top of page
  • BIMNYC Team

A brief overview of Common Rendering Machines

Updated: May 15, 2023

Welcome to the BIMNYC Blog. In today’s digitized world where a large number of activities in the design and construction field are happening virtually, 3D Visualization and Rendering have become a necessity. With a plethora of information available on the internet and many alternatives available in the market, finding the right tool for the right job can be tricky.

In today’s blog, we will be comparing the most widely used industry-leading 3D visualization and rendering software programs and add-ins. The software we chose are standalone applications as well as rendering engine plugins within different modeling software. We will be taking a deeper dive and taking a close look at their strengths and weaknesses, User Interface, workflow, and Pricing.

Today we will be comparing Lumion, Twinmotion, D5 Render, Enscape, and V-Ray. As mentioned above, Lumion, Twinmotion, and D5 Render are standalone rendering applications, whereas Enscape and V-Ray are rendering engines within separate 3D modeling software.



Lumion has been on the rise in recent years in the AEC Industry for one specific reason, rendering photo-realistic images in record timing. Lumion’s high-definition library contains more than 6,900 objects and 1,350 materials. It has a user-friendly Interface and an evolving rendering engine, which can provide stunning results in a short rendering time. Lumion enjoys frequent updates to its rendering engine, added features, and content library by developers.

D5 Render

D5 Render is a new player in the 3D Visualization and Rendering market and has been quite popular since its release in 2021. If you are an avid Lumion user like me, switching over to D5 Render will be quite easy, as its user interface, render output quality and timing, and asset library are quite similar to Lumion. The biggest advantage of D5 Render over its rivals is that it is free to use, with added asset library content for paid users. D5 Render has active online community support with users all over the world creating and adding content to its asset library frequently.


Twinmotion is backed by the powerful Unreal Engine and has the ability to provide immersive 3D renders in a short period of time. Like the above-mentioned software, Twinmotion has good-quality assets in its library, ranging from high-quality materials and textures to objects and effects. The user interface is friendly, results are photo-realistic, and learning the software is easy. Like D5 Render, Twinmotion also has an active online community adding its content to its library.


V-Ray by Chaos Group has been the staple 3D rendering plugin for a large number of AEC professionals around the world. V-Ray has an extremely powerful rendering engine making it possible to render ultra-photorealistic renders which sometimes cannot be differentiated with a photo! V-Ray can be integrated with a wide array of 3D modeling software making the workflow even better. A highly customizable material library with a rendering engine that has 100% ray-traced quality by default, makes V-Ray one of the most powerful and popular choices among architects and designers.


Enscape is a 3D rendering plugin that is widely used for its seamless BIM Integration and a great real-time rendering tool which uses its powerful online cloud processing. Used by design firms small and big in size, Enscape provides photo-realistic static, and dynamic renders as you are working side by side. A great tool for designers to showcase different design options in the same scene created. Enscape does not require a highly customized computer or workstation because of its online cloud-processing feature.


All the software mentioned above has good workflow and connectivity allowing the users to make changes and see it in real-time. The list of applications and formats supported by each of the software are mentioned below.

As shown above, these software programs provide support for a varied range of applications and formats. However, among the list, Lumion, D5 Render, V-Ray and Enscape have further support to view, edit, and render the 3D model in real-time. This feature is extremely useful and a huge help for architects and designers who like to see real-time renders of their models/scenes.



Lumion is available in two editions, namely, Lumion Standard and Lumion Pro. A comparison between each of the editions is shown below. A detailed comparison can be found on the official website.

Lumion offers a 14-day Free Trial to all users. Lumion Student is also available in many countries which provides 1-year license, which can be renewed. The renders will contain a small watermark and the projects saved in student version cannot be opened in commercial versions of Lumion.

D5 Render

As mentioned above, the community edition of D5 Render is free with most of the features included. Though if the user needs access to their premium asset library contents, it can be purchased at their pricing as shown below.


Twinmotion, like D5 Render, provides unlimited use of their free trial with most of the features included. The price for their commercial subscription is as shown below.


V-Ray offers a multitude of subscription options. Doesn’t matter if you are a student, a solo working professional, or a small/large company. You can find the plan for yourself as shown below.

V-Ray also offers educational license subscription at $12.42/month which is limited to one seat, but offers all the features and support that a premium subscription does.


The commercial license options offered by Enscape are as shown below.

Pros and Cons



  • Great results in limited time

  • Easy to learn and use

  • Good User Interface

  • High quality asset library

  • Great rendering presets

  • Receives regular updates


  • Expensive

  • Users in the community cannot add assets to the library

D5 Render


  • Free license provides most of the features

  • Active online community support

  • User friendly

  • High-quality asset library

  • Good rendering engine


  • Still a new software, has minor bugs but is rapidly improving

  • Material customization could be better

  • There is room for improvement in the User Interface



  • Good User Interface

  • Good rendering engine

  • Easy to learn


  • Objects from the library can be more realistic

  • Fewer materials to choose from in the Material Library



  • The best rendering engine in the market considering the product’s quality

  • Real-time Ray Tracing support

  • Great workflow


  • Scene rendering can be slow

  • Creating a scene is highly time-consuming

  • High system configuration required

  • A bit complicated to learn



  • Great for concept building with Design Options feature

  • Good VR support

  • Works well with BIM software programs and is not limited to 3D modeling tools

  • Live chat with team members which improves collaboration

  • Quasi real-time renderings with its powerful cloud processing


  • Material and object library needs more content


All the software mentioned above has the ability to output photo-realistic renders, each of them having its strengths and weaknesses. With so many alternatives available on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right one that suits you and your job. We hope that this blog helped you choose the right Rendering software which works best for you!


Karan Charde

279 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page