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3D rendering and architectural visualization – getting started

So you are interested in 3D rendering and architectural visualization? Would you like to know which software and hardware all professional CG artists use? In this article I will explain everything you need to know to create high quality 3D architecture renderings.

If you are interested in architectural visualization, it is helpful to have a background in architecture or design … simple so that you can easily read and interpret the often complicated architectural drawings. This is by no means essential … but it helps! If you have no background in architecture or building design, there are thousands of resources available on the Internet to help you understand the key concepts.

hardware .

The first thing you need is a computer. Architectural visualization is a very CPU-intensive business. The more powerful your computer is, the better. Try to get at least one quad-core processor and as much RAM as possible (6 GB is a good start). Use 64-bit operating systems … this way you can access more RAM. Also spend a bit of money on a good graphics card. Once you're serious about your 3D renderings, consider a render farm … a set of computers connected to a large, powerful processing unit. At the moment, however, a powerful, powerful workstation should be enough.

software .

There are several software options, but the most common in the architectural visualization industry is 3ds max. This is amazing software used for an amazing number of different applications in the 3D world. You should spend as much time in 3ds max as possible to familiarize yourself with the general layout and tools available.

Rendering software – There is also a large selection here, but VRAY is the most popular among 3D visualization professionals. Although it is a fairly complex program, the most realistic images are simply created – which is pretty much the most important thing in architectural visualization.

I would highly recommend getting the latest versions of 3ds max and Vray to get things going. Another very useful software is Photoshop – this is very useful when post-processing images.

Get ready.

A great way to get started and get inspired is to study architecture photography. It's important to understand the basics of photography so that you can emulate some of the principles used to create an aesthetically pleasing image.

But regarding the technical side of 3D modeling and rendering – MAKE MANY, MANY TUTORIALS. I cannot stress enough how important it is to create online tutorials to expand your knowledge. You can just try jumping in 3ds max and vray and see what happens, but you'll end up pulling your hair out – I promise. There are so many free 3D tutorial resources on the internet that you would be crazy not to use them. You can learn everything you need to know by finding the right tutorial online.

Create 3D renderings .

Once you understand the basics and want to create some decent pictures, all you have to do is experiment. Find a photo of a building you want to replicate and get to work. Simply test the settings and try different techniques until you achieve something you are happy with. And if you can't find something out, ask Google!

It will likely take years of practice to create the stunning images of architectural visualization that you see everywhere … but remember to just keep experimenting and learning as you go. DO TUTORIALS!

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