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Best 3D Rendering Tools

3D architectural rendering is slowly gaining momentum and popularity in construction projects because of a host of benefits that come with it. These benefits range from cost efficiency to improved accessibility and everything in between.

Apart from that, it also helps to add that extra zing to architectural designs that helps to push them a notch above customers’ expectations. Such an immersive 3D experience plays a huge role in generating targeted leads and converting a large chunk of them into prospective customers.

Naturally, businesses find this very enticing and strive hard to incorporate 3D architectural rendering in their building plans and presentations to create maximum impressions.

The 3D architectural rendering task is usually done by a CGI professional thorough the use of a 3D authoring application. In here, I have discussed a few of the best and popular applications that are used by these professionals for the very same purpose.


LightWave is a high end 3-dimensional rendering application used widely by CGI professionals for 3D architectural rendering projects. The application is a complete animation, modeling and rendering package that’s more than capable of working right out of the box.

The LightWave application has tons of tutorials available on the internet. So learning how to use this application won’t be much of a problem.

This short video below can throw much light on the potentials of this wonderful application.


Autodesk’s 3Ds Max
Autodesk’s 3ds max application is capable of providing CGI professionals with a comprehensive 3d rendering services that can take care of all their animation, rendering, compositing and 3D modeling requirements.

The application can be used to create 3 dimensional models of houses that sometimes do look like a real photograph. Like I said before, the 3Ds Max application is a part of Autodesk and hence, it can easily be integrated with other Autodesk software for better rendering.

Maya needs to introduction. This one’s an award winning post production software used by major studios all across the world.

Autodesk’s Maya is considered one of the most versatile and professional 3D platforms available in the market. Hence, it naturally becomes the darling of most CGI professionals; a weapon of choice for tackling most of their 3D rendering projects.

Maya is complex; there is no doubt about it. You need to put in a lot of effort to get the hang of it at the start but once you take the pains to get over that hurdle, you will find it your best friend in your upcoming tasks for sure. That’s because you can do almost everything on Maya with relative ease. Your imagination is your only limitation.

Maya is considered the best 3D architectural rendering platforms by most architectural rendering studios. So I can say with relative ease that the pains taken to learn the software at the start might definitely be worth it. No pain no gain.

Sketch Up
SketchUp’s a 3-dimensional modeling application used in architectural designing, interior designing, civil engineering, video game designing, woodworking, film editing etc.

SketchUp is considered pretty easy and convenient to learn especially from the point of view of a beginner before moving on to more complex 3D designing platforms. Although the software is considered software, it’s effective nonetheless. SketchUp is definitely one of the most popular applications used by CGI professionals for their 3D architectural rendering projects.

SketchUp comes in two versions: a basic free version which is perfect for beginners and a paid pro version tailor-made for the professionals.

Plenty of tutorials are available on the internet. So learning SketchUp won’t be much of a problem.

For example: take a peek at this short video where the SketchUp software is used for creating a roof.

Classic but still effective and is still in use.

Autocad’s been with us for decades at a stretch. And I do believe it will continue to stay with us for years to come thanks to its versatility and periodic updates.

Plenty of professionals use Autocad to create architectural models and render the same on a different platform such as the 3Ds Max.

Autocad might have been introduced a decade back but its popularity remains undiminished. It’s still used by architectural professionals all around the world with equal gusto.

That brings us to the end of this article. Hope this list comes in handy for you in your upcoming projects. Ciao!

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Why Rendering Is Important For Retail Design

Intense competition in the retail industry drives increased levels of performance across the board, and a key impetus to success in this industry is the visual appeal and functionality of retail outlets. Detailed and attractive 3D rendered images, or computer-generated images (CGI), especially those created with the help of Building Information Modelling (BIM) can have a noticeable impact on clients, sales and marketing. Retail design drawings that achieve impressive photo-realistic views and effective 3D rendering services can help drive profits while saving costs.

To better understand how important rendering is to the retail industry, let's look at what rendering is. In 3D graphic design, rendering is the process of adding shading, colour and lamination either to a 2D or 3D wireframe to produce lifelike digital images. Rendering enables the creation of images or animation that show the design traits of a proposed space. Both designers and clients benefit from rendered views.

Though various techniques and software (Autodesk's 3ds Max, VRay, SketchUp, Maya and Mental Ray being popular) can be used to create computer-generated renderings, the objective remains the same - improve presentations, support marketing and create design views for analysis. Clients can understand renders better than architectural drawings, and therefore, renders are generally more effective in communicating design intent. Accurate renders can effectively represent spatial constraints and possibilities and reach a wider audience as a result.

The use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in rendering creates greater accuracy in the rendered image. BIM models can specify the count of cabinet fixtures, lighting fixtures, countertops, legs, handles, grommets, drawer pulls, equipment mounts and other details.

A large amount of detail is incorporated into a BIM model, which can be used to generate accurate and detailed rendered images, which show how various elements fit in a space in relation to each other. BIM models are especially useful for space analysis in large retail spaces, such as department stores or malls. Square footage and department-wise lists of fixtures and furniture in display areas, with corresponding dimensions, can be represented.

This means that with the use of retail BIM modelling, a 3D view can be created that shows how potential objects interact. Retail space shown in 3D can also include paint, laminate and wall coverings, so that the 3D visualisation is a close representation of what the actual space may appear as.

Rendered images are important for retail companies in several ways. The benefits of 3D renderings include:

  • Realistic depiction of spaces

  • Allows executives to view and approve new sites

  • Ease and speed of creation

  • Useful for marketing and project approvals

  • Language barriers are minimised

  • Renders look uncluttered and attractive compared to 2D elevations

High-quality photorealistic renders are as good as photos Renders also provide flexibility, as elements can be altered quickly and easily. Some of the precise features of retail spaces that renders portray can predict the store experience. For example, a well-designed store entrance must create expectation and offer options. High quality renders help achieve this.

Renders can show lighting, signage and displays. The retailer's image can be communicated through the kind of flooring and shelving used. For example, glass shelves and fixtures can suggest elegance. Smart lighting can improve how merchandise is displayed, thus contributing to increased sales. Walls can be used to store and display messages, and windows can be used to display the type of merchandise and market the image of the store.

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