3D RENDERING FILE FORMAT GUIDE.
Learn about the different file formats.
What are file formats?
In the computer world, a file format is how each program saves its data so you are able to open it again. Different programs save different file types that are native to each but some file formats are easily opened across the board and allows information to be shared between different software. For example, the program a web browser is able to process and display a file in the HTML file format so that it appears as a Web page, but it cannot display a file in a format designed for Microsoft’s Excel program. Normally, the extension is separated by a period from the name and contains three or four letters that identify the format.
There are as many different file formats as there are different programs to process the files. A few of the more common file formats are:
- Word documents (.doc)
- Web text pages (.htm or .html)
- Web page images (.gif and .jpg and .png)
- Adobe Photoshop files (.psd)
- Adobe Acrobat files (.pdf)
- Executable programs (.exe)
- Multimedia files (.mp3 and others)
- Compressed files (.zip and .rar)
When it comes to 3D Rendered images.
When working with 3D renders then the most common file format is either jpg or png. The latter has benefits over a jpg as the background can be saved as a transparent, these are especially good when working with product renders so they can be overplayed on different colours easily.
EXAMPLE OF JPG
EXAMPLE OF PNG
Both of these file types are great for drafts and final outputs after post production. On the other hand they are not very good for the 3D Rendering output as they do not contain as much information as needed. These should be outputted as EXR and compiled in a software such as Adobe Photoshop. EXR are also much better when prints are required of the images. If images are ever needed to be edited then the original PSD (Photoshop file) file is always best to work with.
If, for that matter, you are planning to print your house render or any other images, please make sure that your file is in adequate resolution for the printing needed. Additionally, be sure to check the file type that printers require. One of the safer printing file formats is a PDF format. Make sure you get this information directly from the printing company to make sure you can ask for that in advance from the 3D rendering company.
When it comes to 3D Animations.
Video formats are much more complicated than still image renderings.
The most basic form of any video is a set of images played very quickly, so much so that you cannot see them change and it all becomes a video. The rate at what they are shown is the frame rate. This is measured in FPS (frames per second). A frame is an image, general FPS of video formats are 25,30,60 and 120. The higher frame rates are used for slow motion video. However, there are many variations of frame rates. Read on Wikipedia frame rate article here.
Raw video files are generally very large and a short minute video could take up to three gigs of data, but on the other had raw data is always the best quality and can be edited easier. Clients should not need to worry about this as the 3D rendering company should present them with a finalised file format when the project is completed.
A video codec is how the video has been compressed or decompressed. Finished videos are compressed using standard compression, picking the codec is a matter of compatibility for what the end goal is. The most general one we use is h264 mp4 as these are most widely spread and can be read by most software.
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