Types of Architectural Renderings: What's the Best One for You?

Explore diverse architectural rendering styles to envision your project. From concept to completion, discover the perfect fit for your design needs

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Published on
March 31, 2022
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10 min
Types of Architectural Renderings: What's the Best One for You?


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Architectural renderings can be used to visualize a finished project or to help with the concept design process by allowing clients to test different possibilities and features of architectural projects. There are a variety of architectural renderings that can give your client an accurate portrayal of what their building will look like when it is finished. Which one you choose depends on the type of project, your budget, and the client's needs, all of which we’ll discuss a bit more in-depth in this article. So let’s learn more about the different types of architectural rendering styles and explain which one is the most suitable for your design needs.

What is Architectural Rendering? 

Architectural rendering is the process of creating a photorealistic 3D image of a building or interior. These 3D images have multple purposes – visualizing how a finished project will look like, marketing, presentations, predicting potential construction errors, and so on. Architectural 3D rendering techniques have become prevalent in modern architecture, so let’s learn more about these techniques below.

Residential building architectural rendering by PIXREADY

What are Architectural Rendering Techniques?

Architectural visualization techniques include 3D animation, exterior 3D visualization, interior rendering, virtual tours, and 3D aerial renderings. These techniques can be used throughout all stages or architectural construction, from initial plans to final products and marketing presentations for clients. Here’s a quick rundown of what these techniques are used for:

  • Exterior 3D visualization - exterior 3D visualization focuses on how things look on the outside, be it buildings, parks, or shopping malls. 
  • Interior 3D rendering - interior 3D rendering focuses on decor and set up within an enclosed area - lobbies, rooms, auditoriums, or any other interior space.
  • 3D animation - 3D animation is mostly used in marketing or for visualization of different concepts and how they work, such as how-to videos and simulations.
  • Virtual tours and walkthroughs - virtual tours and walkthroughs are commonly used in real estate and it’s a great way to get a virtual overview of a house, building, office, or anything else.
  • CGI panoramas - CGI panoramas give you a 360-degree overview of buildings and landscapes.
  • Aerial renderings - aerial renderings are unique because they show properties and buildings from a bird’s eye perspective. It’s great for checking out construction sites, exteriors, and marketing.

Below we’ll discuss each one of these important techniques a bit more in-depth.

Residential building architectural rendering by PIXREADY

Exterior 3D Visualization

Exterior 3D visualization can be used for both residential and commercial projects. Exterior CGI visualization is used to create a three-dimensional image of the exterior of an office, house, or industrial property. That is a great way to show potential investors and clients different styles of the outside of a building.In terms of residential projects, this type of visualization can be used to showcase different apartment buildings, neighborhoods, and suburban residences. When it comes to commercial projects, you can use it to display religious institutions, shopping malls, college campuses, industrial buildings, or business offices.External visualization also allows you to view projects from any angle, making it easier to demonstrate the unique features and benefits of a project to clients and target audiences. You can use this technology to add different lighting, textures, and elements that will create a more realistic image of what the property or building will look like. You can add details like people walking around, trees, benches, parks, and other similar things to breathe some life into your designs and convince clients to invest or buy.Check out PIXREADY’s exterior 3D visualization portfolio to see the level of quality our artists are able to deliver.

Interior 3D Rendering

Interior 3D visualization is used to showcase what a home or building will look like once it’s decorated and ready for sale. Plain, white, empty spaces are boring and they won’t spark any interest in clients and investors. To illustrate the potential of your architectural project, you need to think about details and convey the desired atmosphere that will be warm and inviting. You can use interior 3D rendering for virtually anything - designing commercial projects like cafes, shopping malls, and hotels, or for residential projects like apartment buildings and houses. One common use case is virtual staging. Staging is vital for the sales process since it paints a better picture of how an interior space can be utilized. However, adding actual furniture and decor is expensive, time-consuming, and less versatile. Virtual staging is limitless and requires no additional effort. You can create all types, colors, textures, and designs, allowing you to maximize the space and create appealing offers for clients. Clients want to get a real feel for the atmosphere and textures of the interior space, as well as the style, layout, and other details, which is why the quality of interior design can make or break their decision. This way, both designer and client are on the same page in terms of what is wanted in terms of design, colors, furniture, and more.

3D Animation

3D animation is one of the most effective ways to show off a design or project. It can provide a much more in-depth view than any still image, and it creates the effect of watching a short movie. This makes it an ideal way for clients to see everything that a project has to offer. 3D animation allows the audience to connect with your design by giving them a sense of depth within a space. With 3D animation, every angle and detail of the building can be easily covered. However, they are extremely difficult and time-consuming to make. In order to attract more clients, 3D animation artists can add a logo, background music, professional voiceover, and text to their creations, making them particularly great for presentations.

Virtual Tours, 3D Walkthrough and CGI Panoramas

Virtual tours, 3D walkthroughs, and CGI panoramas are a great way to give your clients a 360-degree view of a building that has not yet been constructed or a full overview of the inside of a building. Virtual tours are slowly becoming a standard in the real estate industry because they’re quick, easy, convenient, and versatile.3D walkthroughs and CGI panoramas are also a big trend in architecture as they allow clients and investors to fully explore the place, experience the mood and atmosphere, and move freely through space. Virtual tours can make clients feel more immersed in your project, consequently bringing more investments and interest in your architectural designs.

3D Architectural Aerial Renderings

3D Architectural Aerial Renderings are a great way to show off your architectural design skills and space planning. They provide a realistic and accurate view of your project from above. For example, if you’re designing a shopping mall, clients will be able to see how the mall looks, but also other details like benches, parks, and surrounding areas which give it more life and make your design more realistic.

What are the Benefits of Using Architectural Renderings

Architectural renderings are a great way to give your client an accurate portrayal of what their building will look like when it is finished. Here are some other benefits that come with it:

  • They attract more clients
  • They are quick
  • They are cost-effective
  • It allows seamless details and precision
  • You can use it for presentations and marketing
  • It’s a great way to draw in clients and potential investors
  • You can use it to diagnose issues before construction
  • Easy to edit and collaborate
  • It’s versatile and multipurposed
Residential building architectural rendering by PIXREADY

Which Rendering is the Best for Architecture?

To sum up, the best rendering for architecture depends on the type of project, your budget, and the client's needs. Interior design renderings are a great way to visualize how an empty space will look after construction. 3D animation is usually used for marketing purposes, and virtual tours are great for showing clients what a finished project will look like and letting them move around the property freely to experience it in more detail. 3D aerial renderings are perfect for large projects that need to be viewed from a distance.

How to Find the Best Architectural Rendering Company?

In conclusion, there are many different types of architectural renderings. Each type has its own strengths and weaknesses depending on what you’re trying to communicate in your design. Hopefully, this post helped clear up any confusion about the different types of renderings and gave you a better understanding of which one will work best for your project. Whether you need a photorealistic 3D rendering for an upcoming pitch or just want to see what your finished project will look like, PIXREADY can help. We’re experts in architectural renderings and creating high-quality images that capture the essence of your design. Contact us today to get started!

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