The photographic approach to architectural visualisations is something that is often debated by experts in the industry. Most are under the agreement that in order to showcase the scheme and capture subtle details, we should use photographic rules and principles when it comes to architectural visualisations. So, how do we go about achieving photo-realistic architectural visualization? Read on to discover some top tips.
Rendering, also known as image synthesis, is the process of image generation from a model, either in 2D or 3D, by means of computer programs. There is plenty of information regarding rendering online, but when it comes to architectural visualisations and photo-realism, one thing you need to carefully consider is ‘grain’. This is something a lot of visualizers are afraid to use, however, you can make a photo look more realistic with a subtle and slight grain. Another tip when rendering is to choose a tool that has an unbiased render engine. Unbiased rendering is beneficial because it produces a subtle grain and there is exceptional clarity in the details.
Another photographic principle that needs to be considered is to do with the use of white in your image. To ensure a balanced feel, the majority of whites in your render need to range from 190 to 220. Only the very brightest spot in the visualisation should go up to virtually complete white. It is all about balance. Do not have too many areas that are underexposed or overexposed. Make sure the darks have a role to play in your image.
Learn the art of photography
You should make an effort to learn the art of photography. Understand how a professional camera works, including filters, depth of field, distortion, lenses, and exposure. You can then apply this knowledge to your design visualisations to replicate authenticity.
Using natural lighting and shooting at the right time of day is considered one of the basic principles of photography, and it is something that you need to apply to your architectural visualisations. For natural look lighting, HDR images should be used as the base, irrespective of whether there are additional sources of light. You do, however, need to be wary of controlling lighting angle / diffuse and colour. You also need to follow the well-documented golden hour, golden rule, and rule of thirds.
It really is quite simple when it comes to modelling; you need to make sure that your model is as accurate as it can be. The fine details and general proportions need to be spot on. That is all there is to say in this regard.
With the utilisation of the right textures, residential architects can really enhance their images. You should take your time when it comes to shading, as it can have a considerable impact on the final look. There should be a degree of reflection on all materials, and reflection slots and glossiness should have maps assigned to them.
Next, we are going to take a look at the focal length. Anything between 35 and 55 mm is a good choice. Do not go for anything shorter than 30 mm. In architectural visualisations, we are required to show as much as we can in one image, which is why wide angle is used excessively. You can prevent the distortions that come with a wide-angle focal length by using the CG Matrix to use camera clip planes, hide walls, or cut through them. When it comes to focal length, remember that the most important thing is to depict things as close as they are to reality.
Last but not least, we have composition. This is one of the most difficult, yet crucial, parts. So, how do you find a good composition? It is advisable to begin with a classic composition, for example, central perspective. Keep the image as readable and clear as possible. You will be able to understand the image faster if you reduce the perspective lines.
All things considered, there is no denying that photographic rules and principles can be applied to architectural visualisations, and they should be. If you are to create an image that really captures the subtle detailing of the plan, you can have a much greater impact.