Rendering is the process of generating an image from a 3d model, normally it's the final part of a longer process that starts from creating a model inside a 3D software, applying to it textures and materials, organizing the scenary/scene, adding lights and placing the "camera" that will give the final poit of view.
From this moment on the rendering software will process all data, knowing how light behaves in a real enviroment and calculating rays effects on objects and materials, generating glow effects, shadows, reflections, refractions and diffractions that will reproduce a photorealistic final effect.
Depending on the final rendering results we want and it's dimentions, a rendering of a 3D aircraft could take from a few minutes of compter calculations up to various hours, some times even days!
The final product is an image file we can export in any kind of format (JPG, BMP, TIF, TGA etc..) and any kind of dimentions and resolution, depending on the use we wish to do with it, if it's for a website, a brochure or a hi-res printed poster.
- Why should I do a rendering of an aircraft?
The great thing about 3d renderings is that you can preview how your aircraft will look like even without having a real aircraft already produced, you can view it from any position, in all possible light situations, with any kind of paint scheme, in any place on the earth.
All parts of your aircraft could be animated so you could see flaps, landing gears, canopy, props, rudder and elevators in any position. We can also insert the rendering inside a real photo or test if it would fit inside a particular kind of hangar or have a look at it as if it was flying.