Hand Rendering v Computer Generated

Combined Rendering 2

This debate can bring out all sorts of passionate views about the personality, character and charm that a skilled hand drawn render can provide. And these are all valid points. Then we have the other side of the coin… the evil and nasty world of computer generated visuals. ‘They are cold’! And void of individual quirks’, I hear you shout!

But are they?!

No one can deny (even die-hards from the ‘hand sketched’ corner) that their accuracy and photorealism is astounding, impressive and dare I say breathtaking; the developments in 3D rendering have progressed so much that sometimes it’s literally impossible to determine whether the image is real or computer generated. Come on, that is impressive!

With computer generated rendering you have the obvious bonus of ‘undo’ – I NEED and WANT to shake the hand of the person who created this function!! And you can easily erase or re-arrange lines, geometry, objects, textures and so on. AND we can also make computer generated rendering appear as though it was hand rendered. How devious and disgusting!

The above image comprises an interior elevation that I previously designed for my interior design Diploma but I have combined various methods of achieving a rendered appearance. Do you have a preferred method? Have you suddenly shifted from one side of the coin to the other? Or are you still resolute in your original viewpoint?!

Below is the same elevation but in full context using Sketchup’s various ‘artistic’ styles. They are fairly authentic looking in my opinion and do have a certain rustic charm (although the middle variation does look as though it has been drawn by someone suffering the effects of alcohol consumption from the previous night!!).

Sketchup Styles

Then we have the results of taking the elevation that has been rendered using Maxwell Render and applying various artistic effects via Photoshop. Again, quite realistic and conveying an element of individuality.

Photoshop Charcoal_Chalk

Photoshop Ink Sketch

And lastly, we have the full computer generated elevation using Maxwell Render.

Maxwell Render Night

I think it’s fair to say that there’s no right or wrong answer in the ‘hand drawn V computer generated’ debate. Each method has its own unique attributes and maybe the answer is to make use of both when presenting design concepts.  This would provide accuracy, realism and  an individual approach.


  1. Dave R says:

    Very good, Anita. I agree with you. there’s no right or wrong answer to the debate. I do think that leaning away from the strictly photo-realistic render allows more of the artist’s hand to show through although it might not always be what is wanted.


  2. anitadesignstudio says:

    Well said Dave! Well said! Being able to use flexibility depending on the client’s taste and preferences would ensure that the most suitable approach has been adopted.


  3. Lorraine says:

    Hi Neets. Well to be honest, I actually prefer the hand rendering and thats not because I can’t do it by computer, but i just think it looks more “natuarl” I’m sure there are ways to create draping affects etc. Maybe one day in the far far future ha ha, when I realise that I need, not want to start tackling CAD, then maybe my attitude will change!! x


  4. anitadesignstudio says:

    Hey missus. I can see why you would prefer the hand drawn method of rendering; it does have a natural and almost whimsical appearance. But not everyone likes that sort of look, right?! And let’s not forget it takes a highly skilled individual to produce an accurately sketched render that conveys all the essential finishes, shadows and lighting of a proposed design scheme x


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