When architects need to show the expected outcome of their projects at presentations, in portfolios, or marketing materials, they opt for architectural 3D visualization. CGI is an ultra-convenient option for getting photoreal images showing the future look of spaces that aren’t finished yet. But there is an issue with so many producers of 3D visualization for interior design on the market, how to determine which ones make the most quality renderings? If the architect fails to do that, they may end up getting CG visuals that turn the potential clients off instead of swaying them to sign the deal.

To prevent this, an architecture specialist should evaluate a potential CGI contractor’s competence by checking their portfolio. But what should one look out for, specifically? A good 3D visualization studio always follows strict guidelines based on 3D modeling and rendering standards. Though these rules might not be obvious to those without 3D graphics background, there are common errors that can be easily noticed by non-professionals. So, let’s explore 10 mistakes in a 3D visualization for interior design that are a dead giveaway of an unprofessional CGI contractor!

#1. The 3D images don’t follow the rules of composition

3D Visualization for Interior Design of a Studio Kitchen

One of the key elements of any image is composition. Professional 3D artists carefully follow the rules of it to make CG pictures look harmonious and pleasing for the eye. So, what defines a good composition? In a nutshell, a central object must be chosen, and the surrounding elements have to draw attention to it. These secondary details should be carefully placed to balance the visual weight in all the parts of the 3D render. Also, they should not distract the viewers from the central piece. A low-quality 3D visualization for interior design does not adhere to those guidelines and is easily recognized as such.

#2. The selling points of designs are not accentuated

3D Interior Visualization of a Lobby Area

Any interior design has its selling points: the style, the furniture and decor used, the atmosphere, and so on. Professional CGI contractors recognize the importance of bringing these aspects to the forefront of 3D renderings and make sure to highlight all of them in multiple shots. A lackluster 3D visualization for interior design doesn’t show any effort in accentuating the selling points of a project. Such CG pictures look plain and generalized.

#3. Lifestyles don’t feature visual storytelling elements

3D Interior Visualization of a Modern Apartment Design

A good 3D interior lifestyle features lots of little details that make the scene look believable. Visual storytelling elements like a served table in a dining room, books and clothes scattered around in a bedroom, tools that look like they were just used in a garage give properties a “lived-in” look. 

Only professional 3D artists with lots of experience can come up with a perfect arrangement of decor and paraphernalia to give architectural ideas life. On the opposite end of the spectrum is 3D visualization for interior design that features little to none storytelling details. Due to this, 3D pictures have a plain, uninteresting look an unforgivable sin for a good lifestyle image.

#4. The scenes look inconsistent

3D Interior Visualization of a Sleek Living Room

A professional 3D interior visualization goes through strict quality control. 3D residential design services have dedicated project managers who carefully review every image, and one of the things that are given extra attention is the overall consistency of the scene. That is because a perfect picture can be easily ruined by a single mismatched element. 

For instance, a rug on a tiled floor by a stove looks out of place, makes no sense from the interior design perspective, and is a safety hazard. This way, it ruins the whole impression. So, everything must look fitting, otherwise, the 3D visualization for interior design loses its cohesion, the idea becomes unclear and the lifestyle magic is gone.

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#5. The lighting in the scenes is done poorly

3D Interior Visualization of a Dining Room

Lighting is one of the most crucial elements of an interior design 3D visualization. It is the thing that can make or break the image. A slightest mistake in the placement and qualities of light sources can easily ruin the viewer’s immersion. 

Professional 3D artists carefully set the scene, accounting for objects’ opacity, reflectivity, the intensity of lighting, and time of the day. Only this way, it is possible to get the most realistic and breathtaking results. If a viewer can tell from the first glance that there is something wrong with the lighting in a 3D visualization for interior design, such as supposedly natural light looking like it comes from a lamp this is definitely an amateurish render.

#6. The furniture and decor models’ edges aren’t beveled

3D Visualization of a Restaurant Interior

Architectural elements, furniture, and decor are the selling points of interior design projects. They should be visualized in the most attractive but at the same time realistic way. To look photoreal, 3D models of the mentioned objects should have beveled, or smoothed, edges. If they aren’t, objects in a 3D visualization for interior design would look unrealistic. Which will be a big turn-off for an architect’s potential clients.

#7. The materials aren’t portrayed accurately

3D Interior Visualization of a Spa Room

To simulate materials featured in the interior, skilled 3D artists don’t just copy and paste a 2D picture on a 3D model. Instead, they carefully make textures displaying real-life qualities of substances the objects are supposed to be made of. Wood, glass, metals, bricks everything has a unique light absorption and reflection as well as tactile characteristics. Modern 3D modeling and rendering software allows to precisely portray all that. But it’s still a lot of skill-dependent painstaking work. So, if the images in a CGI studio’s gallery represent inaccurately made materials that look like assets from an early 2000s video game this contractor is not worth the attention.

#8. The textures are inaccurately applied or have low quality

3D Interior Visualization of an Indoor Pool Room

After the objects for a 3D visualization for interior design are modeled, it’s time to apply the textures to them. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. Furniture and decor can have complex shapes that may cause 2D textures to distort. That is why 3D artists often have to apply several of them to the same item. 

If texturing is done poorly, the 3D objects would show visible seams and tears, instantly ruining the appeal. An inattentive 3D specialist can also mismatch the textures, applying them sideways or upside-down. If the texture itself is low-quality, the models would look “grainy” and pixelated. All these signs indicate a lack of proper quality control how else would such an image make it to the proud display in the gallery?

#9. Objects don’t look natural

3D Interior Visualization of a Comfortable Living Room

A properly applied HD texture is still not enough to make a photorealistic piece of furniture or decor. To give interior filling a natural look, CGI professionals add realistic effects to the surfaces on top of the textures. For instance, fabrics of curtains should have folds and creases, antique wooden furniture has to be darkened by age, and so on. 

These are seemingly minor details that give a strong realistic feel to the 3D visualization for interior design. If a 3D render is missing those elements, it might mean that this particular CGI contractor is not the best option for the architecture specialists that value quality.

#10. Images have lackluster post-production

3D Interior Visualization of a Hotel's Lobby

3D renders made by a competent CGI studio go through extensive post-production stage before they are finished, and for a good reason. A quality 3D visualization for interior design can be made even better with color correction, adjusting saturation, adding blur and fade to background elements, tweaking highlights and contrasts. 

Even something small, like a warmer or colder color palette, can completely change the way the picture is perceived by the audience. If a 3D image looks raw or unpolished, this is a clear sign that the post-production was not done properly, and working with that potential contractor is not worth it.

If an architecture specialist wants to visualize an interior design using CGI, they should look for a CGI studio that creates photoreal pictures polished to perfection. The images in the gallery should follow the laws of composition and instantly draw attention to the selling points of the projects. The interior design lifestyles should feature strong visual storytelling elements that look consistent and don’t cause confusion. The lighting should be on point, with no mismatched reflections and light sources. All architectural elements, furniture, and decor in interior design renderings must be accurately modeled, textured, and feature realistic details. Finally, the renders should go through extensive post-production to become perfect.

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Catherine Paul
Content Writer, Editor at ArchiCGI

Catherine is a content writer and editor. In her articles, she explains how CGI is transforming the world of architecture and design. Outside of office, she enjoys yoga, travelling, and watching horrors.