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Interior design rendering: what is the best software?

Interior design rendering gives a realistic design to your interior design ideas. Find out how to work on this and which software to use!

When you need to present your design idea for the interior spaces to a potential customer, there is no more effective method than to offer a snapshot of what the final product will look like.

Interior design rendering helps you achieve this goal thanks to photorealistic representations of the designed environments. That is why I recommend that you download the trial version of a rendering software, or online 3D rendering, and start creating renderings of your interior design projects.

But let’s find out more about what an interior design rendering is, how you can create it and what are the best software to use!

What is interior design rendering?

The expression interior design rendering refers to the digital procedure that aims to provide images or animations with a realistic appearance, relating to an interior architecture project not yet realized.

These images can show customers the end result of the different space design options, allowing them to choose the best solution in terms of aesthetics, functionality, furniture, materials, lighting, and so on.

Therefore, interior design rendering offers users the opportunity to gain a deeper knowledge of the project, and to assess whether the proposed design will fully meet their needs.

In the interior design sector, 3D renderings represent a powerful planning tool, in the first place for interior designers. In fact, high-quality renderings help interior designers to analyze and optimize:

  • the organisation and usability of the spaces;
  • the layout of furniture and appliances;
  • the positioning of the frames and windows and doors openings;
  • natural and artificial lighting conditions;
  • the visual effect of materials, textures and colours;
  • the placement of decorative and design elements.
photorealistic render living room

Photorealistic rendering of a living room

What are the different types of 3D interior design rendering?

The main types of rendering used by architects and interior designers to display the interior spaces of a building include:

  • static renderings: they refer to the above mentioned static images These images can be associated to real “photographs” that show how the designed environment will be, once created;
  • animated renderings: they are short videos that simulate the exploration of spaces by an individual with a walkthrough view. Animated renderings can provide a more in-depth view of the interiors than a still image and allow users to live an immersive experience;
  • panoramic renderings: they offer users a 360° view of the interior of a building, allowing them to examine every detail and explore the surrounding atmosphere;
  • virtual tours: unlike animated renderings, which are simple videos, virtual tours allow users to move freely and in real time within the designed space, guaranteeing a realistic and engaging experience.

For more details on the visualization techniques used in 3D rendering, please also read this article.

How to create eye-catching interior design renderings?

The creation of photorealistic renderings, which can creatively describe the interiors of a home, office, shopping centre, restaurant or hotel, is based on the use of specific software for digital modeling, 3D graphics and rendering. They can also be used in a BIM environment.

At the beginning of each project, the interior designer runs a series of meetings and inspections to evaluate the customer’s requests and schedules the necessary interventions. In this first iterative phase, the designer elaborates sketches and preliminary drawings, with notes and comments. The main purpose is to understand the concept behind the project and consequently identify the solution that best meets the customer’s needs. Of course, all along this phase, continuous improvements will take place.

Once the conceptual design phase has been completed, the designer imports the 2D graphic designs into the modeling software to create the digital models of the project spaces, integrating furnishing elements, appliances, accessories and lighting points.

This is where renderings go on stage! They will help customers and designers to better understand what the final product should be like and to make the necessary changes, if necessary.

Photo-rendering tools are usually integrated into the modeling software, but in some cases it may be necessary to export the model to specific applications.

To achieve a 3D rendering that is truly realistic and eye-catching, the designer should:

  • frame the desired scene and find the right perspective, moving in the model and positioning the virtual cameras correctly;
  • round-off the details relating to materials, surfaces, textures and colours, in order to obtain a result as close as possible to reality;
  • insert objects and accessories that give life to the spaces and add character (such as plants, frames, decorations, blankets, books, TV remote controls, etc.);
  • specify whether the image is taken in daylight or night conditions and set the parameters for natural and artificial light sources and shadows;
  • set filters and creative effects that help make the scene more engaging and convincing.

Once all the parameters have been set, the software is ready to launch the rendering, process the information and return a high-quality image for the customer to see.

Edificius interior design software

Interior designer working with Edificius

Which rendering software is best for interior design?

As explained above, a rendering process always begins with the technical drawings made by the interior designer in the preliminary phase of the project. These drawings must then be converted into 3D models. For this reason, a software solution suitable for interior design must integrate digital modeling and photo-rendering functions in a single system. This would not only simplify and speed up design operations, but also give reliable and high-quality results, avoiding the inconvenience of having to use external applications.

This is certainly a fundamental feature that an interior design rendering software must necessarily have. However, to identify the best software it is necessary to take into account the specific needs. There are, in fact, different types of software to create renderings for interior design:

  • real-time rendering software: they allow you to view in real time (even while working on the model) what the final result of the project will be, and to instantly obtain realistic and professional effects. Real Time Rendering shows materials, lights, shadows and colours immediately, with no need to wait for image processing. A great benefit considering that in more complex projects, it can take quite a long time.
  • rendering software: this type of software is used when speed is not a problem. The goal is to generate high-quality images, even if this process takes longer.

What are the benefits of 3D rendering for interior designers?

Interior design rendering helps designers instantly to showcase their ideas and represent the final result of a project in a creative, realistic and captivating way. Additional benefits deriving from using rendering in interior design include:

  • time saving: 3D rendering allows the interior designer to quickly view the final result of the different project options, and significantly reduce editing times;
  • money saving: thanks to renderings, the designer can identify any defects or design errors before the end of the project, and avoid costly reprocessing or post-production modifications;
  • better understanding of the project: 3D renderings, animated videos, 360° photos and virtual tours within the model, show to customers and designers as well a preview of the final result. This will lead to a more complete and in-depth knowledge of the project;
  • more direct communication: images can convey the designer’s ideas in a way that is certainly more straightforward and effective than written or verbal descriptions;
  • customer satisfaction: renderings provide stunning and captivating results and help the designer meet the customer’s needs and expectations;
  • outdoing competitors: carefully made 3D images allow the interior designers to communicate their ideas and vision of the project in an uncomparable way, thanks to beauty, elegance and simplicity.

If you are an architect or an interior designer, my advice is to immediately try to use the trial version of an interior design software for free that with the allows you to create the 3D model but also the renderings of your projects with the utmost simplicity. The advantages that you can obtain are really numerous!