Live Renderers. The Freedom Our Designs Deserve – Morrow Brady | McAdam Design

 In General

A new generation of rendering has arrived that surpasses traditional rendering methods.

Live renderers offer the flexibility and speed that the design industry needs along with the freedom for designers to fully immerse themselves within their projects.

Traditionally, renders were generated from setting a static camera view within a 3D computer model. To be successful, they needed 3D geometry, materiality and light to merge into a photorealistic image. An image capable of selling an idea to a client.

These static renders were born from designers translating their flat 2D content into 3D, using modelling software like 3ds Max.

However, the design industry evolves fast. Soon, designers shifted from 2D software like AutoCAD, into 3D BIM software. Revit soon took the VHS crown, leaving Betamax softwares floundering in its wake. As a one-stop-shop for design, Revit offered all the tools.

With 3D modelling at its core, Revit intelligently integrated objects with data to output 2D documentation, schedules and photorealistic renders. By doing all the work in one software, content only needed to be modelled once. Work-rate efficiency and multi-disciplinary coordination improved to reduce risk. Multiple work-streams were merged into one, as we made the model intelligence work harder.

But, we were still locked down to that single camera view and idly waited while our renders slowly processed. We needed greater freedom and though Revit helped us geometrically unify building objects, we were still locked out from experiencing first-hand, the wonderful spaces we had created. AutoDesk, the creators of Revit, had shown us the sun but forgotten to remove our sunglasses. They had given us a precision 3D modelling tool that when combined with good construction techniques, could be used to generate 2D documents like plans, elevations and sections. We could hybridise by overlaying our 3D model views with 2D content like notes, dimensions and materiality to enable developmental conversations between the details and the 3D model.

But the door to explore was yet to be opened.

We were frustrated. While Revit finished rendering each tiny pixel, our work-stream bottlenecked and deadlines surged forward.

So we invested big money in visualisation grade computers, we utilised idle network processing power to create our own in-office render farms and we rented cloud based render farms like AutoDesk’s A360 to compress time.

But still we were locked into that static 3D view. Forced to wait until the cake was baked before knowing if it tasted good.

Our 3D modelling deserved more than this constricted procedure. Our rendering method needed to be as free as the nature of design itself. The fixed camera needed to dismount. Our eyes needed to become immersed in our created realities. We needed to infinitely explore each cranny of our design to find that perfect vantage point. We had a right to discover that undiscovered perfect view.

And then out of the blue arrived the live renderer.

With a click of a button, a fully rendered 3D model was immediately generated.

An office crowd drew nearly as fast.

We looked around and saw the materials used in the Revit model. A red face brick was too dark, so we lightened it in Revit and immediately it updated in the live renderer.

With a single mouse sweep, the sun moved to late afternoon and we watch as shadows waltzed live across the beautifully rendered marble floor.

We turn and the distant kitchen lures us forward, so with a keyboard click we walk towards it. The journey time seems long so consider ways of shifting the kitchen closer.

An emotional sense of relief emerges as we walk beneath a vacuous double height living space only to be suddenly blinded by direct sun coming through a roof-light. We make a mental note to shift it later.

We see a junction between a curtain wall, a balustrade and a bulkhead that would make Mondrian weep and we leap back in Revit to realign the elements. The live renderer automatically updates to match the Revit model and our eyes are at peace once again.

We hit the space bar and take flight to maintain a close external orbit around the project only to notice a parapet and its flashing awkwardly meeting an adjoining feature clad wall. Though not visible on the main elevations, its position is prominent from the pedestrian entrance approach and had we not seen it with the live renderer, it would have driven us to drink seeing it after it was built.

As we explore the live rendered model, we screen capture numerous views, each rendered with materials, radiating sunlight and perfectly draped in shadow. Our design is now spoilt for choice.

Photoshop will not be opened today and there will be plenty of time for tea.

Thank you Enscape3D.

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