Architectural visualization styles

Architectural visualization has been constantly evolving since the development of computer-generated three-dimensional objects in the ‘70s.  The 3D architectural visualizations we see today evolved through technological advancements and new generations of artists. Architects, designers, and artists today break the mold with their fresh and extraordinary ideas coupled with photo-perfect architectural visualization styles.

Computer-generated architectural visualization, in its earlier form, was only capable of replicating buildings in three-dimensional models. Today, the masters of this field are capable of adding life to the renderings through intelligent color combinations, detailed textures, beautiful lighting, and by the addtion of true-to-life scenarios. The process of visualization has evolved into a combination of modeling and dramatization of architectural elements of the buildings and its environment to produce astonishing images of the proposed building as though it was already built.

The techniques used in 3D architectural visualization is the same with the fashion and film industry. These two industries create visually appealing scenes and stage atmospheres and try to mimic dramatic and sensational environments. Architects and designers translate that technique as their architectural visualization styles.

According to Veetil Digital, these are some architectural visualization styles that most architects, designers, and artists use:

Picturesque Sketching and Watercolor Style

This technique is a simple duplication of the processes in sketching by using pencil drawing styles in creating structures and the processes of painting by adding colors, lighting, and shading like the watercolor method. With the right control of the color combinations, textures, and lighting and shadowing matched with the correct background, the artist will be able to transform plain renderings to fancy-looking images.

Surreal Semi-Realistic Style

This style incorporates the realistic architectural elements to the more virtual entities. It renders a distinct look of the building and its surroundings. It has a surreal and dream-like feel to it if the correct contrasts and levels of lighting and shadows are used. This style uses visual effects that reflect different moods for the renderings. It also most suitable for panoramic views.

Authentic Photo-Realistic Style

This style mainly aims to produce photo-perfect and realistic renders. Its control of contrast and saturation makes the colors look life-like. The lighting and shadows are very natural looking and it perfectly matches the light of the background. The textures are intricate and detailed. The post-processing of the renderings are so fine-tuned and carefully performed that it takes more time than the software rendering itself. The results of this architectural visualization style are so life-like that it seems as though the building already exists.

According to Architizer, these are some of the most popular architectural visualization styles that most artists use:

Real World

This incorporates the imperfect and unmatched architectural elements with the more realistic and accurate components.

Utopian/The David

This style has a bit more Utopian-feel to it as every element of the visualization is too perfect that it seems unreal.

Dream-Like/The Katherine Heigl

This has to be the most vibrant of all the architectural visualization styles as it uses very attractive architectural components. It is almost dream-like as it sends off a happy and magical charm. It includes parks, forests, sunsets, and the usual happy-ending vibe.

Nature-Oriented/Paranormal Activity

These visualizations blend so well into nature. The buildings are covered by layers of nature’s elements it is as though they are held up not by concrete pillars but of dreams and memories.

Luminous/The Theodore

This architectural visualization style is commonly used in interiors. It usually uses bright backgrounds and spacious scenes. Good effects such as lighting and angling of the lens will enhance the feel of the visualizations.

Flashlight/The Mad Max

This style gives the buildings a certain glow… literally. It is used on urban or cityscape scenes. It usually dims the background of the city.

Halloween/The Whodunit

This style is used with gloomy and stormy backgrounds. The dominating colors are blue, gray, and green. It feels as though the building is set on a post-apocalyptic or horror movie. This architectural visualization style is capable of telling a story on its own through its cinematic and peculiar effects

Collage/The Gondry

This style has an anachronistic feel about it. The weird, or rather unique, combination of the renderings, images, and sketches make the visualizations more memorable. The images can be of UFOs, supermodels, and unicorns or what have you.

These stunningly beautiful architectural visualizations were created by our very own EasyRender artists.