Rendering Meaning and Purpose: Practical Guide for Non-Employees


The Interior Designer you hired offers you a 3D rendering. Your trusted graphic designer talks to you about high definition rendering programs. How many times have you wondered what it means? Don’t panic. Read the use of rendering, meaning and purpose in the practical guide for non-professionals and clarify ideas once and for all.

Use of rendering, meaning and purpose

The designer hired to update your apartment proposed an architectural render. Or you are building a fair stand and the bodybuilder offers you a project to upload online. Or maybe they hired you to promote a museum and expect the right idea from you to capture visitors on the web. In all these cases the solution is a rendering. If you wonder what it is, why you’re not an insider, here’s a simple explanation. Rendering, also called CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery), is a graphic construction that shows you spaces and objects still to be created.

You got it right: in rendering things are only virtual and come out of drawings or frames set in motion thanks to a mathematical algorithm. The rendering images are realistic, have depths, heights, lengths, lights and shadows chosen by the graphic designer on the basis of the project. The aim is to convey the idea of what reality could be like once it has been realized. That’s why rendering is used mainly by designers and architects. Visiting virtually the rooms of the house, moving the objects to be built, is an ace up the sleeve with their customers. Ninety percent of the time, in fact, if they like what they see, they immediately sign the contract of engagement. It is not enough: 3D rendering, that is what shows spaces and objects in 3 dimensions, is also used in industry. It helps to understand the functioning of the product, for example of a car. In the events sector, it is useful for promoting locations by adding a pinch of imagination. In video games it is necessary to involve the user in an imaginary reality of great impact wiki page creator.

Now that you know the various types of rendering you would like to use it but you don’t know if it can be really useful to you? Don’t worry, just use rendering if you need to:

Imagine how a house, an open space, a garden, a single room could be, after having built or modified them. So decide if the choices made during the project phase are right or should be changed. In this case the rendering must be realistic. Once built, in fact, the object may not correspond to expectations, disappointing you or the customer

Understand how a prototype or gadget you want to sponsor or produce works. In this case it is a business investment: looking at the rendering helps you foresee advantages and disadvantages in advance

Promote online a novelty to be put on the market, still in the planning stage. It is part of branding and arouses curiosity in the consumer, who eagerly awaits the real object

Virtually visit a monument, an exhibition fair, and an archaeological site. It is the latest marketing gimmick and is having great success. Watching the rendering tickles those users who travel hard to get there.

Build a video game that works. Here the opposite rule applies: green light to the imagination to

build spaces and scenes far from reality

Getting the ok for a project from a funding body: in general, presenting a rendering of places and even virtual settings helps to convince the sponsor.

Rendering, meaning and cost. Consider choosing well and paying the right amount

They offered you a rendering at a certain cost. You are ready to invest in the project, but you want to evaluate whether the quality / price ratio is right. Since you are not an expert, we advise you to inquire about the technique that the graphic designer intends to use to make your rendering. Basically there are four:

1) Rasterization

Use lines photographed with the scanner. In technical jargon it is called Scanline. Ideal when the movement of images must be very fast, i.e. real time rendering and interactive graphics. The viewer is personally involved. For this it is used in video games and interactive experiences, where you can virtually move objects, walk, go up or down, look out, clicking on buttons.

2) Raytracing

More realistic than Rasterization, it has a greater photographic effect because it uses light with color differently. It can be of two types:

Static, if it has no movement of the images. Thanks to the photo insertion it involves you as a simple observer, showing you the setting of an object

Dynamic, that is, with moving images. In this case the speed factor matters a lot, the movement must appear smooth. So make sure that the rendering transfers a minimum of 18-20 frames per second to the screen.  If you see the images moving in spurts it means that it has fallen below this value and you don’t need anything.

3) Radiosity

Also called “Radiance”, it makes you see more soft shadows and greater shades of color. It is used in combination with Raytracing to reach higher levels of photo realism.

4) 3D modeling

It is also called 3D rendering and draws a shape in 3 dimensions. Once defined graphically, the textures of the materials are glued to it with the surfacing technique. Finally it is given a brightness. Indeed, to make the images even more correspond to reality, atmospheric effects such as fog, blades of grass moved by the wind, rain are added.

Rendering, meaning and use: here are the 8 most used programs

Another factor influencing the cost and quality of rendering are the software used by the graphic designers to make it. If you are not an expert, we give you the general indications for hiring the professional up to your project. Here is a rundown of the most used rendering programs:

Google SketchUp, simple and fast, with 3D modeling options

Open SCAD for complete three-dimensional rendering, which also interfaces with other software 3D rendering

Lumion, ideal for viewing CAD and BIM projects in the construction sector. Make 3D videos and

VR panoramas in near real time

3D Studio Max, the most used. It has a powerful rendering engine and fast production times.

Blender, an open source software that is not paid. It allows three-dimensional modeling and allows you to work on advanced rendering, animation and composition of visualizations

Rhinoceros V-ray, for photo retouching rendering. It means that you can modify a view or a photographic context at your pleasure. It is one of the most used by designers for architectural and environmental visualization

Mental Ray, which uses a combination of Raytracing and Radiosity

Edificious, as render architecture is used for BIM (Building Information Modeling) design. It produces a rendering faithful to the project to be implemented, in Augmented Reality.


Rendering is a modern tool, more or less sophisticated, which helps to imagine the final rendering of a project. Trust a professional graphic designer to make it happen, you will see that the investment will bear fruit!