Rendering is a process of creating high quality images from your 3D models. It's one of the most important tools of architectural communication, and a skill that any designer must develop.
Simply put, “rendering”is a process of creating images”(“renders”) from 3D models.
The process for preparing a good “render” typically involves following steps:
When you hit a “Render Button”in your 3D package (Rhino, 3Ds Max, Maya or any other really…) what the program will do is perform a great number of calculations to create the image, taking into account the lighting conditions and materials in the scene.
For example, from the scene that look like this in Rhino viewports:
you can get almost photo-realistic images, such as this one:
This post is a “Quick Start”guide to your 1B Homework (“Rhino Safari”) and will introduce you to the basics of rendering by focusing on following parts of the workflow:
We will cover more complex lighting conditions and setting up materials another time.
To be able to just focus on the important tasks, you will start by opening a file that already contains 3D model. You can find the file needed for this tutorial here:
Download Rhino File (0.6Mb .zip file)
Please download the Rhino file from the following link, and open it in Rhino. You should see something very similar to this:
As you can see, this file contains the actual 3D model of a complex arhitectural structure. Not a good architecture really, but a variety of spaces and architectural elements are very useful for this exercise.
What you don’t see is that the file also has a daylight (Sun + Sky) system setup. In order to see this, we’ll do a quick render right now.
In order to render a scene, you select the viewport you want to render and then hit the Render button, either from:
By watching the above video, you have probably noticed that rendering is a pretty slow process. Depending on the performance of your computer, the program you work in, and the complexity of scene, rendering one image may easily take hours!
When making a final image, there’s no other way to go about it but wait (a long time) for a render to finish, but that doesn’t mean that we need to wait so much every time we make some change to the scene and simply want to check quickly how it will look.
This is where Render Preview comes to rescue.
Render preview is a low-quality render that we want to use to quickly check out how our scene will look like, without having to wait for a high-quality rendering.
To do a render preview, we do one of the following:
You will notice that the image will render much more quickly, and you can also see quite a difference in a final quality. However, Preview is still good enough so that we can get a feel of the image we´re working on, without having to wait for a long render. It´s a good compromise and the one you should be using all the time.
One very important thing is setting the image size of the rendered image, in pixels. By default, Rhino will render a 640 x 480px image, which is almost never what we need, so we always must explicitly set the rendering size ourselves.
For our Rhino Safari exercise, we need to create 1080 x 1080px image, and we will set these dimensions using Render Properties. There are several ways of opening Render Settings, some of them are:
Here’s how to set the correct image size:
Now if we render Preview again, we will get an image of correct dimensions:
Now we have technically correct image (good dimensions) but it’s not a particularly good looking image. We’ll get to that in our next tutorials
MANDATORY: To continue the “Rhino Safari” exercise, take a look at the following tutorial.
1B-2: Setting The View: Quick GuideCamera control is one of the essential parts of creating impactful architectural images. Here's a quick start guide on how to control the camera and views in Rhino.
Optional: If you want more details about rendering process itself, as well as some different ways to output images from Rhino, this is the extended version of the tutorial you’ve just finished:
Rhino #3: Rendering Test ImagesRendering is a process where a 3D software package outputs images. Calculating these images usually takes a lot of time, so here's how to do quick test renders that you will use while setting up lighting and materials.