What 3D Rendering Techniques, Tools and Computer Software exist?
There are several techniques that artists can use:
Rasterisation - one of the oldest methods. It treats the model as a polygon mesh with vertices with embedded information. These vertices are projected on the camera, and they act as borders thus allowing the pixels to be filled with colors, textures, etc. Rasterisation is fast, and it is still used today. Especially when it comes to real-time rendering.
Ray Casting - this technique solves to overlapping problems that rasterisation faced. The idea behind this technique is to cast rays on the model from the perspective of the camera's view.
Ray Tracing - allows the proper simulation of shadows, reflections and refractions. This is the improvement to Ray Tracing, even though the latter provides various advantages on its own.
Speaking of the suitable tools and software, here we need to define three categories:
Your computer is the primary tool that you will need. The more powerful, the better! You will also need a well-calibrated monitor and other suitable peripherals.
Plugins and 3D rendering software:
Some of the popular programs that allow you to create high-quality 3D renders are 3Ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D and Blender. They can be aided with various plugins. Currently, some of the best ones are Vray, RailClone, Ornatrix, thinking Particles and Arnold. There are also free and paid 3d rendering software and plugins, and even some of them can run under various operating systems.
And what about suitable 3D Rendering engines?
There are 7 of them that are worth mentioning. The leaders in this category are:
Lumion - most used by designers, architects and urban planners. A standalone engine.
Iray - owned by Nvidia, his engine focuses on material behaviour and light. By using Iray, you can set up the duration of the rendering process. This control over time makes it the desired choice when the requirement is not only high-quality render but also a mere draft so that the artist idea can be illustrated. This engine is widely used for architecture, design, engineering, advertising, movies and marketing purposes.
KeyShot - you can use it with native CAD file formats as well as many others. The total supported 3D file formats are over 40. It is used for product design, animation, advertising, engineering and other industries.
Mental Ray - currently belongs to Nvidia. This engine utilises ray-tracing, and it supports distributed rendering - a popular choice for the architectural industry.
Maxwell Render -is considered to be one of the most realistic rendering engines. It is also a standalone engine that offers camera adjustments after the start of the rendering process. This may result in increased time, but the result is worth it. Most applicable for architectural visualisation, movies, animations and product design purposes.
Corona Renderer - this engine has plugins for many applications and also a standalone version. Famous with its unprecedented speed and quality and ability to handle complex post-production. There is only one engine that is more popular than Corona Renderer, and it is:
V-Ray - considered to be the ultimate leader in the 3D rendering industry. Available also as standalone 3d rendering software. It is known for its remarkable quality, superb handling of motion blur and other effects, extraordinary speed and the support of distributed rendering. V-Ray is not only the favourite choice of architects and designers but also for films, TV, animations and others.
How did 3D rendering affect the industries?
The creation of 3D rendering quickly changed the work processes in various industries. Let's take engineering and architecture, for example. Prototypes and presentations are more detailed with the aid of computer-generated images. Not to forget to mention that 3D modelling is efficient in terms of costs and time-saving.
Another good example is the movie industry. 3D computer graphics allow studios to create movies with perfect quality by providing high-definition effects and images to the general physical effects of the film. The 3D animation movies cannot be created unless using 3D rendering.
Want another application? Video games! The gaming industry is flourishing. The consumer's demand for constant graphic improvements and realism is satisfied with the evolution of the rendering techniques, engines, software and tools.