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Future Vision – 3D Design for Interior Designers

3D Design for Interior Designers – How to envision the future with your clients

Why is 3D interior design a standard tool for interior designers in this day and age? How is it going to boost your business? I’ve invited Anna Klepikova of Anna K Studio to tell us everything you need to know about 3D design for interior designers. It’s history, it’s reach and it’s essential values.

About Anna K Studio

Firstly let me introduce Anna. A successful interior designer with an MBA and a degree in interior design from Chelsea College of Arts. Anna has worked on residential and commercial projects across Europe, collaborating with property developers to provide visual representations of new apartments. Anna later took a lead role as Head of Design at O & A in London, before deciding to build on her ten years industry experience by opening her own 3D studio.

3D living room designs by Anna K Studio

Spotting a gap in the market to provide 3D design for interior designers and property professionals to help them envision the future with their clients and deliver successful projects, Anna started Anna K Studio. Anna is passionate about the role this evolving technology will take in the future of design. I also feel this is even more relevant as we adapt to our recent changing circumstances and navigate and connect more than ever through virtual spaces in our lives and businesses. So now read on to discover from Anna everything you need to know about 3D design for interior designers.

A short history of 3D design for interior designers

We don’t have a precise date when 3D design started, but we know that first 3D models were developed in the 1960s. You’d probably assume that architects were the creators of 3D software. Surprisingly, this is not the case. 3D modelling was first created by computer engineers who worked on automatisation of data. It was Ivan Sutherland, who created the first ever programme for drawing 3D models. He called it Sketchpad. Together with David Evans, Sutherland established the computer technologies department at The University of Utah. To this day most 3D programmes’ interface is based on Sketchpad.

In 1969 Sutherland and Evans launched their company specialising in 3D graphics. Their first clients were advertising companies and TV channels but soon this kind of service spread out to different industries, especially architecture and interior design.

The process of creating 3D models

To become part of this progressive movement we need to get some insight Let’s have a closer look at the process of creating 3D models.

3D Bedroom Design by Anna K Studio

 

The main purpose of interior design visualisation is to get images of an object or interior from different perspectives. To achieve this, 3D designers use specific software to create a geometric vision of a space, add materials, they create natural or artificial lighting, they even include an impression of the surrounding environment (for example a view from windows) and they make sure that the appearance of surfaces resembles real-life texture.

After everything is ‘built’, 3D designers render the interior to get photorealistic images. For high-quality final images, 3D designers usually edit final renders in Photoshop, because it allows them to adjust the light and colours of the images.

The stages of 3D visualisation:

  1. Step One: Creating geometric or 3D models

You need to know the precise measurements of the space and each and every object in the room before you start building it. The main objective of 3D visualisation is to show everything in precise scale, as it is in reality. The benefit of applying exact dimensions is that you can be 100% sure, that objects not only fit but are also proportional to the space.

Programmes used to model are: Autodesk 3Ds Max, V-ray, ZBrush, Google SketchUp, Blender, Revit, Rhino.

  1. Step Two: Materials and textures


To make your interior appear as realistic as possible you have to add materials and colours as they are in the specification. 3D proficient software allows you to choose the precise materials you want to see in an interior. One of the major benefits of 3D programmes is, that they can also demonstrate how different materials interact with the light.

To add materials, you can use all programmes listed in Step One.

  1. Step Three: Light


One of the strongest features of 3D design programmes is, that they allow you to ‘build in’ light sources. It can be natural day light (the sun) or artificial lighting at night. You can create two versions to show how the same space might look at different times of the day.

Why is using the light feature so important? Only natural light makes images looks realistic. It creates depth, brightness and shadows. When you work digitally, effects of light have to be properly adjusted to make sure the images look realistic.

  1. Step Four: Positioning virtual cameras


Cameras allow you to take photos of the space and make videos. Cameras have their own settings, where you can choose the quality, the size and different effects for each image.

  1. Step Five: Rendering


Rendering is the process of projecting 3D space into 2D photos or videos. This should be done after Step One to Four have been completed.  The most common rendering software applications today are Maxwell Render, Corona Render and V-Ray.

With new technology you can create not only 3D images and videos of interiors but also 360 degree panoramas, 3D tours and VR experiences. Go to Anna K Studio website to learn more.

The role of technology in interior design

The design industry has changed in the past decade with a significant increase of different new technologies. There has been much progress and still, the industry continues to change and evolve. Even though we still have tools that are “the norm” for technical drawings, we are already witnessing the appearance of many new apps that work faster. They are also are more versatile, offer more features and tools. This in turn helps to make the design process faster, easier and more inspired.

3D Design Apartment interior design

New technology for new experiences

Revit (for architects) and Sketchup (for designers) are already starting to replace AutoCAD. These software solutions offer a better user experience with more options, like easier 3D render within a programme. This is becoming a must-have feature in software, because it gives designers the ability to work in 3 dimensions straight away. Using this they can produce pictures, videos, specifications and technical drawings much more quickly and efficiently. More and more clients are aware of this useful technology and they expect designers to provide them with 3D presentations.

3D Design by Anna K Studio My Deco Marketing Blog

Before and after: A new build apartment photographed as it exists in reality alongside the 3D design visualisations for the proposed  interior design scheme

The design industry is not exempt from the effects of the unprecedented economic and financial downturn, which we are currently experiencing. Interior design clients will be more aware and more selective as far as their investment is concerned. Digital design technology offers designers effective tools to get through these times. This is done by demonstrating to their clients in a very impressive and convincing way that not only is their idea budget effective but also works well for the client.

Design in the New Normal

Another reason for using advanced technology is the e-tendency. We are going online and that is not going to change for a while. Some companies might not return to office-based work routines, if working remotely can be done more efficiently. What about interior design? New technology allows us to have Zoom meetings. We can now do virtual home tours, which means there is no need to go to a client’s house. In addition we use project management programmes to control our progress.  We use online platforms to order furniture and so on. Digital design is more than just technology – digital design is a new way of communication, it is a new way of presenting your ideas as well as a great way to win a project. Sometimes we have just one chance to present our ideas and we should not waste it.

What to expect next?

We can all agree that technology is advancing faster and further than Sutherland and Evans could have predicted. The next steps will see architecture and design merging with virtual reality and augmented reality. There is no big rush. You don’t need to integrate these technologies into your business right now. But for those like me, who like to stay ahead of the game, this is something to be aware of and to stay engaged with.

Thank You to Anna K Studio for an insightful round-up on the use of 3D design . For more articles on the business of design take a look at the My Deco Marketing Blog. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date.

 

Perfect interiors pictures for your design business

How to create perfect interiors pictures for your design business

What’s the best tool you have for marketing your interiors or decor business?

Does it surprise you to know that it isn’t social media or email or networking. It starts way before you employ any of those elements with perfect interiors pictures.

Creating perfect interiors pictures is a fundamental cornerstone of your marketing and here’s why. In any industry you are only ever as good as your last job. However in interior design the success of your last job, your unique style and every good reason people will hire you or buy your products is easily apparent from your pictures.

As a digital marketer I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to present beautiful, captivating pictures of everything you do. The ability to create the perfect interiors picture is the tool you need to make your business visible. Social media, online and print editorial, advertising and email marketing only work if your pictures are the best quality to showcase your work at it’s finest.

Good photography is the starting point of any marketing campaign and will help to elevate you against the competition.  It’s also the backbone of your portfolio.  Online photography, in any shape or form, is often people’s first encounter with a brand.  It can be a single image or a consistent style that defines your work. Make sure you get the best images to position your work and brand as professional.

Here is a step by step guide to getting the  most out of photographing each completed job. I’ve also asked some industry professionals to give us their tips on how to get the perfect picture so read on and get ready for perfection in your next project photoshoot.

Create perfect interiors pictures with a professional photographer

It always pays to employ a professional.  A good photographer will have experience of shooting interiors.  As well as experience they will have the best equipment and  good lighting.  Lighting is essential for illuminating your interiors work in the best way, even on a dull day. They can do wonders to get the best photos from the most challenging situations such as bad light or awkward shaped rooms or products.

When hiring a professional photographer you should always agree in advance the number of images you can expect from the shoot. Additionally who will own the rights to images and where they can be published.

 

Perfect Interiors pictures

Image: Cathy Pyle – interiors photographer

Do it with style

Styling also goes a long way to creating the perfect picture. It may be worth investing in a stylist, here’s why. A stylist will bring props such as plants, cushions, throws, fresh produce, rugs and flowers. The photographer may have someone they work with regularly or you and the photographer can do this together. If your business is product based consider hiring a location  space for your shoot. Presenting your products in a beautiful home or perhaps a more quirky location such as an industrial space, garden or historic building is creating a lifestyle vision of your products which is key to your brand. Lifestyle photos are an essential part of your marketing assets. Alongside the lifestyle products cut-out photos are a must have for ecommerce online catalogues and featuring in the media.

Decide on a shoot list

This is a plan of the shots you would like to achieve and the order you would like them done.  Also to consider at this stage, is how to shoot them. Wide angled shots will best represent the context of each space or room. By wide angled I mean where the most part of the room and furniture in it can be seen. However avoid using any lenses that distort the image just to fit in the whole room. Awkward or small rooms are where the trained eye of a professional can really get the best results for you. Well lit images that display the whole room are the type of shots that do best on social media. Instagram, Pinterest and Houzz algorithms all seem to favour showing pictures which display all or a large part of a room. Close up pictures don’t do as well here. However you’ll want to consider more particular close up shots that will communicate ideas about materials and design details. These can be used for your own websites, brochures especially if you are working with products.

Deciding in advance the list of rooms, products and the particular elements you want to highlight will help you put together a shoot list. This all forms part of the brief you give to the photographer to discuss how you will get the best out of your project.

Tips from the professionals for perfect interiors pictures

I asked some industry professionals to share with me their top tips for perfect photoshoots. Between them these ladies have created countless beautiful images for our favourite interiors magazines, brand catalogues, websites and social media. They’ve been kind enough to leave me with me some great advice on this topic which I’m so pleased to share with you.

Cathy Pyle

Cathy Pyle is an interior and lifestyle photographer who works with some of the UK’s leading interior magazines as well as with creative brands and designers. She is known for her calm, light-filled images of homes and creative spaces, and she seeks to bring her love of all things seasonal, handcrafted, and vintage into both her work and her own home.  Cathy also offers workshops and one-to-one photography tuition from her home studio in Guildford.

cathypyle.com

@cathy.pyle

perfect interiors pictures bathroom my deco marketing

Image: Cathy Pyle

Cathy Says…

  • Compelling images are all about emotion and story. So before you start, think about the mood you want to evoke, or the story you’d like to tell, in your image. This will guide the choices you make in setting up and capturing your shot.
  • Light is, of course, key to a great image. Notice where the light is coming from, and see if you need to remove or add light (which can be done easily by turning off lights, and using a diffuser or reflector). The quality of light you’ll need will depend on the story and mood you’re aiming for.
  • Less is more – I’m a huge fan of simplicity. It’s always better to start with fewer items in shot and then add elements in where needed.
  • Pay attention to the lines in your image. In any interior shot, straight lines – especially the verticals – are a must.
  • It’s often tempting to rush to get your shot, but attention to detail is key.  Take time to tidy away any distracting elements such as wires, wipe away dust, and straighten cushions etc, before you start photographing. I speak from experience when I say it’ll save you  time (and the frustration of a less than perfect shot) later!

 

My deco marketing perfect interiors pictures

Image: Cathy Pyle

Leona Harper

Leoma Harper is founder of Style the Clutter a styling service to transform your home into a stylish functional space, you will love to spend time in for years to come. Leoma frequently styles photo shoots for brands and homes for magazine shoots. Style the Clutter always has perfect interiors pictures with high visibility on Instagram to share with her growing folllowing

styletheclutter.com

@styletheclutter

Bedroom image by style the clutter My Deco Marketing photography tips

Image: Style the Clutter

Leoma Says…

‘A good picture always needs a focal point, but its also what is around it the really counts. Using accessories such as rugs, sheepskins, candles and plants softens a the scene drawing you in to the picture and making you feel at home. Floors are usually pretty plain, its nice to fill them up with pattern/texture through rugs and sheepskins, pets are also always a good and  fun way to fill a dead space on the floor. Walls again look sparse, ensure they have pictures, a mirror or wall hanging to draw the eye and add interest. A tray on a coffee table candle, eucalyptus in a bud vase with a little pile of books to the side adds character and interest. In summary the space being photographed needs personality to give the viewer a sense of dipping into the lifestyle within the setting.

 

interior desgn photography tips by style the clutter

Image: Style the Clutter

Alex Crabtree

With many years experience, in the bespoke kitchen, interiors and property market Alex Crabtree is an expert at styling kitchens for shoots. You can also get a taste for Alex’s love of styling on instagram where she’s built up a loyal following who love her daily dose of unique style as she posts photographs of beautifully styled eclectic maximalist home. Here Alex kindly shares her 12 tips for perfect interiors pictures alongside these images she styled for Brayer Kitchens

alexcrabtree.co.uk
@alexcrabtreepr

Styling a kitchen photography tips

Image: Styled by Alex Crabtree for Brayer Kitchens

Alex Says…

Working with Magazines

  • For kitchen styling — one of the most important things to remember is that magazines don’t like any lights on or strange wide angle shots!
  • The magazines change what they like fairly often. One needs to keep up with their styles and also if an editor changes of course they have a different view too.
  • Also the magazines generally don’t like shots over-propped. Although equally it musn’t look too sparse either, as it looks like no one lives there.
  • Try to use clients china etc if possible. However if it doesn’t fit with what a magazine would want to feature, I use my own.

 

Interior design photography styling a kitchen

Image: Styled by Alex Crabtree for Brayer Kitchens

 

Styling Kitchens

  • I start by stripping out all the personal items from the kitchen such as family photos and paper work, children’s toys etc! Also if there are too many piles of old recipe books too.
  • When I am styling a kitchen I take two large wheeled boxes of ‘props’ from my store! Such as plates, China , etc.
  • Always buy fruit, vegetables and flowers to style the kitchen.
  • I walk around the kitchen at the beginning of the shoot. This way I see what I need to focus and work with my photographer to see the best angles.
  • I virtually always use bowls of one colour of fruit e.g. green apples or lemons and then boards of mixed vegetables! Again, I try and stick to one palette of colours! Usually green and white and with the flowers too.
  • It takes a little while to sort which is the best position for all the props and to make sure that they aren’t blocking the tap, oven etc and don’t conflict with each other in the shots making it look too busy.
  • I try not to move items around too much for each shot as there needs to be consistency of props position. 
  • Also a very good working relationship with a photographer is paramount.  I have worked with mine for several years and we both understand how each other works and what the clients and magazines need.

So there you have it the My Deco Marketing guide to creating perfect interiors pictures. Do you have any good tips to share on how to get perfect pictures? I’d love to hear them so please leave a comment below.

Photography tips for interior designers