Creating a 3D rendering is a complicated process. Along the way to a stunning, photorealistic image is a series of stages to get to that point. If you frequently use CG visuals in your work, it’s helpful to know more about how a rendering is made, so you’re better able to take advantage of the process.
A 3D render is divided up into three significant steps, with additional steps added as needed for changes you want to be made along the way. Revisions are a very common part of the process. Asking for revisions during specific times in the workflow can make everything go smoothly.
Your freelance 3D rendering service is likely to show you the render of your design at some or all of the points in these phases—and for a good reason. Communication is one of the essential parts of any project that involves an artist transforming someone else’s ideas into reality.
Let’s take a look at the stages of a 3D rendering draft, what that stage will look like, and what changes may look like through the process.
Stage 1: Grayscale
The first version of your image will be what’s called a grayscale image. This early stage of your render is also sometimes called a clay render. This name is based on what this first step looks like. Grayscale is all in gray and does look like the render has been made in clay.
The purpose of showing you the grayscale stage, or for asking for it if they don’t show it to you, is to check for basics in the room. Is the geometry of the room correct? Is the basic structure how you want it? Do you want the molding on the room changed, or the windows moved?
Everything may look fine, but if it isn’t, this is the best time to make changes. The last thing you want, or your 3D modeling artist wants, is to get all the way to the final render and need a door moved. By being shown and speaking up during the grayscale stage, you’ve saved a lot of work for everyone.
If you have checked the grayscale carefully and know that the room’s basic proportions are correct and that all the windows, doors, and molding are where they belong, you can move to the next stage of design confidently.
Stage 2: Grayscale with Furniture
Once the empty room is complete, the next step will be to look at the room furnished with basic lighting added. With the new lighting comes shadows. Although that may seem relatively small, there are many new details added.
This version of the render lets you check the size of the furniture in the render, the camera size, and the general composition of the room. Once again, if you have any changes you want to be made, now is a good time to speak up. The earlier you mention it, the easier it will be for the 3D visualization service to fix.
It’s important to pay attention to all of the details when viewing the grayscale. Does the furniture look in proportion with the room? Do you like how everything is arranged? Are you concerned about an angle or see a problem with the geometry of the room?
Your 3D design service won’t be upset if you mention the problems you see. Instead, they’ll be glad to fix it at this early stage, before they’ve spent time on a rendering. If there is anything you are hesitant about, speak up. The artist would rather discuss it with you now than later.
Stage 3: Screenshot of the Viewport
The next image you get to see is a colored version of the grayscale. If you’re new to rendering, you may think this is a render, but it’s a picture taken from the camera setting. A camera snapshot is a lot faster than the render itself, but it sacrifices detail and quality.
The result is far from photorealistic, but it is nonetheless an important step. You can check to make sure everything is proportionate and get a good view of the materials and an idea of the colors being used.
Some people prefer the clay portraits over this initial snapshot because it is apparent that it is in the beginning stages.
Once again, if you see anything concerning during this stage, speak up about it. This screenshot is, of course, not representative of the final work. But it does show you what the colors and materials might look like.
Your 3D product modeling service can also tell you if any concerns you have will disappear in the render (lack of quality) or if these are changes that need to be made before the render.
Stage 4: Fast Render
Rendering takes a lot of time to complete. This is one of the many reasons why so many steps are taken initially to ensure that the customer is satisfied in the beginning phases before moving on. A render can take anywhere from hours and days to complete.
A fast render drops the image’s quality so that it can be rendered as fast as possible to give customers a sneak preview of what the final render will look like before it is begun. These renders don’t sparkle in the same way a finished render will.
While the material is shown, the quality will be reduced. At this stage, the customer can still ask the concept designer for colors, lighting, and textures to be changed. Since a fast render doesn’t take a lot of computing power to finish, these changes won’t represent a lot of time lost on the project.
If the fast render already looks acceptable to you, you’ll be surprised and pleased by the difference in the next stages. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference between the final stages, but the difference is there and does improve the final work.
Stage 5: Final Rendering
The final rendering is one of the longest stages. This is where all the fine detailing happens. The lighting, the texture, and the colors all come together for a photorealistic finish. In this stage, the render is done in high resolution for that photorealistic look, and this is the stage that takes all those hours to complete.
This stage can be done in Full HD, 3K, or 4K, depending on the needs of that particular project. The render is then sent to the customer so they can finally see what a photorealistic render of their project looks like.
This stage can still be tweaked to please the customer, but the majority of the work should be done by now. The project will now go to its final stage, with any minor changes the customer wants done finished.
This stage tends to take a very long time to complete. In part, this is because the renders take so long, especially if it is very high quality. Don’t be surprised to find out that your project is still rendering days after it started.
Although this stage takes a long time, it’s worth it. The render you receive will look photorealistic and offer you a good idea of the final product.
Stage 6: Post Production
After the rendering is done, there are still a few more changes to be made. The render can still be improved through Photoshop to make final changes that make the render really pop. Lighting, colors, and textures can be tweaked, the image itself can be brightened, and logos or other branding can be added.
After Photoshop detailing is complete, the work is done and can now be used for advertising, showing to clients, or whatever other purposes the customer had in mind. The finished product can sometimes be even better than an actual photo, in part because it doesn’t require the room to be built or redesigned first, but also because lighting and other details can be controlled much easier.
The process from idea to finished product is a long one for rendering. Although there are many stages to completing the process, these stages are important because they allow the customer the chance to control the direction their project is going. Through this detailed approach, an artist can remain attentive to the customer’s thoughts and ideas and make sure that the render they are receiving is exactly what they want.
Cad Crowd’s CG Design Services Can Help
CG can create some amazing digital experiences, with photorealistic designs being almost indistinguishable from the real thing. If you’re hoping to get a jump on advertising a building that isn’t finished yet or are planning the refurbishment of an old building, CG can be an excellent tool in your arsenal.
All it takes is a great artist and communication between you and the person creating your work. Cad Crowd can connect you with these 3D artists. Get a free quote today.