Tag Archives: Rendering

Twinmotion Frozen?

I know this has come up in the TM lunch and learns we have done at least once, and Matt explained it to me in person, but until I actually experienced it, the “freeze up” didn’t really make sense.

I was working on a TM rendering yesterday and most of the functions and navigation seemed to be frozen. The issue was related to adjusting surface color. The Color picker palette can become hidden behind the TM application window if you click on the model before closing the color picker.

Screen Shot 2019-05-02 at 2.19.08 PM.png

To fix the problem, just drag the TM application to the side or expose the color picker palette and close.

Once again, this is not a “computer freeze up” or even an application bug. If you have no mouse or keyboard response and can not switch apps or navigate basic menus in Twinmotion, that is another issue all together. This freeze up issue is indicated by limited menu access and navigation control.

3d Style

In ARCHICAD 21, we were introduced to 3d Styles; a new view setting which allows customization of the view style in ARCHICAD. With the introduction of ARCHICAD 22, there are some new 3d Style effects that customize the smoothness and efficiency of 3d navigation and views. These are settings that existing in 21, but we are starting to see an effect of model appearance in 22.

This is especially prominent in high polygon models.

Screen Shot 2018-09-28 at 3.31.29 PM

model while viewing 3d

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model while navigating (explore) 3d

In the examples above, the same model has content “disappear” when using the explore feature of a high polygon model. This is presumably a feature of AC22 to improve navigation and 3d performance.

To prevent content from vanishing, the advanced settings in the 3d styles options need to be tuned. Click the Gear icon in the 3d styles setting next to the 3d Engine fly-out.  In the Advanced > OpenGL Options, cut the frame rate to the lowest setting (1), and the display radius to the highest setting (328′-1 1/64″, for whatever reason).

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 11.04.37 AM.png

Advanced Open GL Options for ideal 3d viewing in AC22

These settings are not new to 22; in fact they are the same defaults out of the box as AC21. But the defaults need to be adjusted to work well with the changes or improvements made to AC22’s 3d processing.


New Surface from Internal Settings

Getting a surface image or color to render out properly can be difficult due to the number of variables that need to be managed. I have gone through a basic exercise to explore 4 different surface settings for reflection to compare results on surface color in Open GL and CineRender views. The surfaces I generated are a basic medium gray and a bone white surface with varied reflection and emission settings.

For the purposes of this exercise, I have eliminated all Transparency and Emission variables, and only made adjustments to the Reflection and Glowing Settings. By playing with the Specular Color, you can further adjust the hue of the CineRender view.


Matte Settings


Semi-Gloss Settings


High Gloss Settings


Mirror Settings

Note that the final color of the rendered view is impacted to varying degrees based on the reflection settings. Further adjustments can also impact the color, intensity, reflectivity of the surfaces include: Lamp Settings and location and hue, Rendering Engine preset, Rendering Sky Preset, and Surface Color.


Open GL View


CineRender Outdoor Daylight Medium + Lamps 50%

Rendering Post Production

Photoshop is an essential part of Architectural visualization and BIM. Wether it is creating surfaces to map out over the BIM model elements or fine tuning presentation images, we need photo editing tools.

Using out of the box ARCHICAD default renderings settings is often sufficient for producing quick images or lighting studies, but to create stylized visuals populated with believable people, plants and other entourage imagery it is essential to utilize post production techniques.

In the upcoming February lunch and learn we will be presenting photoshop techniques to bring in content and create a cohesive image with background photos and plant/people cutout images.

Here are the before and after samples from two projects that will be presented. These images have been produced by Amadeo & Darcy:


Project 1 Before (Amadeo)


Project 1 After (Amadeo)


Project 2 Before (Darcy)


Project 2 After (Darcy)

Other Library Parts- Use the Lamps

The libraries primarily contribute to the object tool. But libraries contain a lot more than just objects. There are images that are applied to attributes and other classifications of GDL parts not accessible by the object tools settings.

Some of these “Other GDL” parts are components, or objects that can be applied to another object. Most of us are familiar with creating custom door leafs and window sashes, these are components of the door and window tool. But there are other classifications too, elements saved to the library that can be applied to many other tools.

One example that many are not aware of or do not think about, is the lamp tool. Lamps are just GDL objects that have been saved with a subtype that restricts access to the Lamp tool settings, rather than the Object tool. Some of these lamps are basic light sources, great for renderings. Others are actual fixtures, usually very generic in shape and appearance. These can be a great resource into creating a convincing image or rendering without spending the time to model or find a generic shaped lamp. As an added bonus, these objects almost always have a light source, intensity and color associated with them. This can greatly improve the results of your rendering when the lamp settings are turned on in the rendering settings palette.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 9.26.56 AMScreen Shot 2015-09-21 at 9.27.59 AM Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 9.28.20 AM

Some of the lamps that work very well for generic visualization purposes are the ceiling fixture, pendant fixture and sconce lamps. Other lamps in the default libraries do not have many shape options other than size and surface.

CineRender Subtleties

There are many presets in the CineRender settings of ARCHICAD, and most of them work really well out of the box. But you can make some very minor adjustments to the settings without loosing the overall character and quality of the rendering, but only changing the general lighting and feel of the final image.

An example of this is in the preset sky. The following images were both started from the Indoor Daylight Medium (Physical) preset. The first is an out of the box rendering:

Diamond Head Furniture Rendering2

A very nice rendering, but the color felt a little warm and pink to me. So I switched the weather preset from Clear to Friendly Afternoon. The result is a slightly cooler, almost blue feeling space with deeper shadows.

Diamond Head Furniture Rendering1

If you do find a slight adjustment you prefer to the out of the box settings, be sure to save it as a preset to quickly get back to those settings in the future.

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 11.55.13 AM

Cinerender Background

Cinerenders presets are pretty awesome; I am not a huge fan of the Weather Preset names or the background associated with them, but I do love the light and shadow affects these Weather Presets have on the final rendering.

So how do you keep the cool light and shadow casting, but replace or eliminate the background? It is a simple toggle in the detailed settings or the rendering settings dialog. Unchecking the Sky Visibility under Environment > Physical Sky > Compositing will change the sky to match the background to match the default background settings at the bottom of the dialog. In this example it is set to None, but it could also be set to a color(s) or an external image.Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 1.23.26 PM

Leaving it white, as in the example above, enables a quicker photoshop clean up to add a post production background.

Another Rendering Example

Maggie has been doing some pretty incredible renderings for her project, as I mentioned (and she demonstrated) in the last staff meeting. Just to showcase some of those, and give a comparison of how you can take your renderings to a new level of awesomeness, here are her updated images!

The “improved” version of these images started as the CineRender Indoor Daylight Medium Physical preset with a few minor adjustments, like turning lamps on. None of these images uses any photoshop post rendering adjustment.

Default CineRender Indoor Daylight Fast Rendering:

01 1BR Common Room

Updated objects, new surfaces, lamp elements & adjusted rendering settings:

1BR Cottage common room

Default CineRender Indoor Daylight Fast Rendering:

Barn Bunkhouse 01

Updated objects, new surfaces, lamp elements & adjusted rendering settings:
Barn bunkroom entry

Default CineRender Indoor Daylight Fast Rendering:

Barn Bunkhouse 02

Updated objects, new surfaces, lamp elements & adjusted rendering settings:

Barn bunkroom bed elevation

Just a little attention to detail, the right objects and leveraging the lamp tool makes a huge difference!

Sun Study Time Stamp

Need to add a time stamp to a sun study or other ArchiCAD produced rendering? With the standard quick time player it is as simple as turning on the subtitles. A quicktime file produced from ArchiCAD’s 3d window will automatically place the location, date & time in the subtitles.

First, verify you are saving as a quicktime (and not MP4) format.Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 3.57.10 PMNext open the movie in quicktime and turn on subtitles. Auto, although recommended, does not work.Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 12.56.34 PMThe result is a subtitle bar with location, date & time.Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 12.56.42 PM

Another Rendering Example

Afra has recently done a couple of section cut renderings to illustrate two options for an art wall for the Pacific remodel. The cut fill set as orange is set by the Filter & Cut Elements in 3D options under the View  > Elements in 3D View menu. The renderings were then produced using the Cinerender Engine and a little photoshop. Here is Afra’s description:

“The two options I’ve prepared for the client are attached. They emailed us this morning to let us know they’re thinking about buying a rather large painting and currently debating where it could be located in their new house. They asked us to produce a couple of elevation studies ASAP to help them make their decision. 
They sent us a jpg of the painting, so these images are just a combination of rendering, outlines, and a little bit of photoshop. Overall, pretty simple!”

painting-option-east-wall painting-option-west-wall