How to Choose the Best Camera Angles for Your 3D Rendering
by McKenna Hogan, on Aug 24, 2020 8:30:00 AM
Commissioning a 3D rendering project is a bit different than other types of content creation.
Unlike, let’s say, a photo shoot, 3D renderings require much more back and forth between client and 3D artist in order to get the best end result for your property—which means knowing a lot of what you want and how you want it.
To better understand the first step to reaching your desired end goal, below are a few ways to help decide on the best camera angles for your development.
What to know before starting the 3D process
Before even inquiring about a 3D rendering project, it’ll be beneficial to know exactly what goes into it—and what part you will be playing in the process.
These are the main steps in creating a 3D rendering.
- Camera angles are determined on the initial plans
- 3D grey geometry is created
- Texture and environment lighting is applied
- Interior design and finishing details are applied
It’s important for clients to understand the steps that go into creating a 3D rendering to better prepare for outlining the finished product.
Below we will be covering the first step in the rendering process, determining the best camera angles for your project.
Determining angles by location
Figuring out the best camera angle, or perspective, of an image is super important to the final project. This is because once the rendering process has started, it’s often hard to make significant updates.
The first thing to consider will be dependent on what the location of the image is.
For instance, an exterior shot will have a different angle that fits best as opposed to the interior of a property. The reason there is a difference, according to LCP360 3D Project Manager, Rayhanna Guillen, is because different locations require different emotion.
For example, if you’re creating an exterior of a multifamily community, you have to consider aspects such as the lighting in the sky, the weather, surrounding architectural components, etc.
Below are a few examples of exterior 3D renderings with various viewpoints.
As you can see, just depending on the time of day of each image as well as the weather can have a dramatic difference in how the camera is angled in each image.
In the first image, it’s a bit dark and stormy—to best portray the emotion and portrayal of this, the camera angle is a bit lower, and captures a lot of the ground to show that it’s raining.
On the other hand, the second image is part of a larger community and therefore is angled to capture the entirety of it as opposed to the one building.
Without any concrete material to refer to, it may be difficult to determine what camera angles would be best for certain areas of your property—looking through examples and communicating with your 3D artist will be extremely helpful during this process.
Determining angles by focal point
In order to best market your development, you’ll probably want to show off the most “important” parts of your property.
A lot of times areas such as the exterior, amenities, and model unit are the first to be chosen when rendering a development. For each of these, you’ll need to decide what the focal point, or essential area you’d like prospects to see.
When that’s decided, figuring out a perspective to capture a given space by will be a bit easier.
With the help of a 3D artist, you can collaborate to determine how to best design your space.
Keep in mind the spaciousness of a room—accurately portraying dimensions as they relate to what a space will be used for will be essential for providing transparency to consumers.
In addition, getting the correct viewpoint for your rendered image will be important to consider.
See the below examples of various perspectives of rendered spaces.
As you can see, capturing from the front or different angles can make a huge difference in the appearance of a space. Take some time to think about what you want consumers to see and how you want them to see it.
Determining angles to accentuate the mood
Taking into account the above two points as well as considering creative aspects of your 3D images, setting up the scene for the right “mood” or feeling may be the most difficult part.
You’ll want to ensure renderings accurately depict the property you’re building, so creating a certain mood should not take away from providing important information regarding the space and dimensions.
With that being said, in order to choose the best camera angles for the mood of your images, consider the below criteria.
1. Eye level shots
The most natural of the three, eye level perspectives are pretty safe and good for portraying lots of information in just one shot.
In fact, this angle is most commonly used due to its lack of emotion—so if there’s an important space that relies on criteria such as the dimensions or layout (such as bedrooms or smaller spaces), it’ll probably be the safest bet to utilize an eye level shot.
2. Low angle shots
Low angle shots are perhaps the most dramatic on this list.
In films, oftentimes actors will be shot at lower perspectives when portraying a serious or powerful tone—and the same goes for architecture.
Most notably used for exterior images, low angles emphasize how tall or expansive a building is -or will be- and can also be great for showcasing the entrance to your building.
3. High angle shot
High angles for property images are a good way to highlight the layout of a given space.
As for the mood it inhibits, high perspectives can also have a sense of power or an “inside perspective” as if you’re looking over a space.
4. Straight on shots
Although not typically recommended, straight on shots can end up looking quite powerful as well as realistic.
Below is an example of a straight on rendering that turned out really well.
As you can see, this is the entrance to a multifamily community, which ended up really benefiting from this perspective—it helped shape the mood and tone of the property really well.
Ultimately, it’s best practice to consider all of the above criteria before finalizing on a certain angle. Be sure to review examples of 3D renderings, or even regular photography to get the best idea of what will work well with your space.
Find the angle that fits the brand's style and tone best
Doing your research and communicating openly with your 3D provider will be the best course of action for deciding on the best camera angles for your renderings. Keep in mind that every development is unique, and will require a lot of thought and preparation before finalizing perspectives.
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