How 3-D renderings benefit the design process

It’s hard to come by an industry that’s unaffected by the rapid proliferation of technology, and the interior design sector has not been spared in this technological surge. Hand-drawn renderings and perspectives, which had been standard in the industry, have become almost obsolete with the introduction of digital rendering software.

Smart Business spoke with Michelle Dyrwal, an interior designer at SMC Consulting, LLC, about the effects of this digital tool on the interior design process.

What is a 3-D rendering?

A rendering illustrates the designer’s interpretation of how a space could look. It shows the build out of walls, furniture, finishes and equipment that have been selected for the project, in addition to spatial relationships, traffic flow and the overall layout. While rendering and perspective drawings have been around for years, the introduction of 3-D modeling technology has revolutionized how designers present their designs to their clients, and aid in visual communication throughout the design process.

The benefits of 3-D rendering can be seen even in the initial stages of project planning. As designers begin to plan walls and partitions, furniture layouts and finishes, they can simultaneously model the project to see how furniture will fit into a given space, how clearances are forming and how finishes can play off of one another to create the ‘feel’ that they are going for. These renderings can quickly help identify flaws in the design that may otherwise be overlooked through a traditional 2-D perspective. These flaws can be recognized, discussed with the client and subsequently corrected long before the construction phase, reducing unnecessary costs during the build out.

During the finish selection process, 3-D rendering allows designers to rapidly switch out finishes with ease. For example, a designer can test out several paint colors on an accent wall to achieve the look he or she was going for without ever lifting a paintbrush or providing a ‘mock-up.’ It is all easily changed with a few clicks of a button in the rendering program.

How can 3-D renderings benefit a client?

Digital renderings also can assist in the designer/client communication connection. While designers do their best to convey how the final product will turn out, clients often have difficulty visualizing the finished design. Customers can see how furniture will lay out in plan view and how finishes look together on a presentation board, but to picture the space in its entirety can be a challenge.

Even the trained eye can have difficulty fully envisioning how a space will look in 3-D, so these renderings are vital tools. These 3-D renderings eliminate most of the guessing that comes along with design in that clients can see a fairly accurate view of how their space will look when completed. If there are any discrepancies between the client’s wants and needs and the designer’s interpretation of them, they can quickly be altered long before anything has been constructed, any furniture is ordered or finishes are in place.

The level of trust between the designer and client is also improved with the use of 3-D renderings to convey the design. The renderings illustrate that the design firm is fully invested in producing a quality product, and that they are willing to be flexible and accommodating throughout the project and work through any issues that may arise within the design. Most importantly, the firm can produce the quality of work that is expected by the client. The client may also use the renderings as a tool to market their new design and present the renovation or new building to potential customers.

The advancement of digital rendering has transformed the way designers present their projects and how they interact with their clients throughout the design process. Renderings are immensely important tools for today’s designer and we will, without a doubt, see more digital rendering in the field of design as time progresses.


Insights Facilities is brought to you by SMC Consulting, LLC