Up until fairly recently, the architectural and civil engineering design scene was largely dominated by so-called 2D technical drawings. They were the means by which a designer would present all the appropriate geometrical information for a design. This means heights, dimensions, volumes, distance to streets, outdoor surfaces and thickness of walls, among other things. One weakness of this method was that much was still left to the imagination, but now the trend is changing.

Thanks to the ongoing evolution of computing technology and the graphics it can produce, there are now numerous unprecedented advantages the designer can put into their work. This means both in terms of solutions for the actual design process, the ways in which those designs can be presented to the client. In fact, with the benefit of Building Information Modelling (BIM) software, designers can now enhance the accuracy of their geometrical calculations and produce a visible, photorealistic 3D rendering and animation to present their ideas.

What is rendering?

The principle of photorealistic rendering is that it enables you to create a highly realistic artificial image based on a 3-dimensional computer model.

In more detail, you produce a computer-generated image that follows a 3-dimensional modeling process based on the project data you input. The geometric pattern which made up the old drawing method is coated with the colours that represent the actual materials to be used in construction – we call these additions ‘textures’. The software can also simulate light sources, both natural and artificial, to give a more accurate finished image. If the rendering parameters are accurately set to match those in nature, then the quality of the textures and different perspectives of the final render can be considered ‘photorealistic‘.

Essentially, if a photograph creates a visual representation of something that already exists, then a rendering illustrates an idea that doesn’t yet exist, based on detailed specification, to give an illustration of precisely what it will look like when it does.

How is rendering helpful?

When presenting a design of any type to a client, it’s good practice to take advantage of the software to produce detailed representations of the proposed structure, as it gives the best perception of spaces and the organisation of design elements.

With rendering, even a client that resents current technological trends can enjoy the benefits of understanding the project at different stages. They can be immersed in something akin to a virtual reality with volumes, functional spaces, furnishings and accessories that don’t yet exist in real life. It also helps include the client in the design process, as he/she can propose modifications and observe the results.

The net result is a terrific advantage for the professional, saving time and eliminating the risks associated with misunderstandings and crossed wires. Renders are also a superb tool for publicising new projects before construction, helping to stimulate interest and alert potential customers.

BIM and rendering

Using BIM and rendering technology is also helpful for more accurately assessing geometric requirements and the materials and manpower that will be needed. Construction processes are notorious for going over budget and missing deadlines, often due to unforeseen issues or miscalculations regarding materials needed. Through the immense detail and powerful capabilities of the computer software to hand, these kinds of undesirable circumstances can be all but eliminated, and when things do change the information can be updated and new projections made, providing increased flexibility and adaptability.

At Restoric Design, we specialise in a range of CAD software and considerations and can assist with the production of accurate, beautiful renders of projects to improve the design process. If you are interested in taking advantage of our services, please feel free to contact us and we can discuss how our skills and technologies could be an asset in your design process.

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