3D Rendering is the process of converting three dimensional models into two dimensional images with realistic effects. Several specialized rendering methods are employed ranging from polygon based rendering to ray tracking, radiosity and scanline rendering. The time frame required for this process varies from fractions of a second to any number of days. Rendering can be broadly classified into two: Real time and non real time rendering.
For interactive media, real time rendering is the most suitable option as the idea is to show the maximum amount of information which an eye can process in a split second. The product needs to be as realistic as possible. For example in games, the images in the game must have a very close resemblance to the images perceived by a human eye. Techniques like HDR rendering and the higher processing speed of the today’s computers help in real-time rendering of realistic images.
The rendering speed of non interactive media is much slower than the interactive media. For films and videos, non–real time rendering is applicable using the limited processing power of the computers. The rendering pace depends on how complex the scenes are and could take anywhere between a few seconds and few days. Once stored in a hard disk, the frames can be later moved to other media.