3D Photorealistic Rendering: Tips & Best Practices

Stefan Vaskevich
author article
CEO & Founder Cyberfox

3D renderings have revolutionized the way we think about product design, marketing, and interior and exterior design. Until recently, taking genuine photos and shooting movies of a thing or property was the most common form of marketing. The digital upheaval has now begun, bringing strong competition to this sort of promotion tactic.

 Customers have many choices, thanks to the high-quality, accessible, and inexpensive nature of 3D product marketing and promotion.

 It’s awe-inspiring to have the ability to create such captivating visualizations that look almost real, right down to being able to personalize them. But it’s still crucial to find a great team who knows how to use industry-leading software and methods so you can get these fantastic outcomes.

 There are many misconceptions about the process of creating photorealistic 3D rendering, and we’ll clear them up in this post. We’ll look at its relevance and a variety of types, as well as how to make them and how long it takes to deliver. Before we go any further, let me introduce you to our topic.  

What is photorealistic rendering?

3D photorealistic rendering for homes is a form of digital rendering that produces photographs that seem almost indistinguishable from real-life ones. Even experts would have to think hard before determining which was authentic and which was “fake” if you printed a photorealistic 3D render and put it next to a genuine photo.

 3D rendered images of this sort are frequently utilized in architectural representation, real estate, interior design, product design and prototyping, and furniture catalogs. A photorealistic rendering shows potential buyers what a house or building will look like before construction starts. Commonly utilized in real estate marketing, its purpose is to add dramatic appeal and invoke certain emotions that tempt the client into wanting the property.

 Finally, furniture renderings are generally more realistic than 2D renderings since they show how different pieces of furniture will look in various situations and settings. In reality, most big companies’ catalogs consist of photorealistic 3D renderings instead of actual product photos. 

 Who uses photorealistic rendering?

Whether we’re talking about photorealistic 3D rendering or traditional photo rendering, the fact is that rendering has evolved into a critical marketing strategy in today’s world of product sales, real estate advertising, and business promotion. The main reason is that these fields require crisp, high-quality images, which is the purpose of 3D photorealism. 

 Here’s a brief overview of how various professions may use 3D photorealistic rendering on the job:

  • Home Builders & Remodelers. 3D rendering software allows home builders and remodeling contractors to create designs without needing advanced technical skills. That will enable you to show clients a clear picture of the proposed method before any work begins. You can also use this software to update floor plans by incorporating client feedback, adding furnishings, or adjusting measurements and scale.
  • Architects. Photorealistic renderings in architecture are helpful for architects who want to promote their services, get client approval, and compete in design competitions.
  • Interior Designers. Interior designers employ photorealistic rendering to communicate ideas with clients and promote their services. Depending on the budget or design style, designers may use interior design software like Cedreo to create various versions of a design. And designers can involve customers in the process by incorporating client input and enabling them to make final decisions.
  • Real Estate Professionals. Real estate agents can utilize photorealistic renderings in their blog posts, on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, and even on their websites to create a stronger connection with potential clients, eventually increasing sales. For developers or those working on the construction side, renderings can be beneficial for predicting market demand before construction begins; this way, companies don’t waste time or money building units they know won’t sell.
  • Landscape Designers. Photorealistic renderings are also helpful for outdoor projects. Remodelers may utilize them to demonstrate how a new deck or pool installation would affect the landscape design. Landscapers may use them to illustrate client ideas for a water-conserving garden and work together with customers to choose what plants will be included in it.

 Types of photorealistic renderings

Builders and remodelers may use photorealistic rendering to make their ideas come to life in a way that plans and specifications can’t. A few instances: 

Interior design rendering

Your home’s first impression on a potential buyer is often their first impression of you. When selling a property, interior design is one of the most crucial aspects of the transaction. Even in traditional real estate, people often resort to house staging. That includes renting out furniture and dressing it up to make any potential buyers feel more at ease and imagine themselves living there permanently.

 That is why employing correct interior design methods and styles in any selling process is so important. Interior 3D rendering is like house staging on steroids: it also allows you to furnish the area with furniture and decorations, but it may give you a wealth of additional choices, such as altering the wall colors.

 Also, it’s far more convenient because you can experiment with various options and styles on the fly, rapidly testing out different possibilities without going over budget. Therefore, in the battle of virtual staging vs. real-world staging, the photorealistic virtual stage always takes first place. 

Exterior home design rendering

Exterior renderings are one of the most popular and frequently employed forms of 3D visualization. Many real estate brokers and construction companies swear by it. In addition, because it aids in fundraising rounds by allowing project participants to dissect the whole thing before giving it final approval, this technique is also commonly used in that capacity in real estate and architecture.

 It provides clients and investors with a one-of-a-kind, immersive experience and total project control. You can present any concept from multiple viewpoints, times of the day, and settings. It’s both less time-consuming and more environmentally friendly than creating props. 

Virtual home tours

Virtual tour providers have had a hard time competing with digital reality. That is because virtual house tours, like real-time 3D walkthroughs and 360° videos, offer a more realistic experience than 2D films or other pre-recorded renderings. As a result, virtual home tours are now commonly replacing different render types as the most immersive and high-quality home tour experience. It lets you show off a property or home in a 360-degree setting. This type is most popular among architects and real estate sellers.

 Although it’s primarily utilized for marketing, this is also an excellent technique to double-check all the measurements and specifics before construction to minimize potential errors and snags that may turn out to be very expensive. 

CG panoramas

Image source: Artstation.com

We offer 360-degree panoramic photos that you can use for anything. They are becoming one of the most prominent trends in architecture and real estate due to their popularity. Clients may stroll around and look at the whole property with a few mouse clicks, and incorporating them into your plan will guarantee that your business presentations will never be the same. 

3D animation

3D animation, unlike other types of renderings, is comparable to watching a high-quality video. It’s accurate and detailed, showing all critical elements in a single frame or shot. It’s also quite helpful in marketing and advertising because it combines several elements and choices to create a one-of-a-kind experience for your consumers. 3D animations typically show views from different angles, spaces, and intricate details about the proposed product or property. 

What techniques are used in photorealistic rendering?

 Some of the methods that are utilized in photorealistic rendering are outlined below: 

  • Lighting – If you want your finished product to have the optimal texture, you must use both the right amount and direction of light.
  • Shading – Casting the right shadow on your image is essential to make it look realistic and correctly showcase certain areas.
  • Perspective – Because each of the distinct aspects of the photograph must be correctly scaled, if they are not, the overall picture will appear flat or overdone.
  • Camera angle – How you angle the shot gives the viewer a sense of scale.
    For example, looking up at something from below suggests that the object is large (like a skyscraper). But if you’re taking the picture from above, it seems smaller (like a watch on your wrist). 

The process of creating a photorealistic rendering model

So, if you’re looking for a step-by-step guide to creating 3D photorealistic renders, you’ve come to the correct place. In this section, we’ll go through each stage and discuss some best practices for producing 3D renderings, so take notes and read carefully. 

3D model creation

The first thing you’ll need is high-quality photorealistic 3D rendering software. Our top recommendations include Autodesk AutoCAD, 3DS Max, Revit, Sketchup, Blender, ArchiCad, and Vectorworks. Next, artists start with creating high-poly props and assets so that they can create a full 3D model. The file is often quite large because of the amount of detail it contains and the complexity involved in its creation.

3D lighting techniques

After the initial artist-model interaction, the next stage is to experiment with lighting. Many consider this phase one of, if not the most, crucial part of any production process because it can either make or break the final product. Therefore, it’s beneficial to note any specific client requests to guarantee satisfaction upon completion.

 You can use a basic illumination setup like direct and global illumination (sun and sky) or go for something more specialized like HDRI lighting. This latter option is fantastic for conveying a specific mood or season. You’ll need a rendering engine like Corona, Vray, or Octane Render to play around with different illuminations. 

Adding materials and textures

After you select your textures and materials, the next step is to render the design so that it can come to life. PBR materials are ideal for this purpose because they can be downloaded from various online galleries or agencies. Once you have all your materials, render the final product and wait for the software to do its job. 


After filming is completed, post-production allows you to change things that the client or architect suggests. You can also add other realism like trees and people. 

How much does photorealistic 3D rendering cost?

The price of a photorealistic 3D rendering may differ depending on your location, requirements, and job complexity. However, we can review some industry averages to provide a more accurate picture of what you can anticipate when receiving a quotation.

 The average cost of a project involving 1,000 to 5,000 views is $450-$800. The job is generally finished in a week, frequently even less. However, more complicated projects that take time and require a hands-on approach might cost anywhere from $500 to $5,000.

 The price varies based on the agency’s reputation and the quality of the software, so obtaining a free quote is the ideal approach to determine an estimate. 

The bottom line

Retaining a consistent brand image is critical to a company’s success, and it’s easier than you may think. Product representations and house renderings are an excellent approach to market your services while outshining the competition. Creating photorealistic designs and hiring the right team might appear complicated, but if you follow our above-mentioned suggestions, you’ll have no doubts about putting them into your marketing plan.

 If you’re looking for a dedicated group of industry professionals, CyberFox is here to help. Our staff is eager to help you create your wildest photorealistic fantasies and requirements. Click the button below to get a free quote from our team, who will take the wheel and provide stunningly realistic depictions. 

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The technique of creating a photorealistic 3D replica is to utilize a computer program with an image of the model. The key to this method is that photographs appear so similar to those acquired using a conventional camera that it's difficult to tell the difference between them and "real" photography.
There are a lot of photorealistic rendering tools. Here are a few: Blender, 3ds Max Design, Maya, KeyShot, and Cinema 4D.
Autodesk Arnold is an excellent render engine if you're aiming for photorealism. A bonus is that it doesn't have many settings and things to adjust, which can be time-consuming and frustrating. Instead, it simply works well from the get-go.
GPUs are far superior at 3D rendering than CPUs because they focus on graphical computations and parallel processing. That implies that instead of executing one task at a time, they can handle many things simultaneously, unlike CPUs, which perform operations one step at a time.
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