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Architectural Rendering Trends

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The introduction of 3D rendering in architecture has changed the industry forever. It has improved the quality, reduced time, and most importantly, it’s very cost-efficient. Architects don’t have to rely on time-consuming and less efficient ways of presentation like clay models. Thanks to CGI, the yet-to-build buildings can be easily presented to the clients in the most effective way possible.

However, there’s always room to improve. New technologies are offering ways to make the process even more effective and efficient than it was before. The possibilities are endless and so is human creativity. CGI or Computer Graphics Imagery allows the creators to unleash their creativity to the fullest and create mind-blowing, engaging visuals. CGI in architecture is all about creating engaging, interactive, and immersive experiences. Furthermore, the consistent optimization of software and reduction in manufacturing costs of computer parts has enabled the masses to explore the 3D industry.

The architecture industry has always been one of the rapidly growing industries. The involvement of 3D rendering has made the situation even better for both the architects and the clients. The 3D rendering technology is on its way to achieving absolute perfection. There are no boundaries, and the efficiency and effectiveness are truly remarkable. With popular trends like virtual reality, animation, and 3D printing, architectural visualisation is destined to reach new heights. Let’s discuss some of them in detail.

Virtual Reality

As if displaying the design as a 3D rendered model wasn’t effective and fast enough, VR takes the game to the next level. Virtual Reality allows the clients to not just see, but to experience a building’s design in an immersive and interactive simulated environment. This allows the architects to display their designs in the most immersive understandable way. At the same time, clients get to look at even the minute details to pass a perfect judgment. Furthermore, studies have proved that clients are more likely to invest in a project once they get to experience it virtually. So, call it a win-win situation.

VR is one of the safest bets in architectural rendering, at least until a better technology comes and replaces it. It’s one of the hottest trends in architectural rendering as it solves one common problem for most architects: attracting investors. Attracting clients to invest in a design an architect has proposed, used to be one of the most difficult tasks in this profession. Thanks to Virtual Reality, things are different now.

VR allows architects to let their clients interact with their design from and outside and from the inside. The user can virtually touch the objects inside a building, fully interacting with the surroundings. A life-like experience that generates more sales for the architect.

However, the initial investment in VR is quite expensive. It requires expensive gears and experienced rendering artists to produce a simulated environment of a building. The number of capable rendering artists that work in this industry is also very small. Good luck finding them. However, VR is backed by some of the greatest businesses in the world like Oculus, HTC, Facebook, etc. These businesses have caches of funds that are keeping the technology alive. So, VR is a bit risky but not that much. The technology is in its initial stage and it’s here to stay.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality or AR is another life-changing tech that came straight out of science-fiction, just like Virtual Reality. Augmented Reality creates a virtual environment that enhances the original visual feed by adding 3D interactive graphics. The implementation of AR is wildly popular in the architecture industry, thanks to its accessibility.

An architect can showcase a complete 3D model of a building on a construction site where nothing has been built. Clients get to see what the final construction will look like in the real world and architects get more conversions. This is one of the most effective ways to represent a design to the clients. Probably the best part of all is that, unlike VR, AR doesn’t require expensive gadgets. Although it still requires experienced rendering artists, the expense to experience this technology is relatively low. All it takes is a smartphone or a tablet and you’re good to go.

Many architects prefer AR over VR just because of its incredible simplicity and accessibility. Anyone with a smartphone or a tablet can experience Augmented Reality to the fullest.

3D Printing

If you’re not into the digital stuff and find that boring and unrealistic, have a look at 3D printing in architecture. Some architects even prefer 3D printing as a way of presentation to keep up with the technology while preserving the traditional methods. Traditional methods used to use clay to build a miniature model of a yet-to-build building. However, the method was extremely time-inefficient and hardly precise. It would take weeks to build a model and required manual labour.

3D printing, on the other hand, provides a modern way to physically present a building in a miniature format. Thanks to 3D printing, a scale model can easily be built without manual labour and take a fraction of the time. A 3D printer uses materials like hydrogel, metal powder, plastic, etc. to build the model. All you must do is to put the drawings through special software and the 3D printer will bring life to your idea. Since it doesn’t require any manual labour, the process is extremely time and cost-efficient.

Watercolour And Sketching

Even with the consistent bombardment of new technologies and features, some architects prefer old methods like sketching and drawing. They’re getting a little nostalgic about traditional means of presentation. Thanks to various architectural rendering software, it has never been this easy before. Sketching and watercolour style is one of the most powerful ways to represent an idea. No wonder why it’s this popular with futuristic technologies like VR and AR competing side by side.

The main benefit that artists get using this method is that it’s very pleasing to the eye. The outcome is a blend of various colour combinations and textures that delivers a powerful aesthetic message to the viewer. Some clients even prefer these nostalgic ways of presentation over cutting-edge technologies like Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.

However, one can argue that it’s not really a good idea to pitch the client using this method of presentation alone. Yes, it’s very true. This blend of watercolour and sketching is pleasing to the eye, but it isn’t efficient in delivering the idea to the clients. A client can’t judge how a building will look by just looking at colourful drawings. This induces a series of questions and insecurities in the client which decreases the chances of successful conversion. Watercolour and sketching rendering style can be used for enhancing the overall presentation but should not be used alone to pitch clients.


It’s a trend that’s here in this industry for quite a while and is not expected to disappear anytime soon. Animation has been and will be one of the best ways to present an idea in front of the client. It’s so much easier when information is passed in the form of video than just drawings and sketches. A short movie can bring life to the design and leave a better impression on the clients. Furthermore, it allows you to showcase the details of the design that would have been missed otherwise. Everything implies that you’ve more chances of securing a deal with the client.

Flying through the building allows the client to have a detailed look at the interior design. Animation also opens the door to unlimited creativity through storytelling. As the old saying goes: People don’t buy products, they buy emotions. Storytelling is one great way to connect emotions with your animation. Storytelling is also one of the hottest current trends in architectural rendering.

There’s so much in every second of a good story that it leaves the viewers mesmerized every time they watch it. So, if you want better sales conversion without investing a lot in various gadgets, the animation is there for you. However, it does require specialized CGI artists to make a good animation of a property or a building.

Few More Innovative Styles Of Presentation

Katherine Heigl – heard of it?

When it comes to exterior representations, it can’t get better than the Katherine Heigl style. It’s one of the current trending styles to represent the exterior environment of a building. It involves a lot of live subjects like people, animals, plants, etc. This style is best suited for buildings in urban areas. However, a creative person can do wonders regardless of the location of a building, with the Katherine Heigl style.

The main characteristics of this style are punchy and saturated colours and over-lighting with plenty of live subjects and background characters. The Katherine Heigl style induces a sense of calmness, peace, and happiness in the viewers. The style is particularly helpful when the client is undecided about how the property will integrate with the surrounding environment.

The Theodore it is

The Theodore is probably the best style to represent the interiors of a building. The name comes from the American movie “Her” and the character Theodore played by Joaquin Phoenix. This style follows the minimalistic approach with plenty of airy space and diffused lighting. However, this technique must be used when the interiors of a building are deserving enough, or it will leave a bad taste.

If you think your design is great enough, especially from the inside, use the Theodore style to pitch your design to your clients. Moreover, you should also use live subjects to give a realistic feel to your design. The main reason the Theodore style is always in trend is that it involves natural lighting and plenty of other natural elements. The Theodore style is best utilized for shopping malls, theatres, big office buildings, libraries, airports, etc.

The Whodunnit Style – get going with this cool style

The whodunnit style is best when it comes to representing modern designs with complex structures. Angular shapes cannot be seen clearly with oversaturated colours and low contrast. That’s where the whodunnit style works wonders. It introduces a perfect mixture of cool colour tones, low saturation, and high contrast to make the render look crispier.

It highlights the modern elements of a building that wouldn’t have got attention otherwise. It often includes mysterious elements like clouds, shadowy figures, and stormy skies. Don’t get fooled by these elements, the result of a whodunnit style render is always minimalistic. It’s very suitable for representing big buildings while preserving the minute details as much as possible.


Architectural visualisation is an ever-growing industry with a lot of capable rendering artists emerging day by day, thanks to the availability of affordable internet. The 3D rendering technology has offered ways in architecture that produce outstanding results with remarkable accuracy. However, the human tendency to want more is setting this industry on a path to achieve absolute excellence. The various trends in architectural rendering are helping the industry to grow faster.

Futuristic technologies like Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have provided the architecture industry with the efficiency it desperately needed. Creating and analyzing the prototypes of a building used to be one of the most daunting tasks. Things have never been the same since the integration of 3D in architecture. The traditional methods of creating prototypes of a building required a lot of manual labour and capital investment. Architectural rendering has eradicated all those issues and made the process faster than ever before.

Various architectural rendering trends have opened the gates to extreme efficiency and effectiveness. It’s an era of new possibilities and limitless creativity. So, if you want to keep up with the rest of the world or just the architecture industry, you must implement CGI in your work. You don’t have to hesitate to invest in CGI. Although the initial investment is quite big, the overall outcome far outweighs the initial costs.

Thanks to the reduction in manufacturing costs of computer parts, architectural rendering is cheaper than ever before. With more and more artists around the world identifying the potential of this industry, it’s expected to grow even more.

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