What are the most important elements of a 3D visualization?

What you should remember when setting up the 3D visualization scene?

In this text we will concentrate on the details and only on them. In previous texts we explained how the 3D visualizations of exterior, interior and product are being produced. This text will cover the topic of the scenes presented in 3D visualizations and details which may pass unnoticed, but we will prove they not only add the specific character to presented object. Some of those details are even necessary. In one of the previous posts we’ve clarified the 3D visualization process and this post will be the follow up.

Living room with grey furniture and plants, 3D interior

What is photorealism?

This photorealism is a good point to start a discussion about setting up the 3D visualization scenes. The term itself was used to describe the artistic movement born at the end 19th century. Its aim was to reproduce the reality in a realistic manner. The photorealistic 3D visualization production concentrates on making the interior, building or an object as realistic as possible. This can be achieved with advanced technology, but also taking into account such elements like the proper light and shadow, realistic surroundings, people.  

black and white living room, 3D Viscato

The light and shadows

At the beginning we’ve said that this text will be regarding the additional elements of the 3D visualization, but the light seems to be the most important detail here. We’ve said it before, but the photography has a lot in common with the 3D visualization. The visualization and  its final product is like a photograph – very realistic and its quality depends on the light as well. A lot depend on the weather, during which the light is appropriate. The same dependance happens in case of the 3D visualization.

Another aspect of the light is the building’s or interior’s location in relation to the cardinal directions. This explains a lot regarding the light and this also can be reflected on the visualization. Such important information helps identify what the lighting during the daytime would be. What time should be reflected on 3D image then? Like in photography, it is said that the best time for taking pictures is golden hour (around sunset) and the blue hour (around one hour before the sunrise or around an hour after the sunset).

If the light is so important, why do we offer our clients the night shots then, when the light is not so good? The main reason is because the night shots have a different ambiance, they are kind of romantic. Also, setting up the night scene makes some effects possible, like color grading, according to which the blue color of the night matches well with the yellow of the light. Another ambiance-making setting possible is the fog.

Nurai restaurant, terrace view

Shadows go together with the light. First of all this adds the realism to the scene. Also they can play with surroundings. We can mention here the global illumination, so the situation when the light bounces from one surface into another. Other factors on which the shadow depends are the frame composition and the color that is in the interior or on the building. The shadows can also sculpt the building’s elevation which makes an interesting effect.

Who should make the decision on the light and shadow then? Is it up to client as they are the ones who suggest the concept or the artist as the light is the result of other parts of the image. Sometimes those elements are determined by the project’s purpose – if it’s a project alignment that should reflect the reality.

house with a swimming pool at night, 3D visualization

The furniture

The furniture and other details are particularly important in case of the interior visualizations. These elements determine the interior’s style, so how do we choose them? Just like with other elements – that depends on the project. Clients sometimes make the decision themselves  regarding what to put on the presentation. If the interior represents the particular style or is situated in a particular building (e.g.. The penthouse or historical building), it should be indicated when discussing the project initially as this makes things easier. What’s also important to mention is that some of the interior elements are defined in advance, for example the floors in real estate development projects.

If the interior’s style is not indicated in advance, we look for the inspirations according to latest interior trends, for example in popular interior design magazines or in social media, for example Pinterest. The 3D visualization software provides the databases of the furniture or furniture details, .e.g. door handles and this helps get consistent interiors.

3D product visualization, Viscato

Fauna and flora on the 3D visualizations

Apart from the ambiance what we’ve mentioned before, plants and animals are another  possible way to show the character of the project and the surroundings of a building or interior (for example the window view). In some projects clients are very particular regarding the window view, because the investment is set by the seaside or by the lake and this is a huge advantage what also reflects the price of the apartment. In case of interior, plants are also a piece of accessories that fit into specific style and emphasize the eclecticism.

Industrial design office in 3D, Viscato


People can be included both in interior and exterior projects, however more frequently in exterior visualization and there are some reasons to justify it. First of all, people are the good reference regarding the building size. There’s no better way to indicate the proportions of the objects. Second reason why it’s good to add people’s silhouettes on the visualization iis because it indicates the tasks people would be doing in such space. If it’s interior, when placing people inside, it shows the potential of the interior. Also by watching their behavior we can guess the character of the investment and what the target group is, e.g.. quiet housing estate or a residential building in a vibrant city center, where the people who would get bored with a calm area couldn’t live.

conference table in a modern office

The future is photorealistic

Recently we’ve shared on our LinkedIn profile an article which mentioned that 3D visualizations of the future not only will be about the newest tools, but also the emotions. The more photorealistic the presentation is, the more emotions it releases. And to make it happen, it’s just the matter of following the steps we’ve mentioned above.

If you would like to see more examples of photorealistic projects, feel free to check our portfolio.

5 block of flats investment, 3D render

The images featured in this post are all the Viscato’s projects and you can see all of them in our Portfolio section. If any of projects are inspirational for you, feel free to contact us at [email protected]

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