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Architectural Renderings

Everything You Need to Know About Architectural Renderings

Also known as architectural visualization or illustration, architectural renderings allow designers to create a 3D digital model of a proposed layout and building design so it can be envisioned.

Before the technology became available, it was common to create real-life models and though that’s still an option, architectural renderings are becoming the preferred method for people who need 3D models of their projects.

Today, we will go through everything you need to know about architectural renderings so you can understand how helpful this tool can be and how to get one done without too much fuss!

What Are Architectural Renderings for?

Architectural renderings are meant to provide visualization of a project so the quality and accuracy of the design can be confirmed and the dimensions, as well as other specific design aspects, can be thought out and tested.

In other words, they allow designers to see what their project will look like. A floor plan is a 2D format that describes the interior of the building, but an architectural rendering is a 3D format that allows you to see the entire design in detail and on a realistic scale.

Architectural renderings allow you to see the design features from every perspective, which makes it easier for you to notice design flaws or aesthetic issues that wouldn’t be visible in a 2D format.

What is the price of Architectural Renderings?

A visualization Studio in New York and Los Angeles usually charges between $500 USD and $1500 USD for high-quality Architectural Renderings. This is the average price you should expect to pay for small to medium projects. Also, a fair price for large projects ranges from upwards of $2,500 USD, depending on the project. We have a detailed blog post about Architectural Renderings’ price. We alos have a price guideline that you can download to get a general idea about rendering prising.

What Do You Need to Make an Architectural Rendering?

If you decide you need an architectural rendering, there are a few things you need to gather. Whether you’re creating the architectural rendering yourself or you’re hiring a company to do it for you, you’ll need the information to make sure the model meets your needs and expectations.

To make an architectural rendering that’s accurate, you need the plans for all floors, facade drawings and information about the materials of the facade, and information on the premises of the building. If your architectural rendering will be added to an existing photo, you also need high-resolution photos from the required angle.

Virtual Reality in Architecture

The emergence of VR technology and its applications in the architectural industry are impressive. We are led to believe that VR will become an integral part of the design process in the future as well as the presentation of projects.

No matter how talented a designer is, the client still needs an active imagination to envision the project when it’s presented through a 2D or 3D medium. With the use of Virtual Reality, a project can go from good to amazing because this technology allows designers to sell an idea a lot more effectively.

Floor plans, architectural renderings, and models are the most commonly used tools to convey an idea and get stakeholders on board with a project. But even these mediums can fail at accurately and effectively communicating a vision. With VR, designers can provide an immersive experience that will transport clients to an interactive 3D environment where they can explore the layout at their leisure and get the complete picture. Check out our example.

Types of Architectural Renderings

A design project can be envisioned in different ways and every stage of design will help you add whatever you need to create a complete model so your architectural rendering can provide a realistic vision. There are three main types of architectural rendering, so let’s discuss each one individually!

Exterior Rendering

Exterior rendering is exactly what it sounds like; it provides views from the exterior of the building, which can include foliage or adjacent buildings to give a clearer idea of the space and the surroundings. Exterior rendering is essential in real estate marketing because it allows you to envision the building in the location.

Interior Rendering

Interior rendering is the kind that provides views from the inside of the building, which gives a better sense of the lights and shadows and the colors so you can see the interior design of the space. Some of the software available allows you to create a walkthrough of the property. This kind of rendering is useful for real estate agents who want to show potential buyers the space and interior designers who want to showcase their services.

360 virtual tour

It contains a series of 360 Panorama rendered images collected into a navigable environment in which they help to present a virtual space and gain insights about your design. Commonly used on a website or with Virtual Reality tools such as Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard.

Aerial Rendering

Aerial rendering provides views from above the building as if you were using a drone to record from the skies. This allows people to see how the building will look in an area and how it will blend in with the rest of the buildings around.

Architectural Renderings: Step by Step Process Breakdown

If you need an architectural rendering, you can hire professional services so they can produce the model for you. However, if your budget doesn’t allow it, you can create your own architectural rendering. To help you do that, we will break down the process for you, step by step!

Step 1: Sketch

Once you have chosen your site and you’ve determined the dimensions, the first step in the architectural rendering process is to create a sketch of the building. To do the sketch, you need to choose the scale for the illustration and establish the dimensions. The sketch needs to be big enough so you can include all the details you need, but small enough to still fit in the paper sheet.

Step 2: Guidelines

If your building has several floors, you need to create guidelines that indicate where the floor divisions will be. You also want to add horizontal lines to line up the columns of windows and doors.

Step 3: Design Elements

The next thing you want to do is add design elements to your sketch. Once the skeleton of the building is ready, start adding design elements to scale, such as transitional elements between the floors, framing, doors, windows, and any other necessary design elements to paint a better picture. You can use references to help you maintain consistency throughout.

Step 4: Side Views

Now, you want to repeat that same process for every side of the building and you also want to do this from an aerial perspective. When you complete one side, you should have a good idea of what the other side should look like because you’re reusing the same design elements.

Step 5: Modeling

At this point, you can start 3D modeling the front of the building. You can draw this 3D model by hand or you can use software such as SketchUp. Another option is hiring a professional render to do this for you. Modeling is all about turning your 2D sketch into a 3D model.

You want to start with the front of the building and when the blank front side of the building is ready, you can start adding the design elements you have on your sketch. Make sure it’s all measured well! When the front side of the building is done, you can start working on the sides of the building and create the guidelines for all the details. Once you’re done, you’ll have the finished 3D model without materials.

Step 6: Materials

Next, it’s time to apply materials to the 3D model. If you’re using SketchUp, you can use the built-in materials the software provides or you can create your own with the help of Google images.

Step 7: Rendering

SketchUp offers a basic rendering system you’ll be able to use. However, there are plenty of better software options for rendering you can use. For example, 3ds Max and Blender. 3ds max is the most commonly used for architectural renderings, so it’s highly recommended.

If you’re working with professionals for your architectural rendering, once the sketch is finished, a cad drawing will be created using AutoCAD software by an architect. That way, a 3D artist will create an architectural rendering using the cad drawing the architect provided.

As you can see, architectural rendering is not too difficult that you won’t be able to do this on your own, but it is very time-consuming. Once you break the entire process into manageable steps like the ones provided above, it’s easy to handle, but you’ll definitely need time.

Architectural Rendering Tips

Now that we’ve gone through the architectural rendering process, I wanted to provide a few tips so you can have an even easier time creating your own!

Always sketch first. Sketching is what allows you to represent your original idea and composition, which will serve as a guide throughout the process. Whenever you stray and focus on details that don’t align with the original idea, your sketch will help you go back to what’s most valuable.

Look for ideas in other mediums. It’s not uncommon to look for ideas in the medium we’re working on. However, dismissing other mediums is a mistake because they can provide limitless ideas. For example, cinema and painting can provide many architectural rendering ideas.

Use your imagination. Self-control can keep you from tapping into imagination, which is the aspect of your brain that will help you create something unique. It’s important to understand the structure, but creativity will allow you to think outside the box.

Make a plan. It’s important you make a plan before you start working on your architectural rendering. This is essential. Improvising can be useful for many artists, but having a plan will save you a lot of time.

Recreate real life. When you’re modeling and illuminating your architectural rendering, you want to make it look as real as possible and provide realism to the design. Pay attention to detail and make sure everything looks as close to real-life as possible.

Final Words

Architectural renderings can help artists and designers showcase their work and it can be used for many different purposes, so it has become a valuable tool. The process is not impossible to follow on your own, but you can also hire professional services to take care of everything for you!