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    Render: instruction for use

    Francesca Scarpa / 2020-01-18 / modus operandi, render

    Who is the article addressed to?
    Curious people and amateurs in the field who need to improve the image of their products or who want to understand how digital image or video production works

    What does the article explain?
    A discursive, non-technical introduction to digital visualization with the Steps and Skills needed and the modus operandi in Artif.

    The term rendering, or render, is defined as the process of graphically retract a 2D or 3D virtual model into a static image or video. Today there are a many software programs that facilitate the process and improve quality, allowing good levels of photorealism to be achieved.

    The benefits are related to communication, and specifically to the promotion and the immediacy of the message.
    A good render helps promote one’s corporate image consistently and recognizably, speed up the time it takes to launch and establish products in the market, and improve competitiveness.

    It is therefore useful in many fields: from design studios, where communication with clients is the basis of design choices, to companies that operate in the design and furniture industry that need to faithfully represent the quality of their products.
    It is also useful in real estate and in the marketing of a property as it offers the added value of representing the potential of different development projects in addition to the actual state.

    Let’s see in summary the steps to produce a good render:

    1. Hand sketch

    The design phase is essential; it is not enough to press a button or even to know all the settings. The image must be designed.
    Visualization remains a work of artistic sensibility in which one must combine compositional, photographic and communicative skills.
    Personally, I grew up with pencils and crayons and before each project I always make a rough draft on paper of the result I want to achieve, but everyone find their own method of sketching out the image, gathering ideas and studying the best solutions, drawing the composition and framing first.

    2. Modeling 3D

    Modeling refers to the creation of three-dimensional geometries.
    Every render studio has libraries of objects that reproduce furniture and design objects, but depending on your needs you can customize anything, the important thing is to have the goal in mind so that you can optimize each object and sculpt it in the best way. It is not always convenient to model every detail with maximum definition, instead it is always a good rule to focus only on the details that will be clearly visible in the shot and sketch the background to avoid wasting work and computing power.

    3. Lights

    Light is a powerful tool that we all know and use daily to interpret environments. Good lighting design can capture and guide our attention by putting emphasis where needed and create the correct atmosphere in any setting. Like it or not, we are all guided by light.

    In a render, light must be skillfully designed and set.
    To support an increasingly realistic rendering, today’s render engines have the ability to include natural lighting that exactly captures a specific environment (many photographers are specializing in HDRI) and artificial lighting that can exactly simulate the effects of a lamp model to the assurance of lighting manufacturers who often provide the relevant IES files directly with the product data sheet.

    4. Texture

    In recent years the world of textures is becoming more and more articulate and fun. We often turn to specific software for procedural textures, i.e., seamless, or for painting directly on the 3D model as we do for characters, without, however, forgetting the surface mapping of solids to establish warping and positions.
    In short, textures are a fun asset, and with the right attention anything can be reproduced.

    5. Rendering

    At this point we are almost ready to think about the export, the cameras and any movements of them have to be set: it works almost like a photo camera, with depth of field, exposure times, light sensitivity. Finally we set the outputs and press the “render” button.

    6. Post-Production

    A final step on photoshop, or similar software, can be useful if not essential to add the emotional component to images. It is widely used in architectural renders or in design competitions, while it should be used in moderation if the images are intended for catalogs or if they need to express extremely realistic technical characteristics, as in the case of lighting or particular reflective materials.

    Finally, I report some enemies of quality that I have learned about in the field:

      • poor knowledge of the subject and the target industry

    the fashion photographer is unlikely to take pictures of architecture, to each his own work

      • changes under development

    at the risk of losing valuable work

      • incomplete directions of the elements to be represented

    that forces the 3D Artist to advance by hypothesis

      • getting stuck on using the wrong software for the current project

    different industries require different software

      • getting stuck on a standard modus operandi

    it is always best to customize the steps on the current project

      • unrealistic timelines

    the “I need it for yesterday” is not the best prerogative

      • Panicking and ask for too many intermediate steps

    a good 3D Artist will be able to guide you through the intermediate progress reviews, but precisely because they are “intermediate” you will not be able to view the finished work.

    If you have any more questions or would like to discuss more technical topics, please do not hesitate to contact me.