Architectural Rendering


Im looking for the most user friendly program for rendering architectural interiors and exteriors. We have a client who is building a small condo and would like us to do some rendering. I used Revit in school to a small degree but I was wondering what other program would be user friendly.

In my research Ive gotten confused with “modeling” and “rendering”, and the prograns associated with both (Rhino, Maxwell, Hypershot, ect, ect), so Im looking for something like Revit that lets you draw, pick the finish and render.

Any help would be great.

Ive added a photo of the quality Id like to strive for, haha. And yes I know that rendering can get way worse and way better than this but If I could pull this off it would get the job done at this point!

My advice is to start by looking at the best modelers for your needs. Doing architectural work, I’d look for a modeler that excels at that purpose. Be aware that some modelers aren’t very friendly when it comes to making changes to your model. Rhino for instance isn’t “parametric” so making a change means a lot of re-building. This is okay for Industrial Design models (my area), but could be really aggrevating for an architect who wants flexibility to easily relocate many objects (walls etc.) without having to rebuild. Check out Autocad and other architect-specific tools.

Then look at what it can do with rendering. Most/all modelers include a default built-in renderer, and it might meet your needs. If not, look to see if it supports plug-in renderers, and what options are available (such as Maxwell.) Rendering is all about light, and the best renderers these days offer Radiosity, Caustics etc. that better emulate how light really behaves. Maxwell is a good example of a plug-in that offers this kind of technology.

I’m a big believer in integrated modeling/rendering environments with plug-in rendering support. It sounds like this is what you’re looking for too. This allows you to model/experiment as you go, and choose (and choose to pay for) the rendering engine of your choice.

3DS Max + Vray is a pretty big standard in the archi-viz area. Maxwell + something else for modelling is also very good if you have the computing power to use it.

Maxwell is actually compatible with Sketchup as well which can be pretty potent.

Thanks for the info, very helpful.

With 3D Max, is it like Revit where you draw in 2d like Auto Cad and press a button and it goes to 3d, then you can render to get a more realistic look. Or do you have to build each object from scratch like sketch-up??

Just checked out Revit… It looks amazing! (It uses Mental Ray for a renderer, which is top-notch by the way.)

But if you’re looking for EASY, then check out Google Sketchup.

I use Google Sketchup for the modeling and ease of working with solids, then I use the VRay plugin for photorealistic rendering, a bit of PS touch up to finish. I use this specially when working on a limited timeframe.

Revit has the cool factor… super easy to learn but Architects tend to be technically phobic to new tools so sales have grown slowly for Autodesk. Not sure how it’s render engine is received. Architecture Industry standard I would say is 3d MAX and that VRAY plug in seams the most popular this year.