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3D Digital Rendering Technologies

By Shen Gerald

Photo realistic 3D rendering is not just for fun and hobby. It is big business. Many industries employ photo realistic renderings. These include fields such as film and movie making, interior design, graphic design and product design.

What is Ray tracing? It is a technique of generating an image by tracing the path of light through pixels in an image plane. The technique can produce images of higher realism that scanline rendering methods

In the past, Ray tracing was considered very high end and advanced. However, it is no longer the case. Rendering and virtualization technologies have approached the state of hyper realism. In hyper realism, renderings and physical reality are very hard to tell apart. This is because many of the rendering systems and algorithms have become physically accurate in terms of simulation and calculation.

The latest technology for photo realistic rendering that had gone beyond basic ray tracing is Global Illumination. What is Global Illumination? It is a collective term for several technologies (including raytracing and radiosity) that are used to produce realistic renderings via direct as well as indirect illumination calculations. Global Illumination consists of algorithms that take into account not only the light which comes directly from light sources, but also where light rays from these sources are indirectly reflected onto other surfaces in the 3D environment.

Of the the most realistic technology for Global Illumination rendering is the usage of HDRI environment maps. HDRI stands for High Dynamic Range Imaging. This technology allows a greater dynamic range of exposures than normal digital rendering techniques, thus producing true-to-life imageries.

These are just some of the rendering technologies available. It is certainly not an exhaustive list.




Photorealistic Digital Rendering - Is it Real Or is it Digital?

By Tek Lentine

3D modeling using programs such as Autodesk Inventor has become the standard in many industries. Even if you do not use this technology, chances are your competitors are. But 3D modeling is only the beginning, and in fact, the most competitive companies are using technology to do much more than just verify the geometry of their parts and assemblies. It is now possible to create lifelike "pictures" from 3D digital models of designs that look so real it is hard to believe the parts exist only as an electronic pattern inside of a computer.

One project I worked on involved the development of a new line if KitchenAid ranges. My group developed all of the components digitally and brought them together into a main assembly before any prototypes were ever constructed. Industrial design came to me and requested that I provide them with the geometry of different configurations of the ranges to represent the different models that were intended to be sold. All said it took me about 8 hours to provide the geometry they requested. 3 days later, I was looking at a "picture" of my designs in different kitchens complete with various lighting, reflections, and textures. It was truly amazing, and so real that I wanted to ask to see the unit even though I new we were months from production.

These realistic images of designs can be created even earlier in a design using preliminary 3D digital models. This gives engineering and industrial design groups the ability to communicate effectively and evaluate not only the appearance of multiple designs but also the manufacturability of the products. Customers can also provide feedback early in the design cycle which can allow for adjustments to be made before it becomes an expensive, hair-ripping exercise. Also, once customers get used to seeing their products early and being able to ask for changes that would be impossible later, they begin to expect it. The competitive edge this technology provides far outweighs its cost.

Speaking of cost, let's get down to the numbers. So what is it going to set your business back to increase your capability from just 3D modeling to photorealistic rendering? Probably not as much as you think. High-end packages do run as much as $30,000 per seat, but a seat of 3D Studio Max currently costs $3,500 and does everything most companies need. The computer with the specs needed to run the software is going to be comparable at about $3800. Compared to the cost of building a prototype, setting up the display, and hiring a photographer, that price tag seems pretty attractive.

Photorealistic rendering allows for tasks that were traditionally performed linearly to be completed concurrently and consequently crunches time to market by weeks or months. It also makes designs more nimble allowing for input early from all departments and end users when changes can be made quickly and cheaply. Photorealistic rendering is just one more way that digital prototyping is utilizing technology to make business more competitive than ever before by increasing their capabilities and saving both time and money.




Digital Architectural Rendering

By Alison Cole

Digital architectural rendering involves using computer techniques in creating and presenting architectural designs. It is almost like making a 3D film of your house, office, a hotel or some other commercial building. With the advent of computer-aided designs, and the associated technologies, architectural rendering has captured the imagination of all architects and the clients can also give reality to their dream houses.

Digital architectural designing is fascinating, dynamic and extremely flexible. You can use it to incorporate subtle changes in color patterns and designs through various permutations and combinations. This is especially true when you have a particular shade in mind but could not find any other way to express.

Digital architectural rendering involves the skilled work of many technicians, graphic designers, animators and other multimedia experts. Take the case of creating a scene of a swimming pool in your hotel. First the scene is created, say, on the drawing board, photographed and then a movement is infused into it or it is animated. It requires a great amount of computing acumen to create this virtual swimming pool for you. Thereafter, the numerous apparently similar frames with slightly different movements in them are stitched together and made to move fast in seconds to give a convincing virtual movement. These video photographs, taken from different angles, can be manipulated in different ways.

Digital rendering is making great headway by incorporating 3D animated virtual reality. New techniques have been developed to infuse life into the video presentations of the building by integrating them with sound effects and a photo finish. And with 3D glasses, the visual experience can be in a class apart from the rest.



Digital Visualization Add Perspective to Architectural Rendering

By Michael Gooden

Architectural design catapults into the twenty-first century with digital-visualization software designed to permit creation of realistic 3D renderings at a fraction of the cost of traditional images.

Mention "architectural rendering" and most people conjure up images of weary-looking little men hunched over drafting tables, toiling laboriously to execute every meticulously drawn line perfectly Maybe they'll even envision ancient Roman architect Vitruvius painstakingly poring over De Architectura, struggling with every word and illustration in his lengthy tome.

According to Vitruvius, architecture must not only be durable, but it must also be useful and beautiful. Or, to coin a phrase, "both decorative and functional."

Architecture no longer simply refers to a building's exterior structure. Nowadays, it also relates to the interior environment and overall flow of a living space. If your building's interior doesn't live up to the expectations of its exterior, you may not be using your space to its best possible advantage. That's when developers, realtors and architects know it's time to consult a professional design firm to make valued recommendations.

When choosing a design firm, look for a company that uses cutting-edge technology and can provide you with the most realistic architectural renderings possible. Look for a firm that can convert standard CAD drawings into striking three-dimensional renderings that look amazingly lifelike.

A modern design firm will evaluate your space and work with you to create the interior that reflects your style and taste, while maintaining the existing overall architectural style.

The design firm you select should keep our old friend Vitruvius' three-pronged concept of durability, usefulness and beauty in mind. Who, after all, wants to live or work in a space that may be sturdy and functional, but is visually unappealing? On the other hand, the loveliest living (or working) space is worthless if it doesn't adequately address your needs - or if the ceiling caves in after three weeks! Your design firm should be able to provide 3D visualizations and renderings, so you can envision the finished product even before the work begins.

And if your project involves an exterior rendering, you'll want to use a firm whose staff possess the skills to make the fullest use of cutting-edge technology - especially when it comes to adding in the types of real-life environmental variables you'd expect to see in a valid representation of your exterior space - things like landscaping details, sidewalks, vegetation and people in motion.

And of course, you want all this in a cost-effective package that won't leave you without funds to complete your project. Surprisingly enough, hiring a professional architectural design firm skilled in using this revolutionary technology can be more cost effective than using a firm that does all its work by hand, or with outdated design software.

Oh, and before you turn up your nose and insist that his writing has outlived its relevance to modern design, consider this: Vitruvius was truly a Renaissance man, a real visionary! Centuries ahead of the invention of lawn mowers and gazebos, the first section of De Architectura addresses subjects that now fall under the realm of landscape architecture.

 

 

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A structure becomes architectural, and not sculptural, when its elements no longer have their justification in nature.
Guillaume Apollinaire

All fine architectural values are human values, else not valuable.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Among these temples there is one which far surpasses all the rest, whose grandeur of architectural details no human tongue is able to describe; for within its precincts, surrounded by a lofty wall, there is room enough for a town of five hundred families.
Hernando Cortes

Any architectural project we do takes at least four or five years, so increasingly there is a discrepancy between the acceleration of culture and the continuing slowness of architecture.
Rem Koolhaas

Borne out of this, starting around the 17th Century was the Baroque era. It is my view that it is one of the architectural peak periods in western civilisation.
Harry Seidler

Even though I build buildings and I pursue my architecture, I pursue it as an artist. I deliberately keep a tiny studio. I don't want to be an architectural firm. I want to remain an artist.
Maya Lin

For many years, I have lived uncomfortably with the belief that most planning and architectural design suffers for lack of real and basic purpose. The ultimate purpose, it seems to me, must be the improvement of mankind.
James Rouse

I am but an architectural composer.
Alexander Jackson Davis

I hope that America as a whole, and especially its architects, will become more seriously involved in producing a new architectural culture that would bring the nation to the apex - where it has stood before - and lead the world.
Tadao Ando

Architecture is the learned game, correct and magnificent, of forms assembled in the light.Le Corbusier

The mother art is architecture. Without an architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization.
Frank Lloyd Wright

All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space.
Philip Johnson

There are three forms of visual art: Painting is art to look at, sculpture is art you can walk around, and architecture is art you can walk through
Dan Rice

Architecture is a social act and the material theater of human activity.
Spiro Kostof

Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions.
Coco Chanel

Architecture, of all the arts, is the one which acts the most slowly, but the most surely, on the soul
Ernest Dimnet

An architect is the drawer of dreams
Grace McGarvie

Architecture is music in space, as it were a frozen music
Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling

Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.
Laurie Anderson

 
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