What is Drop-On Rendering?

In the past year, from time to time I've noticed several interior designers sharing their work on social media and using a type of rendering which is really unique and different compared to what I typically use and see most designers use. I became curious about this type of rendering and after reading up on it, learned it's called drop-on rendering. You probably wondering what is it or what is the difference compared to other types of renderings. We will discuss about it on this blog.

This is an example of drop-on rendering.

This is an example of drop-on rendering.

Some of you guys have been following me since the early days. I discussed in an older, and one of my most read, blogs about 2D Rendering vs. 3D Rendering which described the differences between these two different types of renderings. They are the 2 most commonly used in the industry, so I'm really excited to share with you about this new one. See the image above? That is what drop-on rendering can look like. You take a really good picture of your space then you edit it in Photoshop to add items to improve the spaces look. It's kind of like a marriage between a 2D and 3D Rendering.  Let me show you what it looked like before the editing.

Original picture before Photoshop edits.

Original picture before Photoshop edits.

Sometimes I get really busy with lots of e-design projects with many having the same deadline. I decided to get smarter with my work without hurting the quality of my design and or the final presentation for our client. I sometimes ask my clients for good pictures of their spaces so I can do drop-on renderings to save time.  That does make a big difference for me but more importantly, it looks professional and is great for the client to envision the space before the makeover. Here are a few more examples of my other recent e-design projects that included drop-on renderings.

Modern coastal style office drop-on rendering

Modern coastal style office drop-on rendering

Before drop-on rendering

Before drop-on rendering

This rendering was my first drop-on rendering work for the client. All I did was just add the wallpaper, window treatment, chair, task lamp, laptop, and accessories for the built-in shelves. Does it help you to see how you could style your built-in shelves with this type of rendering?

Outdoor living space drop-on rendering

Outdoor living space drop-on rendering

Before drop-on rendering

Before drop-on rendering

See the outdoor living space photo?  This space didn't need much work, so I added the outdoor pillows, fire, nest lounge chairs and side table to this picture. The rendering is simple but still helps the client to envision the space better. 

Desert Rustic style foyer drop-on rendering

Desert Rustic style foyer drop-on rendering

Before drop-on rendering

Before drop-on rendering

This one was a very simple e-design project request. The client only wanted to see how their new console table, candles, and basket look like for their foyer before they purchased it. I only added three items to this photo to help the client to see it to make the decision and provide guidance.

After doing a several drop-on rendering works - I really pleased to see how much it really help our clients to envision their spaces better. From now, I would encourage my clients to take a few good pictures of their spaces so I can do drop-on rendering works for their spaces. If quality pictures at the right angles aren't doable, then I go back to the tried and true 2D and 3D renderings.

I would love to hear your thoughts on these drop on renderings.

2D Rendering vs 3D Rendering

Many of you guys probably have seen a lot of our 2D rendering boards and some of 3D rendering images post on both Facebook and Instagram. I want to discuss with you about behind the e-design works.

A little over three years ago, just before I started my e-design business, I had to teach myself how to do 3D renderings of my interior design work so I can show the clients what their space would look like when the makeover is completed. In my college days, my school didn't teach us how to do 3D rendering because it was brand new and wasn't available in my school at that time. Over time I learned a few programs that perform 3D layouts and renderings to do photo-realistic pictures of the space to give people a more realistic idea of what their space could look like after makeover/remodel; it's like the designer's version of CG in movies. I still am in awe that even though I am not a tech savvy person but managed to learn how to do it on my own without taking any classes or have a mentor.

After a little over a year of being in e-design business, I decided to join some online design platforms to learn more about e-design industry and expand our client base. They required all designers, including myself, to do 2D rendering boards (it is often called style board, concept board, or look board) via Photoshop. At the beginning, it was a bit challenging for me since I was used to doing 3D renderings. I had to teach myself and master Photoshop in order to create a room with furniture and accessories.

Now, after doing lots of 2D and 3D rendering works for our clients, I have some observations about the pros and cons about each type of rendering:

2D Rendering - It includes real life images from vendors to display the furniture and accessories but the background often gets chopped off and put on the board. It can be challenging to include some items on the board due to poor image quality or the picture I want to copy sets the furniture piece at awkward position for my need. In my experience, sometime 2D rendering can be confusing for some people due to awkward positioning and doesn't offer photo-realistic image to envision the space. 2D rendering is very popular though for e-design industry today since it is much more affordable compared to 3D rendering. Here is an example of what 2D rendering looks like:

2D Rendering of Dining Room

2D Rendering of Dining Room

3D Rendering - It offers a photo-realistic image of your space. It will help you to understand the space better by showing you exactly where to put items. It can be challenging because some items not available in the 3D library or they may be difficult to build. This means the designer may have to use a 3D model that is not exactly the same as the item selected.  Because of the detail and skill involved in creating the model, it takes much more time compared to a 2D rendering. Here is an example of what a 3D rendering image:

3D Rendering of Dining Room

3D Rendering of Dining Room

In my own opinion, 2D rendering is ideal for anyone that can envision the space or understand the design plan well. 2D rendering is not always helpful for someone who struggles to envision the space but 3D renderings will definitely help anyone to envision the space and able to understand the design plan better.