Adding people to 3D renders offers several benefits. Firstly, their presence helps viewers better understand the scale of architectural designs. Human figures also introduce a dynamic and emotional element to presentations. Seeing people in 3D within the context of a future building or space makes the entire project feel more real and tangible, evoking an emotional response from the audience. However, achieving this effect requires selecting the right type of people for CGI. So, what are the options?

Our 3D rendering studio is dedicated to creating visuals that are both engaging and appealing for our clients. We continually keep up with the latest technologies to enhance the quality and realism of our renders. With that in mind, we’re excited to share our expertise in adding people to CGI. Read on to learn about the available options and discover what suits your project best!

#1. 2D People 

2D People in Rendering

In this technique, a CG artist cuts human figures out of photos, scales them, and incorporates them into renderings using Photoshop. These 2D people are highly realistic and tend to look better in close-ups and detailed views. However, the main downside of 2D cutouts is their limited flexibility: it’s not possible to change the pose of these figures or the angle at which they were photographed. Additionally, adding 3D people to CGI can be time-consuming, as it requires significant adjustments to lighting and shadows to achieve a seamless look.

#2. 3D Modeled People

3D Modeled People in CGI

These are digitally created models of people in 3D. Compared to 2D cutouts, 3D models offer greater flexibility, allowing artists to change their poses to better match the concept of a rendering. Additionally, they require less time for lighting adjustments. However, 3D modeled people can look somewhat unnatural in close-ups, so it’s better to use them in distant views or blur them. 

It’s worth mentioning that 3D models of humans are an optimal choice for computer-generated videos. You can check out our article to learn about different types of 3D people in animation.

#3. AI-Enhanced 3D People

Rendering with AI-Enhanced People

The advancement of AI introduces new possibilities for enhancing people in 3D renderings. For instance, tools like Stable Diffusion can help refine the appearance of 3D models, achieving greater realism and better integration with the overall design. AI can improve the lighting on models to match the scene, adjust facial expressions, alter clothing, and even modify the age or ethnicity of the characters. This flexibility allows 3D artists to create more accurate and contextually appropriate visual narratives for architects and designers. AI-enhanced 3D people look realistic even under close scrutiny, making them ideal for close-ups or detailed shots. Above, you can see an example of AI-enhanced 3D models of people in use.

#4. Renders without People

3D Rendering with No People

In some cases, less is more, and it’s preferable to avoid adding people altogether. This approach is effective when you want to focus attention on the design itself or specific elements without distraction. Omitting people in 3D renders allows the viewer to concentrate solely on the architectural and design details. It provides an unobstructed view of materials, textures, and spatial dynamics.

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Choosing the right type of people for 3D renderings depends on the project’s specific goals and the desired impact on the audience. People can enliven the rendering, making it more dynamic and emotionally engaging. In other cases, they might seem distracting. As an architect, it’s important to be aware of all available options and choose the best one to convey the specific mood and message you want.

Looking for a 3D rendering services provider to help you fulfill your vision? Get in touch with us to get high-quality renders for all your needs! 


Stacey Mur
Content Writer, Copywriter

Stacey is a content writer and a CG artist. Outside of work, Stacey enjoys musicals, Star Wars, and art talk. A proud Corgi parent.