Different Rendering Techniques: Choosing The Best Option for You

Navigating the realm of digital design and visualization requires a keen understanding of various rendering techniques. Choosing the right one can significantly impact the outcome of your project. In this guide, we will explore different rendering techniques, shedding light on their unique strengths and applications. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just venturing into the world of computer graphics, understanding these techniques will empower you to make informed decisions and breathe life into your creative visions. Join us as we delve into the fascinating world of rendering techniques and discover which one suits your needs best.


Before embarking on a project, it is best to establish the main goals and conditions for the renders. You can also look at different 3D rendering techniques to choose one that best suits your needs.


This method is one of the traditional rendering techniques. The essence of the scanline technique is the algorithm for calculating the surface of computer graphics. In simple terms, the algorithm scans the top row of y-coordinates of each poly (polygonal shapes that make up the model in polygonal modeling) of a 3D object. Further, digital information (color, texture, effects) is read from each poly and converted into a 2D image.

Rendering Techniques

Thus, the poly vertices are sorted, during which the upper corners form the render, and the rest complement the image as each following coordinate axis increases and is recalculated. This process takes place in real time, thereby reducing the download time of the digital render.


  • Optimal storage requirements
  • Time-effective process
  • Availability of the necessary tools in standard software


  • The algorithm is difficult to customize


Z-Buffer is a two-dimensional data system used to compute, optimize, and store the depth value of each pixel. For example, when creating a render, the algorithm converts the 3D object into an image pixel by pixel, using the pixels closest to the camera first. In this case, the value of the pixel’s distance is stored in a Z-Buffer cell.

The primary purpose of this technique is to convey information about the distance of several rendered objects from each other and the camera/viewer. Z-Buffer is often used in conjunction with the Depth of Field (DoF) effect found in the toolbar of many software such as 3DS Max. This function creates the natural blurring of the object’s background and sharpens the rendered object itself.


  • Sorting algorithm
  • Developer-friendly software
  • Time-effective process
  • High-quality natural effects


  • Lots of storage space is needed

Shading and Lighting

The shading process manipulates light and dark levels using software effects. In this way, the rendering artist adds a natural effect and makes objects appear more voluminous. For example, flat shading can sharpen the corners of an object. You can also use fading to create a subtle transition between the pixels and polygons of a shape.

Lighting performs the same function as shading — it makes the scene more natural and voluminous. For example, you can use artificial or daylight, depending on the setting of a render. You can add volumetric lighting effects, such as how the sun’s rays seep through a window or split with the volumetric lighting type. Another method is refraction, which allows light rays to bend on translucent surfaces.


  • High-quality natural effects
  • High level of details
  • The life-like volume of an object


  • Strong technical requirements

Texture/Bump Mapping

The texture is the top layer of a 3D model, which displays information about the color, material, and details of the object. Typically, a texture has multiple layers and wraps a model like wrapping paper. During rendering, information about 3D textures is converted into a flat image. This requires the texture mapping technique — transforming the vectors of the 3D model and its texture into pixels using unwrapping a model.

Bump mapping is similar to texture mapping in its principle; only the first is responsible for rendering 3D relief. This means that on a 2D image, various bulges should look three-dimensional. Bump mapping is not only an imitation of bumps but also the transfer of related details. For example, if you are rendering an image of rocks or landscapes, you need to transfer not only the relief but also cracks, cliffs, etc.


  • Can be rendered in standard engines
  • Makes an object looks photorealistic
  • Allows you to use fewer polygons in modeling


  • Can be less realistic when zooming in

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Ray Tracing and Ray Casting

One technique for working with lighting and a helpful rendering technique is ray tracing. With it, you can set up a very natural lighting effect that mimics how natural lighting works. For example, this method adjusts light based on the principle of diffusion (refraction of a light beam) and reflection, and also uses effects such as soft shadows. Usually, this method is applied for commercial purposes like advertising and product presentation.


  • Achievement of realism
  • Possible to store on disks
  • Handles specular lighting well


  • Complex algorithm
  • Time-consuming


Ray tracing is rarely used in real-time rendering instead of ray casting. Ray casting is the second method of simulating natural light, generally considered easier to achieve. Thus, the scene is rendered with ray intersection. In this case, the artists do not use light refraction and other natural effects. This method takes less time, but the result is less natural.


  • Applicable to flat surfaces
  • Lighter hardware load
  • More time-effective


  • Lower quality and level of detail


Radiosity is a method of rendering using lighting that comes not only from the light source but also the objects in the scene that reflect the light. Using the radiosity algorithm, the light emission is calculated so that rays of light from their sources are scattered over the rendered objects and, colliding with their surface, break into smaller particles, thereby spreading light throughout the scene. Thus, the render looks very photorealistic.


  • More physically accurate
  • Each object’s surface is covered
  • Realistic light effects
  • Allows for diffuse interreflection


  • Challenging to visualize


Regardless of how complex and detailed the rendering design you choose is, you can always apply some helpful tips to make this process even more accessible and efficient.

  • Pay attention to the camera angle. When working on rendering, you probably want to make it photorealistic. In this regard, the natural position of the camera can help — the angle from which the viewer will see the image. It is better to imagine taking a real photo and finding references, and simulating the camera’s position in actual photographs.
  • Use natural effects. As you already understood from the descriptions of various rendering techniques, setting up lighting and shading is a rather laborious process. Unfortunately, if you decide to skip these rendering steps, the result will likely look unnatural and unconvincing. Therefore, it is best to ensure that the artist uses the main natural effects.
  • Scale objects proportionally. It is best not to adjust the scale of the models in the scene without examining how the different things are truly proportional to each other. Try to study as many references as possible or calculate the scale of the necessary objects in a 2D image, as well as their ratio to other things.
  • Details matter. Remember to pay attention to detail and scene composition. Imagine you are working on a photorealistic rendering of an interior design. In this case, it is not enough to simply make a room and arrange furniture around it. Try adding flowerpots, magazines, lamps, figurines, candles, and other decorative elements.
  • Chamfer the edges. Many artists use sharp edges in renderings rarely seen in real life. Even architectural rendering techniques often include rounding off sharp corners since shapes with rounded corners reflect light even better. Fortunately, you can easily customize this feature in many rendering applications.


Outsourcing the rendering process to professionals can be a game-changer when it comes to obtaining high-quality, photorealistic renders without the need for specialized knowledge and skills. Whether you’re working on architectural visualization, product design, or any other project requiring rendering, a reliable design company can simplify the process and elevate the results.

One such reputable option for outsourcing rendering services is Nesso’s Render Photo service. With a team of skilled professionals and years of expertise in 2D and 3D design, Nesso is equipped to handle a wide range of rendering needs. Our services encompass not only rendering but also texturing, skinning, rigging, lighting, and more.

By outsourcing your rendering needs to Nesso, you gain access to their extensive knowledge and experience. We can transform your design concepts into stunning, lifelike visuals that meet your project’s specific requirements. Whether you’re targeting mobile devices, PCs, consoles, or VR headsets, Nesso can create content suitable for any platform.

To get started, simply contact Nesso and discuss your project’s details. We can tailor their services to your unique needs, ensuring that you receive top-notch renders that enhance your project’s visual appeal and overall impact. Outsourcing to professionals like Nesso streamlines the rendering process, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your project with confidence in the quality of the final result.


In the diverse landscape of rendering techniques, the choice ultimately hinges on your specific project and goals. We’ve explored the intricacies of these methods, and now armed with knowledge, you can make informed decisions. Remember, the right rendering technique has the power to transform your creative vision into reality. For top-notch results, consider partnering with professionals who excel in this field. Nesso, a renowned name in the industry, offers exceptional retouching and rendering photo services. Their expertise can elevate your projects to new heights, ensuring the perfect visual representation. Choose wisely, and let your creative endeavors shine with the help of Nesso.