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10 Tips To Make a 3D Render More Cinematic

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Without question, photorealism and cinematic shots are the most significant aims in 3D rendering. It can be challenging to achieve, specifically if you’re a newbie to 3D rendering or just starting.

Thanks to solid workflow approaches and current, advanced technologies, achieving the requisite photorealism that everyone seeks has become much more accessible.

To make artwork that stands out and is convincingly realistic, you’ll need photorealism, which you can achieve with graphics medium.

One of the fundamental principles of effective rendering is this. It entails recreating three-dimensional models using 3D rendering techniques to make them look like real-life models.

This potent type of art is primarily utilised in architecture because it can dazzle audiences with incredibly lifelike simulations that allow clients to see their projects in reality before getting them built.

Here are some helpful hints and approaches for achieving that impression quickly.

Top 10 Tips to make 3D render more Cinematic

Top 10 Tips to make 3D render more Cinematic

Use a Linear Workflow.

A linear workflow allows all system calculations to retain a direct, consistent link between digital colour data and the corresponding light intensities while creating texture maps, picking surface colours, rendering, lighting, and compositing.

Internally, rendering software behaves as if it were working with linear data. However, the images you offer as input aren’t linear; they contain gamma correction built-in. With the lack of a linear workflow, rendering systems treat this data as linear, resulting in non-gamma-corrected output. You can also mistake your production for a slightly under-lit scene if it’s not gamma-corrected overall but shows on your screen at a gamma of 2.2. This can lead you to believe that the sole issue is that your lights aren’t strong enough, leading to you adjusting your lights to adjust for inaccurate output.

The most realistic option for lighting decay with distance is quadratic decay. Using a linear approach, it correctly recreates how light from genuine sources radiates out from space. However, working without a linear process might cause Quadratic decay to appear overly abrupt: the area around the light source can be severely overexposed. In contrast, objects are scarcely lit further away.

Working without a linear workflow also means global illumination is never totally believable. The organic quadratic fading of light between surfaces is a crucial component of global illumination’s ability to enhance your scene.

An Add operation, or Linear Dodge or Merge, is the most logical technique to integrate two illumination passes. Only the Add blending mode mixes lighting passes to produce the same result as rendering with two lights visible simultaneously in the same pass. However, artists attempting to composite instead of a linear workflow will find that combining two dark-looking photos shifts to pure white. Thus, several artists began to use the less realistic mode of Screen blending rather than Add, while all they wanted to do was switch to a linear approach.

The software might convert material colours and texture maps to linear data and thus preserve a linear process, even if developed with an established gamma of 2.2. Then, you may render linear data recorded with precision in a .exr file without gamma correction. Even if you’re producing linear data, the render view window can be colour-managed to demonstrate the sceneries corrected for your screen. 

Obtain references

Collecting reference photographs before starting a rendering project isn’t cheating. Download any photos from the internet that depict scenes similar to what you wish to create. It is not a copyright law violation to study another artist’s work to understand better; it is a fair use of the content.

Examine a scene and assess the lighting by asking questions like Which areas are the brightest of the scene? Which ones are the most ominous? In the bright and dark parts, how intense are the colours? What kind of light directionality is demonstrated by one side of the object being more colourful than the other? Does any haze in the scene affect the saturation further away?

Reference photographs can also serve as excellent conversation starters with your customers. You can start talking about reference photographs before any test renderings to understand what they want and don’t enjoy about the images and what effects they would like you to accomplish in your lighting. Building a final design to be approved directly will be easier if you start conversing about these issues as soon as possible.

Make a Space Divider

Try dividing your 3D scene into distinct parts with varying lighting quality to generate more intriguing lighting.

Many 3D scenarios allow you to view over one room, section, or floor by looking through a door or stairwell. Different softness, tones, and light colours can be used in various scene areas. If one room has a window allowing daylight and the other has a lamp, you’d anticipate the daylight-lit room to be bright and have a cooler light scattering. In contrast, the lamp-lit area would be less colourful with a warmer illumination. Within the scene, light can pass via windows, doors, and stairwells, but the walls should always reflect, and the lights should fade to only light a portion of the space.

Even within the same room, the lighting at the corners may differ from the lighting around the centre. There can also be a colour and luminance transition between the region around windows and the areas of the room that are further away from it.

There are a variety of methods for dividing space depending on the distance. You can increase the light near the camera so that the scene transitions from a bright foreground to a dark backdrop, or you can cycle between a dark foreground and a colourful background. Because viewers expect less contrast and saturation in more distant sections of a scene owing to fog, smoke, haze, or dust, you can employ atmospheric perspective to divide the scene by distance. Whatever method you use, there should be a clear distinction between nearby and distant things to convince your audience that they see into three-dimensional space.

Choose Material Colours and Natural Shaders.

A novice in 3D graphics sometimes makes the mistake of choosing surface colours that are overly saturated and too close to absolute black or white, resulting in surfaces not responding to light accurately or constantly. Keep most green, red, and blue colours on surfaces between 0.2 and 0.8 as a rule of thumb. Instead of maintaining some surfaces that appear bolder or react to light differently from others, you may use your lighting to decide the majority of the intensity value in the picture.

Avoid using saturated surface colours that bring separate colour channels (green, red, or blue) to zero. If a surface colour has a zero inside its red channel, it reflects 0% of the red light that illuminates it, meaning that if lit by exclusively red light, the object will never get brighter, no matter the light’s brightness. Surface colours should not be oversaturated to avoid this type of artificial response.

Adding Extra Bouncing Colours to Your Scene

You might believe global lighting eliminates the need for additional bounce lighting in your scenario. Global illumination mimics live-action cinematography by letting each surface reflect artificial lighting into the scene, resulting in natural bounce lighting. However, even live-action cinematographers frequently reflect extra light on performers and set elements. Adding extra bounce lighting in the right areas and using the right colours for the additional light will help renderings look more engaging.

When adding bounce light, use a warm tone. Adding a touch of pink and red to the skin gives the impression that it is a tinting light source. A bounced light can be an excellent method to keep the elements from seeming too grey, especially if you’re not rendering with subsurface bouncing or think the subsurface bouncing itself looks sloppy and could use some help.

When studying reference photographs of real situations, the most saturated colours are generally found in the darkest portions of the subject. If you’re not careful, the shadow in the scenes might become excessively grey and de-saturated.

Many different bounce colours can be found in a scene. A red bounce light might look well inspired in a room with a red carpet. A green bounce appears natural when surrounded by plants or greenery. Blue light can bounce into numerous crevices and corners on a clear day. Increase the number of bounce lights to brighten dark areas with saturated but faint hues. Splashes of colour in gloomy sections of your picture can also help divide the space into different coloured regions, avoiding the cliché of grey-looking shadow areas.

Improve Your Models

How your models are constructed can significantly impact the quality of your lighting. Improving your modelling skills can help you generate more realistic scenes in various ways.

It’s good to bevel everything as a starting point for your lighting. In actual life, corners aren’t always perfectly sharp angles. Your desk’s edge is almost certainly rounded or bevelled in some fashion. Walls don’t always meet at acute angles. A slight slope could catch light from various angles that would have been missed if a corner was left overly sharp. To make the edges convincing, you can go beyond a simple bevel by extruding extra forms to run along the edges or adding several other variances to the corner sections. A stretch of glue across surfaces, or a trim between wall and floor, is sometimes seen.

Instead of employing infinitely thin surfaces, use thicker geometry in your construction. Real houses have such thicknesses to their walls; yours should be, too. Giving walls realistic thickness in some instances, such as making them more resemble a cube than a plane, can reduce light leakage. Also, arrange everything hanging from your ceilings together. It should be simple to hide the walls from your camera’s primary visibility or remove the ceiling and fixtures from the lights’ shadows above the ceiling.

While removing superfluous models from a photo is always a good idea, don’t go too far by removing objects or surfaces that might add to reflections, shadows, or global lighting.

Don’t Forget to Bring the Spill Light!

A few lights frequently omitted from 3D renderings is a spill light. Spill light is simply a light that comes from the same direction as the key but is softer and covers a larger area than that. A spill light surrounding your key can help the rendering appear more realistic and organic.

If you add sunlight to interior rendering, a gentle spill around it will make it look nicer. You can replicate your primary sunlight and name the copy a spill light once you’ve set it up and test-rendered it to ensure that you like what it lights and where it throws shadows. Leave the spill light pointing in the same direction as the sun but with softer shades so it spills beyond the sunlight’s edge. Create a spill that is as dark as the sun. Giving the spill a profoundly saturated hue in various circumstances is helpful.

Give Your Lights a Name

Every light within the scene should have a descriptive name if you want to work professionally. Giving them distinct names will make you less likely to mix up one light with something else. Naming becomes even more critical when building lights that others will use or alter later. Don’t use the familiar names on every light if you want others to realise your lighting design or find the light rigs helpful.

The most descriptive titles allude to the light source, its purpose, and what it illuminates. Most studios have considerably stricter naming policies to ensure everyone maintains the same norms and names each light similarly.

Solo the Lights

The first thing you should do when changing light is to solo it. This means that all other lights inside the scene are hidden, and the scene is rendered one light at a moment. When you isolate every light, you can see how each one contributes to the scene’s shadow and lighting, and you can fine-tune the light’s controls and options.

You’d be shocked how often you find a light in the scene that doesn’t contribute anything to the lighting. Perhaps a shadow is being cast by anything nearby. It’s possible that the light isn’t bright enough to see. The simplest method to minimise confusion in a scenario with multiple lights visible is to test and regulate each individually.

If you have a row of comparable lights in your scene, start with just one light, solo it, and then modify and test-render it until you’re comfortable with every setting. Once you’re satisfied with how the light looks inside one fixture, you may reproduce it in all the others.

Don’t forget to correct the frequent blunders.

Mistakes might occur throughout the 3D rendering process. Make sure to correct the following errors with great attention:

  • Establishment of light in an impolite manner
  • Errors and inconsistencies in proportion
  • Errors in texture
  • Inconsistencies in the management of photographic images

By avoiding these typical blunders, you may significantly improve the appearance of your 3D renderings & make them appear more realistic and convincing.

Top 10 Tips to make 3D render more Cinematic


There’s no denying that photorealistic 3D representations are becoming increasingly popular in various industries, including architecture.

3D experts and architects are expected to give their audiences highly realistic and believable 3D renders. This has become the most straightforward, most inexpensive, and time-efficient approach to confirm the design before letting it enter the construction phase.

Mastering diverse 3D rendering techniques is the most excellent way to stay ahead of the competition as photorealism becomes more critical in 3D rendering.

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