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Nicolas Jordan
06-09-2017, 12:04 PM
I have been creating Arch Viz renderings for over 10 years now and have always made the windows of the buildings I render only reflective with No transparency. I always do my renderings like this to save extra work but I'm finding transparent windows in Arch Viz renderings seem to be the norm now. Another reason I don't have transparent windows on my renderings is because in a typical daytime rendering the difference is minimal and not very noticeable unless your doing dusk lighting with the interior fully lit. The only difference I tend to see in a standard daytime rendering with transparent windows is the curtains or blinds showing a few inches behind the glass.

Even with these subtle differences I feel some pressure to bring my renderings up to snuff in this area. I'm just curious what others who create Arch Viz renderings for a living think about this topic. How important is this subtle effect? Do you find clients notice these kinds of added details?

djwaterman
06-09-2017, 02:18 PM
I have been creating Arch Viz renderings for over 10 years now and have always made the windows of the buildings I render only reflective with No transparency. I always do my renderings like this to save extra work but I'm finding transparent windows in Arch Viz renderings seem to be the norm now. Another reason I don't have transparent windows on my renderings is because in a typical daytime rendering the difference is minimal and not very noticeable unless your doing dusk lighting with the interior fully lit. The only difference I tend to see in a standard daytime rendering with transparent windows is the curtains or blinds showing a few inches behind the glass.

Even with these subtle differences I feel some pressure to bring my renderings up to snuff in this area. I'm just curious what others who create Arch Viz renderings for a living think about this topic. How important is this subtle effect? Do you find clients notice these kinds of added details?


You already know the answer. Your clients might not say it but they do notice these subtle things. Obviously you're making your glass separate and not having it trace shadows, and don't bother with any refraction. Transparency isn't such a render hit, I think you need to start doing this now because the competition is so much better these days.

Nicolas Jordan
06-09-2017, 02:59 PM
You already know the answer. Your clients might not say it but they do notice these subtle things. Obviously you're making your glass separate and not having it trace shadows, and don't bother with any refraction. Transparency isn't such a render hit, I think you need to start doing this now because the competition is so much better these days.

Your right I should start doing this now to remain competitive. Render times don't worry me much just the additional time and work I will have to do to model a basic interior beyond the window glass. I guess it's probably time for me to suck it up and put in a bit of extra work to stay relevant.

prometheus
06-10-2017, 07:18 AM
I thought you were doing outdoor architechture, which in case large city areas may work without transparency, but for smaller village areas and single houses transparency would probably be ideal, then again...looked at your images and found you are doing mostly interiors..I think? and that is a bit more elusive I would say, if you simple do not have a good matching backdrop image, skip it and go with a brighter glooming window or a dark evening night, the thing is..if you opt for realism and do transparency, the outside world should be equally realistic, and that means a very good matching outdoor backdrop, I could notice you had a interior which is in daylight..but with lamps on..which simple doesnīt make sense to me anyway, it would be the outside daylight that should light up the room, no one would really even hit the light buttons at such circumstances..so it all kind of looks wrong.

I guess its a lot about deciding initially what light conditions there are in the scene, if it is daylight evening etc..and how much that light should affect the interior, usally as you say for sunligh the windows tend to produce a glare blooming and then flood fill the room, and in such case the daylight is strong..and the outside scenery is tend of beeing bloomed away, I would still use transparency anyway because of lthe use of the sunlight, like dp sun.

For me...who doesnīt do architechtural renderings at all..so you may think twice or so in valueing the weight in what I say, but I think I have a pretty good eye for lighting etc, what I would say..I think I wouldnīt even consider to have non transparency at all.

This scene for instance..http://nicolasjordan.cgsociety.org/art/library-lightwave-3d-interior-seniors-condo-843412
doesnīt seem to work in context to the environment, a fireplace and lamps to show off..ok, but it is daylight already outside, and seemingly not cold winter..and not a night, so both lights on and fireplace active seems out of place, at least the mood tells us that, a cyan dark nigh sky, or almost black outside, or a cold winter image would have worked, and Even for black windows I think I would have hinted something outside, so yes..transparency full on I would say.

Though I see those are old renders, havenīt seen your new stuff..if any?
What Initially see though, itīs not that much about the windows...more of that renders tend to have a too much ambience light I think, interesting to hear your thoughts if you have any?

rustythe1
06-10-2017, 10:54 AM
look on his website, its mostly exteriors, actually I use the same approach by having reflective windows, I find in the area ive been working it works quite well, but maybe try uv mapping a picture of a window to the glass, curtains or blinds for example, helps to remove the cg look as the perfect reflection is one of the giveaways, if doing stills and you want transparency, you can often getaway with turning off ray trace refraction and transparency either or, and it will not impact render times at all, in fact turning off ray trace refraction speeds up any scene that is not using it, even if you had no surfaces with refraction in the first place.

prometheus
06-10-2017, 11:08 AM
look on his website, its mostly exteriors, actually I use the same approach by having reflective windows, I find in the area ive been working it works quite well, but maybe try uv mapping a picture of a window to the glass, curtains or blinds for example, helps to remove the cg look as the perfect reflection is one of the giveaways, if doing stills and you want transparency, you can often getaway with turning off ray trace refraction and transparency either or, and it will not impact render times at all, in fact turning off ray trace refraction speeds up any scene that is not using it, even if you had no surfaces with refraction in the first place.

look on his website? and where, I got a link only in the profile to cg society which isnīt the web page though it says home page, then you got a link from there to liquidlight3d..which I do not know is his completly or just working for them, then I happened to find dynamicrenderings.com..as hinted by someone else??? so all very confusing.

So Nick..which is it 8~

rustythe1
06-10-2017, 11:14 AM
dynamic renderings is the one on his linkedin page

Sensei
06-10-2017, 11:37 AM
There is special dedicated LW plugin for rendering fake randomized interiors of rooms. People use it for skyscrapers and cities.
vRoom
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bbp1uCTGwt4

prometheus
06-10-2017, 11:39 AM
dynamic renderings is the one on his linkedin page

Ok..though Nick should put it up front properly in his signature here or in the profile, itīs of course all upp to him what is suitable, just a bit confusing and I didnīt exactly logged in to linkedin just to find out where his webpage are.

As for the very topic, and what type of architecture renderings..correct, those seem to be more exterior, and my thoughts.. I just donīt think it looks good with purely reflective windows, very rarely..windows are windows and it adds to realism when you actually see in to them as well, but it depends also what you want to showcase perpahs..whatīs most important for the shot to show, and it is also releated to the lighting, if you have exterior sunlight falling more backlit than front lit, you should have transparency, if more front lit with such reflective incidence angle, transparency may be turned off, though I suspect there is an actual physcis reflective fresnel law to that..and a point where the sun incidence angle and the viewer angle is reaching maximum reflectance.

Nicolas Jordan
06-10-2017, 01:37 PM
look on his website? and where, I got a link only in the profile to cg society which isnīt the web page though it says home page, then you got a link from there to liquidlight3d..which I do not know is his completly or just working for them, then I happened to find dynamicrenderings.com..as hinted by someone else??? so all very confusing.

So Nick..which is it 8~

Sorry about that, I should have included a link to my website https://www.dynamicrenderings.com/ Dynamic Renderings is the name of my business. I'm just a one man shop so all the renderings were done by me. I used to work at Liquid Light 3D Graphics from 2007 to early 2013 doing Arch Viz. There were 3 of us that worked there including my boss. He eventually decided to sell the business and instead of partnering with the other guy that I worked with and take over the business with him I decided to start my own business and work from home.

Some older renderings on my site were rendered in Modo but about half of the stuff on there now is Lightwave now.

SBowie
06-10-2017, 01:50 PM
Reflective windows would work just dandy if you're modelling the SGI building, though. ;)

Nicolas Jordan
06-10-2017, 02:07 PM
Here is a rendering test I did up with transparent windows vs the old one with just reflection.

Nicolas Jordan
06-10-2017, 02:23 PM
There is special dedicated LW plugin for rendering fake randomized interiors of rooms. People use it for skyscrapers and cities.
vRoom
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bbp1uCTGwt4

That looks like it would be useful especially for high rise buildings that have lots of windows.

Nicolas Jordan
06-10-2017, 03:04 PM
Reflective windows would work just dandy if you're modelling the SGI building, though. ;)

Yes indeed it would!

SBowie
06-10-2017, 04:19 PM
Yes indeed it would!Striking building for Saskatchewan, always liked it. I worked on the Cornwall Center complex next door for about 4 years back in the 80's .. CBC building, too, if memory serves. My kids were small, then, good years, happy memories. :)

Nicolas Jordan
06-10-2017, 05:17 PM
Striking building for Saskatchewan. I worked on the Cornwall Center complex next door for about 4 years back in the 80's .. CBC building, too, if memory serves. My kids were small, then, good years, happy memories. :)

Yes the golden reflective panels give it that extra character that makes it stand out. Nice to hear you lived here for a while. Have you been back since? Regina has grown a good bit since the 80's.

SBowie
06-10-2017, 07:20 PM
i'd like to, lots of friends there, but alas no. The nearest I've been in years was Yorkton, for a wedding about a decade ago.

I used to belt down the bike trails from way out in the west end to downtown at 6 every morning just as fast as I could go, arriving at work out of breath and raring to go. It would probably kill me now, but I bought a new Diamondback last year, and we'll see how far it'll take me. Anyway, OT, sorry - just happened to notice your location.

jwiede
06-11-2017, 02:30 AM
Here is a rendering test I did up with transparent windows vs the old one with just reflection.

That should pretty much cement the answer you already knew, they add quite a bit (esp. w.r.t. a sense of depth). ;D

prometheus
06-11-2017, 03:47 AM
Here is a rendering test I did up with transparent windows vs the old one with just reflection.

simply put, the first image looks flat and made up, the second looks like it has a room, which most houses usually do have ..on the other side of the windows :)

A note..nothing to get hang up on, I often see people posting images side by side..wouldnīt it be better (in some cases) to post a single image with the to images together for comparison? maybe itīs a bit too much to edit and such?
Itīs just that we can get a good look at once instead of opening two images, and apart from that having to swap tabs in the browser etc, but what do you guys think?

Rayek
06-13-2017, 04:20 PM
Here is a rendering test I did up with transparent windows vs the old one with just reflection.

The window glass and materials/textures need more attention given to them - all the textures look rather flat and have that typical "2000's" rendered look - plastic looking. Everything looks too clean, in my opinion. Architectural rendering has improved by bounds and leaps in the last couple of years.

Window glass often isn't exactly flat, and a slight (or even very obvious) reflection curvature will often be apparent.

The overall colour/dynamic range seems off to me as well - do you render with an display referred transform in your render pipeline somewhere? The colours ought to be less saturated with more exposure. And the white beams etc. look clipped.

I did a quick test to get better looking glass (yeah, it's a bit noisy due to lack of time again):

http://i67.tinypic.com/5nq0yx.jpg

Now, this is not Lightwave rendered - it is Cycles, and since it is a quick setup, there are mistakes. No touching up or any colour grading, I did not have the time. But in short:
- this uses the filmic transform which gives a great dynamic range: https://www.blenderguru.com/tutorials/secret-ingredient-photorealism
This results in a more natural (photographic) look, and avoids display referred transforms while rendering.
- the window glass has a bit of a curvature (the ones on the right waaaay too much, I did not apply the transform there, so it is out of whack).
- the glass shader also keeps track of angle
- the wall texture uses a very slight large soft noise to break up the colour monotony (hardly visible)
- wooden structures have a bevel modifier added (yeah, the door bevel is too big - again, was in a hurry)
- copied a kitchen interior into the house, which makes it far more interesting to look at.

The glass shader I used: https://www.blendswap.com/blends/view/73095

Perhaps you can convert it to a Lightwave node version?

I believe in Lightwave you simply choose the sRGB preset to get the 'filmic' look? Not sure - perhaps someone who is better acquainted with the LW renderer can chime in. I no longer use Lightwave for rendering. Or perhaps it is just your materials which merely need some more tender love and care.

Nicolas Jordan
06-14-2017, 02:08 PM
The window glass and materials/textures need more attention given to them - all the textures look rather flat and have that typical "2000's" rendered look - plastic looking. Everything looks too clean, in my opinion. Architectural rendering has improved by bounds and leaps in the last couple of years.

Window glass often isn't exactly flat, and a slight (or even very obvious) reflection curvature will often be apparent.

The overall colour/dynamic range seems off to me as well - do you render with an display referred transform in your render pipeline somewhere? The colours ought to be less saturated with more exposure. And the white beams etc. look clipped.

I did a quick test to get better looking glass (yeah, it's a bit noisy due to lack of time again):

http://i67.tinypic.com/5nq0yx.jpg

Now, this is not Lightwave rendered - it is Cycles, and since it is a quick setup, there are mistakes. No touching up or any colour grading, I did not have the time. But in short:
- this uses the filmic transform which gives a great dynamic range: https://www.blenderguru.com/tutorials/secret-ingredient-photorealism
This results in a more natural (photographic) look, and avoids display referred transforms while rendering.
- the window glass has a bit of a curvature (the ones on the right waaaay too much, I did not apply the transform there, so it is out of whack).
- the glass shader also keeps track of angle
- the wall texture uses a very slight large soft noise to break up the colour monotony (hardly visible)
- wooden structures have a bevel modifier added (yeah, the door bevel is too big - again, was in a hurry)
- copied a kitchen interior into the house, which makes it far more interesting to look at.

The glass shader I used: https://www.blendswap.com/blends/view/73095

Perhaps you can convert it to a Lightwave node version?

I believe in Lightwave you simply choose the sRGB preset to get the 'filmic' look? Not sure - perhaps someone who is better acquainted with the LW renderer can chime in. I no longer use Lightwave for rendering. Or perhaps it is just your materials which merely need some more tender love and care.

Thanks for the critique. I have my render output in Lightwave set to sRGB. I may have to experiment more with various settings to get a better photographic look to my renderings. I used to use Modo for rendering and had very little trouble matching that look in Lightwave. Adding a slight distortion to the glass is also something I have used in the past on some buildings but I will probably look at making it standard in my renderings as well.

Rayek
06-14-2017, 03:15 PM
I hope I wasn't too harsh - I notice clients' expectations keep rising. Which is to be expected, of course.

And by the look of where things are going, soon we won't have to render images anymore for pre-viz in architecture and interior design:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDW8QOx5S-k

An acquaintance 3d artist of mine mentioned to me a couple of months ago that they are now using real-time augmented VR to sell condos. He creates the assets and 'rooms'. The rooms are shown fully furbished in different styles through the use of VR headsets given to the prospective buyers when they visit the properties.

That means the buyer is shown an empty room, and then puts on the VR headset, which augments the empty (real) room with virtual furniture.

Crazy!

Wade
06-16-2017, 02:19 PM
it kind of depends on what you are doing - if selling a home design you might not want to muddy the water with interior finishes. If you are selling the neighborhood or mood of a development then getting a peak into the home might add to the overall. Image maps on the walls and a few random lights do wonders for high-rise at a distance. my 2 cents.

prometheus
06-17-2017, 07:21 AM
Thanks for the critique. I have my render output in Lightwave set to sRGB. I may have to experiment more with various settings to get a better photographic look to my renderings. I used to use Modo for rendering and had very little trouble matching that look in Lightwave. Adding a slight distortion to the glass is also something I have used in the past on some buildings but I will probably look at making it standard in my renderings as well.


I would consider skipping sRGB for exteriors, I have seen a lot of those..using sRGB, it simply looks fake and bad as with ambient lighting, illuminate it properly with global illumination instead and get dark shadows and areas to be dark in a linear fashion rather than the ambient sRGB look..
Of course, if you anyway are doing tonemapping or post processing in photoshop or with the virtual darkroom, that may not be of importance so much, it would still require you to eyeballing the postprocessing in a faked way, that still doesnīt come exactly close to the real world.

TreyX
06-17-2017, 02:21 PM
Here is a rendering test I did up with transparent windows vs the old one with just reflection.

The render with some transparency is more impressive and adds a sense of depth. As someone with extensive real estate sales experience, professionally staged homes always sell better than empty structures. Even the slight touch of curtains in the windows behind the glass gives more of a sense of habitability and warmth, and removes a sterilized feeling that mirror reflective windows generates. An idea would be to create a library of simple images and objects to tap for your renders that you can easily add to an image plane behind the glass (UV), or stage a room environment with objects for where there are picture windows or glass doors. If you need a stock library, Dosch Designs has some model libraries for arch viz that you can use to give your homes that competitive feel, as well as a stylish appeal. As mentioned in an earlier post to this thread, competitive advantage is always a factor, and keeping your work on the same level as your competitors will keep the business flowing. Visit your competitor's sites from time to time and see what they're doing - then make your own renders even better. :)