Over the past years, a lot has changed in the world of architecture - tools become more sophisticated and accurate, some of the practices became obsolete, new, more demanding clients entered the market, and so on. Architectural visualization, though, continues to be one of the hottest trends in this field. But it is, as other practices, susceptible to changes because it leans on software solutions on the one hand and the best practices on the other.
If you don't have the time to stay on top of what's new and what's best in architectural visualization, we got you covered. We did extensive research and found out that the following software and best practices are going to rock the world of architects that use visualization to pitch projects and make clients happy.
Did you know that there is even rendering software older that Win 3.xx? Architects may like or dislike using it, but working on modern projects without appropriate software tools is impossible. Here are a few of the best architectural visualization and rendering tools.
Maxwell is one of the best tools in the business. Beside the complex functionality and a plethora of features, what made this tool very popular is the fact that it is free to distribute and use. It provides incredible opportunities to both experienced and novice architects. The user interface is really beautiful and intuitive. Also, the Maxwell community is pretty large and surprisingly supportive. Which encourages beginners to start using this tool.
Maxwell is a standard tool students use on countless universities because it is simple to use while incorporating advanced rendering tools. The only downside is rendering optimization, so expect to have longer waiting times with this tool. Nevertheless, Maxwell will remain one of the most used tools in 2019.
Blender is another free to use and distribute software. Many would argue that free architectural visualization and rendering tools are pretty much useless, but Blender is living proof of the contrary. It features very powerful rendering tools making designing skyscrapers, bridges, and houses a walk in the park.
Unlike Maxwell, Blender will require you to spend more time mastering its functionalities. There are a lot of guides and tutorials out there, and the community is always standing by to lend a helping hand to anyone who hits a wall.
Autodesk Revit is another tool that we are going to see in architects’ toolboxes in 2019 and beyond. This is one of the most powerful software tools an architect can get their hands on. It streamlines the workflow by introducing prebuilt models and textures that are ready to use. Autodesk Revit also comes with a number of advanced rendering capabilities to help you make breathtaking architectural visualizations.
Unlike Blender and Maxwell, you will have to purchase a license to use this tool. Their customer support is one of the best in the industry and the community behind Revit is huge. There are more than enough free learning materials to get by.
With the increasing number of outsourced architectural projects and remote workers, the need for a tool that can keep everyone and everything under one roof become real. Lumion 3D is here to help managers in the word of architecture stay on top of all projects because Lumion 3D is compatible with all other 3D rendering tools.
Lumion 3D doesn’t have a steep learning curve. Its intuitive and simple user interface, advanced rendering options, and fast rendering will turn working into a joy. Professionals will have to buy a license to use Lumion 3D. On the other hand, it is completely free for students.
We can not go on talking about tools used in architectural visualization without mentioning Octane Render. This software tool is one of the most powerful and popular tools used in the industry. It comes with everything other tools have - awesome interface and different rendering tools. But unlike any other tool, Octane Render has its own amazing rendering engine to make those visualizations look and feel outstanding.
Besides the impeccable functionality and a library of prebuilt materials and textures, this tool is optimized to use hardware resources to the fullest. This is why rendering times are significantly shorter than in other tools. Both professionals and students alike will continue to use this tool in 2019.
Punch Home Design Studio features incredible architectural visualization tools. On the other hand, it is designed with ease of use in mind, allowing even the less experienced to hop on and get the job done. Home Design Studio is an excellent option to start learning architectural visualization and rendering. When we take into consideration this tool’s capabilities and its price, it is safe to say that Home Design Studio will remain one of the commonly used tools in 2019.
The only downside of using this software is hidden in its name. You can only use it to do amazing room visualizations, landscape, and home renders. But for architects who focus only on this niche, this tool packs more than enough to get projects done.
With more and more architects entering the market, and clients becoming more demanding than ever, staying on top of the best practices has never been more important than today. A slightly better presentation done by your competitors can turn your clients away from you. Here is how to make sure that this doesn’t happen and that your projects see the light of the day.
Creating beautiful architectural visualizations that incorporate everything required by the project can do nothing if clients can't relate to them. There is a simple trick to make it easier for the clients to experience your designs better - render for a natural viewpoint. This doesn’t mean that you cannot include renders to show off the lighting and overall design. But make sure that the first person view actually respects the laws of a natural viewpoint.
Architectural visualizations have gone far away from showcasing only the building’s exterior and interior design stripped of all the details. All visualization and rendering tools we listed above support bringing more details into the designs. If you want to stay relevant in 2019, make sure to incorporate materials, textures, lighting, furniture, plants, appliances, and other relevant things into your designs. Your competition is already doing it.
You have to acknowledge the fact that clients want more! This is why you should create a detailed architectural visualization of the panoramic view. This can help clients relate to your design even more and see how the building will look like in the urban landscape. While this may appear more like visual art than an architectural project, it will help you wow your clients and make sure that your project gets a green light.
While panoramic views provide a general impression of whether the building goes along with the existing urban landscape or not, you will need to do more to help clients experience your design. This is why architects are often including building surroundings in their renders. This allows clients to take a stroll around the building and see those benches, parks, garages, and pedestrian walkways firsthand. The same rules apply here. Include as many details as possible to make the render as closer to the real experience as you can.
While your designs may appear like works of art, you should always keep in mind that they can be easily built. This is a really important thing to consider especially if a client said that he is bringing a potential developer to the presentation as well. This is why you should pay close attention to all the demands of your clients. Make sure to include renders of spots where you met those demands so that you can take them there and showcase your work in an instant, should the questions arise.
Virtual Reality has become, well, reality for many architects. It is particularly useful for describing and showcasing spaces that would be impossible to achieve in any other way. Virtual reality will not only impress your clients and help them visualize projects in an intimate way, but help you identify and rectify problems before the building phase begins.
It is safe to assume that architectural visualization is not going anywhere, at least not in the foreseeable future. The tools, software and best practices we listed here will remain hot in 2019, some of them even beyond. Architects who want to stay in the game will have to accommodate these new changes and incorporate these tools and practices into their day to day activities.