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 rendering in 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?

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 renderings, rendering techniques and 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 multiple purposes – visualizing how a finished project will look like, marketing materials, presentations, rendering projects, 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.

architectural renders of residential building
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 of architectural construction and rendering projects, from initial plans to final products and marketing presentations for clients. Here's a quick rundown of what these various rendering 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 other elements 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 types of 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 materials.

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

architectural renderings, exterior visualization of the building
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 building, 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 styles of apartment buildings, neighbourhoods, 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 can 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 textures and convey the desired atmosphere that will be warm and inviting. You can use an interior space 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, colours, 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 the designer and the client are on the same page in terms of what is wanted in terms of design, colours, 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 project or 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 clients with 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. This type of rendering is particularly beneficial for urban planning projects, large-scale developments, and landscape architecture where context and spatial relationships play a crucial role. Aerial renderings not only showcase the architectural design but also demonstrate how it interacts with surrounding structures, green spaces, and infrastructure, aiding in decision-making processes and community engagement initiatives.

architectural rendering styles in city landscape
3D Architectural Aerial Rendering by PIXREADY


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:

Attract More Clients

Architectural renderings serve as powerful marketing tools, captivating potential clients with realistic visualizations of their future projects, thus increasing client interest and engagement.

Quick Turnaround

With advancements in technology and rendering software, architectural renderings can be produced efficiently, enabling faster project timelines and accelerated decision-making processes.

Cost-Effective Solution

Compared to traditional methods like physical models or elaborate sketches, architectural renderings offer a more economical option for presenting designs, saving both time and resources.

Seamless Details and Image Precision

Renderings provide meticulous attention to detail, allowing for precise representation of architectural elements, materials, and textures, ensuring accuracy in conveying the design intent.

Presentations and Marketing

Architectural renderings are versatile assets that can be utilized for various purposes, including client presentations, marketing materials, and promotional campaigns, enhancing communication and brand visibility.

Engage Clients and Investors

By showcasing visually stunning renderings, architects can captivate clients and investors, fostering a deeper understanding and emotional connection to the project, and ultimately driving investment and support.

Diagnose Issues Before Construction

Renderings enable architects to identify and address potential design flaws or conflicts early in the process, minimizing costly revisions during construction and ensuring project feasibility.

Easy Editing and Collaboration

Digital renderings offer flexibility in making changes and modifications, facilitating collaborative efforts between architects, clients, and stakeholders throughout the design development phase.

Versatile and Multipurpose

From conceptual design to final marketing materials, architectural renderings can fulfil a wide range of project needs, serving as invaluable tools throughout the architectural design and development process.

exterior conceptual rendering of the residential building
Residential Building Architectural Rendering by PIXREADY


To sum up, the best type of 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 a 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.


In conclusion, there are many different types of architectural renderings. Each rendering type has its 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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Founded by a group of technology, architecture, and design professionals in 2018, PIXREADY is one of the challengers empowering the 3D visualization industry and making its products and services more affordable. We are determined to assist businesses around the world to create photorealistic images of their products and ideas and enrich the experience of their clients. We focus on the details, with the highest precision in every pixel.


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