Is Real-Time Rendering The Future of Real Estate And Architecture?

While sticking to our guns and focusing on our strengths is what keeps us ahead of the curve, as a studio with two decades of experience, we know that it’s crucial to keep up with the times and always experiment with new tools. At a time when new technology like AI generation and real-time rendering become more and more advanced every passing minute, we can’t hang back ever. There’s always a need to innovate our skills to serve our clients the best in real estate marketing and architectural pitches. 

Every month we organize multiple in-house competitions and workshops to perfect what we already know, learn new things and techniques, and challenge each other to expand the boundaries of our skills and artistry.

Real-time rendering has been a hot topic in our studio for some time, prompting our team to experiment with this emerging new solution.

About a year ago, one of our CG Artists, Andreas, wanted to see what he could achieve using this method, thus he challenged himself to create a landscape animation using Unreal Engine 5, the latest iteration of the popular real-time video game and 3D environment creation software that is currently taking multiple creative industries by storm. 

He quickly realized that faster rendering comes at a cost: as a beginner learning the ropes, the processes of Unreal proved harder to grasp, thus preparing a scene with this tool took significantly more time and effort. It’s also quite dependent on smooth interoperability between different software. Compared to our usual workflow, this means that any change and additional element that requires 3D work is going to take more time to implement – in this case, this meant that Andreas had to model a complete hillside landscape and castle ruins in 3DS Max first. Only time will tell if this process can be shortened with more experience or if this tool is inherently more complex and harder to work with no matter the expertise.

It’s clear to those in the industry that real-time rendering has the potential to revolutionize our craft, allowing for the creation of interactive VR scenes, quicker adjustments in reaction to client feedback, and potentially even lower costs in the long run. However, in terms of quality, we see that achieving the highest level of photorealism that we want to present to our partners is not yet feasible using these techniques, nor can we save significant time and money when we have to deal with additional complexities to reach the desired effect.

In the case of Andreas’ animation, the desired effect was ultimately reached however thanks to a ton of dedication and effort. He might have chosen the harder road but he got where he wanted to be in the end: the short video is a showcase of unique lighting conditions and an ethereal mood unlike any we’ve seen. 

While the future of this technology gets us excited about its possibilities, it seems obvious that not hopping on this particular trend just yet and instead sticking to our workflow serves our studio and in turn, our valued clients best. We feel that our current methods, software, and hardware give us the exceptional results we aim for–a quality that we still couldn’t achieve using Unreal Engine. But as always, we’ll always be on the lookout for emerging technologies and strive to push ourselves to the limit to improve.


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