In this article, we will talk about the basic programs for 3D visualization of interiors, exteriors, mechanical parts, furniture, their functions and features. But at first, let’s say what is the 3D visualization. Look at the two images (Picture 1, Picture 2). On Picture 1, we see a floor plan. The plan is a good thing, but to imagine how a house built on the basis of this drawing will look like is problematic! Now look at Picture 2 (3D model of the house with no roof) – we see walls, furniture, and windows – all these are three-dimensional, not flat, like on the drawing. Will you agree it looks more impressive and convincing than simple drawing?! This is a 3D image (in this case, of the house). Accordingly, the drawings are responsible for the structural part of the object only (house plan, mechanical parts, etc.), roughly speaking, what holds on what. But 3D visualization helps us to imagine how the projected object will look like in reality! After we understand the basic concepts, we may go to the most delicious part.
Currently, there are many programs for 3D visualization (dozens), but there are basic ones, like everywhere: 3D Max Studio (3D max), AutoCAD (AutoCAD), ArchiCAD (Archicad), Artlantis (Artlantis), Cinema 4D (Cinema 4D). These all are programs for the professionals in their business. To master the basic level of work in these products, you will spend up to several months!
If you only want to make something for yourself, such as 3D visualization of land site, redo of the apartment and generally, all your work is based on the principle “I am an architect, designer and visualizer”, then you should not bother to learn professional-level programs or or seek the services of Vrender rendering company. You should better choose: FloorPlan 3D, Home Plan Pro, Google Sketchup, Sweet Home 3D or Pro-100, saving a lot of time for yourself. All these programs and training courses for them can be found on the Internet. In this article, we will focus in more detail on the professional programs.
So, 3D Max Studio is a titan and ‘monster’ of 3D visualization of everything! Interiors, exteriors, furniture, mechanical parts, animation and many other things can be done in this software. But this program is not easy to master, it requires serious computer power and time (very long time)! If the visualized scene is replete with variety of objects (interior or exterior), and the computer is not the most powerful, the visualization (rendering) can last for long hours or even days. But the result will justify itself totally, especially with proper settings. 3D Max has many plug-ins and add-ons on the Internet, not mentioning the libraries. So if you decide to closely engage in 3D visualization, it is necessary to examine this program. Yes, in Max (3D max) is it very difficult to draw – it has been designed simply not for this!
AutoCAD (AutoCAD) and ArchiCAD (archicad) – at our opinion, are equivalent programs (although AutoCAD is more common), in which it is possible to draw and, based on the drawings, to build a 3D model for further visualization. Both of these programs are less demanding to computer resources than 3D Max Studio, but their render is much “easier”, and the picture is less realistic. They have their own add-ons and libraries, which are common on the Internet. Archicad it intended primarily for architects and interior designers, but it can be used by landscape designers and it has built-in library of objects: windows, doors, stairs and more.
Cinema 4D (4D Cinema) – performs the same function as the 3D Max Studio, visualization turns not worse, but this software is less popular. Libraries and plugins (small programs that extend the capabilities of the main program) for Cinema 4D are sometimes difficult to find. For the last 2-3 years, the situation began to improve, as the developers are engaged in the promotion of their creation, and rightly so – Cinema 4D is a worthy competitor for Max.
Artlantis is a unique program designed only for animation and rendering of the scenes, previously created in other programs. The final picture (render) in this software is of a decent level (behind 3D Max Studio, but surpassing AutoCAD and ArchiCAD). A distinctive feature of Artlantis is the rendering speed – it takes minutes, instead of hours in 3D max. The only negative thing is it does not have too much libraries, and the built-in ones in Artlantis are often not enough to make your ideas into life! Artlantis is easy to learn and easy to setup, you need to press only 3-4 buttons and you can start visualizing! In 3D Max Studio, it would take much more time!