Best Architectural Rendering Books You Should Read
This image shows a unique home office room design with a gray hanging table mounted on the wall. There’s a wide shelf with multiple compartments placed under the table. There are hanging shelves on both sides of the worktable intended for decoration and work items like pens, gadgets, or books.Best Architectural Rendering Books You Should Read

If you would like to improve your knowledge of architectural rendering, you can choose from a wide range of learning materials. There are thousands of videos and how-to guides online. However, some might prefer a good old learning method – reading a book.

The only problem you can encounter if you decide to look for books on architectural rendering is their sheer number. With so little precious time on your hands, you don’t want to waste it on books with no value.

Below you can find the best architectural rendering books you should read to improve your skills and learn something new.

3Ds Max – Twenty Tips for Beginners

3Ds Max – Twenty Tips for Beginners is one of the newest books you can use to start building your architectural rendering skills. The book’s authors Agnieszka and Adam Klish, are successful architectural visualizers. The book was published in 2020. If you are about to start learning photorealistic architectural 3D rendering and modeling, this book can provide you with practical knowledge.

The best thing about it is that it includes video guides to help you navigate some of the hardest chapters to learn. The authors selflessly share their personal 3Ds Max tips and advice.

Architectural Visualization: Its Relevance to the Unbuilt World

Architectural Visualization: Its Relevance to the Unbuilt World was written by Michael Secrist and Sarah Jones and published in 2018.

It’s a unique read on this list. Unlike other books that help you learn architectural rendering, this one enables you to become successful at outsourcing your projects to other CGI companies or 3D artist freelancers.

You’ll discover the benefits of outsourcing architectural visualization projects, such as leveraging high-end visualizations for presentations. The book outlines the services you can expect to find in those companies. Furthermore, the book also provides information on how to communicate efficiently with your outsourcing partner through all project stages.

Great Talks about Photo Realism

If you are interested in rendering photorealistic architectural visualizations, then there is no better way to improve your skills but to learn from the best 3D artists. Great Talks About Photo Realism by Bogdan Sasu was published back in 2019. The author is an established architectural visualizer.

It is a collection of stories. The book includes personal insights of 9 outstanding 3D artists. It is well-suited for both beginners and experienced 3D artists.

You can use the book as guidance or inspiration. All 3D scenes showcased in the book have their corresponding 3ds Max files you can purchase to practice your skills.

4 Editions: Real-Time Rendering

A great way to assess the value of an architectural rendering book is to see how many editions it has. Real-Time Rendering has lived long enough to see its 4th edition published. While the book is not exclusively tailored for architects, it provides valuable insights into 3D rendering.

The latest edition includes emerging 3D rendering techniques, including techniques that will save you a lot of time without having to sacrifice image quality. If you’ve read the past editions, in this one, you will find some new interesting chapters, including VR and AR.

AutoCAD 2020 Instructor

If you are interested in 2D and 3D drafting, you probably need to learn how to use AutoCAD by Autodesk. AutoCAD 2020 Instructor by James A. Leach, Shawna Lockhart, and Eric Tilleson can help you learn how to use AutoCAD and optimize your workflow to achieve the best results. Keep in mind that this is an ultimate AutoCAD guide.

It simply means that the book covers everything you need to know about AutoCAD, including the most basic features and highly advanced commands and procedures.

Although the book outlines some of the most complex 2D and 3D drafting concepts and how-tos, even people who’ve never used AutoCAD before can understand it.

Revit 2020 for Architecture: No Experience Required

Revit 2020 for Architecture: No Experience Required 2nd edition was published in 2019. The writer, Eric Wing, has an extensive experience in 3D modeling and expertise as an instructor and manager of the Authorized Autodesk Training Center. Revit is a leading solution for building information modeling.

The book is excellent material for absolute beginners interested in learning and using Revit. The book covers every detail you need to know to use Revit to bring your projects to life.

It even provides information to help you learn how to use the Revit user interface. The latter chapters cover more complex topics, which makes this book great for both beginners and professionals.

The SketchUp Workflow for Architecture

SketchUp is among the top 3D design platforms today. Architects all over the world use it on a day-to-day basis to create stunning visualizations. The book was written by Michael Brightman, who is an architect himself. He also leads the official SketchUp Authorized Training Center in Denver. The second edition of the book was printed in 2018.

The book provides in-depth knowledge on how to use SketchUp to create construction documents, visualize designs, and model buildings. It’s one of the best learning materials for SketchUp, as it delivers every lecture in the form of a step-by-step guide.

If you buy this book, you will also get access to helpful videos and the most recent and best practices in architectural visualization.

Light: Science and Magic

Light: Science and Magic is considered an introduction to photographic lighting. It enables you to learn the best practices in 3D rendering to make your deliverables as photorealistic as possible. The book is for photographers, but it can also benefit you.

The newest edition of the book was published in 2021. It will help you understand the nature and principles of light. You will learn how to properly light various materials in your scenes, including extremes, glass, metal, and liquids, to make your renders close to real-life photography.

The book also includes various examples to help you quickly transfer your knowledge to 3D rendering.


Hopefully, you will find these books useful. As you can see, each one of these books offers a unique value. Whether you want to better understand lighting, learn how to use SketchUp, Revit, or 3Ds Max, or become a pro at outsourcing your architectural rendering projects, these books can help you do it.