FAQS | Frequently Asked Questions | KK3D2020-01-29T18:22:22+00:00


Welcome to the KK3D FAQs section. Here you will find some answers to the most common questions around design and 3D, including Virtual Reality.
We give answers to basic questions and shed some light on your issues, while going deep into technical information.

What is rendering and what is 3d modelling?2020-01-11T23:52:57+00:00

3D modeling is essentially a virtual representation of real world objects. It focuses on creating a 3-dimensional object on the CAD software,
which the computer interprets as graphs and equations. The objective is to give the object the physical properties as it would exist in the real world.
For example, a proposed building may be modeled using 3D CAD. This model can be viewed from all directions and behaves like a solid object.
3D models are extensively used now for design communication and manufacturing requirements
instead of 2D drawings to facilitate better understanding between the stakeholders of the design into consideration.

On the contrary, rendering is all about creating an image using the 3D model and adding photo realistic effects such as orientation
and positioning of the camera, proper lighting and backgrounds. If we make a rendering of the above object,
we will have something a like a photograph of the building from a particular angle. Rendering is done after modeling
and includes importing said object(s). The use of 3D rendered image is mainly used to develop marketing materials
and animations as it has more visual appeal.

What is the best processor for 3d rendering?2020-01-12T00:10:16+00:00

Finding the best CPU For Rendering, that is also as cheap as possible, is something you will want to do before building a new Computer for 3D Rendering,
Workstation for After Effects, a dedicated Rendernode, a Renderfarm or even a Laptop for Animation.
3ds max, Maya, Cinema 4D, Blender,
and many other 3D Software packages have in-built and 3rd-party CPU Render Engines that all rely on maximum CPU multi-Core Performance.

Since there are so many different CPU types with different clock-speeds, core-counts, hyperthreading, and brand, it can be difficult to select the right platform to go with.
AMD Ryzen, Threadripper, Intel i5, i7, i9, XEON, Pentium, some with lots of Cores and others with high Core-Clocks.
In the end, it all comes down to raw CPU Rendering performance, that I will be measuring with Cinebench R15,
the currently leading Benchmarking Software for CPU Rendering Performance.

Of course, there are lots of lists online to check cinebench points, but what is most important is how well the Performance / Dollar ($) ratio is.

This is why I have created a Performance/Dollar ($) Table for you to sort to your liking.

This will show you the best Rendering CPU for the Money:

Best CPU for 3D Rendering

Performance / Dollar ($): Higher is better. Now you know the best Performance / Price ratio of different CPUs.

Keep in mind, to truly find not just the best performing CPU for Rendering, but the best overall system for your rendering needs, you should also consider:
Power consumption: Does the CPU need lots of power and drive up your power bill?
Single vs Multi-Socket Systems: What is the overall system price per CPU? Many Intel Xeons, for example,
are available as 2 socket systems, that might make an overall system price per CPU cheaper.
Heat: Does the CPU get very hot? Will you need a loud and expensive Cooling Solution? Ryzen and Threadripper CPUs tend to be easily cooled.
CPU-Cooler Price: Some CPUs such as the AMD Ryzen CPUs have a CPU Cooler included in the package already.
Motherboard price: A cheaper CPU might not be so cheap if you need an expensive Mainboard for it.
Number of Cores per System: A Ryzen 5 3600 might have extremely high CPU Rendering Value but you will also need multiple of those CPUs
(and therefore multiple Systems) to get to the performance of a single Threadripper 2970X.

What is product 3d rendering?2020-01-12T00:11:37+00:00

For the layman, product rendering and visualization is the digitisation of what a company is selling and the creation of images that represent that product in a number of different ways.
Whatever that thing is, it is modelled in a program such as Maya, Rhino, or 3DSMax, then rendered using a variety of plugins and rendering engines including VRay and Maxwell.
At the surface level, it is a computer created representation of a real life product – something that can be bought, sold, or traded for fox pelts.

But the rabbit hole goes much deeper. The process for developing a digital content starts just as the design itself: from the beginning.

Concept artists get the first stab. Take, for example, project X. Project X begins in brainstorming, where teams of artists,
engineers and designers throw ideas at the wall and see if anything sticks. It is a chaotic time in the life cycle of a new product,
and designers need to be able to maintain flexibility while also producing concepts that are real. They have to look real and feel real and live by the same rules
and physical constraints that the product itself will someday have to live in. Computer software lends a helping hand once again.
A hundred different versions of the iPhone must be thought up before the actual product hits the factory floor,
and most of those iPhones live exclusively in the digital form. Designers hand ideas to concept artists who turn out realistic renderings that can be critiqued, talked about, and ultimately refined.

This is the process of a modern day product designer. The computer-driven components of the design are there from the beginning,
and go through change after change and iteration after iteration before becoming something real.
This is the benefit of having a team of talented artists and software technicians on staff.

Product rendering is there every step of the way: from conception and prototyping to realization and advertising.

Which 3d rendering software is the best?2020-01-12T00:14:24+00:00

Here is a list with the top rendering software:

3ds Max

What is 3d rendering images?2020-01-12T11:57:12+00:00

3D Rendering – 3D Rendering is the process of producing an image based on three-dimensional data stored within a computer.
3D rendering is a creative process that is similar to photography or cinematography, because you are lighting and staging scenes and producing images.
Unlike regular photography, however, the scenes being photographed are imaginary, and everything appearing in a 3D rendering needs to be created (or re-created)
in the computer before it can be rendered. This is a lot of work, but allows for an almost infinite amount of creative control over what appears in the scene,
and how it is depicted.

The three-dimensional data that is depicted could be a complete scene including geometric models of different three dimensional objects, buildings,
landscapes, and animated characters – artists need to create this scene by Modeling and Animating before the Rendering can be done.
The 3D rendering process depicts this three-dimensional scene as a picture, taken from a specified location and perspective.
The rendering could add the simulation of realistic lighting, shadows, atmosphere, color, texture,
and optical effects such as the refraction of light or motion-blur seen on moving objects – or the rendering might not be realistic at all,
and could be designed to appear as a painting or abstract image.

NOTE: Even though they are called “3D,” these images are not the same thing as the “3D Movies” that were popular in the 1950’s,
which created the illusion of depth on a movie screen when the audience wore special glasses. 3D computer graphics are called “3D,”
because of the way they are made, using 3D computer models to represent scenes before they are rendered.
Although 3D graphics could be used in a 3D movie (if they ever became popular again), the final product of a 3D rendering is generally
a regular two-dimension image, and these images can be used in printed pictures, on the internet, in interactive media, on TV, or in the movies.

Rendering sometimes takes a long time, even on very fast computers.  This is because the software is essentially “photographing” each pixel of the image,
and the calculation of the color of just one pixel can involve a great deal of calculation, tracing rays of light as they would bounce around the 3D scene.
To render all the frames of an entire animated movie (such as Shrek, Monsters Inc., or Ice Age) can involve hundreds of computers working continuously
for months or years.

What is important for 3d rendering?2020-01-12T11:58:27+00:00

Let’s begin with the basics

Rendering absolutely hammers the processor so the CPU is arguably the most important component when choosing rendering hardware.
Each CPU features multiple processors (called cores). The more cores you have, the faster the render.
As a rule of thumb, doubling the number of cores halves the rendering time.

The GHz of the CPU is also important. To get a rough idea of comparative performance of chips from the same family of CPUs,
multiply the GHz by the number of cores. However, when choosing a CPU for a workstation, don’t forget a high GHz processor
is essential for general system performance (Operating System, CAD and 3D graphics).
Therefore, it is important to find the right balance i.e. do not choose a CPU with lots of cores but a very low GHz.

Most (but not all) workstation-class CPUs feature Intel Hyper-threading (HT), a virtual core technology that turns each physical CPU core
into two virtual cores. So a quad core processor with HT actually has eight virtual cores (or threads).
HT can boost rendering performance by up to 15% so it’s an important consideration when choosing a CPU.

Memory is also critical. Go for ECC memory to protect against crashes (you don’t want your overnight renders to fail).
N.B. ECC is only available on Intel Xeon, not Intel Core.

Adding more GB won’t make your render go faster. Instead, just ensure you have enough to handle complex scenes.
If you run out of memory, rendering data will need to be moved in and out of hard drive swap space, which can be slow.
Use fast Solid State Drives (SSDs) to move data quickly.

The GPU is only used for interactive 3D graphics in most rendering software. However, a growing number can use the GPU for rendering
(e.g. V-Ray RT, Nvidia Iray, Lightworks Iray+ and AMD FireRender).

The Options

You can render on pretty much any type of laptop or desktop computer but choose a workstation-class machine
as the components and cooling are designed specifically for compute intensive workloads.
Laptops typically peak at 4 CPU cores and 32GB RAM so are best suited to entry-level rendering.

Those serious about rendering will need a desktop workstation. These come with one or two CPUs, each with multiple CPU cores.
Single CPU workstations feature anywhere from 2 to 18 cores and up to 256GB RAM.

Dual CPU workstations have anywhere from 8 to 36 cores and up to 1TB RAM.

For hardcore users, distributed rendering takes rendering to a whole new level. It shares render jobs across multiple networked computers.
This can be an ad hoc network of workstations or a dedicated render farm with 10s or 100s of render nodes, each with dozens of CPU cores.

What is 3d architectural rendering?2020-01-12T11:59:18+00:00

3D Architectural Rendering is the process of depicting unbuilt architecture or interior design into realistic computer-generated images (CGI),
a branch of the architectural design, whose purpose is to show how buildings will look before being build.
Modern architectural renderings fall into two main categories: pre- “design-study,” by which an architect develops the initial concept of a proposed building,
and “presentation rendering,” which is the agreed final design made publication or client presentation.

Everything begins with creating three-dimensional objects (buildings or internal spaces) in 3D software made for the purpose.

Materials, light, texture details, and perspectives are the subsequent steps applied.
When the 3D model is fully complete, it is processed by the software into a 2D image (CGI); the process is known as 3D rendering.
The first 3D rendered image is created in 1976 created by students of the Unversity of Utah (according to Wiki) for science fiction movie Futureworld.

What is the best 3d rendering software for architecture?2020-01-12T12:17:40+00:00

In the last decade, 3D rendering has been going through a rapid evolution. Today, it exists as the final stage of 3D animation.
This is thanks to the advancing technology and never-ending demand for quality images across the architectural design industry.

Luckily, architects and designers don’t need a doctorate degree or a server farm to produce life-like renderings.
3D rendering programs are right at their fingertips. They can make 3D designs in specialized software that can be enjoyed on mobile devices,
computers, and movie theaters.

3D rendering has become an essential aspect of architectural visualization, special effects, and animation.
As such, various programs have been designed for this purpose, and it might be hard to choose one that suits your particular needs.
If you are searching for the perfect 3D modeling software, here is a list of top solutions for you to consider.

Architectural Rendering Software for Designers

1. V-Ray

One useful image rendering software is V-Ray, which is developed by Chaos Group, a Bulgarian company.
It is not only popular in architecture, but also in film and games production, entertainment, industrial design, and media industries.

V-Ray is the king of 3D rendering programs in the market today, and for a good reason.
You’ll find an exhaustive list of features for visualizing anything from skyscrapers to small rooms. It is highly regarded for producing the most consistent artwork.

With that being said, V-Ray doesn’t come cheap, and every new version comes with improved results.
You can use it in conjunction with other programs including 3D Max and SketchUp. Compared to other rendering engines,
V-Ray takes a longer period to accomplish tasks, and the interface may seem a bit intimidating for beginner architects.
So, you need advanced skills to implement the software and obtain successful results.

2. Maxwell

Maxwell is a well-known rendering program among architects. It has been on the market for a long time and has a huge community using it.
It is free to distribute and use, and its user interface is very attractive, coming with powerful rendering features for all design needs.

The unbiased 3D rendering tool is particularly suitable for architectural visualization, combining an awe-inspiring degree of realism and ease of use.
For easier scene set-up, Maxwell includes ready-to-use lighting accessories such as projectors, fill lights, IES, negative fills, and spots.
These elements allow you to concentrate more on creativity.

When operating on a CPU, Maxwell is a bit slower than most biased 3D renderers. Thankfully, GPU support is continuously expanding
to increase pressure on 3D models such as octane. Overall, Maxwell is a powerful tool for architects who need realistic results
without learning the technicalities of more complex 3D software.

3. Blender

This free-to-use rendering software has transitioned from being an indie artist favorite to an all-encompassing commercial tool.
Almost every visualization designer today has at least tried Blender. Apart from being an open-source program,
it happens to be very powerful with a large active user base.

So, you can expect a lot of support whenever you have a burning question regarding Blender implementation.
Unlike other free tools on the internet, Blender is one of the most useful tools you can have as an architect.


While MODO lacks popularity in the mainstream, it is a great 3D modeling program with an onboard engine that is both powerful and easy to use.
With an outstanding combination of sculpting features, it finds favor among high-end architecture studios where typical renderers cannot handle the design work.

MODO differs from conventional 3D software in that it renders and models within the same application.
As such, you don’t need to change from various halves when dealing with complex imports and exports.
The unique program eliminates the need for a middle-man as it can go back and forth in the process.
Last but not least, MODO has an impressive speed even with limited computing power.

5. Octane

Octane may be an unbiased 3D rendering program, but its quality and speed are hard to beat.
It uses Nvidia graphics cards (GPU) as opposed to most unbiased programs that use a CPU.
It has been listed as one of the fastest renderers by bloggers due to the stand-out features that boost workflow.

All changes are rendered immediately and in their full quantity. Moreover, Octane handles complex situations
that might be impossible when using other visualization tools, e.g., flawless motion blur, depth of field, and subsurface scattering.

Octane has a limited wealth of resources, but this will change with time. Given that it uses Nvidia cards, it will deter any ATI usage.
Keep in mind that you will need to check out tutorials and free online lessons to understand Octane better.

6. Lumion 3D

Compatibility with most 3D renderers is arguably the greatest strength of Lumion 3D. Actually,
the company relies mainly on the approachability of the program. It is developed to work in tandem with other CAD software.

The smart user interface of Lumion 3D is designed to simplify everything, which is why architects usually render in-house.
When it comes to walkthrough abilities and animation integration, Lumion is second to none.
Furthermore, it works in real-time, making it a perfect tool for developing the feel and appearance of an architectural product.

There is a full library of materials, skies, grass, and other assets to enhance renders. The impressive set of features
makes it an excellent 3D rendering software that many 3D rendering services use all the time.

7. SketchUp Pro

Whether you are in the last stages of construction or you’ve just started designing a house, SketchUp Pro will come in handy.
It is ideal for detailing, diagramming, documentation, and programming. It is a 3D program for anything you might need in your design work.
You can customize your add-on tools to solve any 3D modeling issue or turn models into documents.

Its exclusive features include 3D modeling, 2D drawing, and an architectural symbol library. Do you know why SketchUp is a favorite for most beginners?
It is not only easy to use, but also comes with a friendly user interface.

A notable feature of SketchUp Pro is the ability to insert 3D objects on Google Earth. Other great features include the Projection and Perspective View,
Match a Photo, Warehouse for Extensions, DWG handling, among others. This software is for anyone who needs fast drawing
and a good option for 3D sketching when they don’t have enough time to learn the complete CAD software.

8. Punch Home Design Studio

When you want a versatile visualization software in your toolbox, Punch Home Design Studio will be your best companion.
However, you need to have advanced skills in 3D rendering before you get your hands on this software.
If you are a home designer or architect who wants to attain beyond simple room layout visualization,
Punch Home Design Studio offers the perfect user-friendly experience.

9. Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D is more than a 3D visualization software and renderer. It is a complete package that gives you the power
to produce quality 3D presentations under one roof. You can render, animate, texturize, model, or build any object with Cinema 4D.

All you need is sufficient time to delve deeper. The possibilities are endless with this software.
If you are a dedicated user of Vectorworks and ArchiCAD, Cinema 4D should be on your bucket list for the next project.
It will allow you to render 3D artwork without hiccups as long as you have the patience to understand its complexities.
You should make use of the robust community of users when you get stuck.

10. 3DS Max

3DS may not be a highly acclaimed 3D modeling program, but its popularity is undeniable. Most designers opt for more realistic visualization tools
like V-Ray and Maxwell, but 3DS Max offers an onboard engine that may be utilized for simpler projects.

Like the Cinema 4D and MODO software, it integrates well with most 3D rendering tools. It interfaces perfectly with Autodesk products
like Revit and AutoCAD. 3DS becomes a valuable tool if you do a lot of design work in Revit, which has limited flexibility and outcomes.
With 3DS Max, you can import Revit models and tweak the textures in more intuitive manners than using the clumsy Revit interface.

What is real time 3d rendering?2020-01-12T12:18:33+00:00

In real-time rendering, most common in video games or interactive graphics, the 3D images are calculated at a very high speed so that it looks like the scenes,
which consist of multitudes of images, occur in real time when players interact with your game.

That’s why interactivity and speed play important roles in the real-time rendering process. For example, if you want to move a character in your scene,
you need to make sure that the character’s movement is updated before drawing the next frame, so that it’s displayed at the speed with which the human eye can perceive as natural movement.

The main goal is to achieve the highest possible degree of photorealism at an acceptable minimum rendering speed which is usually 24 frames/sec.
That’s the minimum a human eye needs in order to create the illusion of movement.

Even though rendering is based on tons of sophisticated calculations, modern softwares can offer some fairly easy parameters for you to understand and work with.
A rendering engine is usually included in a modern 3D game engine and it can achieve really amazing graphics.

Where to learn 3d rendering?2020-01-12T12:24:38+00:00

7 Great Online Resources For Learning 3D Visualization

Starting a career as a 3D rendering artist can be a scary endeavor. Use these 7 online resources to learn the vital skills you’ll need to succeed.

If you’ve made it this far, I probably don’t need to convince you of the benefits of starting a career as a 3D rendering artist.
You know all about how rewarding and fun the work can be, and you understand the freedom that comes with transitioning to freelancing
and starting your own business and taking ownership of the work you put out into the world.

But you also know how much work you’ll need to put in to be good enough for people to start shoving fists full of dollars in your general direction.
You won’t collect a single commission you didn’t earn with putting in more hours than actually got paid for and delivering better work than you promised.
You know all this yet you are still hell bent on diving right into a profession you might know little or everything about.

And whether you are embarking on this career path coming from a design background or you’ve spent your previous 10 years
slinging mochaccinos to guys in skinny jeans, you’re always going to be learning more and getting better. Here is a collection of 8 online resources
that will help you in your journey to become a different kind of artist – the kind that embraces constraint in order to produce the best work possible.

1 | SkillShare

What better way to learn than by taking notes from people who are already the best? SkillShare is an online community of people from all over the world
who are willing to lend their knowledge to members over a wide variety of subjects. If there is something out there to learn, chances are you’ll find that tutorial on SkillShare.
The site boasts over 14K classes and already has 2 million members using the community to share their…well…skills.

SkillShare doesn’t target the 3D rendering and visualization community directly, but you’ll find hundreds of focused tutorials and walkthroughs
that will assist on a range of visualization topics. Videos range from software tutorials to general theory and concept lessons.
The 3D rendering artist must be more than just an extension of Rhino or 3DS Max. If you had enough time (and enough bananas)
you could probably teach a monkey to learn a computer program. However, teach a monkey to compose scenes and perfect light and shadow models, and color me impressed.

Sign up to SkillShare for free and get better fast.

2 | Lynda

Like SkillShare, Lynda has an incredibly robust library of online classes and tutorials that are spread over any and all topics under the sun.
Their list of rendering lessons is long and distinguished, and they even have structured classes that will take you through certain subjects
or important focus areas of 3D rendering and visualization. The only caveat here is you’re going to have to pay for Lynda’s resources if you want to make full use of the service.

While there are plenty of free resources out there (and on this list), sometimes in order to take that big leap requires breaking a few eggs.
However, spending money on something that will further your education actually has a profound effect on your likelihood of following through with it.
Put some skin in the game and get to work!

3 | SquareSpace

If you have aspirations of being a successful rendering artist, you are going to need to find somewhere to showcase your work.
There are hundreds of sites that will host your work (sometimes for a fee), but I’d suggest finding the time to build your own personal portfolio site.
Squarespace is a great place to start if you don’t have much experience with building or hosting websites.
Additionally, sifting through all your work and presenting your best images will help your learn more about what you’re good at and what you might need to work on.

Squarespace has thousands of website templates to start with, and comes with easy to access and understand tools that will give your work the personal attention it deserves.
Layouts are clean and simple, letting your work speak for itself. Owning your own url will go a long way to achieving the professional image that will attract future clients.
Also, learning how to navigate the inner workings of the web might lead to work designing websites. If you’re into that kind of thing.

4 | Easy Render

What better way to learn to be a better artist than to learn by doing? Easy Render is an online job resource that will connect you, a budding professional,
with clients around the world who are in desperate need of your talent. Now that you’ve got that shiny new website (see above), you’ll need somewhere to show it off to people.
Even if you have a modest portfolio of work and you are just getting feet wet in the 3D design profession, Easy Render will connect you with the kind of work that aligns with your skill level and your experience.

If you haven’t gone the extra mile to create your own website, Easy Render’s got you covered there, too. Members can upload their work to their profile page,
making it easy for prospective clients to browse through and find the best fit for their visualization needs. Connecting with meaningful work has never been Easier.

5 | AutoDesk University

I know, this sounds like something you’d see on the last few pages of Popular Mechanics with a “free” coupon for an hours worth of an AutoCAD license.
And while engaging in a university associated with what many designers perceive as the evil empire of the visualization software industry,
AutoDesk University carries with it a lot of value that will most certainly make you better at becoming a talented and knowledgeable rendering artist.

The best part? Many of the courses and tutorials offered at AU are completely free to access at your leisure! If you happen to rely heavily on 3DS Max, AutoCAD,
or any other AutoDesk product to produce your work, you’ll find this resource invaluable as you build out your skillset.
You can browse by product or subject and soak up all the information without breaking the bank.

6 | The CG School

Our goal is to provide world-class 3D architectural visualization training accessible to everyone.”

I usually raise an emphatic eyebrow everytime I hear a company describe what they offer as “world-class,” but in the case of The CG School I’ll let it slide – with good reason.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with what it might take to get your studies and career as a 3D rendering artist off the ground, stop worrying and sign up with CG. It costs money,
but it’s worth every penny as you’ll get a quality online education and a strong backbone of knowledge and experience to launch into your new career.

However, The CG School isn’t cheap, so be ready to invest in your future if you want some of the best online lessons the internet has to offer.
Remember what I said about putting skin in the game? If you’re still apprehensive about parting with your greenbacks,
CG offers a bundle of free resources for you to dip your toe in before making the decision to dive into the deep end.

7 | Udemy

With a clever name like Udemy, you better be offering some seriously good online classes and tutorials.
The good news? Udemy backs its name with an enormous library of available resources for aspiring young (or old) artists.
It’s also an inexpensive alternative to The CG School if you’re worried about pouring so much money into a career you aren’t 100% sure of.
Classes typically cost around 15$ and are chalked full of information that will further your grasp on software and visualization concepts.

Which gpu for 3d rendering?2020-01-12T12:48:42+00:00

Graphics Card (GPU) based render engines such as Redhift3D, Octane or VRAY-RT have matured quite a bit over the last years and are starting to overtake CPU-based Render-Engines.

But what hardware gives the best-bang-for-the-buck and what do you have to keep in mind when building your GPU-Workstation compared to a CPU Rendering Workstation?
Building a 3D Modeling and CPU Rendering Workstation can be somewhat straightforward, but highly optimizing for GPU Rendering is a whole other story.

So what are the best Hardware-Components and best GPU for rendering with Octane, Redhsift3D or VRAY-RT, that also is affordable? Let’s take a look:

Best Hardware for GPU Rendering


Since GPU-Render Engines use the GPU to render, technically you should go for a max-core-clock CPU like the Intel i9 9900K
that clocks at 3,6GHz (5Ghz Turbo) or the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X that clocks at 3,8Ghz (4,6Ghz Turbo).

That said though, there is another factor to consider when choosing a CPU: PCIe-Lanes.

GPUs are attached to the CPU via PCIe-Lanes on the motherboard. Different CPUs support different amounts of PCIe-Lanes
and Top-tier GPUs usually need 16x PCIe 3.0 Lanes to run at full performance.

The i9 9900K/3900X have 16 GPU<->CPU PCIe-Lanes, meaning you could use only one GPU at full speed with these type of CPUs.

If you want more than one GPU at full speed you would need a different CPU that supports more PCIe-Lanes like the AMD Threadripper CPUs,
that have 64 PCIe-Lanes (e.g. the AMD Threadripper 2950X), the i9 9800X (28 PCIe-Lanes) or the i9 9900X Series CPUs that support 44 PCIe-Lanes.

GPUs, though, can also run in lower speed modes such as 8x PCIe 3.0 Speeds and then also use up fewer PCIe-Lanes (8x). Usually,
there is a negligible difference in Rendering Speed when having GPUs run in 8x mode instead of 16x mode.

This would mean you could run 2x GPUs on an i9 9900K in 8x PCIe mode, 3x GPUs on an i9 9800X and 5x GPUs on an i9 9900X.
(Given the Mainboard supports this configuration)

CPUs that have a high number of PCIe-Lanes usually fall into the HEDT Platform range and are usually also great for CPU Rendering as they tend to have more cores and therefore better multi-core performance.

When actively rendering and your scene fits nicely into the GPUs VRAM, the speed of GPU Render Engines is of course mainly dependent on GPU performance.
Some processes though that happen before and during rendering rely heavily on the performance of the CPU, Hard-Drive, and network.
For example extracting and preparing Mesh Data to be used by the GPU, loading textures from your Hard-Drive and preparing the scene data.

In very complex scenes, these processing stages will take lots of time and can bottleneck the overall rendering speed, if a low-end CPU, Disk, and RAM are employed.

If your scene is too large for your GPU memory, the GPU Render Engine will need to access your System RAM or even swap to disk,
which will considerably slow down the rendering.

Best Memory (RAM) for GPU Rendering

Different kinds of RAM won’t speed up your GPU Rendering all that much. You do have to make sure, that you have enough RAM though,
or else your System will crawl to a halt.

I recommend keeping the following rules in mind to optimize performance as much as possible:

To be safe, your RAM size should be at least 2x your combined VRAM size.
You can benefit from higher Memory Clocks, but usually at a larger price premium
You can benefit from more Memory Channels on certain Systems
Look for lower Latency RAM. CL14, for example, could be slightly faster in some workloads than CL16.

Best Graphics Card for Rendering

To use Octane and Redshift you will need a GPU that has CUDA-Cores, meaning you will need an NVIDIA GPU.
VRAY-RT additionally supports OpenCL meaning you could use an AMD card here.
The best bang-for-the-buck NVIDIA cards are the NVIDIA 2070 RTX (2304 CUDA Cores, 8GB VRAM), 2080 RTX (2944 CUDA Cores, 8GB VRAM)
and the 2080 Ti (4352 CUDA Cores, 11GB VRAM).
On the high-end, the currently highest possible performance is offered by the NVIDIA Titan V and Titan RTX, that also comes with 24GB of Video RAM.
These Cards though have worse Performance per Dollar as they are targeted at a different audience and VRAM is very expensive
but not necessarily needed in such high capacities for GPU Rendering.

GPUs, that have 12GB of Video RAM and more, can handle high-poly scenes with over 200 million unique objects best.
Take a look at the performance per dollar tables below, though, to get an overview of how expensive some of these cards
can get without offering that much more performance.

GPU Cooling

Founders Edition Blower Style Cooler

PRO: Better Cooling when stacking more than one card
CON: Louder than Open-Air Cooling

Open-Air Cooling

PRO: Quieter than Blower Style, Cheaper
CON: Worse Cooling when stacking cards

Hybrid AiO Cooling (All-in-One Watercooling Loop with Fans)

PRO: Best All-In-One Cooling for stacking cards
CON: More Expensive, needs room for radiators in Case


PRO: Best temps when stacking cards, Quiet, can use only single slot height
CON: Needs lots of extra room in the case for tank and radiators, More Expensive

NVIDIA GPUs have a Boosting Technology, that automatically overclocks your GPU to a certain degree,
as long as it stays within predefined temperature and power limits. So making sure a GPU stays as cool as possible, will improve the performance.

You can see this effect especially in Laptops, where there is usually not much room for cooling, and the GPUs tend to get very hot and loud
and throttle very early. So if you are thinking of Rendering on a Laptop, keep this in mind.
Power Supply

Be sure to get a strong enough Power supply for your system. Most Cards have a Power Draw of around 180-250W.
CPU of around 100W and any additional Hardware in your case.

I Recommend a 500W for a Single-GPU-Build. Add 250W for every additional GPU.
Good PSU manufacturers to look out for are Corsair, beQuiet, Seasonic, and Coolermaster but you might prefer others.

There is a Wattage-Calculator here that lets you Calculate how strong your PSU will have to be.
Mainboard & PCIe-Lanes

Make sure the Mainboard has the desired amount of PCIe-Lanes and does not share Lanes with SATA or M.2 slots.
Also, be careful what PCI-E Configurations the Motherboard supports. Some have 3 or 4 PCI-E Slots but only support one x16 PCI-E Card.

This can get quite confusing. Check the Motherboard manufacturers Website to be sure the Card configuration you are aiming for is supported. Here is what you should be looking for in the Motherboard specifications:

In the above example, you would be able to use (with a 40 PCIe Lane CPU) 1 GPU in x16 mode. OR 2 GPUs in both x16 mode OR 3 GPUs one in x16 mode and two of those in x8 mode and so on. Beware that 28-PCIe Lane-CPUs in this example would support different GPU configurations than the 40 lane CPU.
Currently, the AMD Threadripper CPUs will give you 64 PCIe Lanes to hook your GPUs up to, if you want more you will have to go the multi-CPU route with Intel Xeons.
To confuse things a bit more, some Mainboards do offer four x16 GPUs (needs 64 PCIe-Lanes) on CPUs with only 44 PCIe Lanes. How is this even possible?
Enter PLX Chips. On some motherboards these chips serve as a type of switch, managing your PCIe-Lanes and leads the CPU to believe fewer Lanes are being used. This way, you can use e.g. 32 PCIe-Lanes with a 16 PCIe-Lane CPU or 64 PCIe-Lanes on a 44-Lane CPU. Beware though, only
a few Motherboards have these PLX Chips. The Asus WS X299 Sage is one of them, allowing up to 7 GPUs to be used at 8x speed with a 44-Lane CPU, or even 4 x16 GPUs on a 44 Lanes CPU.
This screenshot of the Asus WS X299 Sage Manual clearly states what type of GPU-Configurations are supported (Always check the manual before buying expensive stuff):

PCIe-Lane Conclusion: For Multi-GPU Setups, having a CPU with lots of PCIe-Lanes is important, unless you have a Mainboard that comes with PLX chips. Having GPUs run in x8 Mode instead of x16, will only marginally slow down the performance. (Note though, the PLX Chips won’t increase your GPU bandwidth to the CPU, just make it possible to have more cards run in higher modes)
Best GPU Performance / Dollar
Ok so here it is. The Lists everyone should be looking at when choosing the right GPU to buy. The best performing GPU per Dollar!
GPU Benchmark Comparison: Octane
This List is based on OctaneBench 4.00.
(It’s quite difficult to get an average Price for some of these cards since crypto-currency mining is so popular right now, so I used MSRP)

GPU Benchmark Comparison: Redshift

The Redshift Render Engine has its own Benchmark and here is a List based off of Redshift Bench. Note how the cards scale (1080TI) [RedshiftBench Mark (Time [min], shorter is better)]:

GPU Benchmark Comparison: VRAY-RT

And here is a List based off of VRAY-RT Bench. Note how the GTX 1080 interestingly seems to perform worse than the GTX 1070 in this benchmark:

Speed up your Multi-GPU Rendertimes

So, unfortunately, GPUs don’t scale linearly. 2 GPUs render an Image about 1,8 times faster. Having 4 GPUs will only render about 3,5x faster. This is quite a bummer, isn’t it? Having multiple GPUs communicate with each other to render the same task, costs so much performance, that one GPU in a 4-GPU rig is mainly just managing decisions.

One solution could be the following: When final rendering image sequences, use as few GPUs as possible per task.

Let’s make an example:

What we usually do in a multi-GPU rig is, have all GPUs work on the same task. A single task, in this case, would be an image in our image sequence.

4 GPUs together render one Image and then move on to the next Image in the Image sequence until the entire sequence has been rendered.

We can speed up preparation time per GPU (when the GPUs sit idly waiting for a task to start) and bypass some of the multi-GPU slow-downs when we have each GPU render on its own task.

Now 4 GPUs are simultaneously rendering 4 Images, but each GPU is rendering its own Image.

Some 3D-Software might have this feature built-in, if not, it is best to use some kind of Render Manager, such as Thinkbox Deadline (Free for up to 2 Nodes/Computers).

Beware though, that you might have to increase your System RAM a bit and have a strong CPU since every GPU-Task needs its amount of RAM and CPU performance.
Buying GPUs

NVIDIA and AMD GPUs are both hard to get by for a reasonable price nowadays since mining is so popular. Graphics Cards are mostly Out of Stock and even when they are available, they are nowhere near MSRP. There is a site called nowinstock that gives you an overview of the most popular places to buy GPUs in your country and notifies you as soon as cards are available.

I put together some Builds in different Price ranges here for you to get a head start in configuring your own dream-build.
Redshift vs. Octane

Another thing I am asked often is if one should go with the Redshift Render Engine or Octane.

As I myself have used both extensively, in my experience, thanks to the Shader Graph Editor and the vast Multi-Pass Manager of Redshift, I like to use the Redshift Render Engine more for doing work that needs complex Material Setups and heavy Compositing.

Octane is great if you want results fast, as it is slightly easier to learn for beginners. But this, of course, is a personal opinion and I would love to hear yours!

3d rendering from photos?2020-01-12T20:26:17+00:00

Currently, making a 3D model requires much more information to process in a computer than most 2D image files (JPG, PNG, etc.).
3D models are a collection of points in 3D space, so they have a length, width, and depth. When you take a 2D photo, you’re only capturing the length and width.

There is no software that exists that can take a single 2D image (for example: a family photo) and produce a robust 3D model.
You can, however, do so with a number of 2D images through a process called photogrammetry.

In addition, there are some 3D modeling programs out there that can help you sculpt or create 3D models out of single 2D images.
They do require a bit of time and patience but the results can be what you’re seeking to do. A good example is Smoothie-3D.

3d rendering vs photography2020-01-12T20:33:31+00:00

A key part of marketing in hospitality, multifamily or entertainment is all about visuals. Choosing the right kind of visuals is half the battle.

In many industries, developers and marketers team together to decide between 3D renderings, virtual staging or professional photography to best showcase a space.
And most often, developers may find themselves in a tangle between working with a 3D rendering company or sticking with photography once a project is complete.

3D Renderings vs. Photography: Choosing the Right Option for Your Project

As a project manager or developer, you may be considering your options for a new building, high rise or redesign.
Whatever the case, both 3D renderings and photography offer a myriad of unique benefits with their own use cases.

The Key Benefits of 3D Renderings
If you’re on the fence about 3D models of your pre-constructed property, here are the top reasons why 3D renderings are so powerful:
No retouching necessary. 3D renderings are whatever your want to make them. You won’t have any unwanted objects in the way to remove post-production.
No more lighting challenges. 3D doesn’t present the same weather or lighting challenges. There is no time wasted creating 3D renderings in this case.
Edits are much more flexible. When a photo shoot is done, it’s done. But with 3D renderings, you have the option change angles or retouch as needed.
Speed up production time. As you might expect with all the items listed above, 3D architects can get to work on your renderings much quicker,
whereas photo shoots must be scheduled and have post-production steps.
Increase pre-leases, bookings and initial marketing efforts. And the final key benefit of 3D renderings that tops them all is that they’re powerful marketing tools. When a property is in development, it’s difficult to show off the space, but realistic 3D images give future clients a look at your project prior to its completion.

The Key Benefits of Professional Venue Photography
Considering photography for your venue? Here are the key benefits to capturing your space with professional imagery:
Photography is honest. That’s not to say 3D rendered images cannot be honest, but photography captures everything that is really there.
Sure, editors can always retouch your photos to eliminate unwanted objects, but photos will give viewers a look at the real thing.

Photography is ideal for completed projects. If you’re not in the development stages of your building, it’s likely you’ll opt for photography.
As stated above, this will give your viewers a truly authentic look at your property.
Capture multiple versions of your space. Photography makes it easy to capture multiple, authentic versions of your space, whether that’s seasonal, nighttime, or dusk images.
Photography offers in-person collaboration. While you would work long-term with a 3D artist and your construction team to create realistic 3D renderings,
a photographer is on-site. This can allow a much more authentic and personable approach to the work created.

Convinced of which is best for your project? Ultimately, that depends on your goals, how you plan to use the content, and production time.

3d rendering cpu vs gpu2020-01-16T15:50:29+00:00

When it comes to processing graphics for VFX, CG and other media, there are two options: CPU and GPU renderers.
Although CPU and GPU-based render engines have a lot in common, they have key differences that affect their processing speed and quality.

CPU rendering remains as an industry standard; it’s still widely used by designers in various professional projects.
Though GPU-based renderers have a lot of catching up to do, the technology has become even more sophisticated over the years.
This contributed to the growing popularity of GPU-based renderers. So the question is, which one is the better microprocessor?

In this guide, let’s take a look at the many factors that you should consider before plunking down your hard earned $$$ for a render engine:

What are CPU and GPU Render Engines?

A central processing unit or CPU is a component in a computer that converts data input to information output.
As the control center of a computer, the CPU runs a variety of engineering and office applications or executes a multitude of tasks, including image rendering.

On the other hand, a graphics processing unit or GPU is a type of microprocessor that’s designed primarily for image rendering.
This microprocessor is used to offload some tasks from the CPU so the computer runs faster.
Apart from rendering, GPU is also used to conduct mathematical calculations rapidly for other tasks.

What’s the Difference Between CPU and GPU?

The difference between CPU and GPU microprocessors is the way each one handles different tasks.
A CPU performs different calculations to process tasks while a GPU has the ability to focus all computing abilities on a specific task.
A CPU is comprised of multiple cores (up to 24) that are used for sequential serial processing.
GPU utilizes thousands of smaller and more efficient cores to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.

Learning all about the capabilities of each microprocessor is important if you are thinking of investing in one.
To make an informed decision, you have to define your rendering needs because microprocessors are not only pricey, their performance could affect your workflows.

Some programs tend to overwhelm a CPU, particularly graphically intense applications that slow down a computer’s performance.
This is where GPU comes in. Modern GPUs offer superior processing power and memory bandwidth than traditional CPU.
In addition, GPU is more efficient when it comes to processing tasks that require multiple parallel processes.
In fact, GPU rendering is about 50 to 100 times faster than CPU rendering.

But between the two, CPU rendering is considered as the traditional renderer, most animation studios depend on this microprocessor.
However, CPU rendering takes hours while GPU renders multiple keyframes in minutes.
GPUs are known for their speed but could you expect the same level of quality as that of a traditional CPU renderer?
Let’s weigh in on the advantages of CPU and GPU rendering:

Advantages of CPU Rendering

Capable of Handling Complex Tasks

When it comes to handling complex tasks, the CPU could outperform GPU.
GPU is optimized for processing huge batches of data by performing the same operation quickly and repeatedly.
This means you could only harness the optimal processing power of GPU if all the cores are doing the exact same operation at the same time, more or less.
When you are processing different tasks, it’s hard to keep everything in sync, something that CPU could perform smoothly.
This is the reason why the architecture of a CPU is much suited for processing 3D scenes.

Large Memory

Most graphics cards come with a maximum memory of 12 GB. If you are a busy graphics designer who’s juggling different projects, you’ll go through 12 GB of memory fairly quickly.
And GPU memory does not stack so you have to be careful when it comes to adding extra GPUs to an existing setup to avoid bottlenecking the performance of existing GPUs.
A computer system’s memory ranges from 8 to 64 GB. The worst that you could expect from a CPU is that your computer will slow down if you exceed the maximum memory of your computer.

Stable Performance

If computer crashes are a common occurrence in your computer, there is a good chance that your graphics card is the one causing the issue.
Unfortunately, the graphics card is one of the least stable and highly complex parts of a computer setup. If a driver update crops up then expect render problems later on.
There is no need to worry about such problems with a CPU–based solution, it’s a stable, well-established renderer with few hiccups.
If you are concerned about dependability and predictability, a CPU-based solution is perfect for you.


One of the reasons why CPU remains as the undisputed industry standard is the quality.
If you are all about precision in your output quality, the choice is obvious.
You’ll get far better results with CPUs.

Easy to Add Nodes

A GPU renderer may process several keyframes in seconds but it will require additional licenses to extend its memory,
which makes graphics cards compatibility an issue in every computer.
If you need spare or extra machines, you could work with minimal fuss using a CPU-based renderer.
Adding more computers as render node using the software that comes with your main rendering engine (3ds Max or Corona, for instance) is much easier with a CPU renderer.

Advantages of GPU Rendering

Faster Rendering

GPU–based solutions are popular because the technology is exciting and fast.
A single GPU renderer could outperform 5 to 20 CPUs because GPUs have more core processors than a CPU.
Rendering the traditional way used to take hours. But with a GPU renderer, the output is done within minutes.
If you have to make changes, you can do it and still save more time compared to rendering with CPUs.

All-In Features

GPU allows artists to produce high-end designs without paying hefty amounts for CPU rendering farms.
If you are a freelance artist, you could work at the comfort of your home and breeze through some of the most challenging areas of rendering
like raytraced depth of field, glossy reflection, etc. With a GPU-based solution, you could install 3 units and create studio-quality outputs at the fraction of the cost.


Each CPU comes with separate maintenance and electricity overheads, factors that would not be an issue with a GPU-based solution.
With a GPU-based solution, you could upgrade your system easily and cheaply.
You could multiply your GPUs if needed without spending extra on maintenance or electricity overheads, which is always a problem when you are adding more CPUs.
On top of that, GPUs are more energy efficient, which makes the cost of power consumption even smaller.

Tech that Gets Better with Time

GPU tech is always getting better as time goes by. This means the limits of GPU tech today could be solved tomorrow.
At some point, GPUs could come with larger memories as well as more predictable and dependable performance.
Render times are fast but they could be even faster in the not so distant future.

Best for Graphic Intensive Rendering

GPUs are best used for graphics-intensive rendering especially for game creation, 3D Visualization, Image Processing, Deep Machine Learning, and big data processing.
This solution is also better when processing scenes integrated with virtual reality because GPU could render quickly
and produce life-like images with proper shading and lighting.

CPU VS GPU: Which is Better?

When it comes to choosing between a CPU and a GPU-based solution, the choice will depend on your specific wants and needs.
Neither of these solutions is better than the other. And contrary to popular notion, GPU is not a replacement for CPU.
GPU enhances the existing infrastructure. You could use it to offload compute-intensive portions of an application while running codes on a CPU.

3d rendering amd vs nvidia2020-01-16T15:53:56+00:00

The battle between AMD and Nvidia rages on. See which one of these giant graphics card providers is better for your architectural visualization rig. Read on to find out more.

Ever since architects switched to new digital solutions to do their jobs, they’ve made great progress in architectural visualization. This new approach has brought many benefits, as now clients can really visualize models and designs in advance before any construction has been done.

This allows clients to find mistakes, suggest changes, and really experience what their projects will look like once they are done. They can do all this with utmost comfort and give the green light with absolute certainty without worrying about whether they’ve made any mistakes.

With 3D visualization and VR technology, even people with no knowledge of architecture can understand the designs by immersing themselves into the models on a realistic level. To create such great visualizations, architects need the necessary skill, right software solutions, and quality hardware.

The most essential part of hardware are graphics cards and today we are going to dig deeper into how they help create better visualization and renders, and which of the two leading manufacturers is better for this purpose.


Price differences between AMD and Nvidia

The most common belief of anyone who is even slightly interested in this long-lasting feud between the two manufacturers is that AMD gives affordable options, while Nvidia has higher prices and high-end performance. However, how accurate is this claim actually?

For example, many benchmarks show us that AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 performs better than Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070, even though it’s cheaper by over $200.

This is because cryptocurrency mining is a major factor that nobody considers and it boosts the prices of Nvidia components. When it comes to 3D visualization, this is not an important factor as you won’t be mining. However, the mining scene has drastically slowed down, meaning that the prices are once again back to normal.

This means that no matter if you are looking for a high performing graphics card or a budget solution, when you compare the prices and performance of AMD and Nvidia cards, you will see that they are pretty equal.

At the same time, it’s a good idea to be on the lookout for discounts and promotional offers so that you can get a better price. To sum it up, there are no price differences.


What are benchmarks and why they are important

Learning about which graphics card to choose for 3D visualization, no matter if it’s AMD or Nvidia, wouldn’t be possible without understanding benchmarks and why they are so important.

To put it simply, benchmarks are tests performed on GPUs using a software solution specifically designed for this purpose. This kind of software runs a lot of different tasks with a specific graphics card, during which it measures the workload and the performance of the GPU.

Chances are that you’ve found many different subjective opinions online but benchmarks put a stop to this and give you objective results on how different graphics cards perform with different tasks. This is pure empirical data that you can rely on to make the right decision.

Even though there aren’t any benchmarks done for the specific use of 3D visualization, as this is still a fairly new use, you can find a lot of benchmarks on 3D modeling, animation, and rendering which basically monitors the same aspects that are required for architectural visualization.

Make sure to look for those kinds of benchmarks on the cards you are interested in and compare them.


Comparing their performance

When putting together a machine for quality architectural visualization, the most important thing about your graphics card is its performance.

Naturally, everyone will want to find the cheapest possible graphics card with the best possible performance. Very soon the new Nvidia GPU will be launched, coming with great performance with lots of CUDA cores and GDDR6 memory.

This brand new card might bring a major upset in the battle between the two rivals. But then again, whenever this happens, the other side comes up with something new to keep their customers happy and the cycle continues. The AMD’s Vega has only been out for a couple of months and during Pascal’s launch, GTX 1080 TI was unmatched.

However, RX Vega 64 is better than GTX 1080 in a couple of aspects – rendering textures and their details and complex shading. Like we mentioned earlier, AMD and Nvidia are very close with the performance they provide, regardless of whether we’re talking about cheap, medium, or high-end cards.

The differences in performance are slight – some might be better in a certain area by a small margin while being equally lacking in other areas.


Dedicated memory is very important

A quality graphics card can help you speed up and improve your architectural workflow with its RAM memory. This is because as soon as you try to render your visualization, it will all be dedicated to that process.

It resembles a shared process – the 3D software you use for visualization will use the memory of the GPU, while your CPU’s memory will be used for other applications and programs running in the background.

When your RAM and the whole process are dedicated to finishing your render, visualization, or model, you’ll be able to save a lot of RAM and CPU power so that the system and other programs can work as well. If not, you will be in danger of having crashes during renders, which could lead to the loss of the entire project.


Getting a GPU with more cores will give you more power

Similarly to CPUs, the number of cores is also important with graphics cards and the more cores you have, the better the performance. With graphics cards, the number of cores is far greater and they can have thousands of them.

To get the best core technology when choosing an AMD card is the Graphics Core Next or Navi architecture. When it comes to Nvidia cards, look for the CUDA cores.

Not only does a higher amount of cores help process information but a lot of the 3D software solutions used for architecture are designed for these kinds of cards, as they can use multiple cores to optimize simulation or visualization processes.


Which cards to use for architectural visualization

As we mentioned earlier, graphics cards are the essential hardware component for architectural visualization, no matter what software you are using.

Apart from giving you vital information that can help you decide, we will also give you suggestions on which cards to use. To ensure that you put out top renders, you need a quality graphics card and no skill can make up for it.

Simply put, your work will be ruined with a bad graphics card and your clients or stakeholders will never be able to see the full extent of your skill. Since we have concluded that there is no difference between AMD and Nvidia products when it comes to performance we are going to give you a single card from both manufacturers that you can use for this line of work.


Top choices for high-end performance

If you really want to create the best possible architectural visualization and models, then you’ll need the absolute best cards. These cards give you a lot of internal memory that will help you process complex models and great speed, this is why they are our top 2 choices.

The amazing performance of these two cards, vast memory, and speed can help you get renders finished very quickly, process large models and designs, while making sure they look amazing with all necessary detailing.

AMD Vega 64 with 8GB memory

GeForce GTX 1080Ti with 11GB memory

Top choices for medium performance

These options are not too expensive but you will lose some of the available memory that can be used for processing models. Even though their memory might be the same as with AMD Vega 64, the difference in processing power is a lot different and this is why they give less memory overall.

AMD RX 580 with 8GB memory

GeForce GTX 1070Ti with 8GB memory

Top budget choices

In case you don’t have the money to invest in graphics cards that will give you amazing performance, there are still options that can give you reasonable performance without having to spend a lot of money. Even though you will have to wait longer for your architectural visualizations, these cards will still be able to handle them and give you solid details.

AMD Radeon RX 480 with 4GB memory

GeForce GTX 1060 with 6GB memory

AMD or Nvidia? Either.

The current situation where the performance of these two giants is pretty much the same doesn’t give us any clear favorites. It’s all about subjective preferences and tiny differences that might make some people choose one side over the other.

However, this great battle between the two sides has always brought us more new solutions, more options, and cheaper prices and this is why we should be grateful for them. No matter which card you choose, it will do a fine job for architecture visualization.

3d rendering mac vs pc2020-01-16T15:54:21+00:00

When you think about the Mac vs. PC debate, unfortunately one of the first things that comes to mind is probably the flaming that will occur when it’s brought up. A lot of that, probably thanks to not only the impassioned opinions of users around the world, but also because of the ad campaigns by the two companies at the heart of the debate, Apple and Microsoft. For example, the popular Get a Mac ad campaign from Apple fanned the internet flame wars between Mac and PC users as it pitted the two against each other. What most ad campaigns don’t mention, though, is that Macs actually are PCs. After all, PC is only an acronym that means “personal computer” and has nothing to do with the hardware or software that makes up that personal computer. Still, common perception is that there’s a difference between a “Mac” and a “PC”. While they may look vastly different on the outside, when you open them up those vast differences start to disappear rather quickly. They’re all made up of the same sort of hardware components, made even more similar ever since Apple started transitioning away from proprietary hardware inside of their computers and continues to this day, as evidenced by Apple’s recent partnership with IBM. Basically all of this means the primary differences of what’s commonly thought of as Macs and PCs isn’t really in the hardware, but instead can be found with the software that run on them. In this article we’ll take a look at some of key things that you’ll need to keep in mind when deciding on a Mac vs PC for 3D.

Operating Systems

If you step back and think about how ingrained computers have become in our everyday life, it’s sort of strange to think about how there’s really only a handful of operating systems at the core of the technology that’s running our everyday life. Mobile operating systems aside, the “big three” of computer operating systems that are run on most desktop PCs are, of course, Apple’s OS X, Windows and the various Linux distributions. When it comes to a preferred operating system, everyone has an opinion. Although no one can realistically deny the fact that there are pros and cons to each of the “big three”, unfortunately when it comes to operating systems many times personal opinions tend to lend themselves towards an “either/or” mentality. As a result, many people will avoid using anything that’s outside of their comfort zone. As Ben Franklin’s now-famous quote says, “Time is money”. Although this may be a bit more literal for 3D artists who are freelancing, you don’t have to be a freelancer to recognize that the more efficient you are, the more valuable you are to your employer. The faster you can get work done, the more time you’ll have to either move onto the next project or, at the very least, spend more time tweaking and polishing the work. In either case, saving time is a good thing. While the whole Mac vs. PC debate certainly isn’t anything new, as a 3D artist it’s in your best interest to use whatever tools help you accomplish your projects more efficiently. Your choice of an OS can have a huge impact on that efficiency simply because of the tools that may or may not be available to you. Of course, exactly how an OS can save you time is going to vary depending on what sort of 3D projects you’re working on.

Pros and Cons of Macs

OS-X For many years and with the help of numerous ad campaigns, Apple has positioned Macs to be the chosen computer of creative artists. Some of the reasons for this range from great integration with Adobe’s suite of software to simple things like being able to tag folders visually with colors. Even though a lot of the benefits for Macs are focused more at designers then being targeted specifically at 3D artists, that doesn’t mean 3D artists can’t appreciate and take advantage of the visual nature of the beautifully designed interface in OS X. One of the biggest drawbacks to the use of Macs for 3D artists are some of the tools that aren’t available with OS X. Perhaps the biggest of these is 3ds Max and, even though it’s been given it’s end of life, the still-very useful tool Softimage also isn’t available for OS X. Even though some programs, like 3ds Max and MotionBuilder, aren’t available for Macs, there are plenty of tools like Maya, MODO or CINEMA 4D you use directly inside of OS X. Let’s face it, computers are computers. Anyone who tries to tell you that Macs don’t have technical problems is wrong. Macs will fail just like any other computer. However, because Apple has locked down the OS X pretty heavily to avoid a lot of extreme customization that can be found in other operating systems, as a result there’s naturally a lot less tweaking or optimizing that goes on for Macs. While some consider this to be a drawback of OS X, when looked at in another light the time saved by completely avoiding the need to tweak the hardware and software is a huge pro for OS X. This time saved can then be time spent tweaking your projects. It’s worth pointing out that while it can require a lot of technical knowledge (and perhaps some questionable practices) to force OS X onto a non-Mac PC, if you start off with a Mac then you aren’t limited to OS X as your operating system. In another move that blurs the line between “Mac” and “PC”, Apple’s Boot Camp allows you to run Windows on your Mac. This is huge for a 3D artist because it means you’ll be able to run Mac hardware while running Windows-only software like 3ds Max. Or, if you’re feeling extra ambitious you can even triple-boot Windows, Linux and OS X.

Pros and Cons of Linux-based PCs

Linux Even though Linux isn’t a mainstream operating system, it’s actually quite common in the 3D industry. The primary reason for Linux’s popularity among studios is because of the fact that most Linux distributions are open source. This sort of customization is a two-edged sword. On one hand, being open source means you can basically do anything you want with Linux. With this customization, you could do anything from helping standard 3D programs run faster by stripping out any extraneous software running in the background to building out your own custom workflows directly into the OS itself. On the other hand, with the possible exception of some of the Linux distributions that are specifically targeted at the masses, like Ubuntu, generally speaking Linux often isn’t regarded as a user-friendly operating system. A lot of this has to do with the customization that can be built into Linux. So, while that customization can ultimately save a lot of time, it can also mean either a more difficult initial learning curve or the need to code your customization. Thanks to it’s popularity in studios, most of the major 3D applications can be found for Linux. However, there are a few noteable exceptions like 3ds Max and ZBrush. Linux for 3D artists is really best if you’re the type of user who loves customization and doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty with coding now and again. If you do go with Linux and still find you’re wanting to hop into ZBrush to do some sculpting, you can always dual boot Windows on your Linux PC. Although there isn’t an official Boot Camp for Linux PCs, there doesn’t really need to be. Dual-booting Linux and Windows is done commonly enough to mean there’s plenty of walkthroughs and tutorials you can find on the internet to show you how to do it.

Pros and Cons of Windows-based PCs

Windows Love it or hate it, Windows is by far the most popular operating system for desktop computers with a percentage share of about 91% so far in 2014 according to Net Market Share. That means if you’re reading this, you’ve probably either using Windows right now or you’ve used it before. For 3D artists the popularity of Windows means two very important things. The first is that, thanks to it’s popularity, just about every tool you could ever want is available for Windows, including some exclusives like the aforementioned 3ds Max. Simply put, if you want the widest range of tools at your disposal then Windows is the way to go. If Macs are great for anyone who doesn’t want to worry about tweaking their systems and Linux systems are great for anyone who wants extreme customization, then Windows-based PCs are a great middle ground between ease of use and customization. The other item of importance that comes out of the popularity of Windows is simply that there’s , also thanks to it’s popularity, there’s a lot of unwanted things that often come with Windows computers. One of the more serious of these unwanted things are viruses or malware. While other operating systems certainly aren’t immune to viruses, sometimes despite marketing to the contrary, as Windows is the most popular operating system it also means it’s the biggest target for malicious code. Fortunately, you’re not the only one in this boat so it’s not very hard to keep your Windows computer secure these days, but as a 3D artist, this means you’ll likely need some sort of internet security software running at all times. This can take away from processing power for your 3D programs and, depending on the security software you’re using, could completely freeze your 3D programs if all of the processing power is being dedicated elsewhere.

3d rendering quadro vs gtx2020-01-16T15:55:08+00:00

Another of the frequently asked questions we get when custom configuring a PC or workstation for a customer is which NVIDIA GPU option is best – Geforce vs Quadro. Which GPU is the best value? And which option is best suited for what applications? Let’s go over some of the differences, Pros, and Cons of both Geforce and Quadro.


Geforce Pros

Faster clock speeds – Dollar for dollar, Geforce cards generally offer faster GPU clock speeds in the 10-20% range. For example, the Geforce GTX 1070 features a boost clock speed of 1683 MHz while the more expensive Quadro P2000 maxes out at 1470MHz. This speed equates to better overall general performance, which brings us to our next point…

Versatility and value – Looking to do a little gaming, a little 3D rendering, and some video? Faster clock speeds along with more CUDA cores and VRAM dollar for dollar make the Geforce cards the go-to for all purpose systems. That the power for the money, especially at the lower/mid tiers, makes Geforce the better value for most users.

Multi-monitor support – For day traders, enthusiast gamers, or extreme multi-taskers looking to use 3, 4 or even 8 monitors, Geforce cards provide the best path forward. 20-Series cards from RTX 2060 and up all support 4 monitors each natively and can easily be paired with a second card to double the monitor support. Many Quadro cards (with the exception of the NVS line) except those on the very high end will max out at two displays, requiring adapters and splitters to accommodate more.

Best for: Gaming, all around computing, day trading (multi monitor support), budget CAD, amateur video


Quadro Pros

Specific Render tasks – Quadro cards are designed for very specific render tasks like CAD design and professional video rendering. For example, the wire frame, double sided polygon rendering common with many CAD programs like AutoCAD makes Quadro the clear choice for this type of work, outperforming Geforce by a significant margin.

Extreme Power – Geforce does have beefy options like the RTX 2080 Ti, but for the most extreme performance, a Quadro is simply without equal. For example, the Quadro P6000 features a stunning 24GB of GDDR5X VRAM and 3840 CUDA cores to provide 12 TFlops of power – and that’s on a single card. No Geforce card comes close. That type of power does come at a cost, but if the budget is open, Quadro is king in this department. Additionally, Quadro cards can also be paired with NVIDIA Tesla cards (a system formerly called NVIDIA Maximus) which allows for simultaneous visualization and rendering, exponentially improving performance.

Double precision computations – For complex double precision computations like those found in scientific and arithmetic calculations, Quadro significantly outperforms the Geforce equivalent. This is a very specific use case, but if it’s yours, you’ll understand the importance.

Durability/Warranty – Similar to Xeon processors, Quadro cards are generally designed for maximum durability and longevity and stand up to the rigors of daily strenuous use better than the consumer oriented Geforce. As a result, Quadro cards offer a longer, more robust warranty on average.

Best for: Certain Scientific and data calculations, CAD rendering, Professional-grade video production, 3D creation

So at the end of the day, which is better?

Ultimately, this really depends on your specific use case. For a lower to mid-range budget, I almost always recommend Geforce simply because of the value and versatility. But if all our rendering performance is what you’re after for CAD and video specifically, Quadro is likely the way to go.

What are the uses of 3D Architectural Rendering?2020-01-27T14:02:06+00:00

Also termed as Architectural Illustration, 3D architectural rendering services bring about an art form that has evolved into a perfect feature today.
This enhancement in the technique comes mostly due to experimentation in the field along with the need for critical detailing in the architectural projects.

In essence, 3D architectural rendering services, allow the architect to carve 3-dimension images or animations
with a prime goal for showcasing all the attributes that need to be included in the final project design.
But, do you know the actual target for 3D architectural rendering? What is it used for?

Here, we will learn about the use-case of 3D architectural renderings.
Uses of 3D Architectural Rendering

Architectural renderings in the real-estate industry are primarily created for the following use:

1-Design Analysis:

In essence, this is the prime purpose of the creation of 3d architecture renderings. Before the popularization of the 3D concept,
2D designs were mostly used for architectural projects. 2D designs were simple, yet they failed to provide the intricate details
that come into play when constructing a project in real-life. This is where 3D architecture rendering services jump in.
These renders offer an in-depth scope for visualization and analysis of the design.
With proper details of the model in mind, the team involved in the project construction can implement their thought process in a better way.

2-Marketing Requisites:

Take, for example, you are planning a new real-estate project and need your buyers to like what they see.
If you provide them a graphical 2d representation of the design, they might not understand it correctly, unless of course,
they have studied architecture designing and its concepts. This is why it is critical for real-estate project planners to opt for 3D designs
to market their product in a better way. Your buyers will purchase your product only if they understand it in the first place.

3D architecture rendering services serve as the perfect marketing requisite to help your clients or buyers understand everything that is to be a part of the project.
This is why 3d visualization helps serve as the best marketing tool in the real estate industry.


Imagine you are about to give a presentation to a set of potential buyers for your real-estate project. What would you want them to see?
Random boxes comprised of dimensions and numbers or a beautiful 3D graphical representation which is artistic as well as easy-to-understand.
With 3D architectural rendering services, you allow your clients’ immediate access to presentations
that help them understand precisely what they are supposed to get from this project.

Business managers tend to use 3D visualization for the manipulation of market information and specific data
by the creation of graphs and charts that are perfectly easy-to-understand.

Apart from this, there are many other uses of 3D rendering that go way beyond the architectural realm.
Other uses of 3D rendering services

Safety Training
Medical Imaging
Product Prototyping
Environment Simulations
Video Games
Virtual Reality

Impact of 3D Architectural Rendering

3D Architectural rendering serves as the best and most artistic way for someone to express their ideas for any architectural plan.
There are two different sides to the concept of architectural rendering.
The first being its psychological side and the second being its emotional quotient.

In essence, 3D renders hold power to impact the viewer’s emotions while creating a positive psychological impact over them.
This is why 3D renders play a critical role in bringing business for any firm dedicated to the real estate industry.
3D Architectural Rendering for Architectural Developments

3D Architectural Rendering Services or 3D Visualization allows an architect to regularly update their existing skills
& become an expert at what he/she does. As technology advances, the architectural features advance too.
With time, architects will possess the capability to generate complex presentations that elaborate more details for the clients.
Further, the 3D representation of the project will bring in the concepts of sustainability, security, as well as safety.

These three elements are critical to any modern-day construction or real-estate project.
3D rendering is the best digital methodology that helps create things while keeping in mind various factors such as cost, time, as well as effort pitched in for the project.


Today, more than ever, we need the inclusion of 3D architectural rendering services into the main-frame real-estate industry.
With this technique going viral at an exceptional rate, we will surely see better design implementation
and sustainable concepts implemented into the construction of a beautiful space.

Is 3d rendering easy?2020-01-11T12:50:49+00:00

This depends on the depth of (photo)realism you want to bring your work.
The more time you spend working on the textures/colours/etc the more realistic your work will look.
But if you only spend 10 minutes on the render, then yes, it’s easy but the quality will not be where is should be.

How does 3d rendering work?2020-01-11T12:51:21+00:00

3D rendering is basically the process of creating two-dimensional images (e.g. for a computer screen) from a 3D model.
The images are generated based on sets of data dictating what color, texture, and material a certain object in the image has.

How to create 3d renderings?2020-01-11T23:39:39+00:00

Breaking into the field of 3D rendering and visualization can seem like a tall mountain to climb. And make no mistake, it is.
However, there are some corners to cut for those looking to get a leg up on the education and experience you’ll need to be at the top of the industry.

Below is a list of 6 programs that are the best for learning quickly and producing results.
Don’t be fooled, though, no matter how good of a chance you give yourself to succeed, being good at rendering will still require hard work and dedication.

Nothing can make 3D modeling and rendering easy, but these 7 programs will certainly make it easier.

1 | Google SketchUp

SketchUp was initially developed as a quick and easy alternative to the more cumbersome 3D modeling programs that existed more than a decade ago.
It has since undergone a number of changes that make the program more powerful, but has managed to maintain its vice grip on approachability
in an industry that is still filled with steep learning curves.

SketchUp can’t do everything, but it is the perfect entry point for people looking to get started with 3D modeling and rendering.
It is fun to use, and won’t leave you scratching your head against an obtuse toolset or incomprehensible user protocol.
On top of all that, it’s 100% free to download and use!

2 | Blender

Blender 3D is the total package. It combines a user-friendly interface for 3D modeling with a powerful on-board rendering engine
for people who aren’t keen on fumbling with shoddy plug-in compatibility or constantly switching between programs.
Blender does it all, which makes it even more unbelievable when people hear it’s totally free to install and use.

That’s right. Blender is completely open-source.
That means it is developed by its users and supported by a robust community – some call it a family – of artists and engineers
who are willing to help people get familiar with the program.

3 | vRay for SketchUp

When I mentioned shoddy plug-in compatibility, I was certainly not including vRay for SketchUp.

It is the plugin that transforms SketchUp from an accessible but limited 3D modeler into a rendering and visualization powerhouse.
When Chaos Group released the plugin, they opened the door to a large group of modelers who simply didn’t have the means to render at a professional level.

The plugin is easy to install and straightforward to use.
There are more user friendly rendering engines on the market, but few have the ability to create such awe-inspiring visuals as vRay does.

4 | Adobe Photoshop

You could probably spend a lifetime trying to master every single nook and cranny Adobe has crammed into Photoshop over the years.
But, the good news is you don’t have to. In fact, by just learning the basic functions of Photoshop, you can garner enough knowledge
to give your renderings and visualizations the extra layer of polish that will take them over the edge.

Taking the leap and purchasing photoshop also gives you instant access to a wealth of online tutorials and lessons
that will quickly establish a sturdy foundation for you to start experimenting with.

5 | zBrush

For rendering artists looking to get into the more sculptural and organic aspects of 3D modeling, there are few easier programs to get into than ZBrush.
Using it is akin to actually sculpting things out of a piece of clay in real life,
only without the watery mess and ghosts of Patrick Swayze trying to sneak up behind your pottery wheel.

ZBrush is fast and simple, and interfaces well with most rendering software on the market. For digital artists or video game makers,
this is a great entry point and one that won’t set your bank account back a few decades.

6| FreeCAD

As its name would suggest, FreeCAD is about as approachable as they come. The toolset is remarkably simple to use and understand,
and if you decide there are other, more powerful or capable programs out there (there are), at least you didn’t pay anything for it!

If you have given SketchUp a try and don’t think 3D modeling is your cup of tea, I’d suggest giving FreeCAD a shot before you throw up your hands.
It’s fun to use and might just scratch that rendering itch you’ve been ignoring your whole life. All it demands is a little bit of your time.

How much ram is needed for 3d rendering?2020-01-11T23:42:26+00:00

As much as you need.
I’ve fit rendering jobs into 4GB of VRAM and I’ve had rendering jobs die when they needed more than the 16GB I had available.
Not every rendering task is the same and not every modeling task is the same.
Rule of thumb: The more complex your models and the higher resolution your textures,
the more RAM you’ll need. Basically, the more you throw at it, the more you need.

I don’t generally recommend less than 16GB for most people working in 3D and 32GB systems are so affordable
that it’s pretty reasonable to go for it. Beyond that…. if you need it, you need it.

The last thing you want to do is have a system paging… paging will kill your render times.

What is a 3d rendering software?2020-01-11T23:42:50+00:00

3D rendering software is the process of generating an image from a model by means of computer software.
Rendering is used in architecture, simulators, video games, movies and television visual effects and design visualization.

What is 3d rendering in interior design?2020-01-11T23:45:05+00:00

3D rendering for Interior design or Interior renderings is arguably one of the best things to ever happen to interior designers
since the advent of the internet and of course computers. 3D renderings allow interior designers to showcase projects better.

As professionals, interior designers are expected to always use the best tools in the market for their business.
3D interior rendering is undoubtedly a gateway into the market success and is more important than ever for interior designers.

3D rendering for Interior Design is basically the process through which interior designers, architects,
and other professionals produce 3D images showcasing their design ideas. The best thing with interior renderings
is that they can offer a more realistic presentation of the item being displayed in an artistic way.
Although there are a lot of tools that can be used in 3D rendering, this has not always been the case.

In the past, interior designers and other professionals used simple sketches and 2D images to display their products.
While this may still be efficient in some instances, it may not be the best solution in a highly competitive market.

In other words, these “outdated” tools cannot be efficient where you need to stand out in the crowd or have an edge over your competitors.
With that in mind, the best way to present your designs and ideas to both your existing and potential clients is through 3D rendering.

What is 3d rendering engines?2020-01-11T23:52:14+00:00

It’s a piece of software which, when given the specifics of an onscreen area, fills in that area with a specified texture and/or shaded light pattern.
The onscreen area is almost always polygonal and usually triangular, and its virtual angle with respect to the viewer
and the light source(s) are generally specified as well. It’s used to texture, color, and shade 2D areas which represent 3D objects in a convincing manner,
and is usually highly optimized so as to do its job as quickly as possible (very important,
since it may render an entire screenful of pixels more than thirty times per second).

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