Didn't know whether to post this to /3/ or /diy/ but...
What is the best solution for designing floor plans?
There's this project of pretty high importance I've been working on for a while but the program I'm using has the worst renderer I've seen in my life - and I need photorealistic renders.
Pic very related - it took about 30 seconds to render this on a 6-core Xeon...
3ds Max and VRay is the most widely used combo in architectural visualization. There are a ton of tutorials out there for it, too. The ones on viscorbel.com are a good introduction and will get you reasonably close to photorealism if you're willing to invest the time. If you want to go the extra mile and REALLY want things to look real take a look at Grant Warwick's Mastering VRay course.
Vray is the most used renderer for interior architecture. You can use any modelling application that supports, any of pic related.
If you don't wanna pirate use blender, it's as or almost as better than any of the above.
You just set up Max to use the units you want, then create the walls as you want them.
Most people either import 2D floor plans as line drawings from a CAD program or draw them using the spline tools inside Max. The 2D plans can then be used as a guide for creating the actual 3D model.
I think I found what I needed - Premier X7 - it's kind of a CAD suite but with a UI made for developing floor plans.
It also supports multithreading, GPU acceleration, raytracing and is 64-bit which is nice since I've got 24GB of ram.
It's easy, every software (even Blender, although it's a bit obtuse, and doesn't handle Imperial very well for some reason) lets you specify units (google "[3d_package_name] precision modeling")
Really though a CAD program is the way to go (I don't know which one, SeetHome is the one people recommend and it seemed like obtuse garbage) but the last one I used (back in the 90s) let you just click and drag from a list of common objects / fundamental structural features (doors, windows, wall thickness, etc)