Rendering the World Around You

August 29, 2012 4 Comments by 3DBlog

by Christopher McFarland

In today’s world it seems like everything boils down to two ideas: real versus rendered! I’m still shocked to look at a magazine, see an interesting image, and then consult with the Internet to find that those “shots” of homes, cars and people are all rendered! I did further research and I have found that the process of rendering is changing the way artists, businessmen, architects and designers interact with their work.

Real versus rendered has been a debate for some time. Movies use rendered scenes all the time, authors write about the rendered worlds in science fiction, and there are countless threads and comments online about the Kim Kardashian photos that are “fake”. Nothing is fake; the process is just a bit different using rendering techniques. We are not really sure which images are real and which are rendered, so I decided to do some investigation to find out what this rendering is all about.

First things first: rendering or 3D artists are just as talented as 2D artists. In my mind I would never discredit Mr. Behrendt from above on his attempt at the Trojan House. The work is spectacular and original! The mimicking of the photos by Emma Cross is simply amazing and I find it to be very interesting to look at. Similar to an optical illusion, the Behrendt image captivates and stimulates my eyes. At times, I feel the rendered image is a bit more realistic looking!

Rendering is considered one of the most complex forms of 3D production and it’s rather similar to photography. A photographer must develop a photo by adjusting chemicals and lights used to create different textures, depths, and moods. Much like this, a 3D professional must manipulate a 3D scene. In all reality a 3D model or rendering is a huge mathematical equation of points, surfaces and lines that are technically termed “vertices” and “polygons”. The word “rendering” actually refers to the software that calculates these large-scale math problems. During the process everything is brought together or “rendered”, with the help of a software package that combines everything from the 2D format into a 3D representation.

In a world of images, there are two types of rendering: real time and off-line rendering. Real time rendering is used for things such as games or anything that is interactive with the user. This type or rendering must be computed a high rate of speed, because you never know what the user will do: go under the bridge or go over the bridge. Off-line or Pre-rendering is used in situations when speed is less of an issue and presentation is more of an issue. So, the main difference is predictability. In real time, we have no idea what the user will do and in pre-rendering, everything is confined and the rendering is much more precise.

Whether you are rendering photos to change the aspect, creating a character for a new company, or even developing a magazine spread the options are unlimited. The process of rendering and the software available is becoming more sophisticated. I remember reading that an illustrator once asked in frustration, “How can I continue to do my job when there is a camera in the room?” Photos were much more crisp, clean and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. I find that modern photographers will be in the same pinch because rendering is evolving extremely fast and promoting imagination and beauty. The art of rendering cannot be debated, yet the future of it is still unknown.


  1. Milly says:
    Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 9:39am

    Wow, it seems to be exciting. But do you really believe that rendering’s gonna completely oust photography?


    • 3DBlog says:
      Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 6:37am

      Milly, it can well be the case.


    • Nigar Ali says:
      Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 6:55am

      No form of art is going to die. Look at the painters, they are still doing what they have been doing even though there is photography


  2. lin j says:
    Monday, October 29, 2012 at 6:55am

    I am looking at the first picture and I think that if I didn’t know that one of the pictures was rendered I would never even think of the right one to be rendered.


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