What 3D software for photorealistic renderings ?

Hey everyone,

I’d like to realise photorealistic renderings of various objects (watches or aircraft interiors).

At shcool I used C4D but i’m not sure it is powerful enough for what I want to do.
I usually work with rhino but it is just for modelling.

Can you give me some pieces of advice ?
What software do you use ?

Thak you ! Lucie

Hi Lucie,

In terms of ease of use vs quality and speed you could always give Bunkspeed’s Hypershot a go. I’m not sure if there is a Rhino plug-in but I think you can have a free trial download and give it a try… it tends to work better with smaller objects and A-class surfaces, so trying to render watches and aircraft interiors require different nuances in rendering… and you may want to go with mental ray, showcase etc for interiors

Director at iD34 Ltd

C4D is actually pretty good if you can learn to use it well enough.

Theres always going to be a trade off between rendering speed/ease of use/learning curve/features.

Maxwell Render produces IMO the best photorealism out of the box. But it’s not the most intuitive interface and requires a massive amount of CPU power. They also have a massive preexisting material library available online.

Hypershot produces some very nice results, less demanding on the CPU and gets better results fast, but I’ve found the texturing options to be limited and clumsy still.

VRay/Mental ray/Brazil (3DS Max/Maya) are all plug in renderers that give very good results and probably have the most powerful rendering engines and can be tweaked to favor performance over quality and vice versa. But that involves learning all of the settings and shader options which can be daunting.

My weapon of choice at the moment is Autodesk Showcase. It requires a very powerful and ideally Workstation class video card (I’ve used it with gaming cards but have experienced glitches) to run because it is powered by the GPU (graphics processor) not CPU. The user interface however is top notch, as are the premade material selections. For me, the super fast setup time and ability to get 90% perfect in 1/10th the time is a big deal for me. Usually I’ve found with some post processing - a little bit of motion blur, some noise and color adjusting I can get some very nice renderings of just about anything. And the fact that it is a real time rendering means if I need a front, side, 3/4, bottom, and 8 other views I can create them all in minutes rather than waiting hours to set up each shot.

I have been Cranking out some great images in Showcase. I love the Real-time and interactive Raytracing(GI). I have done Cars, Helicoptors, watches, helmets, engines, Furniture, parts, screws, shoes, electronics… pretty much everything.

For super Quality, I think Vray in 3Ds Max is unreal.

I hardly ever see Hypershot used for interior spaces. its just not quite set-up for that.

Here is my latest work with Showcase for Automotive Interiors which could give you an idea of whats possible for Airplane interiors.


I haven’t had this much fun on the computer in ages. Grabbed the Showcase Viewer and I’ve been looking all over the demos and alternates/scenes for half the day, just staring at features materialize out of mushy bloom.

All it needs (maybe it does? I’ve only just started poking at this) is a renderfarm option so you can sit somewhere with even a netbook and high-quality renders come up on the screen.

Just don’t say there’s a renderfarm on a remote network and people will be amazed at the little computer pumping out great images.

More polished than photoview 360, but I haven’t set them side by side to compare the end result.

edit: yes, it will support a renderfarm… with the right software…

Thank you for the answers !

I’ve tried the showcase viewer which is very impressive !
But it’s a bit expensive for me…

Don’t you know any soft much affordable ?

Thank you again

No kidding, I just checked it out, that’s really great. An ongoing community like that, I must say I am reviled by the lack of decent presets that come bundled with software, such as 3ds Max.

A preset is rarely what you’ll use, but is always helpful as a good starting point!!!

can you tell me what program was used to do these renderings. real nice work!

i assume showcase is a program? or what is it exactly? im CADD newbie :slight_smile:

They were done in Autodesk Showcase.

It’s a real time rendering tool similar to Bunkspeed hypershot (IE your image is there and you spin your model around in real time, you don’t have to sit and wait 9 hours for a rendering). But offers an advantage in being able to use both the Video card OR the CPU to render the image. Video cards have become so powerful they are very capable of creating extremely realistic images much faster than the system processor with the right hardware setup.

Confirmed. Its Autodesk Showcase. CyberDemon gave a pretty good description.

here is a video from Siggraph. (i set the file up but its not me on the video ; )

Evangelist : Thanks for sharing this link…Couple of other videos ( sketching & visulaization) are also useful…