Architectural visualization is a skill of creating images or animations that show a future look of a building.
Everyone wants to see a product before buying it. So the next time while listing through a catalog to buy a house, jewelry or a car, you may find that the images you see are not photographs, but renders.
In ancient days, emperors and kings wanted to see how their precious palaces or tombs or gardens will look before they building them. So we assume that sketches on stones, muddy-sculptures or drawings on papyrus, were the first forms of visualization.
Afterward, architects were creating fine drawings or paintings, today’s renderings precursors, using traditional art techniques such us watercolor or pen or acrylic method.


There are three main categories of Architectural visualization:

Still images or renderings
Animation, movie
Interactive presentation

In this article, I'm going to describe only the first category, still images or renderings.

The still images or renderings can be made with help of traditional drawing techniques or computer software packages.
Images created, using traditional drawing-technique, we call traditional architectural illustrations. In contrast to traditional images we use software packages, 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Photoshop, or V-Ray, to make renderings or CGI ( (Computer-Generated Images).

We can use the renderings as a part of a broad architectural presentation or as an independent form. Here are several reasons to use renderings:

Telling a story

When an architect wants to convince a client to buy a design, he presents the design, showing the best features of his project. He praises its child and tells a story. The story that thousands of words can’t match, a picture. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, putting several pictures in front of the client will make a difference. Speaking for oneself, good images without saying a word will disarm the client.

Selling a building

In the world of Real Estate, to sell an apartment you need to show what you’re selling. As real estate agents or developers want to sell a property as soon as possible, they hunger for a good rendering. Making rendering for an unfinished building is the key to selling pre-constructed condos. This is a very alluring opportunity both for developers and buyers. Buyers can get a property cheaper or even design its own plan, and developers can get as much money as possible in front.

3. Designing

Renderings allow architects and developers to experiment with a building design by exploring endless possibilities. Often, architects use draft renderings to refine a design helping developer to make key decisions. Making crucial decisions in an early design phase, developers can save money and time, and control the risk better.

4. Planning

If you want to build a new building or to make a major change to your building or to change the use of your building, you’ll need planning permission. Renderings are a great tool to help you to present your project to a planning department to get approval.

There are countless ways to use architectural renderings, the possibilities are endless. Cases mentioned above are scenarios I encountered in my rendering practice.

The most prominent consumers of architectural renderings are architects. As we mention in the cases above, they use renderings to display their work or to design. In today’s design process, it’s impossible to image an architectural atelier without a pile of scribbled renders. Architectural offices can have an in-house render production or to hire a rendering office. To have a premium renders, hiring a professional rendering office is a good choice. But, some architectural offices find that working with an in-house production is better. Keeping a design process and a presentation close together, they produce a faster result and control every aspect of work.

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