Learn about 3D rendering architecture and its applications.
WHAT IS ARCHITECTURAL
Architectural 3D rendering is a process used in the field of architecture and design to create realistic visual representations of buildings, spaces, and structures using computer-generated imagery (CGI). This technique is employed to communicate design concepts, showcase proposed projects, and visualise how a space or building will look once it’s constructed. It is an essential tool for architects, designers, real estate developers, and marketing professionals to convey their ideas and plans effectively to clients, stakeholders, and the general public.
The best design communication for architecture. Architectural Rendering brings any development to life. For example, we can create complex high-end visuals to enhance your project proposal, as well as produce images for competition or marketing purposes. Many developers use 3D Architectural Visualisation as a way to promote development, and usually before the build process is begun due to an inability to produce photography. Traditionally, we are provided with a model produced by Architects in 3D modelling software. Moreover, to help with the design process many people create preliminary images using the power of visuals to move the project forward. During the cases where an Architect’s model is not available, one can be created from sketches, photos, drawings, specifications, or other CAD formats using our 3D modelling services.
HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURAL RENDERING
The history of architectural rendering is a fascinating journey that parallels the evolution of architecture and technology. As a leading 3D animation and rendering company, XO3D appreciates the significance of architectural rendering in visualizing and communicating architectural designs. Here’s a brief overview of its history:
Ancient Renderings (Antiquity – Middle Ages): The concept of architectural rendering has ancient roots. In antiquity, architects used drawings, paintings, and sometimes small-scale physical models to convey their designs to clients and builders. These early renderings often had a stylistic and artistic focus.
Renaissance and Perspective Drawing (15th – 16th centuries): During the Renaissance, the development of linear perspective allowed for more accurate and realistic architectural representations. Artists like Filippo Brunelleschi and Leon Battista Alberti played key roles in advancing perspective drawing techniques.
Architectural Engravings (17th – 18th centuries): In the Baroque and Neoclassical eras, architectural engravings gained prominence. These highly detailed prints depicted buildings and designs in great precision and were often used for documentation and publication.
Architectural Models (19th century): While still heavily reliant on drawings and engravings, architects began creating more elaborate physical models of their designs in the 19th century. These models provided clients with a tangible understanding of proposed structures.
Photography and Printing (Late 19th – Early 20th centuries): The invention of photography and advancements in printing technology revolutionized architectural representation. Photographs of buildings and photorealistic illustrations became common in architectural publications.
Perspective Drawings and Watercolors (20th century): Throughout the 20th century, architects continued to use hand-drawn perspective drawings and watercolors to convey their designs. These techniques remained valuable for their artistic and conceptual qualities.
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) (Late 20th century): The advent of CAD software in the late 20th century marked a significant shift in architectural rendering. Architects could now create digital 2D and 3D representations of their designs, allowing for greater precision and efficiency.
Digital Rendering (Late 20th century – Present): The development of 3D modeling and rendering software, such as AutoCAD, 3ds Max, Maya, and SketchUp, transformed architectural rendering. These tools enable architects to create highly realistic 3D visualizations of their projects, including textures, lighting, and even animations.
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) (21st century): The 21st century has seen the integration of VR and AR into architectural rendering. Architects and clients can now experience designs in immersive virtual environments, providing a deeper understanding of spatial relationships and design concepts.
Real-Time Rendering (Present): With the advancement of real-time rendering engines like Unreal Engine and Unity, architects can interact with and present designs in real-time, making it easier to make design decisions and communicate ideas effectively.
The history of architectural rendering reflects the continual evolution of technology and artistic techniques in the field of architecture. Today, architectural rendering is an indispensable tool for architects, designers, and clients to visualize and bring architectural visions to life.
WHO USES 3D RENDERING ARCHITECTURE?
Architects are one of the biggest users of Architectural Visualisation. By utilising architectural rendering software, it helps key decision-makers understand the idea and view of the Architect’s mind – we all know images speak louder than words. Most importantly, 3D Rendering is the key to easy planning permission and a sure way to win your next job. Today using virtual tours is a big way to entice new customers.
Property Developers are another big user of Architectural Visuals. This is because using photo-realistic imagery of buildings that have not yet been built help make sales much faster.
Architectural visuals are used by property investors for a variety of purposes such as interior rendering. For instance, they might wish to promote a brand-new commercial structure that is still under construction. Real time virtual walkthroughs allow potential clients to view the architecture before its built.
When property developers take a project to a marketing company, usually they need Architectural Visualisation to show off the properties in all the best ways possible to make the development look amazing; therefore, creating the groundwork for the marketing team to advertise the properties.
Architectural rendering can be used in a variety of ways by game designers. It can be used by some game designers to make models of the game world they are building, but it can also be used by others to make concept art for their game. Others might use it to design environments or levels for video games.
Storyboards for movies, setting and location design, and visual effects creation are a few instances of how architectural rendering is applied in the film business.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF
Most importantly, images speak louder than words. Many, if not all people see things in a better light when they can have an Architectural Visualisation in front of them instead of having to imagine it. Firstly, from the start of a project, all parties that are invested need to be able to see what a building will look like once it is completed. Therefore, with XO3Ds professional Architectural Rendering services you can quickly show what the project will look like from beginning to end. Similarly, while communicating different materials and what they may look like in different atmospheres and lighting. Even verified views help with planning permission.
In the past this was not the case, but since technology has advanced CGI images are more accessible than ever. This is because computer power has dramatically increased. Therefore, Architectural Renderings take less and less time to process allowing work to be completed faster and more efficiently than ever. In short, reducing costs over architectural photography.
Social media is taking over as the preferred channel to market. Most importantly, you must have show-stopping imagery to catch your market’s attention. Likewise, it is extremely important to use social media to show off your project in the best way possible. Therefore, our 3D Artists can design creative content that is tailored for any social media platform. In short, it is very difficult to distribute large CAD data and physical copies of drawings. Therefore, it is much easier to send high-quality imagery, via email, social media or to publish on websites.
Moreover, 3D Architectural Rendering offers the ability to visualize many different concepts and options for any project. For example, this can include different materials, shapes, and textures of buildings. That is to say, a 3D Rendering can quickly and effectively show invested parties what all the different options will look like.
At XO3D, we can use actual CAD data from sources such as Google Earth. Likewise using project images, technical drawings, or any other accurate information that may help us to create high-end visualisations. For example, blending photos with 3D Renderings in a montage. Most importantly, this can be an affordable and effective way to communicate the vision of your project.
By using stunning 3D imagery to show your clients what the real deal will look like before it is built, you can easily close your sales, increasing cash flow.
Likewise, by using our 3D Architectural Rendering services, you can set yourself apart from the competition. In addition to the beauty and simplicity of our carefully crafted, tailored images will blow your competition out of the water. Moreover, while communicating your vision in a way that no other can match. Services such as architectural interactives are amazing in showing your architecture.
ARCHITECTURAL CGI USED?
Types of EXTERIOR renderings
HOW ARE 3D ARCHITECTURAL
Firstly, we begin architectural renderings with the creation of a 3D model.STEP 01
Lighting is created and it can be thought of the same as a photography studio but on a computer. The lighting is applied in different directions to create the best reflections that bring out all the details of the form of the architecture. Depending on the desired outcome of the render.STEP 02
Thirdly, the desired materials are added to the walls and objects within the scene and tweaked with all different settings, using multiple different images and processes to get the materials to look as they would in real life. After that, the lighting is finalised to highlight the finer details of the architect’s design.STEP 03
Finally, setting the scene is set off on the final stages of the process. This is where the computer does its work, by generating the images so that they can be used. The render engine is started so that it creates all different types of outputs that are subsequently brought together in post-production software such as Photoshop and a pretty picture is created by our 3D artists.STEP 04
WHAT IS THE WORKFLOW FOR
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO GET YOUR ARCHITECTURAL VISUALISATION PROJECT STARTED?
Although we do not need all of the above, these will make the project much smoother. Read further here.
WHERE IS 3D RENDERING
XO3D has worked on a couple of different projects for us (a property development company) and my colleagues and I have been extremely impressed and happy with their work. Throughout the creation process, Alex Mann at XO3D was extremely responsive and adaptable to ensure our design needs were met. The final product has always been of the highest quality and really brings to life the architectural drawings with precise attention to detail. 100% would recommend.
DIFFERENT STYLES OF
XO3D offers a range of different styles of 3D rendering architecture. Many of these are usually combined into a package. For example, a well-thought-out marketing visualisation package is normally made up of imagery from various angles and views. Below we explain the different types of Architectural Renderings shots. By utilising different 3D rendering software different styles of renderings can be created allowing tailoring to specific architecture projects.
AERIAL 3D RENDERINGS
By using drone images we are able to capture exactly where the plot is in real life. From there we are able to match our CGI scene and cameras to the real-life camera setting and create seamless photo montages. Subsequently, these are great types of images that allow a wider range of views than just your traditional imagery. Likewise, these types of images can be made in 3D. For example, if there was a large development of houses, the same outcome can be achieved through 3D without having to use drone imagery.
Likewise, material studies can be important to make the decision of what colours, textures, and materials you want to go with for your project. With the ability to quickly change images within 3D rendering architecture, we can output multiple layers of different materials to show all the combinations that you want to see.
LIGHT STUDY RENDERS
Just like the ability of close-up shots to apply focus to the viewer, we can also achieve a similar impression using various lightings. The versatility of 3D allows a single shot to have a vast range of lighting solutions – a quick and cost-effective solution for photography. No one has to be paid to stand out for days on end trying to get the perfect lighting that may only last for fractions of a moment. You can see here some of the ways in which lighting can change the same shot.
RESIDENTIAL FRONT VIEW RENDERINGS
The impact of straightforward frontal images showcasing emerging housing developments is undeniably compelling, offering potential buyers the unique opportunity to envision the experience of approaching their future residence. These meticulously crafted depictions not only unveil the exterior aesthetics but also provide a glimpse into the forthcoming living environment, effectively forging an emotional connection with the yet-to-be-constructed dwelling. This connection, carefully cultivated through the artful rendition of the facade, landscaping, and ambient lighting, possesses the remarkable ability to galvanize the crucial transaction you seek prior to the physical realization of the abode.
PLANNING PERMISSION VISUALS
The utilisation of planning permission visuals holds immense significance in the realm of architectural representation. In particular, the unadorned yet impactful front-facing images that encapsulate emerging housing developments carry a profound ability to empower potential stakeholders with a unique perceptual capacity. This capacity allows them to immerse themselves in the envisioned experience of approaching a nascent residence, thereby establishing a visceral connection that transcends the boundaries of imagination. These meticulously curated visual depictions not only unveil the façade’s aesthetic intricacies but also unveil a tantalizing glimpse into the imminent living environment, effectively cultivating an emotional rapport with the yet-to-be-realized dwelling. It is this artful connection, meticulously nurtured through astutely rendered architectural details, thoughtfully orchestrated landscaping, and skillfully simulated ambient illumination, that wields considerable influence in galvanizing the pivotal transactional success required even before the physical manifestation of the residential structure.
You can do many things with focus shots. It allows you to lead the viewer down a garden path so to speak. When you are telling a visual story, you need to guide your viewer. Similar to the way an author structures a novel. Firstly, by using focus shots as part of a series of images you can really promote the best elements of your designs. Likewise, the use of a single focus shot can have a dramatic impact. Especially as the background to a particular product or element in the shot. Therefore, they will save you time and money by not having to hire a photographer every time you need some new images. Above all, 3D Architectural Rendering is cheaper and you have much more control when you need to update your range or make changes quickly.
PEOPLE INTEGRATION IMAGES
The strategic incorporation of human figures into a 3D image introduces an elevated dimension of authenticity that profoundly enhances the image’s credibility. This deliberate inclusion not only imparts a sense of relatability but also offers potential viewers a tangible connection to the envisaged scene. Notably, an increasing number of clients opt for this creative avenue, harnessing its potential to construct an immersive lifestyle concept within the visual narrative. By seamlessly integrating human presence, these images ingeniously transcend mere representation, seamlessly transitioning into portals that offer a captivating glimpse into a conceivable existence.
CLOSE UP 3D RENDERS
Close-up shots are used in all sorts of art. The power of a close-up shot is that you can laser in on a particular part of an image. Why would you want to focus on a certain element? Well, for several reasons. Firstly, you may want to show a particular element due to its unique design or function. You may also have a singular focal point for a project or design. Many designers start with a single piece of inspiration. Such as the idea of a spider’s web in the alcoves or perhaps a fireplace designed stone by stone. Although a wider lens will show the feature in situ. It is also powerful to show a close-up shot to emphasize the point.
CREATIVE ARCHITECTURAL VISUALISATIONS
£50 to £200
£200 to £400
£400 to 1500
£1500 to £10 000
HOW MUCH DO ARCHITECTURAL RENDERINGS COST?
Firstly, the price of a 3D Rendering depends largely on what is involved in the image. For example, there could be a small product, or in contrast, a large building. In our opinion, there is no set price for an image. That’s why all our quotes are tailored for each project. Creating renders used to be an expensive and time-consuming process that was only viable for large development companies. Because of technological advancements in recent years home renders have become accessible for the average consumer. Finally, we have split them up into 4 Tiers and have written an in-depth guide to how much you should be paying for your 3D Renderings. It is worth noting that the prices here are generalised, and it really largely depends on the project. These are only guidelines for clients new to the 3D Rendering field.
WHY CHOOSE XO3D FOR YOUR
ARCHITECTURAL RENDERING PROJECT?
SPECIALISTS IN CREATIVITY
At XO3D, the best creative minds tailor your project to bring your products to light in amazing fashion.
XO3D drives by technology and continually seeks solutions to improve our workflow. From the latest software and hardware, to different strategies to complete projects faster with constant improvements on quality.
We pride ourselves in communication and customer service. Throughout your project there will be constant updates of how we are getting on with your images. We are always at the end of a email or phone call.
THE BEST EXPERIENCES
With a diverse team of artists, designers and 3D modellers. We have the perfect experience for any creative project to bring your ideas to life.
Ensuring the smoothest process. We deliver quality work on time.
Through our experience in workflow optimisation, we can give you the discounts and give you more bang for you bucks.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Architectural visuals can range from £50 to £10 000. Due to this, 3D architectural rendering is a very confusing space. Its difficult for clients to understand why there is such a huge price range for a image. We have written an article here that aims to remove the confusion for clients.
Architectural 3D visualisation is a creative process that uses computer graphics to convert 3d models into engaging images. It may include photo-realistic or non-photorealistic images. It is the final process of creating the actual 2D image or animation. Read further on 3D rendering here.
Architectural visualisation is the process of creating realistic visual representations of architectural designs using various techniques such as 3D modelling, rendering, animation, augmented reality, and virtual reality. It allows architects, designers, and clients to visualise and understand the design concept before it is built.
Architectural visualisation helps bridge the gap between technical drawings and a layperson’s understanding by providing lifelike images and experiences. It aids in conveying design intent, fostering better communication among stakeholders, and enabling design exploration before construction begins.
Architectural visualisation employs a range of techniques, including:
- 3D Modelling and Rendering: Creating detailed three-dimensional models and generating realistic images with lighting, textures, and materials.
- Animation: Producing dynamic sequences of images to showcase design evolution and user experiences.
- Augmented Reality (AR): Overlapping digital designs onto real-world environments using mobile devices or AR glasses.
- Virtual Reality (VR): Creating immersive 3D environments that users can explore using VR headsets.
Various stakeholders benefit from architectural visualisation:
- Architects and Designers: They can visualise and refine their concepts, making informed design decisions.
- Clients and Investors: They can understand and evaluate a project’s aesthetics and functionality before committing resources.
- Real Estate Developers: Visualisation aids in marketing and pre-selling properties.
- City Planners and Regulatory Bodies: Visualisations facilitate discussions and approvals for urban planning and development projects.
Architectural visualisation makes complex designs accessible to a wider audience. Visuals are more relatable and can effectively communicate design ideas, spatial relationships, and aesthetics, even to non-experts.
The stages generally involve:
- Conceptualisation: Defining the design intent and goals.
- 3D Modelling: Creating a digital 3D model of the architectural elements.
- Texturing and Materials: Applying realistic textures and materials to the model.
- Lighting Setup: Adding lighting sources for realistic illumination.
- Rendering: Producing high-quality images or animations.
- Post-Processing: Enhancing the visuals with image editing software, if needed.
Popular software tools include:
- 3D Modelling: Autodesk Revit, SketchUp, Rhino.
- Rendering: Autodesk 3ds Max, V-Ray, Lumion.
- Animation: Autodesk Maya, Blender.
- AR/VR: Unity, Unreal Engine.
Yes, architectural visualisation allows stakeholders to see and experience the design in a virtual environment. This aids in identifying design flaws, exploring different options, and making informed decisions before construction begins.
Augmented reality overlays digital designs onto the physical world, providing real-time context. This helps in visualising how a design fits within an existing environment and aids in site analysis and presentation to clients and authorities.
No, architectural visualisation is used for various projects, including new buildings, renovations, interior designs, landscaping, and urban planning. It helps visualise changes to existing structures and spaces as well.
Architectural visualisations aim for a high degree of accuracy, but they are interpretations of design concepts. The final result can be influenced by construction challenges, materials, and other real-world factors.
Consult with architectural visualisation professionals who can understand your project’s goals and needs. They will guide you through the process and choose the most suitable techniques for your project’s requirements.