The process of 3D architectural rendering is completely misunderstood
by most of our clients. That is because it doesn't follow any other
artwork process, requiring a whole new set of skills and process
to to be learnt.
Architectural rendering, which used to refer only to hand painted
artwork, is now more commonly known for 3D artwork. Although the
words are the same the process of 3D architectural rendering couldn't
be more different to hand painted work. Note that we have also
included on this website a brief history of architectural
illustration through to 3D architectural renderings.
Hand painted architectural renderings are set up, colored and
lit on a flat surface. 3D architectural renderings are set up as
virtual reality scenes inside a computer and then through intense
calculations an image is created. The process of these calculations
is called "rendering". If the terms we use are getting
confusing then you can use the glossary below as an aid.
A 3D wireframe scene is created. This can be
likened to a building made from matchsticks. All faces and
structural elements are in place but no materials, colors or
lighting. This is well prior to a finished architectural rendering.
Then we apply colors and textures to the surfaces, such as
floor coverings, fabrics to the sofas, etc. This still doesn't
look like artwork but it's taking shape. We can still move
objects around and make any alteration needed during this process.
The architectural rendering has the items needed in place but
still doesn't look finished.
The scene is then lit and rendered. This process takes a
lot of computer time but the results are lifelike. Your architectural
rendering now looks real and is ready for sales and visualization.
The graphic above shows the three different architectural
rendering-image stages. Notice that when shifting from shaded view
to rendered view a line moves down the screen. This is similar
to what the architectural artist actually sees when rendering an
image. The speed at which the line moves down the screen depends
on the complexity of the scene and the speed of the computer. Sometimes
that line can take hours to move down and complete the architectural