Architectural Rendering

The Best Project Management Software for Architectural Rendering Firms

Are project management software solutions overstated, or can the use of such tools truly help us develop our architectural rendering firms? We'll explain the benefits of project management software and help you choose the most suitable tools!

As in other businesses, the selection of project management software for architectural rendering companies depends on various factors. One of the most significant determinants is the size of a company.

If you have a large firm, it's clear that you need complex software. The requirement for project management software among small and midsize businesses is lower, but it's obvious that the demand for such software solutions is increasing among all modern companies worldwide.

Since teamwork is crucial for success in architecture, project management software can help you control your team and make sure that everyone is working on their tasks properly, considering the deadlines, instructions, brief directions, and other clients' demands.

Besides, the use of project management software can help you collaborate as a team in one place, even if you are working remotely.

With all the benefits of such software solutions in mind, we prepared the list of the best project management software for architectural rendering firms.

1. Outplanr

Outplanr can help you organize your team perfectly. Using this software, you'll be able to assign tasks, follow the task progress in real time, keep projects on track, to check how much time each team member has spent on each task, and much more.

Most importantly for architectural rendering firms, Outplanr allows you to share files with associates using only one platform. Besides, this project management software integrates with other helpful tools such as Slack, Asana, Google Calendar, iCalendar, Outlook, and many more.

Outplanr is available for Windows and Mac, as well as Android and iOS. You can try Outplanr for free, but monthly costs for 50 users are $250.

2. Core

Thanks to customizable dashboards, Core provides you with the opportunity of tracking your business using a simple graphical interface. This project management software allows you to track time and expenses invested in a project, to preview project data in real time in one place, to compare your projects, and much more.

Other helpful features included in Core are billing, and accounting. Since this project management software began as a solution specially developed for architects, it's obvious why it's so beneficial for architectural rendering firms. Moreover, Core integrates with QuickBooks Online, Dropbox, Google Drive, Xero, and other popular software.

For only $7.95 per month per user, you can make your job easier and improve your architectural rendering services using any device, including smartphones with Android or iOS.

3. Monday.com

Monday.com is a helpful project management software suitable for architectural rendering companies. Using this software, you can assign projects, set due dates and make sure that your associates won't miss deadlines, track progress in real time, review all processes using a timeline, and more.

Furthermore, using Monday.com, you can communicate with your colleagues and share files, sheets, and checklists using only one platform.

Besides, Monday.com integrates with popular tools and software such as Excel, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Dropbox, Slack, Trello, Zapier, and many more.

The lower cost on a monthly basis for five users is $25 for the Basic package and $118 for the Enterprise package with additional features. Monday.com is also available for smartphones with Android or iOS.

4. Priority Matrix

This cloud-based software allows you to make big plans and never be late with the delivery of your projects. Using Priority Matrix, you can track a bunch of projects and tasks, check the progress of each project, find out if each employee is working well enough, review schedules on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis, among other things.

Priority Matrix provides you with flexible storage and deep integration with other tools and platforms as well. Moreover, you can handle your business tasks using your desktop, laptop, tablet, and even a smartphone.

You can experience the benefits of such a modern software solution for only $12 per user per month.

5. Project Pad

Apart from the primary project management software features, Project Pad allows you to track the skills of your employees, which will simplify the process of choosing specific 3D artists for each project.

In modern work environments, the use of such software solutions is crucial for further development, and that's why Project Pad provides you with the ability to plan your entire organization in one place.

Using this software, you'll save a lot of time, which will allow you to dedicate more to the process of visualization, instead of wasting your time organizing and tracking your team manually.

6. GoodDay

By visualizing the entire work of your company, this modern project managing software will motivate your employees to work harder and better, and you'll be able to track each unit of progress and analyze project data in real time. Besides, GoodDay allows you to develop your idea from the beginning to the end product – the render.

However, that transparency will improve your work and help you achieve your goals and develop your business, no matter if you are a leader of a small, midsize or large company.

GoodDay is designed both for computers and smartphones, so you can use it even if you're out of the office. Besides, your remote employees will be notified about each task and project too. Moreover, it integrates with other popular tools such as Gmail, Dropbox, Slack, Google Calendar, and Google Drive.

The best about Good Day is that you can use it for free, for up to 25 users. Monthly price per user for up to 250 users is $5.

7. Xledger

If you want to improve your business one step towards the future, then you should use Xledger and automate various tasks. That way, you'll reduce the human error and become an advanced architectural rendering firm.

Xledger is more than project management software because it provides you with a wider spectrum of services, including accounting, reporting and analytics, budgeting and forecasting, asset management, and document management.

Using Xledger, you'll achieve your goals and join the most thriving architectural rendering companies worldwide.

8. actiTIME

As one of the most advanced project management software tools, actiTIME allows you to assign tasks to your team, record work hours, create project scope, manage work assignments, track work progress, harvest the data, and more.

Besides, actiTIME allows you to adjust workflow, organize data for accounting, provides you with reports and data analysis, and much more! Among other industries, actiTIME is designed for architecture firms, which makes it even better.

You can try a trial version for 30 days and check if actiTIME suits your business. Which is even better, you don't have to worry about system requirements because you can use actiTIME through Internet Explorer 9+, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Edge, or Safari, even using your smartphone.

9. Deltek Ajera

Deltek Algeria is a project management software designed to help you deliver exceptional projects to your clients using the best organization tools. Proactive managing tasks and projects will simplify all processes of architectural rendering, starting from the briefing, to billing.

Deltek Algeria allows you to manage all the tasks in one place using dashboards, accounting tools, and scheduling tools.

10. ArchSmarter

ArchSmarter is an advanced project management software, helpful in organizing your team. Apart from saving lots of time using this software, you'll also be able to monitor all tasks and improve your business using various tools.

Free add-ons, macros, and templates for architectural tools will also help you increase productivity and efficiency.

The bottom line

You'll be able to improve your services and raise the communication between your team members to another level using these project managing software solutions. Your work will become more transparent and simplified, which is the key to success and further business development.

You'll be able to communicate with your employees remotely, without conferences and meetings. Any of the mentioned software solutions will save you a lot of time, and your company will be able to direct efforts to more creative work.

The fact that all modern companies from all industries worldwide are using similar solutions speaks volumes about the effectiveness of these tools. You should give it a shot – we're sure that you'll continue to use any of these tools after you’ve tried them once.

Stay competitive and join other successful modern companies that have already discovered all the advantages of project managing software!

If you can add other helpful project management software to our list, let us know in the comments!

A Look Back at the Best Architectural Renders in 2018

It's that part of the year – let's summarize architectural renders that have marked last year. In case you’ve missed some excellent projects, you should check our choices and enjoy some hyper-realistic artworks!

It wouldn't be fair for 2019 to arrive without us looking back at the best architectural renders in 2018. Since there are many 3D rendering artists, we'll cover some of the best, who will stay in the public’s eyes for a while.

Some of the essential criteria for this selection will be the level of materialization and texture processing, the lighting as the principal part of each architectural visualization, uniqueness, and creativity, as well as the level of achieved hyper-realism. Moreover, we'll try to tell you what 3D modeling and rendering software these talented 3D artists have used to create the following renders!

The number of great architectural renders is continuously increasing, as there are many talented architects, 3D visualizers, and artists. You’ve surely seen some of the following renders before, but we also tried to include some of the less famous projects and renders done by skilled visualizers.

We hope you'll enjoy the following exterior and interior designs as well as urban planning visualizations.

1. Sculptural House of Horns by WOJR

Studio WOJR has produced amazing renders and an even better design of House of Horns. Other projects done by this team of architects also include hyper-realistic renders. Besides the exterior design and the entire environment, Studio WOJR created a series of renders for House of Horns' interior design. The excellent visualization skills and carefully picked materials make these renders even better!

2. Australia's tallest skyscraper by UN Studio and COX architecture

This list would be literally empty without the favorite type of building among architecture lovers: skyscrapers. The renders of Australia's highest skyscraper left us awe-struck. Plenty of details and advanced materialization made this building appear incredibly lifelike.

3. X House, Cabrils, Barcelona by CADAVAL & SOLÀ-MORALES

We have to notice that each architect lover is amazed by CADAVAL & SOLÀ-MORALES works! Project by project, they are continually surprising us with hyper-realistic renders and incredibly awesome designs! The isolated location of this cozy house was challenging for 3D modeling, but the entire visualization wouldn't be as awesome without the beautiful hills of Barcelona.

4. Micro-home by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)

This tiny, customizable house that can be built anywhere became viral during 2018 for more than one reason. Besides the advanced design, Bjarke Ingels Group provided us with amazing renders too. This micro home is one of the favorite projects from 2018 among architects and architecture enthusiasts.

5. Design for social impacts by Solidsprout

With this project, Solidsprout visualized how Bangkok would look if shopping centers were replaced with lots of greenery. Apart from the amazing conceptual idea, they created some awesome renders!

6. Two Towers by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)

These beautiful skyscrapers will adorn Shenzhen, China. The sophisticated design and visualization of the entire environment around these stunning buildings are taking us towards the future.

7. Akasaka Hotel in Tokyo, Japan by Akihisa Hirata

The idea of a luxury hotel in Japan with sleeping capsules instead of rooms is a great accomplishment in itself, but Akihisa Hirata has also represented this project incredibly well through his visualizations. The amazingly high level of hyper-realism will surely surprise you.

8. Minimal Interior by Andrea Calzavacca

Interior design enthusiasts were amazed when Andrea Calzavacca published the renders of his minimal interior design. The level of detail will make you ask yourself if it's an actual photo of the existing space.

9. Azure Window by Svetozar Andreev

Among many unique projects done by Svetozar Andreev, Azure Window represents one of the most futuristic projects from 2018. We hope that this mirrored steel form will find its place on Malta's coast.

10. Planar House by Studio MK27

Well, if you enjoy great architecture, there is no chance that you won't like Planer House (Plana Casa). In addition to the stunning and modern design, Studio MK27 amazed us all with the level of precision of these excellent renders of the interior and exterior.

11. Tree-ness House, Toshima, Japan by Akihisa Hirata

Well, you already noticed that the entire world is amazed by Akihisa Hirata studio! Their work is amazing, unique, complex, and advanced at the same time, but their renders are even better!

12. Gridded University Center by Studio Velocity

The multipurpose facility in Okazaki city includes a lot of greenery. These renders of such a complex project are amazing, and they represent all the crucial segments of this awesome work!

13. Villa Sunnano by Amin Paseban

Making a sizeable and sophisticated 3D model takes time, and Amin Paseban worked almost a year to finish this hyper-realistic, full CG animation with lots of lighting and textures included.

14. The Shelter by Tamas Medve

These renders of shipping container architecture in the rural environment are so awesome. With its high-level realism in combination with all the imperfections that make this render even more faithful, it had to find a significant place on our list.

15. 3VO House by Mario Maleš

Using Autodesk's 3ds Max for 3D modeling and Corona for rendering, Maleš created one of the best interior designs of 2018. Lighting, shadows, and lots of bumps gave this visualization an additional note of hyper-realism.

16. Paveletskaya Office by Walk The Room

Using the most advanced 3D modeling and rendering software such as Corona Renderer, AutoCAD, and Autodesk's 3ds Max, they added some flair to this sophisticated and hyper-realistic interior design.

17. Rabbit Snare Gorge by Omar Gandhi Architect + Design Base 8

Using 3DsMax 2018 for modeling and texturing, VRay 3.60.03 for rendering and PS CC for post-production, they created a beautiful image of one of the coziest houses we’ve ever seen.

18. Greeny district by Pavel Lishtvan

Such a complex design of the Greeny district already brought lots of difficulties, but using the best modeling and rendering software, as well as investing a lot of time in post-production, Pavel Lishtvan was able to create such remarkable work!

19. The staircase by Lucas Josefsson, Environment Artist at Starbreeze Studios

Textures, textures and more textures; a simple design of Josefsson's project was reinforced with hyper-realistic visualization. The perfect lighting included in this render additionally highlighted the materials and forms of this interior design.

20. Residential Tower in Lisbon by nu.ma

As a commissioned project for a competition, Residential Tower in Lisbon is one of the best architectural renders from 2018. This render is done using some of the most popular rendering software, including ArchiCAD, Cinema4D, and V-Ray.

21. Bright & unusual interior by Sergey Krasyuk

His work has already attracted architecture lovers back in 2016 when he published the renders of Swedish apartments in Moscow, but the combination of textures and materials used in this project actually enables you to feel the entire space.

22. EDNC by Sodic Design Team

Using the golden combination of modeling and rendering programs, Autodesk's 3ds Max and Vray, Sodic Design Team created a complex and truly inspiring visualization. While the daylight renders are masterful, they invested even more effort and created nightlight visualizations of this sophisticated design.

23. The Beacon – Hemel Hempstead London by Gautam Dey

The entire project contains interior and exterior design, including lots of details and hyper-realistic material processing. Using Autodesk's 3ds Max and Vray, Gautam Dey proved that this is one of the best software combinations.

24. Design project townhouse in the Moscow region by Igor Malkov

This project includes renders of each room of this apartment. The matching design of each room and the advanced pre and post-production will leave the viewer breathless. Malkov used AutoCAD and Autodesk's 3ds Max for this project.

25. Villa Spee by Adam Zorian Radziszewski

Using Blender for 3D modeling and Corona Standalone 1.6.3 for rendering, Zorian created a hyper-realistic render of the minimalistic house. The advanced post-production process and detailed 3D model are what enabled such a convincing render.

The bottom line

If you aren't only an architecture lover, but an architect, 3D artist or architectural visualizer, we hope that your projects will be included in the list of the best projects from 2019 in a year from now!

As we mentioned above, our list includes renders done by various 3D artists, visualizers, and architects. We hope that you agree with our list of the best architectural renders in 2018. Since we surely have missed some great works, you should remind us and let us know your opinion in the comments!

I've got to see some impressive renders from 2019 now, see you soon!

How to Establish a Realistic Price for Your Architectural Renders

Whether you’ve been doing architectural rendering for a while or you are at the beginning of your career, you probably struggled to establish a proper price for your work. We prepared some tips to help you estimate the real value of your renders.

Like in many other creative industries, the process of determining the price of architectural renders might be more complicated than it appears. Unlike other business fields where you're selling items at a predetermined price, creative work is harder to charge for, since you actually don't have many “production” costs.

It's clear that the equipment you're using for rendering must be paid off, but it's hard to determine the value of your time and efforts.

The most important thing is that you look at the situation from all angles because a price that is too low or too high can cause you to lose clients. Since there are many delicate factors which can help you define the actual price of your work, we’ve selected only a few essential ones to make the process as simple as possible for you.

Price and quality ratio

One of the critical factors for setting a standard price for your work is what your clients are most interested in – the quality. If your portfolio includes lots of hyper-realistic renders with plenty of details, it's clear that you can demand a higher price.

On the other hand, if you are at the beginning of your career, you can't set your standards too high, but you also shouldn't work for a minimal price per hour, because it will look suspicious to more serious clients and you’ll spend hours of your time working for pocket change.

Now when we explained the starting point, we have to admit that it's hard to estimate the actual quality of your work. To help you find your place in the coordinate system of reality, we recommend that you post your work on various creative websites and let the visitors estimate the quality of your renders.

Besides, you should see how much you can earn based on the quality and price ratio of renders done by other visualizers.

Invested time

As the most commonly used factor for determining the price of creative work is the invested time, especially in the world of freelancing, we mustn't neglect this model of valuation. We have to admit that the valuation of the creative work per hour isn't the best solution in the field of architectural rendering.

Since there is a significant difference between clients' expectations and your desire for perfection, you'll invest lots of time into details which aren't valuable to your clients.

For example, if you are working on a visualization of interior design, you might invest time in modeling a vase from the corner of the room, and chances are that your client won't even notice your efforts.

To estimate the actual price per hour, you also should think broader and check if you need that much time to finish a visualization. Besides the time invested in pre-production and post-production, there is also the time needed for rendering.

If you have a fast computer and advanced rendering equipment, the process of rendering will last shorter, but if you don't have a rendering farm, the process of computer rendering can take a whole lot longer.

With that in mind, we'll say once again that the invested time isn't as relevant for estimating the price of your renders as you might think.

The equipment and software selection

Your equipment significantly affects the price of your renders. If you wonder why, we'll explain that through a few crucial steps.

Stronger computer > Wider selection of software > Simpler process of rendering > Higher quality of the end product

Technology development brought the wider selection of rendering tools and software. The latest versions of pre-production software (3D modeling), software for visualization and post-production require the latest models of computers and accessories.

Since there are a lot of costs involved in using such equipment and programs, it's sensible that you want to pay off all you have invested.

On the other hand, if you are using free versions or student versions of 3D modeling and rendering software, your client will notice that you aren't using original programs, so you can't demand a high price for your work.

Since each new version of 3D modeling and rendering software includes lots of new perks, the entire process of rendering will be simplified, but the end product, the render, will also be better and more realistic.

Engagement with clients

Another problem related to this job is the clients themselves. If you don't follow the instructions, no matter how weird they are, a client might get upset and quit working with you. However, if you follow the instructions perfectly, but the client’s sense of aesthetics is questionable, that might have a negative impact on your portfolio and cause a reduced number of further engagements.

Since the primary goal is to make an agreement which will satisfy both you and your client, you have to learn how to persuade a client that your work is good. If you have enough arguments, the client will adopt your idea sooner or later.

Successful engagement with clients will remarkably increase the price of your work.

The bottom line

The inexhaustible circle of factors for valuation always comes down to one thing – the quality. If you are skilled enough to produce the best possible renders using outdated equipment and rendering software, then nothing can stop you from putting a high price tag on your work.

Since we are back at the beginning, instead of spending thousands of dollars on the latest equipment and expensive software, you should invest all your savings in the process of upgrading your skills. If you are good enough, offers will arrive continuously, even if you use modest and more cost-effective tools.

Recommendations are the best advertisement, which further means that you can earn much more if you are truly interested in what you are doing.

The lack of self-esteem can also make you lower your labor costs, so that's why accurately estimating your actual skill level is so important!

Photorealistic Rendering: A Real-Time Representation of Future Architecture

Photorealistic Rendering in architectural visualization are technologies that will define this area in the near future and will allow you to truly see your project like never before.

Architectural visualization is one of the greatest technologies that has quickly enveloped the entire architectural community – never has it been so easy to prepare a project, to the tiniest detail, with the help of sophisticated software; and have it ready and presentable to the clients.

Naturally, all of this has been used for many years, but as computers have advanced, the processing power that is available to designers has also increased. Architectural visualization is any technique that creates images and animations in three dimensions in order to convey a specific message to the client and deliver an idea before it is fully realized.

When it comes to the designer or the architect himself, having such a powerful tool at your disposal is invaluable, as it reduces the amount of work put in into model creation, and focuses more on generating and preserving the idea itself – it focuses on creativity.

This kind of preparation will allow designers to, based on their needs, budget, and the time available to the client, create realistic photo models of the designed solution, or even print out a full 3d rendered model, and have it presented to the client – this way, the clients will know exactly what they are getting.

The Process of Arch Viz - Creating a Realistic Model out of Polygons

The process itself is a technical endeavor each architect might solve differently or use a different program, to begin with. It usually starts with simple sketches on a piece of paper, or in any program that allows this kind of idea to be quickly drawn, edited, and deleted. When it comes to transferring all of this to a 3D model, the first step is the modeling itself.

Models in a computer world are made of polygons. A polygon is a 2-dimensional shape formed out of more than 2 straight lines, so a triangle, quadrilateral, or pentagon are good examples of a polygon. These polygons are later assembled in a way, and at an angle that creates a bigger, realistic 3d model.

Each model can be as detailed or simple – a simple model will have a few of them, while an extremely detailed one can have even 20 million of them, and the designer in charge is the one to make that decision. More polygons mean more processing power required to keep track of all those shapes on your screen.

Models made in most popular programs can easily be 3d printed or imported into other programs to be seen in virtual reality – you can add color, texture, and everything else you need to make the object feel more real. A model is a good basis for all of this.

Lighting and Materials

Once the model is fully prepared, some attributes like how lighting works around it, based on the materials used can be added. We’re visual creatures, and we do not even recognize how much of our internal logic depends on these visual cues we get all the time.

We constantly judge our environment based on lighting, we perceive depth, we know how to handle objects and what to expect when we touch them ever before we had the chance to do so – all based on how it looks.

Materials used to envelop a model can depict its properties – it is reflective, glossy, what color does it have. These properties are all created as a 2d map that is simply overlaid over the existing model.

A good texture can feed the eye and the brain and give the impression that we want to convey – this can look fluffy and soft, this can look like a cold brushed metal and give the impression you want.

Lighting plays an important part here, and most of the 3d projecting tools have lighting built into them. This allows subtle shades on the model itself, or how the shadow is cast on other objects around it. Big advancements are implemented here in order to create lighting that behaves like in the real world and considers many things: not only direct illumination but reflections from other surfaces and how it affects the target model – indirect illumination.

Rendering and Post Processing

Once the model is rendered and the computer has calculated all the parameters we’ve mentioned above – light, material, and shape, it will create a model that can be further edited for the final presentation. Post-processing means working in image editing software to create the final 2d image that can be used as promotional material or in presentations. This is the difference between 3d and 2d models.

3d models can be used in virtual reality and for 3d printing, but in the end, they will need to be presented in 2d as well, and post-processing plays a great role here. Editing colors, and light levels, saturation and the overall feel of the model will give you a perfect image that you can be proud of. This step creates images that are photorealistic – they resemble the real world, and do not have any visible properties of animation or modeling – the picture is as realistic as possible.

Photorealistic Renderings Are the Future

Not only do these examples show your skills as an architect, but also create beautiful results – and with technology, this has become an expected industry standard. The better the photorealistic designs are, the client can expect better results from the finished products, and this can be a great way to persuade your clients and win them over.

The primary goal of an architect is the ability to create a design that will appeal to the client – and photorealistic rendering can be of great help here as it will create something that looks familiar, something that both we and the client can judge and understand better. This creates a good basis for future work and makes your clients that much happier.

What is the Real Cost of Architectural Rendering

You want to engage with a rendering company, but you aren't sure how to determine if the architectural rendering cost-to-quality ratio is just right? We will show you what goes into the price of architectural rendering!

The cost of architectural rendering depends on many factors, including pricing strategy, the market, quality, type of render, available rendering equipment, software selection, and invested time, but higher quality doesn't always mean a higher price and vice versa.

The price range for architectural renderings is between $80 and $10 000+, but we will attempt to help you realize what the actual architectural rendering costs are. Besides, you must be sure that the investment will pay off before you hire an architect or a 3D artist.

The most common pricing strategies are per image and per project. Pricing per image usually means working on pre-modeled 3D models by the client or a third party, so this solution is cheaper than pricing per project. If an architect finishes all tasks from 3D modeling to rendering, the price will be higher.

The market

If we exclude the factor of quality in this section, because there are countless excellent 3D artists worldwide, we must note that renders are usually cheaper in developing countries. The reason for cheaper renders in poorer countries isn't necessarily lower skill, but unauthorized use of rendering software, lower price of work hour, and an issue called ''quantity before quality''.

That doesn't mean that these rendering firms or individuals can't make hyper-realistic renders, but they are trying to break through the market and post a large number of images to be spotted.

Unauthorized rendering software is a big issue worldwide too. The unauthorized versions often don't have all the available options, so visualizations done in such software don’t match the quality of renderings done using licensed programs. Many architects worldwide are using student versions of software, which is also unprofessional and might decrease the price of renderings.

The biggest issue of 3D artists and architects from developing countries is that the low price makes it seem like they don’t value their work, so even if their renders are high-quality, investors and clients don't engage them often because of the low price.

Everything is in the eye of the observer, so the low price doesn't mean low quality, but practice has shown that medium cost renderings are easier to sell than cheap ones.

Quality vs. Quantity

The factor of quality has the most significant role concerning pricing and cost of renderings. The higher quality means more effort and more time. If a team of architects invests so much time and effort to create a hyper-realistic render, it's assumed that they will earn more.

As we mentioned before, many 3D artists are trying to find their place on the market by focusing on the number of renders. That has a negative influence on the quality though, which makes this a poor strategy.

Architects with a goal to earn more than $80–$200 per render are investing more effort, including time, equipment, and personal skills. After a while, the invested time, knowledge and effort pays off.

Equipment for rendering

Hyper-realistic rendering requires advanced technology. To gain the best results, people in this industry are investing money in powerful computers, VR equipment, and other gadgets and tools. Besides, such equipment can improve the user experience, so these architects and companies can earn more.

Very often, developed rendering companies have ''computer farms'' to reduce rendering time and increase the quality of renders. Since the costs for such equipment are incredibly high, the price of their renderings is also higher.

Software selection

Instead of using unauthorized software, architects with higher earnings are buying licensed, authorized software for modeling and rendering. The software is often closely related to quality and the time needed to create hyper-realistic and detailed renderings.

Some available software tools can render an image in only a few minutes, while other, more complex software requires a few hours per image. Rendering time can be decreased in each rendering program, but that usually affects the quality.

However, for achieving hyper-realistic renders, a 3D artist must dedicate a lot of time to details.

Post-production

The most significant difference between expensive and cheap renders is post-production. If we observe two renders done in the same rendering software using similar materials, and comparable lighting and camera settings, the most notable contrast between these two images will be related to post-production.

The post-production can be done in any photo processing program, and it doesn't take much time if you are skilled enough. Architectural renders without the environment can't be at the same level as architectural renders with full scenes, no matter how good they are. Architectural renders fitted into the full environment, and with carefully arranged nuances between the model and scene, will provide a better experience and a more realistic appearance.

The ratio between cost and quality

Since a high price doesn't always mean quality renders, the cost shouldn't be your primary selection guideline. Many rendering companies have a broad portfolio, but only the first side has quality renders. To find the best firm or 3D artist, check the entire portfolio. The number of renders included in a portfolio might take you in the wrong direction.

Bottom line

Each architect, 3D artist or a company has a personal evaluation system – that's why you can find good renders both for $80 and $10,000. After investing in knowledge, equipment, and programs, architects don't have additional costs for renders accept their time. Since time is money, everyone has the right to charge based on their own estimates.

There is no fixed price for renders and visualizations, so clients should choose the most suitable 3D artists based on the quality-to-price ratio. If a company or 3D artist can offer a warrant related to the render quality and turnaround time, you don't have to worry, no matter how cheap the renders are.

10 Architectural Rendering Online Courses You Should Really Consider

If you are looking to improve your skills as an architect or 3D artist, or if you are new to the game, then you should definitely consider these 10 architectural rendering online courses. Each one of them has something good to offer. Check them out!

Modeling, texturing, rendering - from an unfinished mockup to a lifelike architectural visualization, the artist needs a little bit more than talent to create something truly stunning and thus beat the odds. The process, as always in art, is long and elaborate, compelling architects to rely not only on their skills but also on technology. Enter intuitive, though equally complicated visualization software.

These days, learning how to model, texture, and render professional-looking architectural imagery is completely impossible without learning how to master the intricate user interfaces of 3ds Max, AutoCAD, and Vray first (just to name a few). The course on architectural rendering is actually a tutorial that breaks down the many powerful features and rendering settings of these designer tools.

Without further ado, let us introduce you to the best architectural rendering courses in the online world. There’s a tutorial for everyone’s skill level, as well as everyone’s favorite tool and scene type.

Beginner or advanced, interior or exterior, everything you need to become a (better) rendering artist is right here.

1. Interior 3D Rendering with 3ds Max + Vray: The Quickest Way

A basic understanding of the 3ds Max UI and some experience in 3D rendering will give you a great headstart for this Udemy bestseller. With more than 1,500 students currently enrolled, the 2-hour, 23-lecture course designed by Jake Denham BA, MA, will let you in on all the secrets of 3D rendering.

Though quick and intense, the Quickest Way is aimed at all levels of 3ds Max and Vray users and teaches practical techniques for creating gorgeous and professional-looking images. Additionally, the course provides a unique opportunity for learning the secrets pros use to stand out from the crowd.

2. Photoshop for Architects

Another one of Udemy’s bestsellers, Photoshop for Architects won’t tell you how to render your architectural models, but it will help you transform your existing 3D render into a masterpiece. This course makes sense only after you’ve learned to render passes with VRay and use the Photoshop UI.

And since all renders eventually end up in Photoshop, knowing which tools and techniques to use in post-production is just as essential for your portfolio. Not only will this course teach you how to produce renders faster, but it will also significantly increase the quality of your presentation designs.

3. 3ds Max, Vray, Photoshop: Making of the Museum

Whether you’re a student who’s only starting with 3D rendering or a professional who’s looking to advance their skills, Making of the Museum is one of the best tutorials out there. In 19 lectures and only 2 hours, this crash course offers useful tips for producing stunning 3D renders and visualization.

Making of the Museum is designed in a way that doesn’t require you to be familiar with 3ds Max basics before you enroll, though some background experience will only make you more successful in mastering the complete rendering workflow of 3ds Max, which goes from basics to high-end imagery.

4. Rhino and V-Ray: Architectural Rendering

If Rhino is your modeling tool of choice, this course will help you hone your skills and jump from a beginner to intermediate level in less than 4 hours. Architectural Rendering teaches everything you need to know about rendering photorealistic interior architectural scenes with both Rhino and V-Ray.

Created by Dave Schultze, the course taps into different components that add a sense of depth and realism to professional designs, including lighting systems, various materials, and exterior elements like trees, grass, and people. It also shares tips on how to use a camera and composting techniques.

5. Revit: Rendering

Paul F. Aubin has developed an architectural rendering course for Revit users who are currently at the intermediate level. Disclosing some of the best-kept industry secrets, this fast-paced tutorial takes around 5 hours to complete, after which you’ll be able to create high-quality outputs directly in Revit.  

Along with basic rendering settings, Paul F. Aubin also experiments with various customization details available in Revit, with a special emphasis on its lighting features. Lectures on artistic render styles and animated walkthroughs are added to the course as well, making it one of the best on the scene.  

6. Unreal Engine: Architectural Visualisation

Originally aimed at game developers, Unreal Engine has grown so powerful that it is now used for creating professional architectural designs too. This 4-hour tutorial will walk you through its intuitive, though highly detailed UI and rendering settings, which should launch you to the intermediate level.

The author, Adam Crespi, works with Unreal Engine’s robust lighting, physically based elements, and terrain tools to showcase all the amazing rendering capabilities of this software and explain different techniques for achieving interactive, lifelike visualizations and finetuning 3D renders for publication.

7. 3ds Max: Advanced Lighting

There are many brilliant courses for mastering the sophisticated rendering tools featured in 3ds Max, but this one takes the cake when it comes to one especially important element of realistic architectural visualization - photometric lighting. Level-wise, this course cultivates advanced 3D skills.

Architectural rendering is all about an ability to create convincing illusions, according to author Aaron F. Ross, and that’s exactly what this course teaches. After a conceptual overview, the tutorial goes on to demonstrate exterior and interior daylight, artificial lighting, light exclusion, as well as lens effects.  

8. Creating an Interior Scene with Blender

In little less than 3 hours, Darrin Lile succeeds to explain the many intricacies of using Blender for modeling, texturing, and rendering detailed furniture and interior design accessories - from an imported blueprint to the basic structure of a contemporary living room to lighting and 3D rendering.

The key to exceptional Blender renders apparently hides in the details, which is why this in-depth tutorial focuses primarily on materials and interior lighting. You’ll learn not only how to apply materials to the objects, but also how to UV map and texture them for highly photorealistic results.

9. Complete AutoCAD 2018 Course with 2D and 3D Projects

If you are an absolute beginner in the fine art of architectural rendering, then this is a course for you. Being the ultimate, most comprehensive tutorial for creating 2D drawings and 3D models using the latest version of AutoCAD, it requires no previous experience with designer and rendering software.

Created by Awais Jamil, the Complete AutoCAD 2018 Course boasts 13 hours of on-demand video.  The in-depth tutorial opens with a lesson on basic operations, features, and workspaces of AutoCAD, after which it moves smoothly to a step-by-step training class on complex 2D and 3D house projects.

10. 3ds Max 2019 Essential Training

Another tutorial from Aaron F. Ross, this time designed as a general course on using 3ds Max 2019 for producing architectural renderings, delivers a comprehensive overview of the entire package, as well as fundamental skills that all architects require for creating meticulous 3D models and renders.

From modeling complex objects with splines, polygons, subdivision surfaces, and freeform sculpting to constructing hierarchies, adding cameras, lighting up space, and animating with keyframes, this exhaustive course by a rendering artist explains it all in exactly 10 hours, 39 minutes, and 51 seconds.

How to Choose the Best Online Course for Your Needs

Learning how to create professional-looking architectural renders takes some time, so don’t just take the first crash course you stumble upon. Whether you choose one of these tutorials or expand your search beyond this list, hit architectural forums, do some snooping around, and ask for user opinions and unbiased feedback. This will help you determine the best online course for your specific needs.

Also, start with lower-level courses and build your expertise gradually from there. If you are a beginner, don’t skip introductory lessons, but take it slow and get familiar with the subject first. If you are already a professional who’s looking to advance their skills, go back to the basics and reaffirm the knowledge you’ve obtained thus far. This way, developing advanced skills will be much easier for you.

At an intermediary level, take some time to experiment with different rendering software. Though there are several great toolkits that help produce equally stunning 3D results, not all of them do that in the same way. Trying a few of them will enable you to master different rendering features, techniques, and styles, all of which will eventually allow you to pick the best visualization workspace.

Finally, keep trying!

If the first online course you take doesn’t deliver, and you remain at the same skill level as you were before, try something different. Architectural rendering requires time, effort, and commitment, so don’t lose your patience and determination. The math is quite simple here - the more of these courses you take, the easier it will be for you to jump from one skill level to a more advanced one.