As far as the saying goes, and architectural rendering goes, there are many ways to skin a cat - which goes a long way to saying there is really no right or wrong way to do it as long as the information is communicated and the client is impressed. For interiors, the specific end goal is to make the viewer feel as if they are already living, or experiencing, the space for themselves.
It requires a very careful allocation of materiality, lighting, object placement, furniture alignment, and an attention to architectural detail that will sell the design and move the process forward.
For your next design project, consider one of these 7 rendering techniques for presenting your architectural interiors. They might breath new life into your feedback loop, and provide clients with something from you they’ve never seen before. While the end goal is always the same, how you get there can make all the difference.
Natural light and how it interacts with the architecture itself is always one of the most important aspect of the design. People want to inhabit spaces that are bright, airy, and full of life. Introducing direct sunlight - through windows and skylights - adds dynamic lighting effects to the rendering and gives off a vibe of exuberance. Be careful not to make the sunbeams too intense, or you run the risk in producing an image that is washed out and hard on the eyes.
A night scene is the best way to showcase interior lighting design and establishes a mood that evokes comfort, hominess, and tranquility. Interior lighting can be a tricky aspect of any rendering to get right, and it’s especially important when it’s the only source of light you’re relying on for atmosphere. Depending on the activity in the space, a low-light character can go a long way towards making the rendering feel like home.
Showing activity in an interior rendering makes it easier for the viewer to imagine themselves in the same scene. It evokes energy, scale, and humanity. Depending on what kind of interior you are depicting, the people - and what they are doing - should respond appropriately. Kids playing with their dog, dad reading the newspaper, or a group of business people laughing around a water cooler are tropes people can connect with, and make your work read more successfully.
Sometimes photorealism can work against you. If the design isn’t far enough along in the process, a realistic rendering can give the impression that the work is done. That’s why it’s important to have the ability to create process renderings that relay the conceptual information of a project without making it feel like you’ve skipped a few steps along the way. It takes a steady hand to make this work look professional without looking complete.
Keeping in line with the above style, line drawings are great ways to show the idea behind an interior design without having to spend the time and resources on a high-quality, photorealistic image. Line drawings are as architectural as they get, and can show off detailing, space, organization, and view in a convincing way without being literally descriptive. This type of rendering should be quick, decisive, and confident.
For many clients, a simple 2D floor plan doesn’t do enough to allow their imagination to fill in the gaps in real-world information. Instead, consider utilizing 3D floor plans from a top-down perspective that show furniture, objects, and other content that will help them wrap their head around the design. You can even use this perspective for circulation diagramming, material options, and other avenues for providing information.
Along with the floor plan, section perspective drawings not only convey interior space, they give the viewer and idea of construction, detailing, and how vertical spaces interact with each other. The necessity of this type of drawing will vary based on the project type, but for large public spaces, they are invaluable to killing several informational birds with a single stone. It should have all the aspects of any other interior rendering, with the added layer of construction data that can help people digest the project.