Rendering Trends - 7 Popular Styles of Architectural Rendering Software Use
Rendering Trends - 7 Popular Styles of Architectural Rendering Software Use

It is completely understandable that you want to incorporate 3D visualization into your work process. This amazing technique not only allows you to deliver better results as an architect, but it also helps you pitch your projects in a more effective way to the clients and investors. At the start, you should know that architectural visualization has rapidly evolved over the past few years.

With all that CGY and 3D tech, architects are able to pull off both interior and exterior renders and make them very attractive. Of course, there are some tricks of the trade to know here. If you are new to architectural visualization, you probably don’t even know that there is such a thing as a rendering style.

To help you out, we decided to compile a list of the most popular styles of architectural rendering software use.

The Fusion Of Watercolor and Sketching

Architectural rendering software solutions are very powerful tools that come with a number of built-in features, textures, and models. These advanced tools are designed to help architects deliver top-notch renders.

On the other hand, some architects work by methodology deeply rooted in old styles such as watercolor and sketching. Fortunately, architectural rendering software allows the old to meet the new.

Sketching and watercolor style is one of the major rendering trends. It leverages the fusion of different color combinations, the use of space, and textures to deliver this powerful aesthetic message to the viewer.

Bringing in the real word imagery, 3D element, and dreamlike colors allow architects to create an impression of specific emotion or/and idea. For some clients, these renders will work better than the actual rendering of the space.

Some architects would argue that nobody should pitch projects solely by using renders in this style. The best strategy is to leverage them to communicate the potential feel of a place. Along with renders that display authentic architectural properties, these will make the presentation whole.

The Theodore

When it comes to interior representations, it doesn’t get better than it does with Theodore. The name comes from Spikes Jonze’s “Her” and the character Theodore played by Joaquin Phoenix. What are the main characteristics of this style? The Theodore includes:

● Plenty of airy spaces

● Very bright backgrounds

● Diffused light

If you are working on great interiors, this style can help you pitch projects with great success. To make the atmosphere more lively, you should also add live subjects. You can include people as well as plants to your designs to bring out both the aesthetics and functionality of the space.

This style is great for 3D renders of shopping malls, big office buildings, spacious living rooms, halls of corporate establishments, bus and train stations, libraries, and airports.  

Why is the Theodore style so popular? Because it helps to make an inviting atmosphere and habitable space very easily. The use of natural lights and their warm tones help you create a realistic picture and highlight the use case of a specific area.

The Katherine Heigl

The Katherine Heigl style is one of the most popular architectural visualization styles used for the representations of the exteriors. This style is particularly useful for the representations of buildings that are planned in the urban areas, where a lot of people live, pass by, and spend their time.

The style features people in all sorts of activities.

The main characteristics of this style include:

● Very high saturation of colors

● Plenty of background characters

● Over-lighting

All these elements work perfectly towards creating an idealistic, almost romantic scene. The Katherine Heigl style should be used when you want to communicate what your design has to contribute to the quality of life and happiness.

If the investors are worried about whether the design integrates well or not in the existing surroundings, The Katherine Heigl render can swing them in the right direction and help you get the job.


If your focus is on modern architectural designs, the Whodunnit style might have all the answers that you need. This style was created to help architects highlight the most important elements in their designs. When you introduce high saturation and medium to low contracts, modern materials, and angular shapes cannot be seen clearly.

To solve your problems and make your life easier, the Whodunnit style introduces the perfect mixture of:

● Cold color tones, such as dark blue and dark green

● Very low saturation

● High Contrast

It often features cloudy or even stormy skies, a shadowy figure, and other mysterious elements that create tension.

So what does this actually achieve? If you apply this to your renders, you will see how it affects the aesthetics of the end results – the modern materials get their place under the spotlight, strong design features become more prominent, and angular shapes become more visible.

The overall render gets this mysterious note that invites the viewers and captivates their attention.

Experts say that this style comes from the noir detective genre. This is why it appears dark, almost as a crime scene. It is perfect for large-scale projects. For instance, you can use it to communicate the benefits of your solution for large urban development.

This style is built upon modern minimalism thus making it very suitable for representing big buildings and sophisticated architectural designs.

The Mad Max

Architectural render primary role is to help you furnish the object you are working on and help others recognize the value of your design. The Mad Max style can help you achieve this by adding context and appropriate lighting.

This style is used for rendering the exterior of the objects. The renders should not only focus on the building itself, but they should incorporate the surroundings as well to help the viewer see how the objects fit in.

Since the Mad Max style is used for architectural representations of big objects, the point of view resembles the classic aerial shots of buildings. Furthermore, this style leverages a fantasy-oriented approach to highlight those aesthetics that provide unique value to the object.

When to use it? If you are working on a large-scale project and you have to innovate, Mad Max can help you create powerful and compelling 3D renders. Also, if your objects feature cutting-edge technology, this is the style to go with.

You can often see it used for representing designs of opera houses, stadiums, arenas, skyscrapers, large shopping malls, and so on.

The Gondry

Michel Gondry is famous for his attractive and distinctive visual style he so often applied to his collages. This rendering style is used for modern designs. You can quite often see it used for the representation of home and building interiors.

3D architectural render done in this style appears as a collage as well. It consists of numerous photos, drawings, 3D objects renders, and other elements, all working together to generate a unique feel of the interior.

Gondry will make each one of your renders unique and incredibly attractive. It can be used when designing modern and luxurious homes, office buildings, restaurants, bars, and clubs. The fusion of different elements can help you create just the atmosphere that you like and communicate the intended emotion with ease.

Virtual Reality

Thanks to the cutting-edge technologies and 3D rendering software capabilities, architects can now completely immerse their clients and investors in their designs. In fact, VR has the unique ability to let the viewers completely experience the objects long before they are constructed.

This applies to both interior and exterior renders. The only downside of this practice is that it requires powerful hardware to complete the renders.

Furthermore, virtual reality comes with no boundaries when it comes to using different materials, objects, lighting, and sound.

The use of VR in architectural visualization has a practical use for construction firms as well, as they can explore the designs more thoroughly and make sure to prepare completely for the upcoming project. It is safe to assume that as time goes by, we will see more and more VR doing all the heavy lifting for architects.

Architectural rendering software has become so powerful that there are absolutely no limits for architects. Today, architects can use this software to generate powerful 3D architectural renders and pitch their projects with ease. As you can see, there are several popular styles of architectural rendering software use.

Each one of them is distinctive and leverages different techniques to achieve specific results. We suggest that you always consider the client's specific requirements when deciding which style to use to achieve the best possible results and get your projects greenlighted as soon as possible.