Aerial Visualization in Architecture: Guide and Advice
Aerial Visualization in Architecture: Guide and Advice

Although architectural visualization wasn’t always part of projects in architecture, it’s almost impossible to find an ongoing project that doesn’t use 3D visualization today. Nevertheless, this is entirely understandable, considering how beneficial architectural visualization is to everyone playing a part in these kinds of projects.

From being a valuable tool to professionals to helping clients visualize their projects easily, architectural visualization is something everyone working in related fields needs to use. Thanks to its numerous advantages, 3D visualization quickly became popular among architects, interior designers, and property developers.

Furthermore, the worldwide popularity and frequent use led to the development of several types of architectural visualization, one of which is aerial visualization. In this article, you can find the essential information regarding this unique project perspective.

This visualization presents designs from above!

First things first, let’s say something more about what aerial visualization is.

Namely, people are used to seeing 3D visualizations from their perspective. Seeing the interior and exterior details from a familiar standpoint surely helps, but even humans can’t access every inch of their project without the assistance of various tools and devices. While the human perspective has its advantages, it’s not always the best way to determine what a project looks like as a whole.

In situations where the human perspective can’t achieve the desired results, aerial visualization is the most used alternative. It’s here to make any idea come to life, which is why the demand for aerial designs drastically increased. So, aerial visualization is regular architectural visualization taken from a slightly different point of view.

As you can probably guess by the name, aerial visualization focuses on representing projects from the bird’s eye perspective. Although you may wonder how practical a bird’s eye level can be, seeing the architectural design from the above has many benefits and advantages.

Most aerial visualizations are viewed from a 45° or 60° angle, which is an ideal angle range to quickly understand the major project properties and consider how the entire design behaves in a bigger picture while still having access to some details that would otherwise be a little hard to notice.

Below you’ll find more information about the crucial features that make aerial visualization designs unique and valuable.

These renders showcase the whole design!

An issue many 3D artists have with various rendering perspectives is the inability to showcase the entire design in one visualization. Instead of using one informative visualization that contains all the necessary details, several independent 3D designs are needed to achieve the full effect.

This makes it very challenging for potential partners and clients to gather the information from several visualizations. What’s more, they still need to try to paint a complete picture of the project in their heads if they want a complete project view. Besides this being a complex task, there’s a high risk of disappointing outcomes or simply not matching the expectations.

Moreover, this can lead to numerous misunderstandings and problems during the project. Fortunately, all of this is easily avoidable, even with the most straightforward aerial visualizations.

3D artists and clients don’t have the above mentioned issues with aerial visualization. This point of view approaches the desired object from a very practical angle. The visualizations are pretty informative as they contain a lot of valuable details concerning the project.

Therefore, we can safely say one of the most significant advantages of aerial visualizations is the ability to showcase the whole design at once. With it, clients and artists can get a bigger picture of the project and gain insight into the details that wouldn’t be so visible with other rendering features and options.

Having a clear picture of the entire design is sometimes exactly what 3D artists and their clients need to completely understand all the project’s features and properties.

They can be used to show infrastructure!

Architectural visualization is used for just about any architectural project - houses, residential villages, business headquarters, commercial districts, and many others. Because the projects can have so many different purposes and use cases, each one of them has a unique set of goals and requirements.

However, something all buildings have in common is the aim of being connected to good infrastructure. Whether a 3D artist is working on a residential or a business unit, everyone wants quick and easy access to major roads.

When it comes to houses, condominiums, or entire residential villages, the potential homeowners will be interested in how quick and easy they can get to the city center, work, school, kindergarten, highway, and other frequently visited spots.

Similarly, companies want to ensure their business is growing. Infrastructure can play a significant role in the overall success rate of a business, which is why everyone’s looking for locations and buildings that are well-connected to the main parts of the city. Otherwise, the customers won’t continue frequenting and supporting the business.

To put it simply, details about infrastructure and connection to roads are crucial to potential customers, especially if they’re having commercial buildings in mind. Aerial visualization allows you to showcase the details relating to infrastructure that wouldn’t be possible with other visualization perspectives.

By implementing the essential information about the infrastructure into your aerial visualization, you’ll instantly increase the interest and demand among the general public, so make sure you don’t miss out on it next time you plan on creating some aerial visuals.

The surroundings must be detailed as well!

Infrastructure isn’t the only thing you need to pay attention to when creating impressive, reliable, and precise aerial designs. Other surrounding factors can also greatly influence the final perspective on the project.

For instance, creating an aerial shot that doesn’t include any surrounding details can leave the project feeling empty and incomplete.

Moreover, the potentially interested clients will very likely have a hard time distinguishing the building’s size, placement, and location if there aren’t any life-like objects around. Since these are among the essential project details, most clients will turn to something that offers them more substantial information from the get-go.

As you’ll want to attract as many customers to your 3D designs as possible, you’ll want to create precise and detailed visuals. Additionally, focusing on the surroundings and working on the environment can completely transform an aerial visualization and bring it to life, which is another reason why you can implement it into your future aerial projects.

But, what do surroundings in an aerial visual include?

In simple words, you’ll want to add any details that appear in real life. From trees, sidewalks, roads, and bigger intersections to all other buildings surrounding your project.

With a realistic and truthful aerial design, there won’t be any surprises and misunderstandings between you and your clients. They’ll be fully informed about the environment around the building in question and will immediately get an idea of how everything looks together.

It shows how the design will affect the surroundings

As you probably already know, 3D visualizations are the first step in the entire project developing process. Aerials and all the other visualization types are designed several months or even years before any construction takes place.

Because 3D designs come way before any real-life change happens, not many people can paint a picture of how the location will be different once the project is finished.

While 3D project designs can show the project in great detail, none of these visualizations can represent how the design will affect the surroundings.

Is an old and energy-inefficient building getting torn down for a new and better one to emerge? Is an old factory finally moving out of the city to the industrial zone? Is there a school missing in this neighborhood?

These are all viable and legitimate questions that can be asked, depending on the nature and purpose of the project. However, these questions have a similar goal in mind - to show how this particular project will affect the surrounding area.

Since no other 3D renders can efficiently display this transformation, aerial visualization is mainly used for this particular purpose. 3D aerial designs can encompass all crucial project features and include the most critical surrounding objects from streets, neighborhoods, and entire city skylines.

Aerial renders show the size of an object!

Now that you know what aerial or bird’s eye visualization is as well as why it’s so widely used and loved by both 3D artists and their clients, it’s time to say something more about the size of a project. Although we already briefly mentioned this part of aerial visualization at the beginning of this article, it’s not a bad idea to talk a bit more about it.

Namely, architects, property developers, and 3D artists work with large projects every day. Therefore, it’s easy for them to get an approximate impression of how big each of their projects will be in real life, especially if they’re experienced professionals who have been doing this for a very long time.

However, partners and clients participating in the project development might not get the same idea as artists and architects. Although 3D renders can be of great help to see how everything will look once it’s finished, human perspective simply can’t paint a clear picture of the project’s size.

That’s why aerial visualizations are a must. This type of 3D rendering is the only one that can accurately illustrate how big or small a project is compared to other buildings and objects in the surrounding area. This is another reason why implementing surrounding objects is recommended since otherwise, there wouldn’t be enough information to distinguish the building’s size.

With aerial renders, you’ll help your clients understand the size, volume, and capacity of the building, as well as how your building looks in comparison to the other already-existing ones.

It's more about the exterior than the interior!

Finally, aerial visualization has another advantage other perspectives don’t offer. While the human perspective level is perfect for interior renders and all the instances where you want to focus on the details inside the building, it’s not the same for the outside.

The human perspective won’t show the upper part of the project, size, room placement, or the floor layout. It’ll disregard some of the most fundamental features required for the realization of the project.

Bird’s eye level is a much better choice if you’re planning to focus on the bigger picture, exterior, or all the details appearing from the outer part of the project. In some cases, the exterior is even more important than the interior, which is when aerial perspective can be beneficial.

As you’ll get an entirely new perspective on the project, you may see some errors or mistakes that would otherwise go unnoticed.

A common misconception is that aerial 3D designs are undetailed because they typically cover a large surface. However, that couldn’t be further away from the truth. Contrary to common belief, bird’s eye renders come with exceptional details even though they cover a large part of the street or neighborhood.

The details can be easily seen by zooming in and focusing on the desired area around the entire project. That way, clients can receive a more general view of the project, which focuses on its size, placement, and location, and a more detailed one, which emphasizes the details and other delicate properties.


All in all, aerial visualization in architecture isn’t a simple or easy task to master. Each 3D artist needs a lot of time, practice, skill, and knowledge to finally understand aerial visualization and approach it with the right plan and vision.

Nevertheless, aerial designs are definitely worth the time and effort put into them. The final results artists create are impeccable and are incomparable to any other visualization point of view.

So, make sure to work on your aerial design skills as they can bring you numerous new job opportunities, projects, partners, and clients - you won’t regret it.