Architectural visualization is quite a big part of CG scene and there’s a potential for Blender to get rid out of Autodesk in that sector. Right now there are popular duos like 3ds Max+Corona or Sketchup+VRay but it could be easily replaced by Blender+Cycles. I think it’s necessary to change situation by promoting through works made in Blender. But to made better visualization we need some features that can improve workflow and would convince people to switch to Blender. Some of these are:
- Half dome HDRI or hemisphere HDRI - option that would exclude bottom hemisphere from direct lighting calculation so it would speed up rendering and ignore unnecessary.
- Direct sun from HDRI - feature from FStorm: “allows environment working as a light source with direct lighting emission. It helps with faster noise reduction in case of contrasting environment producing sharp shadows”.
- Better tonemapping with custom LUT - there’s should be simpler and faster node with basic parameters like burn value (FStorm)/highlight compress (Corona Renderer) etc.
- Better lens effects - custom and more advanced bokeh with optical vignietting etc.
- Guess vertical and horizontal tilt - it could be achieved with Shift X and Y but it’s tedious to looking for right value and compensate rotation to get correct frame.
- Triplanar mapping - it could be achieved with nodes but it’s not as good as fully-fledged implementation.
- No need for portals in interior scenes - there’s possibility to make portals obsolete, in Corona Renderer there’s “Adaptive environment sampler”, in LuxCore - “Environment cache/Autoportals”.
I didn’t mention some big things needed but in development:
- better overall performance (faster compositor, faster viewport)
- precise snapping
- network rendering
- Cycles speedups (blue noise; scrambling distance)
- compositing results in viewport
… and bigger things
- caustics (can be achieved with Bidirectional Path Tracing or Practical Path Guiding)
… and things easily achieved with addons
- Scatter, UVPackmaster, UVTollkit etc.
… and impossible things like importing DWG files.
What do you think about it? What features you need in your archviz workflow?
PS I know there’s RCS for feature request but right now that site is not working as intended.