Hey Friends! It feels good to be back. Life is good over here, and I am loving my new (as of last December) job. Unfortunately it means that I can't commit as much time to this blog, but fear not! I am still here, and I still have lots to share. I'm still figuring out how to do an email newsletter so new posts can go straight to your inbox, but I'm not sure I did it right. Until that's sorted, you know where to find me :)
Today's post is near and dear to my heart as I have been churning out renderings left and right as of late. My days have been spent bouncing between Photoshop and VRay, and as a result, I have a lot of opinions about adding people to renderings now. I wanted this to be a "how to" article, but I ended up having so much fun finding bad examples, it turned into a Buzzfeed listicle.
To be honest, I have a love/hate with figures in a rendering. Some spaces look terribly awkward without them, but sometimes I think they are a bit too much. In worst case scenarios they distract from the space itself. To illustrate this, I've pulled some truly fantastic examples from the internet and had myself a pretty good laugh. Here are a few examples of what not to do:
1. The old "third wheel" situation.
This space is incredible, but what is going on here? Why is that girl sitting on that guy's lap? Why does the guy she's sitting on look so upset? Who are the other people and what are they doing there? I have so many questions and none of them have to do with the interior.
2. This very important receptionist.
Literally the first thing I see when I look at this is the receptionist. Compared to the rest of the space, she is gigantic and contrasts so much that I can't see anything else. This is a beautiful space, and I didn't even notice it because I was trying to figure out what's happening on her forehead.
3. This man is picking is nose.
Honestly, who let this happen. The most prominently featured person in this image is wiping his nose. Who looks through stock photos, finds this one, and goes "Mmm yes. This. This is perfect!"? I just can't with this.
4. This lighting makes no sense.
This one's picky, but it's one of my biggest pet peeves. Do you see the girl in the scarf? The original photo of her was clearly taken outside. The lighting on her head (and the face that she is wearing sunglasses) make no sense in this space and looks completely unnatural.
5. The world's worst stock photo.
This would be a great rendering if it weren't for the girls with the bags on the right. Who in real life has ever done this? With the exception of Cher from Clueless, the answer is no one. Also the one in front is looking straight at the camera which drives me nuts. Completely unnatural.
6. This is literally Nicole Richie.
Did this designer really think we wouldn't notice Nicole Richie in the very front of their rendering? This is a no no. I once heard about an architecture firm that put George Clooney in their rendering and accidentally sent it to press before taking him out. Apparently he found out about it, got all mad, and the firm got in huge trouble. The moral of the story is: don't use celebrities in renderings. Also press releases are no joke.
7. There are so many things, I don't even know where to begin.
First of all, that blonde lady is in this rendering twice. Don't think we didn't notice. We did. Second, why are the women wearing cocktail dresses in the middle of the day while all the men are wearing jeans? Also, the photo of the blonde lady was clearly taken outside because the lighting on her head makes no sense in this context. It's way too harsh. Also, something about the floor looks really off. Maybe it's because it has no reflection, or because it doesn't have seams? I don't know, but it looks weird to me.
8. This bookworm.
You probably know what I'm going to say here. So I won't even say it. Super cool library. Ruined by a Pippi Longstocking lookalike in a high waisted denim mini skirt.
Those are the best ones I could find, but I thought I'd take a moment to list a few more pet peeves of mine while I'm on a roll:
- When the saturation level is inconsistent throughout the image. If one figure is super vibrant and another is muted, it just looks wrong.
- When everyone is white. We live in a diverse world. Renderings should be shown as such.
- When the lighting is inconsistent. I already talked about this, but it's worth saying again. If two figures standing next to each other are being lit from two different directions, you might want to find new photos.
- When people are inappropriately dressed for the environment. People don't wear cocktail dresses in malls. They also don't wear hoodies in offices. Figures in renderings should reflect the type of dress that will actually be worn by people in the space.
- When stock image figures are looking right at the camera. I already said this one, but it completely destroys the candid look that renderings should have.
- When the stock photo is unrealistic in general. Most stock photos look super fake. As a result, using them will make your rendering look fake. And cheesy. It's best to find the most natural looking figures you can find.
- When the shadows and reflections don't make sense. Real humans cast shadows and have reflections. If a person is walking on a high gloss floor, there should be a reflection shown. Same goes for shadows in spaces that have a lot of sun light.
The moral of the story here is to be careful when you add people to renderings. As you can see, it can really mess things up and take away from your design. Hopefully you had fun laughing along with me. :)
Until next time!