Tips to Make Photorealistic 3D Renders

Creating a photorealistic 3D render can help you sell a product, an unfinished property, or a dream home. While many 3D renders appear cartoonish or fake, the extra time and attention can enable you to create a render that appears realistic. If you are using your 3D renderings to sell a home, this process can help your clients better visualize the property and get a realistic sense of how they fit into space. Keep reading for 7 tips to make photorealistic 3D renders.

1. Gather your reference material

If you are creating a 3D rendering of a home or room, you should collect as much reference material as possible. Even if your property is still under construction, you can still gather reference materials to represent your final product. Collect images of homes or rooms that inspire your design, plans from your contractor or architect, and the wishes of your client.

Examine your reference materials from every angle and consider how different effects change your render, such as light sources or shadows. The more you are able to view your concept in real life, the easier it will be to recreate it in a 3D rendering.

2. Utilise depth of field

Apply depth of field to your 3D renders to achieve a more photorealistic effect. Applying a depth of field will blur the background around your object or focal point, bringing the focal object to the foreground. Using this effect can help you improve the composition of your render and save time in post-production. Also, blurred backgrounds are fairly common in photography.

3. Set the scene

The key to creating a photorealistic render is starting off with the basics and expanding from there. For example, if you are creating a 3D rendering of a room, you should begin with a cube and add in your architectural elements like walls and doors. Next, you can decide on lighting and how it will impact the scene.

With the architecture in place, you can add in 3D accessories to create the interior design. Strategically place objects to highlight the space and avoid cluttering your design with unnecessary objects that detract from the overall concept. In the beginning, your render will be far from photorealistic, but it is best to start with a primitive design.

4. Pay attention to texture

Texture can help a 3D render appear more photorealistic. Adding definition and highlights to the textures of your materials can help your 3D rendering be more recognizable and realistic. Some fine textures to consider include wood, metal, leather, and paint. Textures comprise small details that make a big difference in the final impact on your audience.

5. Don’t shy away from asymmetry

A perfectly symmetrical 3D rendering may be visually appealing, but it will ultimately appear fake or too perfect to be real. Asymmetry is relevant to reality and can help add details to your 3D render. You can experiment with asymmetry when creating your render to determine what appears the most natural.

6. Keep your client in mind

Your process for creating a 3D render will be different depending on your overall concept. Whether you are creating a render of a handbag, a chair, a room, or an entire property, you should keep your client in mind. What do they want to see in the render?

You can consider their style and preferences to keep your render free of unnecessary clutter. Ultimately, you want the 3D rendering to appeal to your clients, so keeping them in mind throughout the process is crucial.

7. Add imperfections

While it may seem counterintuitive to include imperfections in your 3D rendering, it is actually necessary to achieve a photorealistic design. Take for instance the process of bevelling. In nature, there are rarely any objects with truly sharp edges, which means they should probably not be in your photorealistic render. Bevelling your designs can add a touch of realism that helps your 3D render stand apart from the rest.

Consider adding cracks or scratches in the flooring, some dirt, or a crooked picture. These small irregularities make your 3D render appear more human and real, instead of fake and man-made. Perfect does not exist, so your 3D render can appear photorealistic with a few irregularities here and there.