Piranesi is a licensed visualization program used for the conversion of 3D models—typically architectural designs—into stylized and appealing graphic images. The name derives from the painter Giambattista Piranesi, and the program comes from Informatix, the company that also developed and distributed the 2D drawing and 3D modeling CAD program, MicroGDS. While MicroGDS is a drafting tool, Piranesi focuses more on painting already completed drafts or linework into finished, publication- or presentation-ready images. Informatix is actually a Japanese program, but both Piranesi and MicroGDS are available to the English-speaking market.
Piranesi allows users to apply highly stylized color and material effects to their models. Results with Piranesi vary wildly depending on the tastes and choices of the user: the same starting draft, for instance, be converted into a photorealistic 3D image by one user, turned into a watercolor sketch by another, rendered in crosshatched pen strokes by another, and so on. There are also plugins supplied by the developer that, when installed, allow most of the common modeling programs to export or send files directly to Piranesi for finishing or “final painting”, as it were.
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