Lighting for architectural renders

For many years I’ve muddled around trying to get good lighting of architectural images in various rendering systems.

I’m posting here wondering if people would share any tips or tricks they have to rendering with the raytrace / cycles render engine in rhino 6 / 7.

Some of the issues I have are:

  • Illuminating interiors for external views so that they don’t just look dead and dark. I typically put an area light just inside the windows but this is a bit of a bodge I think and increases render time quite a lot. They then end up visible through glass which is far from ideal.
  • Getting the scene properly exposed when lots of the model is white plaster material. I’m not aiming for photo real here, at least not across the whole image. I add textures and colour to aspects of a scene I want to draw attention to
  • Planting / trees. Over the years I’ve found a few mesh models that I’ve managed to (semi) successfully bring in to rhino and reapply materials. These seem to slow rendering a lot. Would be great if there were some nurbs (nor subd now?) models that are native to rhino.
  • Grass (same as above)
  • Tone mapping settings seem very confusing to me and hard to control (not to mention the odd bug! Render not outputting alpha channel with log tone mapping)

I’m wondering if people might consider sharing empty files with different lighting and render settings for others to experiment with? I realise that many may not be something everyone is happy to do but just an idea.

Sidenote: your wish list let me think - Enscape could perfect match your need.

(But I must to say also - I don’t like Enscape, since it is so limited, not well integrated and issues are not solved over years, but for your need it could be perfect and allow you to get nice results. The asset library would help you to quick fill your architectural scenes.)

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Thanks but I’m on the Mac

Twinmotion is a great Mac option. It is fast and has a plugin link.

Thanks, I had a play around with it a while ago and I found it kind of creates images that look rather cartoony / like something from a Dubai apartment brochure. Also found it kind of glitchy and very annoying to navigate.