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a 3D architectural render of a family villa with a pool

All You Need to Know About 3D Architectural Rendering

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Many people own a business, or are interested in owning a business for themselves, and success in their work is the most crucial thing for them. Maybe you know dozens of essential items contributing to the progress or failure of a business. I think customer satisfaction is one of them.

Let’s suppose that you are an entrepreneur, so surely you are seeking to have loyal customers because they turn into brand ambassadors, and it helps to save your business. If you as an entrepreneur don’t care about customers’ satisfaction and don't try to help your customers fall in love with your services, they don’t care about your business too. Sad, but true.

But “What things make them satisfied?” you might well ask.

Customers are interested in confronting the result of their requested service before receiving the final result. When you have an architectural design company, it will be more essential to prepare photos to get your ideas across in conversation with clients, cuz the clients will be more satisfied when they see the results in the form of pictures of their favorite building, before receiving the final design.

How should you prepare it for your customers?

This is why I want to tell you about “architectural rendering”, “rendering meaning in architecture”, the benefits of 3D architectural rendering, and the best software programs for rendering. Let’s get down to it.

the comparison between a 3D architectural rendering output and a real photo of a skyscraper

What is rendering in architecture

Do you know what architectural rendering is?

If not, this part is for you. “Architecture" is the product and process of designing buildings or any other structures. But what is rendering in architecture? It is the process of creating two-dimensional and three-dimensional images or animations showing the attributes of a proposed final architectural design.

The entire plan of a building can be rendered using 3D architectural rendering and checked for structural and design flaws before it even leaves the drawing board. This is more efficient, less wasteful, and a lot more convenient as well.

The gap between reality and presentation has always been a big challenge in collaboration with clients. Since this is a big part of their abortion with clients, they were facing a lot of problems when presenting projects. Renderings and drawings are valuable tools, no doubt about it, but it's hard to truly depict detail and design as they can't provide clients with a true sense of space.

To achieve that, you’re going to need a rendering software. This is what makes the architectural designs into reality. Here you can find the top 8 incredible solutions that can take your architectural rendering to a whole new level.

1. V-Ray

V-Ray is a powerful 3D rendering software that is built for architecture with a full suite of tools, designers can render anything from early massing models to photorealistic imagery, animation, and VR of the final design. For any architectural project, V-Ray connects seamlessly with the top 3D modeling and design applications including 3ds Max, Revit, Rhino, SketchUp and Unreal.

2. Blender

Blender is a 3D rendering software. It can produce full documentation for architecture. You can “render” full projects by blender. The results look like something that came out from AutoCAD, Revit, ArchiCAD or others.

3. Maxwell

Maxwell Render is a 3D render engine, developed by Technologies in Spain and is used in the animation, photo and VFX industry, as well as architectural and product design visualization. Maxwell offers various plug-ins for 3D/CAD and post-production applications.

4. Octane Render

Octane render is another rendering engine that is famous and widely used software, and it focuses on calculating renders. The advantage of using octane is that you can achieve good rendering output without doing a complicated operation. The advice, if you decide to learn octane render, try to learn VRAY and Octane Render if possible, because you can use both of them on different occasions.

5. Viz Render

Autodesk VIZ Render is a rendering software that renders animated 3D scenes in real-time.it used to be bundled with Autodesk's Architectural Desktop software. Viz produce high-end animations in HD, 4K and beyond.

6. Lumion

It’s one of the rendering software and has an important advantage making it incredibly useful. It’s compatible with every other 3D rendering software.

7. Corona Renderer

Corona isn’t as fast as some of the other software like VRAY or Octane Render, but it allows deep integration with 3DS Max, and give you the full freedom to employ complex 3D models without having a concern about compatibility and complexity.

8. Cinema 4D

Do you know what Cinema 4D is? If not, I can help you. It's an expensive software ($3510 a license). I recommend it to you, though! Because it has unique lighting option and a powerful suite of features and tools for making impressive renders. If you spend enough time to learn all the tricks and hacks of Cinema 4D, then you’ll find this works way better than most of the other options on this list. It might just be worth the investment. Go for it if you think it’s worth it.

a 3D architectural rendering output of a building with glass facade

Architectural rendering saves designs from being destroyed

Although some tools such as the architectural software programs mentioned above can make things simple, many architects still prefer using traditional methods like pencil and paper. But as time passing, these designs will be destroyed.

Architectural rendering saves them from disappearing, for other architects' usage. Because some older designs can be inspiring for architects.

an architectural render of a building with parametric design located near a river

Architectural rendering brings architect’s creations to life

3D architectural renderings bring your creations to life for your potential clients and helps to portray their vision into reality. Sometimes it’s all you need as an architect or company owner because people prefer to see shapes with gentle curves instead of massive content about design details.

In other words, the human brain is attracted to certain shapes more so than others. You can't get your design ideas across with people with a flat 2D image. They won't get to see the depth and dimensions of the design. This is fixed with 3D architectural rendering services.

You can present the renders as they would appear in real life. This attracts clients more than a flat blueprint. It's like looking at the real thing. That is always going to be better than looking at rough sketches. With 3D renders you're more likely going to get client approval faster than before and improve visual communication.

architects and clients in a meeting for presenting a designs of an architectural project

Architectural rendering help you to win a new project

Interactive 3D presentation of architectural projects is an important advertising tool. Having Impressive companies' sample works or Portfolio is often a key discriminator between you and others for winning a new project.

You need something attention-grabbing and able to communicate your vision to non-architects. Once again, 3D rendering is ideal for showing off, so 3D architectural rendering can help you. It’s the digital age, guys, and people expect you to offer them a digital presentation of your experiences.

an architecture office with a library shelves and a meeting table

Architectural renderings make changes cost-effective

Choosing a cost-effective way doesn't mean you have to tighten your belt to provide best presentations for clients. Simple, you just need to present your work in a clear and effective way. It should take your audience through your design journey, and touch upon schemes and drawings.

You do it to take the clients' comments, but what is happening when you want to change some items according to clients' comment? Do you how much does it cost to edit a design? This cost is not only for the adjustments but for the time and employee needed for those changes.

Don't worry, 3D architectural rendering helps you to save your money. And the budget can go to other vital aspects like marketing.

Making all those edited drawings on a 2D blueprint costs money. 3D architectural rendering software makes the process easy. Designers can now make the changes with a few clicks. This means less money spent on the edition.

an edition process by an architectural rendering software of a building

You can deal with problems by creating architectural renders

Clients' opinions matter and quite often, they are the main driving force behind a designing decision. Architectural rendering can help you to take clients' comments and prepare your designs according to her/his opinion.

There’s a long way between an idea and how it turns out to be in design outcomes, architectural rendering helps you to portray your vision and turn it to visual photo or animation, so you can realize the problems and try to edit.

Also, you can see if there's lack of space or if the design is unappealing to test audiences. You'll be able to solve all these problems before the construction phase. This will save the company time and money. The worst case scenario is to make major architectural changes while workers are already on the field.

an architecture office with a library shelves and a meeting table

3D rendering gives you control over every aspect of lighting

3 different lighting design in 3D architectural rendering outputs

For interiors and exteriors, 3D architectural rendering gives you complete control over every aspect of lighting so you can have any lighting design you wish, dim or brighten lights, bring sunlight in through the curtains in interiors, and soften or sharpen shadows.

Architectural rendering can help you if you wish to have a sunny day to capture your landscape.

Also, you have control over the intensity of the sunlight, time of the day, everything! It's always a sunny day in a 3D rendering as long as you want it to be.


As you read above when you have an architectural design company, it will be essential to prepare photos to get your ideas across in conversation with clients.

3D architectural rendering entails the skilled work of many architects, technicians, graphic designers, animators, and different multimedia professionals.

If you are looking for 3D architectural rendering, you are exactly at the right place, get in touch with us at outsourceplan.

Leave a comment and let me know your opinion about the best software programs for rendering.

Kate Silva
Author: Kate Silva
I studied civil engineering at university. I have worked as a civil engineer and urban designer in many consulting and engineering companies. After a few years, I surprisingly got interested in architecture and design. I write on architecture and design, too. I hope you will enjoy my articles and I would kindly regard if you share your ideas and comments about them.

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Very informative article. Thanks for sharing!

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