for a beginner. I understand that one can create presets in CineRender to do this, but I just haven’t had the time to work with it much.

The other thing I like about Artlantis over CineRender is that in Artlantis you are working ‘live’ on the rendered model, seeing your results as you modify. In CineRender you adjust settings in ArchiCAD, and then render to see results.

So for myself, while I do think CR is a fine rendering software and I intend to learn it better and use it, I see definite advantes to Artlantis, and now Twinmotion.
ArchiCAD 22

Win 10

Erwin Edel
Not to downplay on Artlantis or Twinmotion, which are excellent software in their own right, you do no need to know all the bells and whistles to get a quick render out of cinerender, nor do you need to render the whole image to see what you get.

To start with the preview, there is a preview window when you open the Photorender Settings dialogue. If you make this palette bigger, the image will get a bit bigger too. There is no live update, but if your render settings are reasonable, the preview is quick.

There is also the option to use marquee tool in 3D to render small sections to see how surfaces are behaving.

On to surfaces: ArchiCAD comes shipped with a lot of preset surfaces to add to your projects, that can also be easily adjusted by ussually swapping out a texture or changing some colours in the procedural shader settings. These have all been optimised for Cinerender and will look nice out of the box. A bunch of them will already be present in your template, the rest you can easily add by creating a new surface from catalogue.

As for render settings, I've posted some quick render settings that for me look like what I used to do in Artlantis 4, witch similar render times.

My ussual approach:
Pick the daylight physical fast preset (interior or exterior).
Pick a nicer sky from the presets (I like the midday one).
Make sure you enable 'use archicad sun' to keep your camera settings for sun active.

Now go in to the 'detailed settings' (don't worry, they're not scary!):
If you are using any lamps to light up bits of your model, make sure you tick the Lamps under Light Adjustments.
Go to Environment > Physical Sky > Clouds and turn off 'cast shadow'. It doesn't look good and takes time to render.
Go to Options >General Options and change these 3 settings:
Ray treshold to 0, this means that you get all reflections in your render and makes it look a lot better and more alive.
Ray depth and Reflection depth both to something more like 12. These control how may transparant surfaces are rendered (along with reflections on them). This is set way too low by default, resulting in missings bits of your model or alpha channel images (trees, leafs) looking off.

If you are doing interior render and find that there are a lot of spots on surfaces, go to Global Illumination and change the Preset to Interior High.

For exterior I am ussually happy with Exterior Preview settings there.

If you know your photography stuff, you can also go in to the Physical Renderer settings and adjust ISO values, shutter speed, f-stop to play with how much light is shown in your renders.

There are indeed, way more settings you can go in to, but if your approach is 'the artlantis way', this should get you going with cinerender.

Twinmotion looks awesome though, but it's another software license to have
Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten

Windows 10 Pro
Adobe Design Premium CS5

Karl Griffith
Thanks, Erwin. I do want to get using CineRender more, so I'll give tour recommendations a try.

Twinmotion is great software for context, but for a good render of the building itself I think a rendering program such as CineRender (or Artlantis) is better.
ArchiCAD 22

Win 10

I use both Artlantis and now have finally tried the CinerRender in AC21. I am shocked at how much more realistic lighting is coming from CineRender. But as stated, there is little control in it compared to Artlantis, PLUS you loose the use of AC once you start rendering in with CineRender.

Is there a free standing version of CinerRender that can be purchased.....sorry if that is a dumb question.

Thank you in advance!

Robert Mariani
Robert Mariani
MARIANI design studio, PLLC
Architecture / Architectural Photography

Mac OSX 13.1
AC 24 / 25 / 26

Eduardo Rolon
Cinema4D is the software from which Cinerender comes from.
Eduardo Rolón AIA NCARB
AC26 US/INT -> AC08

Macbook Pro M1 Max 64GB ram, OS X 10.XX latest
Learning: VW, RVT
Teaching & Using: AC, Rhino, ACAD, RVT, SU, AI, PS, InD, TM, C4D, ATL

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