The Global ARCHICAD Community

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Producing imagery with ARCHICAD or 3rd party products; Surfaces; Lighting; Cameras; Artlantis/Cinema 4D/Maxwell etc.

Moderators: Karl Ottenstein, LaszloNagy, ejrolon, Barry Kelly, gkmethy

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By Erwin Edel
If you mean the 'wobble' in the reflection / glass? That's a bump channel in the glass surfaces, you can just turn that off in the surface settings.

If you mean that the panel colours are uneven, that would be a texture or procedural shader setting. Either the texture has different shades or there is a procedural 'checker board' type extra layer / channel somewhere given different shades.

Not sure how to achieve softer shadows.
By darwinland
Erwin Edel wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:10 am
Before rendering, get a good composition for your shot. 54 degree view cone comes close to human eye (no uncomfortable fish eye lens looks!), basic rule of thirds composition (by approximation) ussually works well, I find. Two point perspective button is my friend too. Save your camera in a path for future use.

I use special renovation filter (called Presentation) that I use to hide all my birds, trees, people etc from the technical model. I make more of these for each camera as needed.

If the modelled surroundings becomes too complex, I sometimes have a seperate PLN for this and hotlink the building model in to the 'terrain' PLN.

After this, proceed as below.

Start with Outdoor Daylight Fast (Physical).

Untick Detailed Settings (if that is ticked).

Pick a nice physical sky under Environment (I like Friendly Afternoon). Make sure Use ARCHICAD Sun Position is ticked, or your settings for sun altitude and azimuth won't be used.

Tick Detailed Settings.

Go to Environment > Physical Sky > Clouds. Turn off Cast Shadows (looks rubbish, IMO).

Go to Global Illumination, pick Preset Exterior Preview. If you find the render to have too many 'dark spots', up the setting to Preset Exterior Physical Sky (expect an increase in render time of about 4x).

Go to Options > General Options. Set Ray Threshold to 0 to have reflective surfaces look their best (IMO), or at a very low value to have some reflections show. Set Ray Depth to around 12 or higher depending on how many planes of glass are visible in the shot. 12 works for me in most projects. Do the same for Reflection Depth. Tick Generate Alpha Mask if you intend to swap out the background of the Physical Sky for a picture in a photo editor (make sure you save your image as PNG with 'High Accuracy Color with Alpha Channel' to have the transparancy mask available).

Consider printing size. I render out my images at 195x135 mm, 300 DPI. These still print fine when sized up to A4 full sheet on a decent printer.

Make sure Apply Render Safe Frame is ticked.

Hit render button.

With these settings a typical project render takes less than 3 minutes on my old workstation.

I then add some sketch render channels and do a bit of photoshop watercolour effects + desaturating of colours etc and get results as below.

These are our typical renders that need to be reproduced often for the client when design changes are made. It takes max. 5 minutes to do, and by using layer effects in photoshop, it becomes copy + paste of a few images and merge layers down to show changes for a new render.

Might not be your preferred style of presentation, but we are happy with the results.
Finally I am getting good exterior renders. It is much about good detailed model and postproduction to arrange contrast brightness and tones. But Still I have 2 questions, you said that you filter the human models, birds, tree,..., and also separate the terrain from the building through usage of hotline. But how does this affect to the render, do you render different scenes for the human models and the terrain and they put together in photoshop?
I found that using Ray T 0, Ray Reflection 12 and R depth 12 it takes too long.
User avatar
By Erwin Edel
Renovation filters allow you to use 'Show on current Renovation Filter only' button (it looks like a stack of 3 floorplans and sits on top right of renovation palette).

So say I have a camera (camera 1), I would populate the view with my birds, people etc and then add them to a custom renovation filter (presentation camera 1) using that button. Add and repeat as needed for other cameras. I only do this with elements that work for certain shots, things I want to see in all shots are just hidden by the 3D Viz layer I use. Since the 2d cardboard cutout silhouettes are allways facing the camera, I find that I want to have different setups, for different shots and rather than have layers for all those shots, I just hide them using the custom renovation filter.

Hope that makes it clear.

The complex surroundings, would be for exampe a school project we did, where we had the whole playground and surrounding buildings modelled. We just had this entire presentation stuff as a seperate .pln and hotlinked the building model in to that, to keep our building model .pln clean of all the presenation clutter (and extra file size).