How to Set The Mood in Your Rendering With The Right Season and Weather
Three-story residential buildings surrounded by parksHow to Set The Mood in Your Rendering With The Right Season and Weather

Creating the perfect architectural render can take weeks, months even. Getting every last detail right, from the texture of the facade to the reflection of the shrubbery in the windows, takes the utmost dedication and precision. And yet, you could ruin it all in just a few clicks by choosing the wrong season and weather for your design.

While the environmental conditions aren’t the focus of your renders, they do impact the overall mood. They can mean the difference between impressing your clients and sending them disappointed out the door.

Learn why it’s so critical to get the weather in your renders right and find out how different weather conditions and seasons impact your architectural visualization projects.

Why is weather important?

The whole point of architectural visualization projects is to wow your clients and get them to envision themselves living and working in the environment you’ve created. Your job is to provoke an emotional response and make them fall in love with the design.

It goes without saying that you first need an impeccable 3D render of the building to do that. However, the building alone won’t cut it. You also need to provide context, and there’s no better way to do it than by rendering unique weather conditions.

It’s no secret that weather greatly impacts your emotions – in real life and 3D renders. There’s something soothing about cloudy, rainy days that makes you want to cozy up on the couch. Bright, warm days make you want to bask in the sunlight in your backyard.

You can use these natural responses to different weather conditions to essentially manipulate your clients’ emotions and make them feel more connected with your 3D designs.

The types of weather you can use

You could use different types of weather in your renders depending on how you want to make your clients feel when they see your designs. As a general rule of thumb, however, you’ll want to avoid rendering extreme conditions – unless the point is to emphasize the resilience of the building.

With this in mind, take a look at the types of weather you could use in your 3D renders.

Sunny day

You can’t go wrong by rendering a simple, bright, sunny day. It’s the universal go-to for every designer. It presents no distractions; it’s pleasant, relaxing, and joyful.

What’s more, it allows you to emphasize the unique aspects of your building. All the colors, textures, and materials can be clearly visible, instilling your clients with confidence in your designs.

A sunny day is a perfect choice when you want to highlight the exterior design details and present your render in the best light possible.

Rainy day

As previously mentioned, rainy days tend to be soothing and inspiring. They set a serene scene, making the building look warm and welcoming.

Rendering a rainy environment helps you set an intimate atmosphere that your clients will fall in love with. It’s especially beneficial if you’re creating minimalistic designs that have no pops of color or intricate details. The rain can add more interest to your architectural visualizations, making them look more exciting.

Rainy days can be even more striking in interior 3D renders as they can set a more melancholic, romantic mood.

Stormy weather

If you want to create eye-catching, dramatic renders, stormy weather is the way to go. It’s perfect for unique, artistic designs and odd-shaped buildings. Stormy weather can also work wonders for civil engineering projects like bridges and airports, as it can make them look all the more powerful.

However, you might want to avoid using stormy weather for 3D renders of homes and residential buildings – it can be overwhelming for some clients. Instead, use your 3D rendering software to create compelling designs in stormy weather for your social media posts, online portfolios, rendering contests, and magazines.

Northern lights

Rendering the Northern lights gives a magical touch to your designs. It adds pops of color and creates an excellent contrast to monochromatic designs, making your entire render seem more surreal.

Of course, you’ll want to be careful when adding the Northern lights to your renders. It makes no sense to include them in visualizations for projects located in Florida, for instance. Only use this magical phenomenon for designs that will ultimately be built in places where the Northern lights can actually be visible.

Overcast weather

Finally, overcast weather helps you add more depth and warmth to your 3D rendering projects. Cloudy days are the ideal choice when you want to highlight the exterior lighting and create more contrast with the surroundings.

As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to create late afternoon/early evening renders of overcast weather as it creates a more dramatic look. You could even pair overcast with sunny weather to showcase your designs in different environments.

Different seasons

Just like different weather conditions have a unique impact on your renders, so do different seasons. See how you can use seasons for more compelling virtual staging.

Summer and spring

There’s little visual difference between summer and spring renders, so you can choose either for your designs. They’re the standard choice for renders, just like sunny weather overall. They provide a clean, natural render that highlights all the major design elements.

If you want to play around with colors and contrasts, you can simply set the scene at different times of the day. Early morning renders can be energizing and cheerful, while late evening ones give a more homey feel.


While it doesn’t initially seem like it, creating winter renders makes your designs more inviting. You can create a contrast between the cold exterior and the warm interior and use light to make the scene more romantic.

Moreover, you can add holiday decorations to make your renders look more festive and familial.


Last but not least is fall. This season lets you create striking designs that are full of bright, vibrant colors and that make your renders truly come to life.

Whenever you’re creating architectural visualizations for projects that are surrounded by nature (such as countryside residences), fall is the perfect season to choose.


Weather plays a major role in how your 3D renders look and feel. You can use it to make your clients feel more emotionally connected to your designs and highlight all the intricate design details that bring your projects to life.