1. Use Bevel Techniques
The goal of architectural renderings is to convey not only the scale, but also the beauty of the finished construction. Elements that give away that this is a render and not a photograph are distracting to the viewer and give an air of un-professionalism.
One of the basic ways to avoid this is the use of the bevel tool when rendering. Leaving sharp edges can be a dead giveaway to a viewer. It shows that an image is not a reality. Even real objects have at least a slight rounded edge.
Be sure to bevel most or all images. The effect of light hitting a rounded edge can even add to the 3D effect in an image.
- Learn to use, and not overuse, a bevel tool. This should be one of the first skills that a renderer should master.
2. IES Light Profiles
Correct lighting in a physical structure, especially a dwelling, adds beauty. It further gives an impression of space. This is why space and light planning is one of the main priorities of house buyers.
Using IES Light Profiles to accomplish realistic lighting in renders is an effective way to illustrate space and light in a building. IES Light Profiles contain accurate photometric information. This means that they can be used to create realistic light-shape and luminance in a render.
This is an effective shortcut. Instead of calculating light behavior for each building or room that you create, these profiles can provide examples as a basis for accurate models.
3. Employ Depth of Field
Depth of field is famously employed by photographers and filmmakers to highlight picture elements that match the photographer's goal. It either brings an element to prominence or reduces the focus of the background to accomplish the same end.
This can be employed either at render time or afterward in post-processing. Application of depth of field before render will give you greater control over the outcome. However, producing the same effect in the post-processing stages is faster.
4. Add Chromatic Aberration
You may have seen the effects of chromatic aberration in photography. This occurs when colors slightly separate due to the camera lens not rendering them at the same convergence point.
This, of course, does not happen naturally in CG renders. How can you fake it to give a more realistic rendering? Photoshop users can offset the red and blue channels by a pixel or two.
While this will provide realism to an image, remember that even in real photography, an excess of chromatic aberration is considered unprofessional. Keep it to a minimum in your renders to avoid falling into the same trap. Subtlety is class in this context.
5. Specular Maps
Specular maps will not be a new concept to most experienced renderers. Specular maps provide instructions to your render engine to provide a realistic level of gloss for each item.
For example, the sun shining through a window on a polished table will provide a non-uniform level of gloss or shine across the table. The specular map will indicate where the shine should focus and how much.
Even on an object that does display relatively uniform glossiness, specular maps can be employed to help you indicate imperfections.
Now, do we really want to show imperfections...?
6. Avoid Perfectionism
There is such a thing as too much perfection. If you are looking to create images that are photorealistic, you will need to incorporate flaws that may exist in the room or building.
If you are looking to render an image of an existing room, flaws may already be evident. Be careful not to cover too many of these over. In other cases, the building may be new, however the surroundings not.
Including negative elements that are not detrimental to the purpose of the drawing— especially for sales purposes—can help photorealism.
If flaws are a step too far, give the room a lived-in feel. Add furniture items or other household belongings but not perfect tidiness.
7. Add Asymmetry
Many people associate beauty with symmetry. This may be very achievable in the controlled environment of a rendering studio. Mathematically controlled models will be perfectly symmetrical.
However, much like in real-life, perfect symmetry is unrealistic and can be spotted by the human eye. Avoid sacrificing realism for perfect mathematics. Feel free to switch off symmetry and allow small variations for realism's sake.
Realistic Rendering and Much More
Good quality image rendering can make the difference between a sale and no sale, success and failure. The standard of image creation is so high that anything less than the best will immediately stand out.
If you would like to learn more about photorealistic rendering and image processing, we would like to hear from you. Get in touch to see how we leverage our experience to provide high-quality imaging services to our customers.