7 Tips for a Realistic Interior Rendering

The more realistic an interior rendering, the more appealing and eye-catching the image is.

Whether you’re presenting this interior rendering to a client or you’re just keeping it for your portfolio/social media, it’s very important to pay attention to the quality of the image so your effort doesn’t go to waste.

Below are 7 tips to help you produce the best interior render you possibly can.

1- Do Your Research

Tips for a Realistic Interior Rendering (Night Scene)
Two of the most popular Platforms

To come up with a better composition, you need to do some research for inspiration; this is not cheating because you will not be copying an exact design off of a single image.

Gather a few images that translate to the interior style and composition that you want, and save them for reference. You can also ask your client to send you some pictures to better understand what they need.

My favorite resources are Pinterest, Houzz, and a newsletter subscription from Home Adore.

2- Pay attention to Scale

Tips for a Realistic Interior Rendering (Night Scene)

When importing components into your Sketchup, make sure that everything is in a realistic size, especially decor and accessories.

You also need to make sure that all the items you choose for the composition of the interior scene are related; as in, if you’re using large furniture pieces then you’ll need to accessorize the space with pieces that match the scale and vice versa. My favorite resource is the mobile app Design Dimensions (available only for Android).

Tips for a Realistic Interior Rendering (Night Scene)
Screenshots courtesy of the app’s website

Extra Tip: you can research dimensions on Google for more common items like tables and chairs, as for other items you can either eyeball it or look for similar pieces in online stores and check the dimensions (the dimensions don’t have to be exact, but a close height or width is good enough).

3- Use High Quality Materials

Tips for a Realistic Interior Rendering (Night Scene)

Image searching for “tile-able” texture images is not going to cut it. You either need to create your own materials (tutorials for VRay 2.4 + VRay 3.4) or find high quality ready packed materials (I got mine for FREE from here & here).

High-quality materials will have a realistic Bump + Reflect light in all the right ways. Not to mention, good quality Transparent Materials (tutorials for VRay 2.4 + VRay 3.4) will bend the light and give your image a “solid” reflective/refractive surface.

4- Field of View & Image Orientation

16:9 ratio to focus on the decor behind the bunk bed, Field of View 65 Degrees.

Something that can ruin all the effort you put into any render is if your distorted Field of View or the wrong Image Orientation; this will either make your render too washed out with all the focal points displayed in the image (the viewer won’t know what to focus on) or it’ll look like the rendered image has been cropped and not all the important details are visible or included.

A- Image Orientation

Let’s talk about your Image orientation first. You can adjust your Orientation or Aspect Ratio in your Render Output Tab.

All you have to do is turn on Safe Frame (for VRay 3.6) and choose your Ratio. The best Ratio for a Landscape (Horizontal) Image is 16:9 & the best Ratio for a Portrait (Vertical) Image is 4:5.

B- Field of View

Field of View can be found in the Camera menu and the current Field of View value will appear in the bottom right (Measurements Box). Adjusting that value is as easy as inputting the value you want with your keyboard.

For a small vignette scene that will fit in a Vertical image, the best field of view value is 45.00 Degrees.

As for a wide scene that will fit into a Horizontal image, the optimal field of view is 65.00 Degrees.

5- Render with Material Override ‘On’

To get a feel for your lighting and to adjust it without having to re-render everything in your image over & over, turn on Material Override (found in VRay Settings) + Turn off Force Color Clamping (found at the bottom of the Frame Buffer).

This will make the model render a lot faster and give you a clear preview of your shadow & light areas (especially areas where the color is too bright, it causes a Light/Color Burn).

This is especially useful if you use VRay 3.6 and you use the Interactive Render feature; you’ll be able to see the tweaks you do to your lighting in Real-Time.

Extra Tip: when previewing a render, use a lower resolution to save time.

6- Use Camera Settings for Brightness

Ignore the ISO Value..

Instead of overusing light elements or amping your lights to the 100s & 1000s (which is the main culprits for Light/Color Burns); use the Exposure value in your Camera Settings to brighten up an image. The lower an exposure value is, the brighter the image.

If you’re familiar with an actual camera’s settings, you can tweak the Advanced Camera settings; ISO (Film Sensitivity), Aperture (F Number), and the Shutter Speed (1/s). You can find more info about those here.

7- Use Render Elements for Easier Post Processing

You can find and add render elements from the Advanced Settings tab (the small arrow to the right of your settings) and clicking the Render Elements tab. The three main render elements you’ll need are Denoiser, MaterialID, and Object ID. You can either pick them out of the Drop Down menu or search for them by name.

As a start, keep the Denoiser values (found in the Denoiser tab) as they are. The default should be “Default”. As you get used to the Denoiser, and after you see your results, you can then tweak it as you please.

Just be very careful because a high Denoiser value can blur out texture details and almost all the fine details of a rendered image.

A small thing you need to keep in mind, having too many Render Elements selected may slow down your rendering or cause VRay to crash (depending on your machine, of course).

That’s it for this article! Hope these tips are helpful to you and that you’ve gained something new.

To download the model in this tutorial, consider supporting me on Patreon 🙂

For any questions or additional tips that you’ve tried, leave a comment below! I always reply fast 😉


16 thoughts on “7 Tips for a Realistic Interior Rendering

  1. You made a great point about paying attention to scale and making sure it is a realistic size. My husband is looking for a sketchup rendering plugin that can help him with his sketches for his designs. We will keep these tips in mind as we search for a professional that can help us best.

    Liked by 1 person

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