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Nishant Verma profile image Nishant Verma

Architectural Rendering: Understanding the Aspects of Realistic Visualization

Architectural rendering is essential for creating realistic images of future buildings or spaces. These visual renderings transform ideas into reality, helping architects and designers effectively communicate design concepts to clients and stakeholders.

Understanding Architectural Rendering

Architectural rendering is an increasingly important process that involves creating realistic images of a future building or space. These visual renderings convey ideas into reality. Most architects and designers utilize architectural designs to communicate design visualization to contractors and clients. Understanding the visual representation with different possibilities and features helps ensure faster decision-making.  

Let us understand more about architectural renderings. We'll also explore critical aspects of 3D rendering.  

Architectural rendering Image

What is architectural rendering?

Architectural rendering involves the creation of visuals of proposed architectural structures. These structures can be buildings with highly realistic, detailed images or animations depicting future design concepts. 3D visualization propagates,

  • Marketing ideas to clients
  • Solicit feedback for design refinement
  • Ensure seamless project development

Fact: North America emerged as the largest market for global 3D Rendering, with a 32.15% share of the market revenue in 2022.

Currently, architectural renders cover a variety of disciplines, from manufacturing to engineering. However, unlike rendering of products, 3D visualization emphasizes building structures that do not exist. It's an attempt to develop images that clearly represent a building, space, or project, providing visual context through aspects like colors, scale, light, and textures. 

What is the significance of architectural renders?

Architectural rendering is a powerful way to showcase building specifications. The realistic view of the project provides an ample understanding of the real-world scenario. For instance, when designing a building, a client will completely understand how it will look. Meanwhile, 3D interior rendering can provide detailed insight into building interiors.  Businesses these days are venturing into architectural renderings for significant benefits, i.e., 

Fact- 3D Rendering Market size was valued at USD 4.4 billion in 2023 and is estimated to register a CAGR of 25% between 2024 and 2032.

  1. Idea visualization
Roadmap to idea creation

Accurate portrayal of ideas in visual design is essential, especially when clients look for buildings and architecture. For most clients, it can be an investment worth a lifetime. Technologically advanced architectural rendering captivates potential clients with future projects. It captivates clients and investors, delving into a deeper emotional understanding of the project.  

  1. Marketing and promotion
3D architecture for promotion

Architectural renders are versatile assets, and businesses can actively use these resources for marketing and promotion. Critical areas for promotion include client presentations, marketing materials, and promotional campaigns, ultimately enhancing communication and brand visibility. 

  1. Cost-effectiveness

In contrast to the traditional technique of physical models or sketches, architectural renders provide an economical option when presenting designs. A professional video or photo shoot is costly, especially for architects, since it covers a large area. With 3D architectural rendering, all these challenges are met smoothly. Besides, the advanced technology allows the client to see exactly what the final product will look like, including materials, lighting, and landscaping. It saves both time and resources. 

  1. Issue identification

When it comes to architecture, rendering helps architects understand the overall project seamlessly. As a result, they can investigate designs and address any potential flaws as soon as possible. This minimizes the chance of revisions that may add cost to construction. 

What are the different types of architectural renders?

Architectural renders can be developed in various formats. These formats can be used throughout different stages, from initial plans to final products. They are also comprehensively used for marketing presentations for clients. Here are various types of architectural renders used for 3D visualization.

  1. Exterior 3D visualization
 infrastructure image in 3D

Exterior 3D visualization is comprehensively used for residential and commercial projects. The process involves exterior CGI visualization with 3D images of any form of architecture. External visualization projects building architecture from diverse angles. It makes it easier to demonstrate a project's unique features and benefits to the target audience. 

  1. Interior 3D rendering

Interior 3D rendering showcases building interiors, especially decorations. Stakeholders can explore details and textures and convey the desired atmosphere. Interior space 3D rendering covers a wide range of projects, including cafes, shopping malls, hotels, residential buildings, houses, and more. Clients can get a real feel for the atmosphere and textures of interior spaces, including the style, layout, and other details. 

  1. 3D Animation

Businesses are utilizing 3D animation to promote designs or projects. The aim is to get a more in-depth view than the still image. With 3D animation, audiences can connect with the project or design, providing a complete sense of depth within a space. 3D animation of architectural renders provides every angle and detail of the building.   

  1. 3D Walkthroughs
3D Walkthrough inside a room

In the real estate industry, virtual walkthroughs are slowly transforming visualization. They offer quick, easy, and convenient architectural understanding. 3D walkthroughs are a trending phenomenon where clients and investors can seamlessly explore the place, experience the mood, and freely move through the space. 

How are architectural renders created?

In the real-estate business, architectural renderings sell the architect's vision; as a result, the 3D visualization must look great. Besides, the overall creation is a mix of art and technique. Here's a step-wise process when undergoing architectural rendering,

  • Project clarity

The initial process starts with research on project development. This covers the building plans, elevations, sections, and other relevant information. This step requires comprehensive client coordination for better understanding.

  • Software

There is a range of software available for 3D rendering. It is essential to choose the software that provides the desired result; the right choice significantly impacts the development process. 

  • Creation of the model

3D model of any type of infrastructure

3D artists will develop a model depending on the requirement. A model can be built from scratch or with pre-built 3D models. However, it requires a more realistic image if it's more detailed.   

Textures and materials

Once the model is completed, textures and materials are added. These materials are essential to renders; they add realism and variety to the difference between quality rendering. 

  • Lighting

Lighting creates the desired mood and highlights a project. Artificial light and natural light help create smooth architectural renderings. The use of photorealistic rendering is a powerful way to refine lighting. 

  • Art Direction

The correct direction emphasizes exceptional models, materials, and lighting. The right angle and the proper lighting can make renders look aesthetic.   

  • Renders

Once everything is placed, the rendering process begins. Depending on the complexity, it may take a few minutes to several hours. 

  • Post-processing
Post processing of image renders

Once an architectural rendering is completed, post-processing takes place. This process involves adjusting colors, contrast, lens flare, and more. Adding layers dramatically enhances the final output.

  • Presentation

The final 3D rendering is presented to the client. It's better to include annotations or notes to simplify the design and features of the building. Viewers can get detailed insights into what exactly they're looking for.

Software tools for architectural rendering

In the current scenario, advanced software tools have disrupted constantly evolving technology. Here are some of the top software used by experts for 3D rendering.

  • V-Ray 

V-Ray features state-of-the-art rendering technology and advanced photorealistic images. It can be integrated with rendering applications such as 3Ds Max, Sketchup, Rhino, Revit, and Unreal. 

The quality, power, speed, and creative control are a powerpack solution for artists and designers. 

  • Adobe Substance 3D

The Substance Suite is an incredible tool for 3D creations. It has gained popularity in games, films, architecture, and design. It is also compatible with other 3D apps.

  • Blender

Blender is a free rendering tool. Its unbiased rendering engine offers stunning, ultra-realistic creations. Its powerful features provide desired results, and the Blender community provides quality assistance. 

  • Maxon Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D is easy to use due to its intuitive interface, stability, and exclusive help system. Its breathtaking renderings also provide fast-paced 3D production. 

  • Evermotion 3D Collections

Evermotion offers over eleven thousand 3D models. They regularly create themed collections with broader assets for specific visualization topics. The software also provides 3D models for Unreal Engine.  


Challenges of developing architectural renders

  • Skillset

It is essential to have the right skillset when developing architectural renders. There's a whole process of 3D modeling programs, rendering software, and editing that a 3D artist must have expertise in.    

  • Right set of tools

The right tools are essential for developing 3D renders. Software tools and learning resources enable keeping up with up-to-date trends and techniques.  

  • Time

The actual rendering of an image requires enough time to achieve the overall look. It's significant to ensure that the actual rendering is included in the project timeline to ensure that deadlines are met without delays. 

Benefits of 3D Architectural Renders

Real-time rendering offers numerous advantages. Utilizing advanced technologies, the design process provides numerous benefits. But, before that let us explore some real-world examples,

  1. Captivating atmosphere renders

Captivating architectural renders focus on conveying creative urban scenarios. It may include aesthetically induced golden sundown on a reflected puddle during a dusky evening. 

  1. Creative POV

The rendering comes with unusual angles, making it look cinematic. It speaks the story with candid details and aesthetic scenarios, making it look realistic.

  1. Utilizing unusual colors with CGI

Executing creative ideas with a unique set of colors can be an eye-catcher. Exploration can be done when depicting historic architecture to create an archaic touch. 

  1. Creative designs

A spectacular presentation can transform how we visualize things. From picking the right angles to setting eloquent lighting, it yields a stunning portfolio.           

Here are some benefits of 3D architectural renders

  • Add value to the stakeholders
Adding Value to stakeholders through Arc Viz

A fully detailed and explorable 3D render gives a complete view of the proposed designs for the project. Stakeholders also have a full understanding of the project. 3D architectural renderings can show the general public how a project can enhance its functionality. Clients may visualize the overall interaction with the place and see the value in their taxpayer investment. 

  • Project efficiency

For BIM or CAD programs, rendering software provides design and renders simultaneously. 3D renders give a competitive edge with quicker design, leading to fast-track decision-making. 

  • Identify issues 

Rendering programs utilize advanced algorithms, creating the most realistic effects for architectural renders. Sunlight angles and intensities can be accurately simulated and modified per the surrounding vegetation. The interactive quality of real-time renders ensures seamless design analysis and troubleshooting.  

  • Investor confidence

High-quality renders help investors analyze and understand the project. It acts as a blueprint for the upcoming project, ensuring better participation. Compelling renders have proven to secure funding.

  • Design and refinement

Renders turn imagination into digital reality. However, these architectural renders may not offer perfect definitions; as a result, consecutive design and refinement allow the scrutinization of design possibilities to the minutest details. 

  • Marketing and promotion

Architectural rendering is a powerful marketing tool. The realistic designs have proven effective in attracting potential buyers, tenants, and visitors.        

Application of Architectural renders

Architectural renderings cover a wide range of applications. It extends beyond the field of architecture, covering, 

  • 3D interior designs, furniture modeling
Collage interiors and furniture

3D interior design and furniture modeling use 3D rendering. Here, detailed interior renders with different layouts, materials, and lighting scenarios can be created and compared with physical models. This helps finalize the design and provides 3D visualization. 

  • Urban planning and landscape design

3D rendering offers a significant advantage in urban planning and landscape design, such as large-scale project visualization. With precise 3D representation of designs, experts can evaluate their impact, articulate concepts, and make knowledgeable choices. 

  • Real-estate 

Real estate is booming like never before, and 3D architecture renders it a potent marketing instrument. It provides potential buyers with a realistic representation of the finished product. Some of the examples include;

  1. Hudson Yards, New York City

Hudson Yards is one of the most significant private real estate developments in the United States. Architectural rendering played a critical role in visualizing this massive project. Developers used 3D renderings to present their vision to investors, stakeholders, and the public. These visualizations helped secure funding and approvals by showcasing the potential impact and design of the development in a highly realistic manner.

  1. Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

The iconic Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore is another example where architectural rendering was indispensable. The complex design of the three interconnected towers with the rooftop SkyPark required detailed visualizations to ensure feasibility and convey the ambitious concept to stakeholders. Renderings were used extensively to refine the design and to market the project to potential investors and future guests.

  1. Apple Park, Cupertino

Apple’s corporate headquarters, Apple Park, utilized architectural rendering to visualize the futuristic design of the “spaceship” campus. Renderings helped the design team communicate the project’s vision to Apple executives and city planners. These visualizations demonstrated how the building would integrate with the surrounding environment and comply with local regulations.

  1. The Shard, London

The Shard, a towering testament to architectural prowess in London, owes much of its success to the use of architectural rendering. This tool was a key player in the planning and development stages, allowing the design team to explore various options and address structural or aesthetic concerns before construction began. The visualizations were not just for show but a vital part of the decision-making process, helping to gain planning permission and engage with the local community.

  1. Dubai Creek Tower, Dubai

The Dubai Creek Tower, designed to surpass the Burj Khalifa in height, used architectural rendering to visualize its unprecedented design. Given the scale and innovative nature of the project, detailed 3D renderings were essential in conveying the design intent to stakeholders and for marketing purposes. The renderings illustrated the tower’s impact on Dubai’s skyline and helped secure the necessary investments.

AI-powered architectural rendering programs

AI- Powered architectural rendering programs

Creative solutions have disrupted every field, including architecture. From elegant curves to intricate sculptures, it delivers a design transformation that sweeps the heart and soul. Interestingly, the introduction of AI has augmented creative movement. Here are the top AI-powered architectural rendering technologies that can supercharge productivity. 

  1. Midjourney

Midjourney offers an AI-generative text-to-image service where a user may run prompts to bring ideas to life. From creating mood boards to offering an alternative to tedious search, it has proven to streamline the creative process, delivering exceptional visual representation. 

  1. Adobe Firefly

Firefly is a revolutionary design field built upon Adobe's Sensei platform. Its extensive dataset from Creative Commons, Wikimedia, Flickr Commons, and videos from Adobe Stocks is noteworthy. The vast pool of visual knowledge efficiently generates a wide array of designs from conceptualization to visualization. 

  1. ArchitectGPT

ArchitectGPT, a compelling AI-driven rendering software, is designed to empower architects, real estate professionals, and interior designers. It not only offers a wide range of designs but also ensures a user-friendly interface with easy customization options. The ability to experiment with different layouts allows for the creation of truly unique designs, putting the power of AI in your hands. 

  1. GetFloorPlan

GetFloorPlan, an AI-powered rendering tool, is a comprehensive solution for creating both 2D and 3D floor plans. Designed with real estate professionals in mind, it allows for the development of multiple iterations, particularly when working on large-scale projects. With its complete assistance throughout the design process, you can feel confident in your ability to create the perfect floor plan.  


Why Ikarus 3D?

At Ikarus 3D, we're your all-in-one store for architectural renderings. We have a dedicated team of experts and offer the best experience when interacting with the products. We keep your business ahead with our,

  • In-house Q/A tool

Our in-house Quality Assurance tool checks the entire process internally. Our team of experts identifies and corrects errors, leading to minimum revisions. One key benefit is the ability to improve accuracy over a number of nitty-gritty details in the models. 

  • Support team

Some projects require 100% attention. Our dedicated team offers a 24x7 support team. Also, we invite feedback and suggestions and implement them in real-time; as a result, the end delivery has minimal to no revisions.   

  • Smooth integration

The key to project success is the smooth and seamless integration of architectural renders. The effectiveness of these renders goes beyond mere aesthetics, as they are crucial for seamlessly blending with the project's vision. 


Architectural rendering is a pivotal tool in the visualization process. It offers architects, designers, and clients a comprehensive understanding of proposed structures by manipulating textures, materials, perspectives, renderings, contemplated ideas, and tangible representations. 

By embracing technological advancements and artistic innovation, practitioners can continue to push the boundaries of architectural visualization, shaping the built environment with creativity, precision, and clarity.

What is an Architectural Render?

An architectural render is a digital or hand-drawn representation of a building or space designed to communicate its design, materials, and ambiance visually. It brings static plans to life, showcasing lighting, textures, and landscaping to offer a realistic preview of the finished structure. Architectural renders aid in decision-making, marketing, and conveying the architect's vision to clients and stakeholders.

How is an architectural render created?

Architectural renders are crafted using specialized software or traditional artistic techniques to translate architectural plans into visual form. This process involves modeling the structure, applying textures and materials, setting up lighting scenarios, and rendering the final image. Advanced software allows realistic simulations of materials, lighting conditions, and environmental factors to create immersive and convincing representations.

What are the top reasons for developing architectural renders?

Architectural renders are essential for presenting design concepts to clients and stakeholders, aiding decision-making and project approval. They facilitate effective communication by clearly visualizing the proposed building or space, reducing misunderstandings and discrepancies. Additionally, renders are powerful marketing tools, helping architects and developers showcase their designs and attract potential investors or buyers.

Nishant Verma profile image Nishant Verma
Nishant is the VP of 3D design at Ikarus 3D and specializes in VR, AR, and all things 3D. He is passionate about pushing boundaries and fostering collaboration through information in the industry.