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Why my rendering does not real enough?

Are you struggling with drawing realistic architectural renderings? Why the other people are using the same software that I use, but my render looks fake? If you are not satisfied with your images, it must be missing something in the scene-setting. Therefore, let's explore the concept of light setting and see is that going to improve the quality of your renders.

Thanks to modern technology, our computer programs are smart enough to generate realistic images automatically, such as Lumion, so not many people to concern about the secret behind a realistic rendering. However, I think there is still some limitation in Lumion. That's why I still prefer to create rendering with 3ds max and vray. Here is the secrete recipe:

Environmental light + sunlight.

For a day scene, it is essential to understand the concept behind the realistic formula of 3d rendering, which is Daylight (blue) mixed with sunlight (yellow). That also applies to different weather. The following building is a sample that shows the relationship between environmental light and direct sunlight

Where the area having direct sunlight (photo right), it will reflect warm white colour, while the area without direct sunlight but with the environmental light (photo left), it will reflect cold blue colour. Take your camera with you, it definitely will give you more inspiration.

Let's test it on our render now.


Add Environmental light

First, set up the environmental light with HDRI in vray or real skies in Lumion

You should able to get cold blue colour for your scene when you keep the default white balance.


Add Sunlight

Second, set up the daylight system in 3dmax with vray sun or the sun in Lumion

Depends on the sun angle, when the sunlight can hit, the area should turn warm white colour now. You can check the sun angle based on some webpage, such as


Test different combination of both light

Third, you can test a few different renders to get the result that you want. It is great to find some reference images from Pinterest or IG.

Now, you can put back the materials to have a final adjustment.

Congratulation! You finally get a presentable rendering for your school presentation!


Thanks for every renderlovers reading my blog. To the celebration of 600 IG followers, there is a free 3d model giveaway for our readers. If you have any problems with realistic 3d rendering, please feel free to contact me as well. The 3D freebies are including:

Wishbone chair from Freedom Australia

Agnes Chandeliers from Citilux

Botago dining table from Fortytwo

Download link here.

*All 3d models are for academic and educational purpose only.

** Share and comments below to get access. More free models, tips and memes exclusively for our readers.

Enjoy! :)

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