Home Designer Rendering Tips


Reference Number: KB-00399
Last Modified: October 12, 2021

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or HomeDesigner Suite



QUESTION

What tips are recommended to improve 3D renderings in my plans?


ANSWER

Home Designer features a built-in, easy to use rendering engine that makes use of the DirectX rendering engine. However, to take full advantage of the rendering engine, it's best to familiarize yourself with each of the settings and tools mentioned below.


Rendering Tips


  • Lighting

    Lighting is extremely important in most 3D renderings. Lighting controls the visibility of objects in a view, affects the appearance of surfaces, and influences the appearances of colors and textures on those surfaces. 

    Even small changes to light intensity, direction and color can have a large impact on image quality.

    For more information on lighting, please see the Lighting Knowledge Base Category or select
    Help> Launch Help within your software, and search for "lighting".

  • Shadows

    Like lighting, shadows have an important effect on image quality. Shadows are enabled in Full Camera views by default and can be generated in any type of camera view using any Rendering Technique aside from Glass House.

    Shadows are affected by the number of light sources in a plan, as well as what Rendering Technique is in use. In order for a light source to cast shadows, it must be On in the current view and have Cast Shadows checked in its specification dialog.

    Shadows can be controlled for each individual camera view, or for each camera tool in the software by accessing the Default Settings .

    For more information on shadows, see KB-00230: Toggling Shadows in Camera Views.

    The sun's angle and intensity can also affect shadows. See KB-00922: Adjusting the Sunlight to learn more.


  • Reflections

    Reflections are another aspect of lighting that can increase a 3D view's realism. If a flat surface is assigned a Mirror material, it can display reflections of other objects in the scene. Bear in mind that a Mirror surface cannot display the reflection of another mirror: when one mirror can be seen in another, its material is shown rather than a reflection.

    Reflections in Mirrors only generate in Perspective 3D views using Rendering Techniques that show material textures. Much like shadows, reflections can be controlled for each individual camera view, or for each camera tool in the software by accessing the Default Settings . You can also toggle reflections in a camera view on or off by navigating to 3D> Camera View Options> Toggle Reflections .

    For more information on reflections, select Help> Launch Help within your software, and search for "reflections".

  • Bloom

    Bloom, or light bloom, occurs around areas of intense illumination and looks as though the light is 'bleeding' beyond the edges of the light source. This adds realism to the view, but takes longer to render.

    Bloom only affects Standard and Watercolor rendering technique options, and can be toggled for each individual camera view, or by accessing the Default Settings .

  • Material Definitions

    Textures are graphic files that represent irregular surfaces of objects such as carpet, bricks, tile, and wood in 3D views. Textures are assigned to materials which in turn are assigned to objects.

    The display of materials in 3D views is controlled by settings in the Define Material dialog.

    For more information on materials, please see the Materials Knowledge Base Category, or select
    Help> Launch Help , then search for "material".

    Brightness, shininess and transparency control how light sources affect the display of surfaces in 3D views. If no texture is selected for a material, or if the display of textures is turned off, affected surfaces are a solid color instead.

  • Images

    Image objects use picture files to represent individual objects such as trees, flowers, and vehicles in 3D views. Images are useful because they have only one 3D surface, allowing them to represent complicated 3D objects with a high degree of realism but with minimal cost in terms of performance.

  • Backdrops

    Backdrops are images that display in the background of 3D views. Only one backdrop can be used at a time. If a backdrop is not applied, Home Designer applies a background color.

    Backdrops can be controlled for each individual camera view, or for each camera tool in the software by accessing the Default Settings .

    For more information on backdrops, please see KB-00325: Changing the Backdrop in a Camera View.

  • Edge Smoothing

    Angled surface edges and pattern lines will sometimes display on screen as jagged or stair-stepped. Edge smoothing softens this effect, producing cleaner lines.

    Higher quality edge smoothing can be produced by checking Edge Smoothing When Idle in the Camera Specification dialog. This setting does not affect a camera while its position or orientation are being changed, but applies additional smoothing to edge and pattern lines when the camera is not in motion. This high quality edge smoothing option is view-specific and can also be toggled on or off by selecting 3D> Camera View Options> Toggle Edge Smoothing When Idle .