3D Rendering Software and Tools
Whenever rendering is involved, there is also the subject of the hardware and software. As a general rule, you need a powerful computer to be able to transform your 3D scene into beautiful renders ( images or videos ) quickly. And of course, the software you use to do that is also of great importance, because not all programs and 3D renderers are created equal. Some of the most popular and powerful 3D software that 3D artists use are 3Ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D, Blender. Though they all have differences and strong points, they all have excellent render capabilities. This is especially true when you add up the external plugin renderers like V-ray or Corona. Such advanced 3D renderers are compatible with a wide variety of 3D software and can be used to create stunning and photorealistic renders. In fact V-ray is used in many Hollywood productions for the creation of scenes that have no visible distinction from the actual footage.
Developments and Usage
Computer-generated imagery (CGI) has been used in movies for about 40 years now, but with the fast growth of computer technology, the use of CGI has become mainstream. Nowadays, there is hardly a movie or a TV show being produced without the help of 2D and 3D editing and animation. The question no longer is "Is there CGI in this program?", instead it has transformed into "Can you spot the CGI in what you are seeing?". We all know the beautiful 3D movies from Pixar, Dreamworks and other amazing studios, but it turns out that live-action film can have up to 80-90% CGI content. In 2019, movies like the Lion King are considered by some people to be live-action movies, even though they are 100% CGI. This is because the computer-generated content is so lifelike that it is almost impossible to tell the difference.
In fact, computer-generated graphics have spread to several industries beyond Hollywood and the movie industry in general. For starters, let's look at the Gaming sector. The computer games industry is huge ($150b per year), and it is developing fast, especially with the introduction of virtual and augmented reality in the last few years. Games are becoming so real that we are not far away from the "fantasy" way of life shown in movies such as Ready Player One. Another industry that can no longer live without 3D rendering and CGI, in general, is Architectural. It is now easier and faster than ever to present an exterior design project with the help of 3D rendering. Nowadays, architectural projects for millions and billions of dollars are carefully examined by a specialist from every possible angle before being presented to the public, again with the help of 3D imagery. Simulations are run to detect potential flaws in the design or durability of the materials. This is also true for interior design and renovation, as everybody wants to see how their home is going to look like when it is finished. People are much more willing to commit their hard-earned money if they can imagine living and enjoying their future home.
The use of 3D rendering for presentation and development has grown so much in the last decade that it is now easier to find industries not using 3D in some way than to name the ones that do. This fantastic expand of the 3D industry is due to the demand of the fast-growing technology sector. With the help of 3D, many scientists and professionals have been able to visualize, simulate or in some way better understand the subject of their studies or experiments. Think of pilots training in virtual reality simulators or astronauts preparing for their mission in space. CGI is handy when you want to present an abstract idea or a concept like the movements of the microscopic and subatomic worlds, for example.