Computer Rendered Designs
There are two types of computer rendered designs.. those done in a "pool drawing software" and those done in an architectural rendering software.
The pool drawing software was created for the masses. It was developed for the yellow page pool builder to generate a quick design at your kitchen table "right before your eyes."
The capabilities of these programs is limited by the capabilities of the computer software engineer who wrote the software. The user may quickly "max out" the capabilities of the software.
Architectural rendering software is a lot more difficult to master. Some like Google's sketch-up can interface directly with 3 dimensional CAD programs. The capabilities are virtually limitless, but require that the user have a knowledge of art, shadows and color in order for the rendering to be believeable.
Computer rendered drawings used to be very sterile and flat. The archirtecural rendering software has been addressing that issue head on.
Old School - Hand Rendered Designs
There are a few pool designers who still draw freehand. The real good ones can draw a picture such that you think that you are looking at a rendering of a photograph.
Subtleties can be captured that computers haven't quite been able to master or emulate.
Hand Rendered Computer Generated
What is this? These are drawings that have had the outlines created by computer, sometimes "raised into 3D" from a flat plan. They are then hand colored, shadowed and detailed to create the subtleties that are very difficult to efficiently create on a computer.
For now I still render by hand. I have hand detailed a few computerized drawings. The line weights just don't seem right with a computer drawing, it takes a lot of time correcting them.
Computer renderings are quickly developing realistic qualities... as the number of people who have invested a lot of time mastering the programs and the details grows, the market will rarely see hand drawn & rendered drawings.
Either way - a free design is worth exactly what you pay for it.
Paolo Benedetti - Aquatic Artist
"Creating water as art."™
Aquatic Technology Pool and Spa