5 interior rendering hacks
1. Enscape assets
Using the assets that come with Enscape is really a hack in itself.
Even though sometimes the furniture assets may not fit the style of the interior you’re going for, I always find it easy to choose some accessories in the Enscape Asset Library that enhance the scenes I am working on.
For example, in the scene below, I am using a combination of Enscape furniture, lighting, and accessories. The assets used here are new and have just been developed by the Enscape team.
A few of the benefits you get from using the Enscape Asset Library are that it takes less space on your modeling file, the assets are very high quality and modeled in detail, and are ready to use with materials applied.
Models here are well categorized and easy to find. Also, with assets that I find myself using more often than the others, I make sure that I favorite them so that I can easily find them every time. This can be done within the Enscape Asset Library by clicking on the star that appears when you hover over an asset.
Before you get into any of the technicalities like lighting or materials, it is very important that you set up your camera angles correctly.
For this scene, there are a few shots that I think are crucial to catch the important elements of the design. For each view that we set up, I’d advise to create a preset. This is because each camera angle will require its own field of view and settings, that way, it is much easier to navigate through views without having to go back and forth with the Visual Settings tab. We can link the preset to the view, so when we click the view, the preset is automatically changed as well.
For the renders in this project, I will keep a variety of ratios since some renders will be used for social media and others for presentations. The ones for social media will have a more vertical aspect ratio to catch more attention when scrolling through the phone, and the ones that will be used for presentations will use a horizontal aspect ratio.
After you have set up the angles and some of the settings for the renders that you want to create, we can move on to the next Enscape hack.
3. Filler lighting
Sometimes even though there is not a light source located in an area in reality, adding as I like to call it, fake lighting, can really improve your scene. A few ways that I like to use this is with line lighting and spotlights. The line lights will emulate studio lighting, and the spotlights will replace the sun.
Before we place the lights, it is good to locate what areas need lighting the most. The way we can do that is by selecting Light View mode in the Visual Settings, or turning down the Saturation to 0%.
I will create the filler lighting by putting in the line lights vertically, leaving some space between them after I’ve multiplied five or six of them. Now that the lights are created, we can copy them to the spots that need to be brightened up.
After we have done this, we will make sure that the sun intensity is at 0% since we will now be replacing it fully with the spotlights. We will make sure that the spotlights have the widest angle possible, that way, the shadows that they create are really soft.
While using this technique, it is very important to put the light sources in the correct location and choose the right amount of intensity because while using this technique, you can either make or break your images.
One thing that a lot of people underestimate in interior renders is HDRIs. This is mainly because HDRI’s are thought of as an exterior asset, but the truth is that a lot of the interior materials reflect the colors and lighting of the HDRI.
To showcase this to you, I am going to try three different HDRI’s, and I am going to put them as three different settings preset, that way, I can change between them in only one click. As you can see, the difference that it has on the overall lighting and coloring of the image is pretty drastic.
The other good thing about using HDRI’s in interior scenes is that you don’t have to use the “make the brightest point as sun direction" option. So you can keep the image in its own direction that seems more suitable for your scene in openings like the window. At the same time, you can move the sun how you would without an HDRI, in whatever position you feel would improve your scene.
Just like with the Asset Library, the Enscape Material Library is very useful and easy to use. The Material Library has a good variety of textures you can use and is regularly updated, improving the versatility that it provides.
When I was just starting out in Enscape, I had to import every single material into SketchUp to be able to see it in the Enscape window, and even then, I still had to add in the bump/displacement maps manually.
I still find myself using some materials externally, but it is good that some basic ones are easily accessible in the Enscape library. It is also now much easier to replace materials to quickly test and view different options.
When you apply a material from the Enscape Material library, you already have the bump maps and reflections set up. But these settings don’t always match the look you want to achieve in your scene. If this is the case for you, you can easily fix this by opening up the Material Editor and tweaking the intensity of the depth or taking off the maps altogether.
Watch the video
Here are the five rendering hacks brought to life in Melos’s video below. Be sure to look at the other Enscape tutorials on the Scale channel for more useful visualization tips.