Clients may hear us talk about ‘rendering’ images. But what does it mean?
A 3D scene is comprised of three elements: Geometry, ie the massing of the proposal, the landscaping, the soft landscaping, even 3D grass blades, Materials, like the colour and relief of brick or the reflectivity of glass and steel and Lighting, like a bright summers day or the warm hues of incandescent downlighting.
Once we assign all these elements, and we’re happy with their composition, we assign the computer (or a render farm of computers) to produce a render. This procedure asks the computer(s) to analyse all the elements in the scene, realising all the bounced lighting for soft realistic shadows and correct reflections such as in windows or on glossy floorboards. This computation could take a 24 core (48 thread) workstation anything from 3 to 12 hours for a production quality render. Posting the job to the render farm can bring it down to a matter of minutes. This is crucial when applying last minute changes to a planning submission or delivering a 3000 frame animation on time.
Each core or thread of a processor is allocated a certain amount of pixels to calculate and when a job is given to our farm of computers, it can smash through it in minutes.