Post-production is probably one of the most undervalued processes in the creation of a 3D visualisation. After all where else do you get to change the sky to suit your building, give your piece a vibrant colour scheme or even add some dirt for realism?

The majority of 3D artists try to achieve as much as possible within the base 3D design package, which of course do not allow for extravagant post effects. As rendering masks for different colour corrections could be a painstaking combination of light fixing and materialising, many artists simply choose to squeeze as many elements as possible in to the 3D design, leaving only colour correction to post-production.

Over the last couple of years, techniques used in image correction have moved forwards, the significance of post-production is actually increasing within the visualisation industry. Today there are many different ways of rendering images – whilst we rely heavily on the vray render engine, it doesn’t mean it would be wrong to use a different

You see if you don’t give your post-production the attention it deserves, the likely hood is that your renders will look fake or maybe just too good to be true. If everything in the render looks perfectly balanced, the detail is too great in shadowed areas or the colours are too vibrant your clients may find that your work is simply not realistic enough. A lack of post-productive care could take a respectable render, maybe even a great render, and make it unusable.

At the same time if you overcook your post-prod with scratches, vignettes, or lens blur for example, your 3D render can start to resemble an old 30mm camera shot so care must be taken for the balance to be achieved. When edges can be exactly 90 degrees (or 89 for that matter), table-tops can be formed cleanly without dents or marks, and images can be generated in low light conditions without a hint of grain then care has to be taken so that your clients get a render which not only looks good but it looks real.

Alex Romans ground-breaking moving picture, ‘The Third and the Seventh’, illustrates perfectly how 3D visuals can be edited in post-production so that the architecture really stands out yet the realism is not lost. These post-production techniques are just as at home in 3D renders. The effects should be used sparingly, the likes of Abode Lightroom can boost the legitimacy of your render when barely visible, if over-implemented then it can have the opposite effect. Also don’t add extra noise in brighter areas of your render as this can also make your piece look unrealistic. Adding vignettes to your 3D render can also bolster its authenticity, it may not always be best to divulge such effects to your clients however, they may feel that degrading a perfect image is tantamount to sacrilege.

A key thing to remember is that, the render you start out with has to look good already. Don’t expect to take a visualisation which doesn’t make the cut, and then turn it in to something magnificent through the wonders of post-production, this won’t work.

If however, you give your already stunning renders the care and attention they deserve in post-prod, you can really push the boundaries in your visualisation output and make the good, special.

Archilime are architectural visualisation experts and we are dedicated to transforming your creative vision into reality. If you would like to discuss this article or any of our services in greater detail then please feel free to get in touch via email or give us a call on 01364 654 267.