The difference between rendering and 3D visualization

Developers, investors, architects, producers, or sellers draw recipients’ attention to their products or services, more and more often use the opportunities offered by the dynamically developing 3D graphics. A large part of the exciting graphics that we can observe on websites, social media, or banners is just visuals. But are you sure about the visuals? Maybe 3D rendering or 3D models?

These terms are sometimes used interchangeably, even though 3D rendering, modeling, and visualization are fundamentally different. In the following article, we will present the differences between these three most popular and the most often confused terms.

  1. What is modeling?
  2. What are 3D visualizations?
  3. The difference between 3D visualization and 3D rendering.
  4. Summary.

What is 3D modeling?

In computer graphics, 3D modeling defines creating and modifying three-dimensional objects with the help of an appropriate computer program. The resulting thing is called a 3D model. Then it can be presented in the form of a two-dimensional image thanks to the rendering process[1].

The 3D model can also be used to make an animation, computer game, or physical product, thanks to 3D printing. Each of the applications requires the appropriate preparation of the model itself on a 3D graphic artist.

3D model mesh in a graphics program
3D model in a graphics program
3D visualization of the model after rendering

What are 3D visualizations?

3D visualization, synonymous with 3D graphics, is a photo-realistic two-dimensional image obtained with the help of an appropriate computer program. The art of visualization combines technical and artistic mastery – it is the culmination of various skills, including design, composition, balance, symmetry, photography, color, mood, structure, construction technology, process, and digital technology. Thanks to these skills, images, interactive presentations, and films are created.

Visualizing is a multi-step procedure leading to the creation of a model in a three-dimensional plane. We do not only work in the X and Y planes. The depth is equally important – the Z plane. When the model takes its final form, the graphic artist places it in the scene where it will be imaged. Then the appropriate textures and lights are added to the stage. All effects will be finally adjusted so that the final result is as close to the actual image as possible.

wizualizacja 3D osiedla apartamentowców
Architectural 3D visualization
3D visualization of bathroom interior

The difference between 3D visualizations and 3D rendering

We come to the heart, which is the most often confused concept in 3D graphics. Difficulties in distinguishing visualization from rendering are most likely because they are in practice closely related. For this reason, it also happens that these terms are used mutually. Sometimes you can even meet the definition that rendering is synonymous with visualization.

How is it actually?

3D rendering is an automatic process, thanks to which we obtain highly realistic digital graphics depicting a building, product, or room. It is also one of the last but also one of the most critical stages of visualization.

Rendering can be compared to developing a photo. Even though the process is fully automated and does not require any graphics, it is very complicated and time-consuming at the same time. During rendering, the program calculates shadows, light refraction, fog, atmosphere, and all other factors influencing the final visual effect of the resulting graphics.

Visualization of one product in three color variants

Why is this important?

It may seem that the differences between visualization and rendering are not particularly important. In reality, however, they can lead to unnecessary confusion between the client and the graphic designer. It may happen that the contractor, when asked about the implementation of the 3D visualization, will prepare a cost estimate that will include all the elements necessary to perform the visualization. Therefore, if you only need to render your model, it’s worth mentioning it at the very beginning. Otherwise, you will certainly give up a given graphic company, discouraged by the price of the service, unnecessarily wasting valuable time looking for another contractor.

At Double Prism, we realize that you are not required to have such specialist knowledge when commissioning graphic services. Therefore, each time before commencing the order, we set the scope of the service in detail. We ask about your expectations regarding the 3D graphics and about the materials you have at your disposal. Based on the information received from you, we proceed to prepare the most detailed cost estimate and present the proposed completion date.

Regardless of whether you need a 3D visualization, 3D model, or a rendering service – please contact us. We will be happy to answer all your questions and propose the best 3D graphics solutions for you.