When it comes to bringing architectural designs to life, realistic 3D renderings are an absolute must. And the difference between a good rendering and a great rendering is typically in the details.
The Importance of Realistic Architectural Renderings
In the chaos of working on specific designs, it’s easy to forget why architectural renderings are so important. In other words, why should you put in the extra time, effort, and mental energy it takes to ever so slightly improve your rendering skillset? Well, we can think of a few reasons:
- Brings vision to life. The average client’s eyes gloss over when you show them 2D plans and black and white visuals. It’s hard for them to transpose those plans in their minds. With high quality 3D rendering and compelling visualizations, it’s much easier to bring your vision to life in a way that excites the client and gets all parties on board with the direction of the project.
- Improves quality of feedback. The implementation of feedback is a traditional point of friction that exists between architect and client. Both parties often see the project in a different light and may find it difficult to articulate modifications and changes. With immersive renderings, all of this disappears. Feedback becomes as simple as pointing, clicking, and adjusting.
- Sets you apart. While every competitive architecture firm has advanced rendering capabilities, not every architect understands how to properly leverage the tech. Those that master renderings set themselves – and their firms – apart from competitors.
This isn’t about creating cool visualizations for the sake of padding your digital portfolio – it’s about giving legs to your designs so they stand a better chance of seamlessly coming to fruition. The right renderings can help you tremendously.
4 Ways to Enhance Your Renderings
The question isn’t: how do we get started with architectural renderings? The question is: how can we incrementally improve our renderings so that we reap more of the benefits and rewards mentioned above?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Communicate the Experience
People are experiential beings. Whether you’re showing a rendering to a specific client or the general public, your main objective should always be to precisely convey what the finished space will feel like.
If it’s a private residence, include elements that make the client feel the space. This might include food on the table, a slightly wrinkled throw on the sofa, or clothing hanging in the closet. If it’s a public park, this might mean people walking dogs and squirrels chasing down nuts. Anything you can do to massage the viewer’s experiential side will help.
- Improve Your Exterior Renderings
Architects often get so focused on the tangible element they’re designing – like a house or commercial office building – that they ignore everything happening around that element. This is a huge mistake (for the reasons mentioned in the previous section).
Breathe new life into your designs by taking the time to improve your exterior rendering skills. Pay attention to how detail-rich landscaping and exterior views can really take a project to the next level. (If you’re looking for a way to do this, the new Lumion 10 features a ton of new features, including real skies at night.)
- Spend Time With Lighting
There’s arguably no single element that will make or break a rendering faster than lighting. It’s something that we’re familiar with in the real world and will destroy the realism of a rendering if not done properly.
For one, you have to choose rendering software that has robust lighting features built in. Secondly, you have to learn how to use these lighting features. Spend some time playing around with these tools and you’ll notice your skills sharpen.
- Enhance Your Texture Library
Finally, let’s not forget about textures. While most rendering platforms have some decent textures and materials already included, you’ll have to add to and refine your own texture library so you can tackle renderings with confidence and class.
Improve Your Skillset
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been an architect for decades and have years of rendering experience under your belt. It doesn’t matter if you’re a recent graduate with a few weeks of real-world experience. Whether you’re young, old, green, or seasoned, a continued investment in your underlying skillset is a must. It’s the only way to remain competitive in today’s demanding market. This includes an investment in your rendering skills.
Renderings aren’t everything, but they’re enormously important. They serve as the visual bridge between your plans and the actual end result. And in many cases, the right rendering can push a project forward to completion much faster and more confidently than traditional drawings.