Making the Most Out of Your Archviz Rendering

Archviz rendering is a process of creating computer-generated images of Architectural designs. This process can be used to create photorealistic or non-photorealistic renders, but I tend to focus on the realistic approach. Essentially, the goal is to create an image that looks like it was photographed in real life. But how do you get the most out of your archviz renderings? And what are some things to consider when creating them? Let’s find out!

The world of architectural renderings is an exciting and creative process. It not only gives you the ability to visualize your project but also provides a chance for you to immerse clients into your design. Renderings can be as simple or extravagant as they need to be; just don’t go overboard, remember less is sometimes more!

Don’t forget that some users may not be able to see things in the same way as a designer would. It’s important to think about how they will experience your design and make it more accessible for them. Realism pays off.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but many people make mistakes in this area that can cost them clients or future work. You want to create images that look as close to an actual photo of your design as possible. One of the most important factors in any rendering is the light. Without it, you are left with a flat image that looks static and boring.

Here’s how to get the most out of your archviz rendering:

- Start by selecting an angle for the viewer to see from and where they will be standing in relation to the space.

- Make sure your light sources are appropriate for the environment you’re creating.

- Take extra care in preparing your materials and textures for your design. This is where color palettes and creativity come into play.

- Roughness of materials plays a huge part in creating that realism.

- Set up the scene to have various layers to provide depth.

If you’re using rendering software like Unreal Engine, real-time rendering will provide you with great feedback on your setup. Pay attention to your camera angle and height. How far are you from your subject? Does the scene make sense for your project?

- Set a height for the camera to match the height of your viewer.

- Make sure that you’re close enough to see details but far enough away to understand the composition.

- Adjust the depth of field to represent the story you are trying to tell.

Consider what type of light should you use? Are you lighting entirely with the sun or are you working in artificial light? How are those lights adding to the scene to tell the story? Try to create a little drama with your lighting. Perhaps if it makes sense use a combination of warm and cool tones. Although be careful to not mix color tones when they should match architecturally.

- If you’re using a sun, does it match the time of day and general direction of the real world?

- Remember to use your light sources strategically. Not every scene needs or should have a key directional light source. In fact, the opposite is oftentimes true!

Mixing up your lighting conditions not only lends for more interesting compositions but helps keep things visually fresh as well. It’s easy to get stuck in one type of lighting scenario.

- Is the ratio of light to shadow too dark?

- Do you feel like it’s missing something without color contrast or detail?

- Does anything seem out of place and need fixing, such as a poorly positioned directional light source?

When rendering your scenes don’t be afraid to experiment with new setups. This is where Unreal Engine and real-time rendering comes into play.

The final rendering will almost always vary from what you first envisioned. Don’t worry about forcing that initial image. Work with the model and the environment to pull the best story from the image given your conditions and constraints. Have fun rendering and creating beautiful worlds our clients can get immersed in.

If you are interested in learning more about Architectural rendering in Unreal Engine and modeling in SketchUp check out my course. SketchUp to Unreal.

I’m an Architect. My favorite thing to do is create stories through architectural design. Founder of Whitewash Studio architecture firm in Atlanta, GA.

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