In the past, architectural rendering meant hand painting an architectural structure on a flat surface which was, then, colored and lit. Such illustrations weren’t available for anyone and it involved high quality artwork. To make things even worse, it was equally difficult to find a good illustrator at that time. Another downside was the fact that, if changes had to be done, those renderings were extremely hard to alter. Very often they were found inaccurate, although blame didn’t always fall on the illustrator.
In the present, things stand quite differently. Architectural renderings are now made using the computer. 3D architectural renderings are, in fact, images of virtual reality scenes produced with complex calculations with the aid of the computer. What’s interesting is that 3D computer generated images have existed since the early 1990’s. this technology was considered to be state-of-the-art. Still, the time needed to create one architectural image took longer than hand-making it and the end-result was considered to be dull and stale. Regardless of the skills of the operator, the images weren’t as realistic as they are today.
Computer rendering involves a wide variety of specialists, from Render house animators to modelers, character animators, texture and material builders, lighting experts and IT personnel. The latter category is believed to be the most important, as it is they who keep the hardware up and running. Hardware was one of the biggest issue in the past, since such renderings require more processing power than one would normally use.
Nowadays there is a high demand for computer generated images, CAD rendering, architectural design, animation and 3D walk through. Consequently, a decline in demand for hand painted architectural illustrations has been reported. In reality, the traditional market for hand-made drawings will never disappear, even if 3D architectural rendering is here to stay.