In this study transient radiative heat transfer is investigated in scattering, absorbing, and emitting media. The radiation element method is formulated for the first time to solve the transient radiative transfer equation in 3-D geometries. The sensitivity and accuracy of the method are examined. A good agreement of temporal transmittance predicted by the present method and Monte Carlo method is found. The characteristics of transient analysis are investigated via various problems of radiative transfer in inhomogeneous cubes. It is found that the transmitted signals are strongly affected by the inhomogeneous properties of the media through which the radiation has passed. In the position where the radiation travels a larger optical thickness, the broadening of the transmitted pulse width is more obvious and the magnitude of the transmittance is smaller.