Orban Design

Providing the highest quality architectural rendering for Charlottesville and beyond.

Tag rendering software

Goodbye 2017!

While 2017 was a tumultuous year politically in #Charlottesville, I was fortunate to work on many rewarding projects and expand my production capabilities. There were some big advances this past year in the software I use, which along with improved hardware, allowed me to deliver some great work. Besides my 3D modeling and rendering, I continued to work on small architectural commissions throughout the year. I enjoy keeping my work varied, and thank all my clients old and new for a successful year. All the best for 2018! Here are a few projects I finished in the last part of this year.

March renderings and new software

Yet another busy month at Orban Design! In addition to the regular batch of new renderings, models, and drafting work, I’ve delved into a new software program with which I hope to improve my capabilities. I decided to take the plunge with the open source Blender 3D software. The main impetus is in expanding my ability to generate animations outside of the many limitations I keep running into with Sketchup. I also found that my preferred rendering software – vray – is available as an add-on to Blender, making the transition to doing renderings that much easier. Here is a test scene that I played with, taking a photograph and attempting to model it as true to life as possible.


And on to my current crop of renderings. The first is a concept for a coffee shop. The second is a pair of row houses to be built.

Lighting studies

There are many cool features of the particular rendering software that I use. One of these that I’ll explain in this post is rendering with a global material. What this does is allow me to produce a rendering that is basically a white box, where I can see the effects of my lighting without the “interference” of multiple colors/ values/ reflectivity/ textures of the materials in a particular model.

I’ll use the example of my previous post about ies lighting. I showed the final image of the spotlights on the wall, but to get an even better idea of how the lighting works in the space, I can run a render with a global material. Here is a sample of the same view, but with a global color set to white.

DOF part II – depth of field calculated by rendering software

As mentioned in the first post on Depth of Field, there are some shortcomings to creating a DOF effect in a rendering entirely as a post-processing operation. The biggest shortcoming is that any distant reflections showing up in reflective materials in the rendering will be uneffected by the zdepth layer that the software generates. Here is an example of an interior rendering with a reflective granite countertop. As you can see, Zdepth takes care of blurring the distant subjects in this view – the dining room and the trees outside. However, the reflection of the trees in the counter is not affected at all!

Residential Interior rendering
In considering the advantages and disadvantages of rendering software generated DOF, here are some of the pros and cons:

  1. Good: depth of field effect is realistic – based on phsyical properties of the camera, and consistently affects all aspects of the image including reflections and refractions.
  2. Added difficulty: takes an understanding of camera values such as aperature and focal length to successfully tweak the amount of blur.
  3. Bad: no quick way to adjust settings on the fly – need to recalculate a new rendering for each adjustment.
  4. Bad: not as smooth as photoshop blur.

What I end up doing in my renders is to use the best of both options. Where there are reflections, I will run a rendering with DOF turned on, and at the same time generate a zdepth layer that I can use post-process to give the blur a nicer appearance. Here is the final result using a combination of both rendering engine DOF as well as post-processed DOF blur.

final rendered view of residential interior