3D Architectural Rendering 101 A Definitive Guide

3D Architectural Rendering 101

A Definitive Guide

Today, we’re seeing the development of many technologies aimed at making architecture, engineering, and construction processes more time and cost-efficient. Those cutting-edge solutions change the way architects work, opening new possibilities for them. One of the most game-changing technologies here is 3D architectural rendering. And all the industry leaders are already using it, setting a high bar for every player on the market.

At the same time, many of those architects who already use 3D rendering in their work are completely unaware of the full range of possibilities this technology has to offer. For instance, one might not know about the great variety of 3D products, the quality true professionals can achieve, or the ways to save money while still getting top-notch visuals.

As a 3D visualization company, we know it all too well. Having worked with numerous clients over the years, we developed a special approach to architectural rendering projects. We’re always happy to consult our clients and help them find the best solutions to suit their particular needs. In fact, we’ve heard the phrase “I never knew that possible!” so many times that we decided to share some of this knowledge with everyone. So, we created this guide on 3D architectural rendering. Here, you can find answers to all the burning questions about it in the most concise and clear form.

Make sure your exterior design project takes your clients’ breath away

We guarantee that after reading this guide, you will look at project presentations and marketing activities in a totally different way. Furthermore, you’ll find out how to find a perfect CGI contractor and get the most out of working with a 3D services company. Sounds exciting? Well, let’s dive into this and learn everything there is to know about the magic of 3D visualization!



What Is 3D Architectural Rendering?

First things first, let’s start with the architectural 3D rendering definition. Essentially, it’s the process of creating photorealistic images of objects and places using specialized computer graphics software. For instance, such images can feature architectural objects and their surroundings. From a cozy beach house to a hi-tech skyscraper, computer 3D rendering allows visualizing anything.



Software and Formats

Professional 3D visualization requires the use of specialized software. Oftentimes, 3D artists use several programs throughout the project pipeline. So, what is the best 3D architectural rendering software? Well, the most popular ones are 3Ds Max, Maya, Rhino, SketchUp, Blender, Cinema 4D, Modo, Revit.



How Architects Use 3D Visualization

So, why use 3D rendering in the first place? Well, the short answer is, the adoption of CGI has revolutionized the way architects work on their projects. Particularly, it has improved their client communication, advertising, project development and realization, and so on. Sounds too good? Then let’s see how architects can use visuals produced by 3D rendering at virtually every stage of their projects.



Myths about 3D Rendering Services

Now, if CGI is so helpful, why hasn’t it become a standard in the architectural industry? Well, because many specialists who have worked in a certain way for years and decades are skeptical about adopting new technology. Unfortunately, skepticism turns into myths over time. And those who believe those myths miss out on all the great opportunities described above.



The Workflow of a CGI Project

Different 3D architectural rendering companies have different ways of interacting with clients. Smaller companies normally use free consumer-grade services, such as task managers, mail clients, cloud storage apps, etc. It’s a feasible solution when a company has only a small number of orders. But as the number of projects grows, this way of client communication becomes unreliable. For instance, important messages might get lost in a cluttered inbox. Plus, it’s not very convenient to shift from app to app to do different tasks.



Creation Process

A project begins when a client contacts a studio and formulates a technical assignment. The client also submits all the necessary references, such as location maps, photos, sketches, CAD drafts, specifications on materials, etc. After that, CGI specialists begin the architectural rendering process. First, they create 3D models. Then, they choose the best points of view for the images and add lighting and shading accordingly.



Types of 3D Architectural Rendering

The 2 main types of 3D rendering for architecture and design are those of interior and exterior. Exterior 3D renders allow an architect to demonstrate a building from any angle. For instance, there can be a perspective view, a top view, a closeup, etc. This makes it possible to see how the future building will fit into the surroundings, how it can look if done in different materials, and so on.



How to Tell the Quality of CGI

There are many criteria that determine the quality of 3D architectural rendering, and they are different for every type of it. However, there are some universal rules that work both for exterior and interior images. First of all, all the objects in a scene must look natural. They need to have perfect geometry, accurate size, and high-resolution photorealistic textures.



The Cost of 3D Rendering

The cost of 3D architectural visualization depends on many things, including types of visuals, urgency, the complexity of custom-made 3D models, number of corrections, etc. Another factor that affects 3D rendering prices is the output of the process. Namely, the number of views and resolution of final images.



The Timeframe of a CGI Project

The time it takes to complete an architectural visualization project largely depends on its scale. With small rooms and buildings, it usually takes about 1-2
days. Medium-scaled projects take 3-4 days on average. Large-scale ones, such as commercial interiors and exteriors, can take from 3 to 15 days. And finally, building a whole city block can take anywhere from 15 days to several months of work.



Choosing a CGI Studio

When choosing from numerous 3D visualization companies, architects might not know what to look at to find a perfect fit. Well, firstly, they need to decide on the kind of company. There is quite a choice on the market, with companies of different scales. Let’s check out all of the solutions available and weigh all pros and cons.



Technical Assignment

In order to get impeccable architectural renders, it’s essential to write a comprehensive technical assignment. For interior 3D rendering, it should include
information about the functional zoning of a building and style references. The latter two are extremely important, as they show the CGI specialist how exactly to implement a client’s ideas.



Case Studies

Finally, we come back to the reasons the industry professionals use 3D architectural rendering services in the first place. What are the results of successful cooperation with a CGI studio? Well, let’s see.