Glass Rendering Tips with D5 Render for Realistic Architectural Visualization

Glass rendering | How to render glass | Facade render | Archviz
It is an established fact that realistic glass rendering in architecture is necessary for the success of every design project, but the truth is it's not very easy to achieve. The properties of glass like reflection, refraction, and transparency make it a very difficult material to render. Fortunately, real-time rendering software D5 Render understands and caters to the needs of all designers and architects. Thanks to its efforts, achieving lifelike glass texture in D5 Render only takes several clicks.
Some brilliant tips can help you in creating exceptional output. Let’s explore them with the project Skyscraper rendered by Egoist to create implausibly real visuals. The sample scene can be downloaded for free on the D5 Forum.

Tips on How to Render Glass

Before you get down to glass rendering in archviz projects, there are several things to keep in mind.

1. A nice overall atmosphere of the scene is a Must

Remember that a harmonious scene is the core of realistic rendering. How glass textures should look depends on what kind of atmosphere you want to deliver. Say we won't choose pilkington texture glass for the facade of a modern office building, so make sure to first adjust the general atmosphere of the scene.
In D5, we can create a satisfactory global lighting effect with HDRI/Geo and Sky in the Environment system. With a few adjustments and preview, you'll get to the vibe you want.
To add your character to the visual, you can choose a suitable LUT from D5 or from your own collection. Exposure, Contrast, White Balance and more post-processing parameters are available right inside of this renderer, so you don't need to go to Photoshop or other photo-editing tools.

2. Choose the right glass texture from D5 Material Library

You can choose what you need from the D5 Asset Library, which has dozens of default glass materials, such as pilkington glass, tinted glass, frosted textured glass and more.
D5 Asset Library - Glass Textures (More to come)
You can also use the Transparent material template inside D5 Render, which gives great glass effect with a few tweaks.

3. Useful glass reflections trick with plane model from D5

Did you ever struggle to get the bright and clear reflection of glass textures? Keep getting those dull black shadows cast by surroundings after adjustment of sunlight and sky to serve the glass wall? Here's where a plane plays magic:
First we need to add a plane asset from D5 Asset Library, and place it in front of the glass facade that shows reflections of its surroundings.
Then attach to the plane a map of sky so that we will have an "artificial" sky board on the exterior of the building. Adjust the Offset parameter to see if the sky map is properly placed.
Now the glass reflection may look better but far from good due to the darkness of the sky map.
Lighting it up by making the plane emissive is a good idea. Remember to turn off the "Cast Shadow" button because you don't want it to influence other buildings. After adjusting the Intensity parameter to make the sky map properly lit up, we are only one step away from making it.
As you can see, there's refelction of another building behind on the glass facade, which is coming from the plane. To eliminate that unnecessary reflection, select the material of the plane, pull Specular and Metallic parameters to the highest and Roughness to the lowest. Now everything looks great.

4. Pay attention to what you see through the glasses

The glass texture is charming in architectural visualization because it allows lights to come through the facade, making a vibrant scene. Nobody likes to see black holes behind glass windows.
To quickly furnish the inside space of a building, we need to use the plane again. The whole process is quite similar to what we did in the third part.
1, Drag and drop a plane into the scene, scale it properly to cover the area of glass facade you need.
2, Add a night scene map to the plane and turn on Triplanar, adjust UV and make sure the texture mapping is correct.
3, Try to think about the real world we live in. We can only see what's behind a glass window when the inner space is bright enough. It works the same way with 3d rendering. So what we need to do is turn on Emissive to illuminate the plane and adjust its intensity as you like.
4, Now place the adjusted plane behind the glass wall.Here you go! A stunning glass building is ready to render.
Download the D5 scene

Summing Up

Glass rendering can be tricky, but there are some tips and tricks that help you in creating visuals that amaze your clients. To further facilitate you, D5 Render has made rendering fun by removing the hurdles designers used to face. This renderer is compatible with almost all the modeling tools used by designers for architectural visualization including Revit, Rhino, Archicad, SketchUp, and more.
If you want the awesomeness of D5 Render to be your partner in glass/facade/building/house rendering, then download D5 Renderfor free and get ready for unbelievably realistic results.

D5 User Showcase | Archviz Glass Rendering

Elizabeth Street by Oliver Deng
Residence Building by Pawel Fied
Architecture by Lestate co.,LTD
D5 Render Free Download