Best Practices for Adding People in Architectural Renderings
A beachside apartment living room with a woman looking outside the windowBest Practices for Adding People in Architectural Renderings

If you’re a 3D artist specializing in architecture, you’ve undoubtedly come across projects that require you to insert people into the final 3D renders.

As an architectural expert, designing people’s models probably isn’t your forte since it’s very likely you spent most of your time practicing the rendering methods required to create realistic and high-quality architectural buildings.

However, even if creating people isn’t your most highly developed skill, there are numerous tips and tricks you can implement to master the technique and end up with some of the most lifelike human creations.

Here, you can find some of the best practices for adding people to your architectural renderings.

Adding people or animals isn’t always a good idea

Before you jump straight into the best ways of creating a realistic human model, you should carefully examine whether your architectural render requires any people or animals in the first place.

While living beings are generally used to make the 3D render more realistic and relatable, that’s not always the case.

For instance, if your client demands an architectural render for a project, they plan on bringing to life in a place distanced from the rushed city life, skipping people and animals might be just what you need to do. That’ll allow you to shift focus on the calmness and serenity the space offers and let your client see the space how they’ll see it in real life.

Additionally, architectural renders that already have a lot going on shouldn’t be stuffed with people. In that case, you can risk creating an overly hectic 3D render where everything seems cluttered and out of place. If keeping some kind of a balance requires you to omit people, feel free to do so.

Think about context

If you’ve thought about your architectural render and feel like the final product will be more complete with people in it, it’s time to consider the context. The context will tell you a lot about the people models you need to insert into your architectural render.

Are you creating a 3D model of a family house or apartment? Try inserting people models that would resemble a family. That includes people of different ages, heights, weights, and facial structures. Creating a family home 3D render allows you to play with numerous activities, such as the family having a meal together, watching a movie, or enjoying a fun game evening at home.

However, if you’re designing a corporate office space, you’ll have a different context as the basis for your models. The office isn’t usually where you’ll see children, so make sure you stick to adult models only. Furthermore, pay attention to their appearance and clothing to make the final render look professional and polished.

Composition is important

Once you have a 3D render of your space and a rough idea of the type of people models you want to include, thinking about the composition is what makes the difference between an excellent and mediocre 3D render with people.

Essentially, the composition will dictate how immersive and engaging your entire 3D render is. That’s why you need to tackle all the areas you want your client to focus on.

For instance, gathering a family around the fireplace is a great way to maintain the central focus. However, adding a family member reaching for a book on the bookshelf or someone looking through a window wall in the distance are excellent ways to shift focus to other areas included in your render.

Such a composition will make it easy to incorporate different elements and aspects of the entire project into one 3D render, but it’ll also keep the composition immersive, dynamic, and engaging.

People need to “fit in”

Another critical practice you need to consider when adding people into your architectural renders is how they fit in with the rest of their surroundings.

First of all, size is something you need to carefully work on. People who are too big or too small compared to the space you’re designing can give the observer the wrong idea about its actual size.

Also, consider the models’ sizes when compared to each other and other objects found in the render. You’ll want children to be smaller than adults, but you don’t want children carrying objects that are larger than them.

Additionally, choosing clothes and activities based on the season and weather is something you need to pay attention to as well, especially if you’re focusing on the outdoor spaces. If you’re working with a winter setup, don’t forget to bundle up your models and showcase them by participating in a winter activity.

Any irregularities will cause people not to fit in within your space, and your architectural render will fail to mimic real-life situations.

Invest time in designing people’s models

Finally, creating 3D models of people and animals is difficult and complex. A lot goes into understanding our facial structures, the anatomy of our bodies, and all the movements.

As an architectural artist, designing people probably isn’t something you’ve focused on during your education and practice. Nevertheless, people and animals play an essential role in architectural renders and visualizations, so you need to include them in some projects.

Even though designing people isn’t the primary skill for architectural 3D artists, they can easily practice this craft and bring it to perfection. Investing some time, effort, and patience is all that’s required.

After all, by practicing designing people’s models, you’ll be able to create more immersive, lifelike, and dynamic 3D architectural renders. Your clients will surely appreciate the effort, and you’ll be able to add one extra rendering skill to your portfolio.


Designing people’s models isn’t a simple task. It’s an entirely different craft that requires a unique set of skills. Even if you’ve never created people’s 3D models before, now you can easily do so with the handy tips and tricks mentioned here.

By following the best practices for adding people to architectural renderings, you’ll master the craft of creating 3D people in no time.