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architectural visualiser george nicola

By George Nicola (Expert Stager)

Imagine picturing what the interiors of your house would look like even before you built it.

Wouldn’t that be great?

Undoubtedly it would be.

While putting together your design ideas could be a challenge, 3D interior design can help you accomplish this easily.  

This article delves into everything you need to know about 3D interior design and is suitable for real estate professionals, architects, interior designers, and anyone interested in the 3D interior design process. Read further to learn more about the services, benefits, software, myths, and more!

What is 3D Interior Design?

The 3D interior design process calls for careful planning of the design so that the inner space of the house provides a perfect replica of the real-life structure in 3D, that is, height, width, and depth. 

Simply put, whether you are planning to build a residential or commercial structure, 3D interior design can provide you with a lifelike visualization of its interior spaces with a picture-perfect positioning of all your preferred details from various angles even before you begin constructing it.

Model cottages - Japandi house (9)
3D interior design image

By definition, in the Architecture and Design sectors, and not only, the process of “visualization” encompasses the procedures that the project undergoes from all design and planning stages until the final creation of a 3D environment that depicts the project in three dimensions with light, colors, and textures.

What does a 3D Interior Designer do?

3D interior designers use relevant interior design software to help you draw or design the interior perspectives of spaces, such as living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, and any other room in a building. The resulting design is often known as 3D visualization or 3D rendering.

3D interior designers play a key role in helping potential clients to craft their proposed conceptualization of spaces and enabling them to accurately communicate their vision to project managers before they start erecting the building.

Eventually, the potential clients will be able to understand the design concepts that would be incorporated into the new rooms. 

Whether for renovation or new construction, designing a home is as exciting and 3D home design rendering has changed home design projects significantly, saving time, money, and effort while minimizing contingencies. 

Read more

Model cottages - Japandi house (7)
3D rendered interior

What Services do 3D Interior Designers Provide?

3D Home Design (3D Virtual Staging)

3D virtual staging allows real estate professionals to transform the interior of an empty space into a fully furnished property using PC software. Virtual stagers can remotely transform a vacant property into a stunning lived-in home so long as they have photos of the empty property. 

See how 3D virtual staging works (behind the scenes)

3D Animated Virtual Walk-throughs

Essentially, this is a short video representing a visualized version of a proposed interior of a residential or commercial property.

As the virtual tour of the design, the 3D walkthrough allows potential clients and architects to literally walk through the rooms in the developmental stage of a project.

It uses simulated media to produce an uninterrupted flow of sensory images in a photorealistic setting embedded with texture, lighting, etc.

3D Floor Plans

3D floor plans of a residential or commercial building portray a bird’s-eye view of the floor’s layouts.

3D interior designers create them to provide a better understanding of the potential of every space, including its scale, texture, color, and other relevant structural features.

3D CAD Drawings

3-dimensional computer-aided design is a popular technology among interior designers used to create virtual models of 3D objects in space.

3D interior designers provide these services by creating and modifying various details of a space, such as a furniture’s height, width, and depth. 

How does 3D Rendering help in Interior Designing?

3D renderings are beneficial because it helps architects and interior designers effortlessly and efficiently make sense of their visualized designs and ensure that potential clients understand all the fine points that should be incorporated into a property’s space. In the end, potential clients can promptly approve the presented designs.

3D rendering aims to prevent misunderstandings between architects and potential clients who cannot wrap their heads around too unsophisticated 2D floor plans.

The services provided by 3D interior designers smoothly facilitate the buying experience for clients since they simulate their ‘living experiences’ in homes that are yet to be developed.

As such, the work is usually conducted with a solid foundation of trust cemented by an interior designer who confidently helps them envision the entire process.

Once an interior designer uses 3D rendering to convince a potential client, decision-making processes will be definitely faster.

For example, during your discussions with an interior designer about the created 3D renderings, you will instantly see whether you need your kitchen countertops fixed with wood or marble.

Moreover, with reference to the lighting, you will know whether you need larger windows in the living room.

Therefore, 3D rendering helps architects and interior designers gain a competitive edge in the real estate market.

Architectural renderers offer services to visualize the design of a proposed building using 3-D images or animations to illustrate key architectural features, such as landscaping, lighting, furniture, appliances, and décor even before the building is constructed. Read more

3D rendered interior project

Best 3D Rendering Software for Interiors Designers

Today, many interior visualization software has forced some interior designers to abandon hand-drawn design projects.

Just with many clicks of a PC, you can virtually design the interior spaces of a home long before it starts.

Therefore, we have cherry-picked for you the top 6 of the highest-rated interior rendering software that is popular among interior designers in 2022

3ds Max

3ds Max is a premium software (no free version) that works best for modeling, meshing, and texturing designs thanks to its user-friendly process flow and wide-ranging plug-in options. It delivers photorealistic details of various objects being developed in the interiors of homes.

SketchUp

SketchUp stands out as the most popular software for 3D modeling and design globally because it models nearly everything from energy-efficient buildings to intricate treehouses.

Most interior designers who use it go for its pro version because it comes with unmatched features for modeling contemporary furnishings.

Chief Architect

This building information modeling (BIM) software comes with an intuitive design environment, unique workflow, automated documentation, and open collaboration for architects and designers.

Its intuitive interface and robust tools allow you to effortlessly switch from 2D to 3D models when creating beautiful 3D designs.

It’s mostly popular in the USA and Canada, but in the recent years there has been an increase of professional users in Europe, too.

Adobe Photoshop

3D interior designers who want to achieve high-quality visualization use Adobe Photoshop especially when it comes to the post-production of their renderings.

Photoshop 3D rendering allows you to easily fine-tune colors, textures, lighting effects, tone, and clarity using exciting effects and at the same time add people and objects in space.

Post-production is the final stage after all significant 3D and Design processes are finished.
Post-production is an integral part of the overall process of image-making (visualization). 
In 95% of the cases, this stage is used for color changes, detail retouching, contrast, brightness, and gamma manipulation, including light visual effects.

Maya

Maya has the creativity and versatility that allows interior designers to create precise house models, realistic objects, and animated actions.

If you want to create realistic 3D models, simulations, animations, lighting, painting, and character rigging, Maya has in-built and easy-to-use tools that simplify such tasks.

Cinema4D

Cinema4D is user-friendly 3d rendering software that is hassle-free and harmonious with several render engines.

Many interior designers find this award-winning software more than satisfactory because of its powerful set of features, intuitive user interface, and procedural workflows. 

Lumion / Twinmotion

Lumion and Twinmotion are both suitable for making images, videos, or panoramas that render ultra-fast. Both applications use similar methods of work and are capable of producing almost equally realistic visualizations.

The most significant difference is that Lumion is paid, and Twinmotion is free.

Key Differences between 3D Modeling and 3D Rendering

3D Modeling comes before 3D Rendering

In computer-generated imagery (CGI), 3D modeling is a precursor to 3D rendering. In the 3D modeling stage, a 3D interior designer creates a realistic 3D model that can be made of glass, stone, wood, or as instructed.

The next stage is the 3D rendering process, which uses various 3D models to build the scene in an interior space by arranging, customizing, and fine-tuning it with textures, lights, and shadows.

3D Modeling and 3D Rendering use Different Tools

A 3D modeler and a 3D renderer specialize in using different software and techniques with the aim of achieving better outcomes and a more predictable workflow at a 3D modeling studio.

Since they have in-built rendering engines, 3D modelers focus on using modeling software, such as 3ds Max, SketchUp, or Maya. However, 3D renderers use more specialized programs, such as Lumion, Corona Renderer, etc.

In most instances, the rendering software is accommodated along with the modeling one to ease the workflow.

A 3D modeler is a person who has knowledge and experience with 3D modeling applications used to create 3D environments, based on which visualizations are the final product.

3D Modeling and 3D Rendering have Differing Results

The result of 3D modeling is a 3D file having a geometric image of an object with three dimensions: height, width, and depth.

The 3D designer requires the exact sizes of the product to make a model. On the other hand, 3D rendering results in a still image or animation videos simulated using PC software. It is important to note that video renders require 3D modeling and animation.

3D Renderers can reuse 3D Models

A 3D model can be easily modified and even shared among renderers to create different visualizations to serve other purposes.

A single model can be slightly optimized to characterize diverse design options and color variations of objects in space. However, once a render is completed, editing it could be challenging. 

5 Reasons to Use 3D Rendering in your Design Projects

3D Rendering Detects Problems

Let’s face it. Sometimes buildings can appear different from the envisioned design once completed.

Before construction commences, 3D rendering can detect various glitches so that they are ironed out promptly to ensure that the final version is flawless.

This saves a lot of costs and time.

3D Rendering Expedites Presentation of Designs

3D rendering helps architects effectively present the visualization of a proposed building to potential clients and investors before it is built.

Numerous 3D rendering programs come with augmented reality features, which offer a real-time depiction of a building in the future.

Compared to 2D drawings and 3D models, the 3D rendering does a better job of sharing a sneak peek of future architectural visions.

3D Rendering is Affordable

The cost-effectiveness of 3D rendering makes it an ideal tool for providing potential clients with representative designs for various projects.

Today, 3D render costs from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars compared to the cost of renovating existing buildings.

It makes it easier for interior designers to make quick revisions to designs when a client does not like the original version.

This expedites the process and is cheaper compared to a few decades ago. 

Debunked Myths on 3D Rendering

Too costly

Even though some 3D rendering software is costly, many free and low-priced programs currently exist, such as SketchUp and Twinmotion.

Rather than spending too much money to rebuild parts of a poorly constructed property, 3D rendering is cost-effective to rectify such mishaps beforehand and if you don’t have time to DIY, you can always use a professional service.

Not easy to learn

Like 3D rendering, learning something new takes time, but it is not as difficult as some people portray it.

3D rendering is straightforward to understand, and with dedication, seven days is enough to learn the basics, such as applying textures, colors, furniture styles, and pre-modeled 3D objects.

More complex programs could take longer, but you may never need to learn them if you are a DIY doer.

Rendering is not necessary interior design

In the modern-day world of 3D interior design, merely using 2D hand rendered sketches are primarily used between the stages to discuss feedback and establish the foundation of the project.

Today, clients are keener on visualizing their interior spaces and only go for 3D interior designers with high-tech solutions.

Therefore, 3D rendering is an integral part of 3D interior design. 

Hand rendering is a scaled-down drawing of an interior space presented using hand-drawn techniques that help clients visualize the space.
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You’ll use either 2D or 3D tools

This myth mostly originates from newbies.

3D tools were created from 2D processes; therefore, you cannot abandon the use of 2D tools when learning how to use 3D tools.

If you want to become a guru in 3D interior design, you must learn how to draw 2D sketches and create 3D renders.

Key Takeaways

  • 3D interior design is a virtual illustration of a fully decorated and furnished space before the construction of a property begins. 
  • 3D interior designers use interior design software to design interior spaces, such as living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.
  • 3D renderings help architects and interior designers to effortlessly and efficiently make sense of visualized designs of spaces
  • 3D modeling is a precursor to 3D rendering
  • 3D renders can reuse 3D models
  • 3D rendering can be used to detect various glitches so that they are ironed out promptly 
  • Both 2D and 3D tools are important in 3D interior design. 

George Nicola

VIRTUAL STAGING EXPERT / After eight years+ working in high-end design and property business I realised that we are missing a critical part of the property business. We were not providing enough value to these old and empty properties. Not every buyer would have the opportunity to see the potential of vacant property or in a bad state. The idea of Virtual Furniture Staging the property gives the buyer and seller an incredible chance in seconds of taking the critical decision.
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