The Basics of Photo Matching: What You Need to Know
A futuristic-looking bar design with large mirrorsThe Basics of Photo Matching: What You Need to Know

The architecture industry has many challenges for designers around the world. Other than having a sense of style and details, you also need good rendering skills if you want to become a well-established professional in this field.

Therefore, many architects use different methods to visually present their ideas and bring them closer to clients, including photo-matching, which has shown positive results in the industry over the past few years.

However, understanding the concept of photo-matching can be challenging if you’re new to architecture. Luckily, we’re here to provide you with basic things you should know about the photo-matching method in architecture.

Photo matching explained

Finding a tutorial on YouTube may seem like a good decision if you want to start learning how to photo-match. However, before you start learning how to photo-match, you must understand what photo-matching is and how it works in the first place.

Photo-matching is a rendering technique where you can combine your renders with the photos of the area where your project will come to life. That way, your client can get an idea of how your project may turn out in the end.

This method has done the world of architecture a big favor as it gives new professionals a chance to understand the area they’re working on and helps them visualize their ideas alongside the environment where their projects will come to life.

Getting realistic CGI with photo matching

Since CGI technology emerged near the end of the past century, people have found a use for it in many different areas, and architects started using CGI technology in rendering to present their ideas in the most realistic way possible.

It takes a lot of time to learn how CGI works and how you may use it in your projects. If not done correctly, CGI can be a bit too much and make your final project look cluttered, plastic, and unrealistic.

Nevertheless, using CGI technology isn’t easy, and it takes skill and a lot of effort to achieve the best renders by combining photo-matching with CGI. That’s why you should learn as much as possible about CGI techniques before you decide to use them in your renders.

How to take pictures for this technique

Taking pictures for the photo-matching technique isn’t like taking selfies for Instagram. First, you must understand how rendering works if you want to combine your renders with the pictures of the lot you’re working on.

You can’t just take random angles of the area you work in and expect it to do the job. Also, don’t forget to use high-quality cameras, as the difference between the photos and CGI in rendering can be visible.

Make sure you know which angles will visually present your idea the best, and take pictures accordingly. You can always use other programs to enhance details, shadows, lighting settings, and textures.

Why is photo-matching important?

It doesn’t matter whether you’re designing an interior or exterior project – photo-matching can enhance the quality of your renders and present your idea more realistically than making custom models of the area your project will be situated in.

Photo matching found its place in the architecture industry as a helpful tool in bringing the best visual presentation to your clients. After all, it’s your job to show your clients what their projects will look like in the end.

However, you must inform yourself how photo-matching works if you want to achieve the best quality of your renders while using this technique. You can always ask experienced colleagues for help and bring your design skills to the next level.

When should you use this technique?

Although photo-matching can be a clever choice when rendering your projects, it’s also necessary to understand when you should use it. Sometimes, photo-matching can be an unnecessary option – that’s why you need to learn when to use it.

For some interior renders, you don’t have to go through the trouble of adding photo-matching to your projects, as the angles you render from may not require exterior visuals. You can save a lot of time by rendering a small portion of the exterior to present the outside world within your project.

Although photo-matching may make your renders seem more realistic, some clients don’t demand this technique, so don’t forget to communicate with them about what they expect from you. Try to use photo-matching cleverly, as you can save a lot of effort and use that time to work on details, textures, models, and renders.


Photo-matching represents a great technique for rendering different types of architectural projects in your career as an architect. When done the right way, you can enhance the quality of your renders and create awe-inspiring visuals.

Nevertheless, try to learn as much as possible about combining photo-matching with CGI and use it as a helpful tool when designing interior and exterior projects. That way, you can expect positive feedback from your clients and make room for future collaborations.

The most important bit of take-hoe advice here is that you have to make sure you understand how photo-matching works before trying this technique. Understanding how photo-matching works is just one side of learning this technique, so don’t forget to practice as much as you can as well.

After all, it can help you maintain the quality of your architectural projects and enhance engagement with your present and future clients.