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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.