I’m one of those people who likes to dabble in 3D art from time to time. Having created the images of several of my characters in Daz3D, I went hunting for something that would allow me to render images of buildings, and map out rooms, or floor-plans of offices. What I found was an amazing piece of free software, called Sweet Home 3D.
Simply put, this is one of the easiest to use pieces of design software that I have come across in a long time. After I completed the installation process, I dived straight into creating floor-plans for the coffee shop that will be appearing in my novel, and possibly other works. By using Sweet Home 3D to create renders of the layout, I am able to maintain a consistent feel throughout my descriptions.
The initial collection of objects and textures is a little limited, but eTeks make several additional collections available free of charge, with many contributors offering additional items for a fee. Like with most applications, there is a learning curve, but I found that for the most part, it is pretty intuitive. I did spend several hours working on the layout of the coffee shop, but I’m ecstatic about the results.
Render time can be from several seconds to hours, depending on a number of factors:
- The size of the image you want to save
- The render quality you specify – obviously the best quality takes the longest time
- Any lens effects you decide to add
- The date and time you set for the rendering software, equates to the available level of ambient lighting
- The number of lighting sources you add to the scene
- The number of different objects and textures you use
These last three of particular interest, since they determine the levels of light, and shadows. Both of which can be a major addition to rendering time.