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Basic Interior Rendering Settings

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Our office needs to be able to produce quick and simple renderings of interior spaces occasionally for clients. We were previously using Sketch up but are now moving to using vectorworks for not just plans & details but also our 3d images. I'm not a renderworks expert but have managed to come up with a workflow and a bunch of settings that produce reasonable images - no need to be photo realistic here. I threw together a pdf as a reference document for our office of the basic sheet, viewport, lighting settings etc so we don't have to recreate the wheel everytime we do this.


I'd appreciate it if anyone cares to check through the settings on the attached and provide any feedback that would improve the images produced without increasing time spent disproportionately - i.e. bang for buck is the top priority!


We are currently using VW2018.




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Hey I'd really appreciate some feedback on this one if anyone has some time.

Renderings are one of the things I struggle with in vectorworks and I'd really like to get a workflow that gives the best possible result without blowing the time allocated to do it. This took me most of the day and it's an average render, I'd like to have a set up where I can produce better renders quicker.


Any good advice I will update to this PDF and reshare on the forum for others to use.





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Well I'm no expert as I do all my rendering in Cinema 4D, but I think your settings look pretty good. The lights just under the ceiling pull a lot of focus for me. I usually put "general" lights like that about mid height in the room to avoid the hot spots, but it does change shadows a bit. I almost rather up the ambient light level in general and have less point sources in the room, especially if you are capped at 8. If anything, you could lower your sheet dpi to save some time. I try to default to 150 or even 200 instead of 300.

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I would tone down the ambient occlusion a bit. This is a bit of a personal taste thing; I know it can help pick out edges and help compensate for overly flat lighting generally but to me can also make things look a bit clunky and like a computer game. So I use it sparingly.


I would agree with the comment above about getting as far as you can with increased ambient light and using as few light fittings as possible because apart from anything else they seem to be just another thing to go wrong, and you can lose hours fiddling with them to get things right.


Another personal preference is to keep the camera pointing horizontally so that you don't get the perspective thing with verticals at an angle - that can make spaces feel to or bottom heavy. I only take the camera off horizontal if it's a deliberate thing to look up or downwards.


Finally it's always tempting to widen the perspective to get as much as possible into the field of view but I try not to overdo this as it distorts stuff at the edges.

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Thanks for the feedback!


Revised one below taking on board your suggestions. For some reason I couldn't get the soft shadows working on this, they are much harsher in this version for some reason. Soft shadows are greyed out in the visaulisation palette. Do you know why this might be?


I haven't touched ambient occlusion but without soft shadows that seems to have toned down a bit.


12 hours ago, EAlexander said:

I almost rather up the ambient light level in general and have less point sources in the room, especially if you are capped at 8


It quickly got washed out as I adjusted the ambient light up so haven't touched that.


I think OpenGL only works with up to 8 lights hence that's why I had that note. I've taken a couple out of this version plus lowered the light z height and tweeked the light level too. Nice comment about keeping the perspective looking undistorted. I struggle with that as it's really hard in a  tight interior space.


If people have more suggestions I will keep updating the image and notes settings and reposting.



Basic Interior Render Set Up.pdf



Edited by Boh
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Thanks for those settings.

I was looking for a baseline for quick, efficient renders and I've found it.

Since then, have you progressed on this? an updated would be great if you've found a better setup...


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I'm glad you have found this useful. I haven't progressed this much as rendering isn't a core part of my work. This is sufficient for me for now, though I would like to get better. When I do more rendering I will no doubt revisit. 



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