CGI rendering is a technology used in architecture to create photorealistic images of buildings, landscapes, and interior spaces. This technology allows architects to visualize and explore different design concepts, materials, lighting conditions, and landscaping options in a realistic way. It also aids in spotting potential design flaws before construction begins. The use of CGI visualization in architecture has made it possible to communicate ideas to clients, stakeholders, and the public in a new, most realistic, and understandable way. And this, in turn, allowed architects to win the favor of customers and investors.
CGI rendering is a fascinating process that involves a lot of technical know-how and creativity. Now, let’s delve deeper into the world of CGI rendering and explore the steps involved in creating stunning visuals.
How CGI rendering in architecture works
Step 1: 3D Modeling
The first step of CGI rendering is to create a 3D model of the building or environment. This can be done using specialized software such as 3D Studio Max, Maya, or Blender. 3D modeling allows designers to experiment with different design elements and make changes to the design before it is built. This saves time and money, as it reduces the need for physical prototypes and allows for more accurate cost estimates.
Step 2: Texturing and Mapping
Once the 3D model is complete, the next step is to apply textures and materials to it. Textures can be anything from wood grain to brick patterns and are applied to the model surfaces using specialized software. This process is crucial to creating a realistic image as it adds depth and volume to the model.
Step 3: Setting up the Scene
This involves positioning virtual cameras and lighting to create the desired effect. Lighting is an essential element in generating a realistic image. It can be used to make shadows, highlights, and reflections, which add depth and dimension to the image. The virtual cameras are used to capture the scene from different angles and perspectives.
Step 4: Rendering
Once the scene is set up, with models, textures, lighting, and animation in place, the rendering process begins. Rendering is the computation-intensive step where the software calculates the appearance of the scene by simulating the behavior of light rays as they interact with the virtual objects and materials.
Artists can specify various rendering parameters to control the quality and appearance of the final output. These parameters include resolution, antialiasing, global illumination, shadows, reflections, and more.
Rendering can be a time-consuming process, especially for complex scenes or high-quality output. It often involves dividing the scene into smaller parts and distributing the rendering workload across multiple computers or rendering farms to speed up the process.
After the rendering is complete, the resulting images or frames are often subjected to post-processing. This involves applying additional effects, color corrections, compositing, and other adjustments to enhance the final image or sequence.
Once all the desired post-processing is complete, the final CGI images or animation frames are ready for output. These can be saved as image files, video files, or integrated into larger projects, such as films, commercials, video games, or architectural visualizations.
Common Applications of CGI Rendering in Architecture