The Evolution of 3D Technology in Interior Design

In the words of renowned Brazilian designer Alfredo Haeberli, “Interior design is what I see when I close my eyes.” Design happens in the mind first and then evolves on the paper. Had there been a printer that could be attached directly to mind it would have been proved, but till the time the technology reaches that stage and make it happen, we have to be satisfied with the tools we have.


3D technology has been influencing many fields of architecture and design in the past decade. Right from the days when there was no internet, digital cameras, designing programmes but only the humble door sheet along with some pencils, markers T-square etc. we have come a long way. Though the 2D AutoCAD was introduced in the late 80s, the computers then were huge, slow and ugly. And see what we have today – Revit, 3D Studio Max, AutoCAD, 2DCAD, Mental Ray, V-Ray and what not. The journey so far has been spectacular and mind-boggling.

The influence of computer technology on interior designing has opened a completely new world of possibilities right from communication to new product offerings. It has added unprecedented range, speed and quality to the design and renderings.

It was only 35-40 years back when rendering and sketching were done by hand. It was time taking and a very patient job. Today, a 3D wizard is able to create three-dimensional renderings in a matter of few hours. Moreover, to make out if it’s a real photo or a rendering is a very tough job.

These photo realistic renderings enable the client to visualise the project before it even starts. Any interior designing project typically proceeds in the following manner.

  • The client’s needs are accessed.
  • Once the designer is aware of the needs of the client, he puts in his creativity, inspiration and sketching to work and arrive at a concept.
  • There on, it leads to the floor plan and building of the three-dimensional space.
  • The materials that will be used, contrast, colours, light and furniture are clearly defined.
  • The blueprint of this three-dimensional space is then printed out and sketched over for further development.
  • Now the tools like CAD, 3D Studio Max and V-Ray are applied to create a realistic rendering in a reasonable timeframe.
  • Once the basic rendering is done, it’s time for fine-tuning. Now the designer experiments with the change in materials, different colours and lights to create a final rendering. Once he is completely satisfied, it is presented to the client.
  • While presenting it to the client, the presentation usually covers all the above aspects of the concept, inspiration, plans, materials, lights, colours etc. that the designer has covered. The final slide is the 3D rendering.

In the earlier days, when you could not create the 3D renderings and all drawings were on paper, it was very difficult for the client to visualise the concept. Interior designing is three-dimensional and all he could see was a drawing on a two-dimensional paper. With technological advancement, now a customer has access to endless adjustments. He can see how the outcome will differ if it is changed from daytime to night-time, from natural light to artificial light. He can see the effect of different textures and colours.

Based on his needs and wants, a designer can give a particular feel to every room and can make him visualise it. The designer can also explain if his needs are genuine or not and can explain what best he can get in his given constraints. The fine tunings and quick changes keep on happening till the time the image in the mind is not mapped with the one on the screen. At times, the client has something in his mind – say a weird combination of colours, which actually will not look good. To out rightly tell this to the client might not work well, but if you can show him on screen how weird his idea can look then it is pretty easy to change his mind.

3D rendering has come a long way since the time designing was done by hand on paper. Everything that you plan to do can be visualised today. You can make the client take a visual tour first and get satisfied before actually building it. Along with all advancements in technology, the designers still stress to sketch ideas on paper first. First, this helps to develop the mind and second it allows a designer to work out all of the curves and crooks before translating the ideas to the computer.

With each passing day, new software programmes and technologies are coming up in the interior design industry, which is changing the face of rendering. The tools are continually improving and getting increasingly easier to handle and the results are getting better and better.

Manmeet Singh

I currently hold the editor-level position with and Founder as well. With a group of online & offline companies under the Soofi Group in my kitty, writing for the design genre was an interesting support to In my opinion, everyone has their taste for design, plus the scope of writing is wide and thus the contribution I make here through words would encourage me to explore this section aptly.

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