Computer-generated imagery (CGI) is gaining traction in all industries — from gaming, automotive, and healthcare to architectural design. Almost any present-day business can’t be imagined without rendering 3D models merely because it helps owners save costs, identify flaws in the pre-production stage, and showcase the result before it turns physical.

Thanks to diverse 3D modeling services, modern companies can present any product in the virtual or digital environment without investing millions in designing its tangible version. Just render 3D models of a property, building, or mechanism you are about to produce, and you can quickly detect its issues prior to paying huge amounts of money to create it.

Essentially, rendering a 3D model is faster and more cost-efficient than prototyping the real product in the physical world. By the end of this article, you’ll learn why more businesses are making use of 3D object rendering and what benefits it provides to them.

What Is 3D Rendering? — The Fundamentals

So, what is rendering in 3D modeling? Unlike sculpting or creating three-dimensional digital objects using polygons, rendering implies a process of creating realistic snapshots of previously modeled 3D objects with texture, light, shadows, and post-processing effects attached to them. In other words, this 3D rendering definition allows us to say that the process behind the term marks the final stage of any 3D modeling.

Need a quick and quality result in the pre-production stage? Rendering 3D objects is here to provide you with assistance. With the help of respective software tools, like Blender, 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya, or the rest, you can render a 3D model within weeks, given the powerful GPU and CPU of your computer. Beyond question, this is already the responsibility of a team involved in the creation process. Owners shouldn’t be concerned with this aspect.

Nowadays, almost every piece of software used for 3D modeling also allows you to render the image. So the first step on your way to a completely rendered three-dimensional model of a house, interior design, device, or anything else is to model it using a collection of points called vertices joined into edges as well as faces. As a rule, 3D artists should be familiar with the whole pipeline, from modeling to rendering, so you don’t need to worry about the details.

3D Rendering Vs 3D Modeling

Fundamentally, the difference between 3D modeling and 3D rendering is pretty straightforward, inasmuch as the former is the technique of creating three-dimensional digital models out of polygons, whereas the latter means turning the result into photorealistic and rich in post-processing effects. People quite frequently google something like “3D modeling vs 3D rendering” since the two procedures are often confused.

Nevertheless, the truth is simpler because there’s no need for comparison, as one is the natural continuation of another. Being the two steps in CGI creation, both 3D rendering and 3D modeling enable you to visualize a certain product and scrutinize it from all angles with the help of hardware like ordinary computers but featuring high computing powers to run smoothly as well as without any artifacts on the screen.

3D modeling company

Types Of 3D Rendering

Whether cartoonish or photorealistic rendering, the purpose lies in optimizing the product life cycle and reducing costs spent on pre-production. As a rule, experts distinguish between 2 types of rendering, including 3D real-time and 3D post-process rendering. The first type presupposes producing and analyzing CGI with graphics software, while the second is completed on a render as soon as a 3D artist deems the result acceptable.

Another classification categorizes 3D rendering techniques by the principles of still and interactive rendering:

1. Static rendering (still renders showcase a static image created by a 3D artist):

  • white background (textured and finished 3D models displayed against a white background are usually placed on web stores);
  • roomset renders (CGI of a photorealistic environment demonstrated as if it were already an actual physical product).

2. Interactive rendering (enables a user to interact with a rendered 3D scene):

  • 360-degree view (in either a sequence or multi-row 3D view, this rendering solution provides a potential buyer of a product with an opportunity to rotate a model and thus improve their shopping experience);
  • product 3D animation (usually displayed as a video recording of a pre-rendered scene, it’s most often used to promote products — from interior or exterior designs to devices like smartphones);
  • product configurator (as one of the most intricate rendering types, it facilitates full product customization for a potential buyer to tweak an item’s specifications).

Also, there are many 3D rendering methods within the real-time rendering type to take advantage of during your work, including:

  • scanline (a polygon-by-polygon principle that allows you to render objects in 60 frames per second with precomputed lighting);
  • ray tracing (due to more complex 3D rendering algorithms, this method traces natural light with the help of refraction or reflection of the materials used in a 3D scene);
  • ray casting (based on a pixel-by-pixel principle, this method is most beneficial for projects that don’t require many tiny details).

How Does 3D Rendering Work?

3D Model Rendering

Depending on the type and purpose, 3D rendering resembles photographing. Using a piece of software that renders your image, an artist points digital cameras at certain angles and takes as many pictures of the scene as they require. If you are interested in how to make 3D renders, the answer seems simple because the respective button is almost in any 3D editing software like Blender or 3ds Max.

Once you’ve created your model, you can start the 3D rendering process with all the shadows, lights, effects, and textures. How does it all work under the hood? 3D rendering generates two-dimensional images out of a previously created 3D model or scene. First appearing in 1960 to help depict a pilot in a cockpit, the rendering technique evolved in 1963 when Ivan Sutherland came up with Sketchpad — the very first 3D modeling software.

Technically, rendering mimics the natural process of how light in real-life conditions reveals physical objects and makes them visible to human eyes. Simply put, a 3D model turns into a rendered CGI through a lens of a virtual camera that “records” a scene or object. A good render is about keeping a balance between quality, data size, speed, realism, and resolution.

How to create a 3D rendering that sells products effectively, not only displays them in a good light? Consider tweaking lighting properties, intensity, and position in a scene to make it look natural. Use quality high-resolution materials that fit into the overall picture of a scene or object. If, say, you’d like to digitally showcase leather boots, refer to respective textures.

What Is 3D Rendering Used For?

Using 3D modeling for pre-rendering allows you to detect flaws in the design of your product at the early stages. Now let’s discuss the most relevant and widespread 3D rendering examples. Where and for what purpose do you need to address this software solution?

1. Visualization and product prototyping. One of the most evident use cases of 3D rendering is, of course, three-dimensional visualization, which aims to help business owners prevent major flaws or defects in the early production stage.

2. Branding, marketing, and promoting. You should certainly include 360-degree 3D renders of products you sell on your website, let alone elaborate on product 3D animations, because these maximize the selling odds. According to statistics, the international visualization and 3D rendering software market was valued at $1.63bn in 2019, forecast to have a value of over $9.5bn by 2030. A great leap, isn’t it?

3. Gaming and other digital entertainment means. For movies like Avatar or complex 3D games, rendering is the only technique that allows all the magic to appear on screen, so you can’t do much without it in the digital entertainment industry.

Apart from use cases, you should also be aware of the industries where rendering proves a helping hand for product owners, saving them costs and optimizing resources. These are architecture, healthcare, manufacturing, automotive, technology, and others that heavily depend on rendering.

Let’s explain it all based on the example of building exterior design. But before, what is 3D architectural rendering? In this industry, 3D modeling and prototyping play a vital role as it enables all parties to spend less money on planning as well as pre-production. You save resources by visualizing a house or apartment before even buying physical materials to build it.

How much does 3D rendering cost?

The price range of 3D rendering for various purposes may vary depending on a broad spectrum of nuances. Usually, it’s between $100 and $10,000 per image. However, keep in mind that there are multiple rendering services, including interior or exterior residential design, 3D floor plans, architectural animation, aerial, amenity area, product, and other rendering services. Almost anything that’s created in 3D can also be rendered.

In any event, you can’t render an object or scene without preparing related 3D models. Most often, modeling and rendering are done by a single artist or a team of professionals who complete a project. Sometimes the final price depends on the combination of modeling and rendering services, not to mention the work of lighting/shading, animating, or texturing artists. After all, 3D rendering is the final destination of most three-dimensional models.

When it comes to more complex renders like 3D animations, the cost may amount to about $2500 or more per minute, depending on the plurality of characteristics — from the polycount to the intricacy of design (which is already touching upon 3D modeling, not rendering). Therefore, you should discuss all the cooperation conditions with a 3D modeling and rendering service provider of your preference since only they will know the details.

How long does it take to render a 3D model?

Before answering how much it takes to render a 3D model, let’s first understand what affects this process.

  1. Shadow quality. Both ray-traced and depth maps considerably influence the result of your 3D render. Using a depth map gives you a privilege of a quicker render, but it comes with artifacts and resolution issues. In turn, ray-traced shadows render one pixel at a time. Although taking more time, it ensures better image quality.
  2. Output resolution. Since most modern renders have a 4k or even 8k resolution, it’s apparent that renders take much more time.
  3. Hardware specs. Whether you use GPU or CPU for 3D rendering, it affects the time your computer needs to render an image. Most often, the GPU is a more powerful processor than the CPU, so consider turning it on in your 3D editing software.

With this information in mind, be ready to learn that it usually takes 2-4 weeks to render the average architectural design project. But again, everything depends on the scope of work, budget, team composition, etc.

Rendering Your Models with 3D-Ace

As you see, 3D rendering is a multidimensional area of product design. In order to run a project smoothly and flawlessly, you’ll need a reliable partner. 3D-Ace is an experienced custom 2D art, animation, and 3D modeling studio with more than 10 years of professional operation. We’ve built a team of 40+ talented 2D and 3D artists with multiple specializations.

With our rendering solutions, you can be confident about timely project delivery, graphics quality, and smooth animation. Having provided a high number of polished renders to satisfied clients, we are prepared to take on your project.

Just contact us and discuss your project’s details so we can commence our work as soon as possible!