Architectural visualizations can tell a fantastic story. At the same time, they can give valuable insights into how working or living would be like within these buildings.
With new, improved tools, architects now have the option to create incredibly detailed, photorealistic visualizations. However, it’s not all about the tools. Visualization is one of the jobs where people have a lot of creative freedom.
This means that they can easily get carried away and miss the point altogether. Misleading visualizations can easily lead to a loss of trust between clients and architects. This is why you should learn about the things you shouldn’t do when doing your renderings.
Some of the most challenging things to represent truthfully in visualizations are mirror surfaces and glass reflections. If a glass has too much transparency or the mirrored facade is “perfect,” your whole visualization will be misleading and look much different than the actual building.
Getting the reflection right is a test of how good a visualizer is actually. It requires the use of advanced tools, but with the right dosage. Going over can look worse than not adding reflection altogether.
When clients see that the real results aren’t anything like the visualization, you might get into big trouble. Learning how to control glare is one of the best ways to stop doing this.
Trying to make the whole thing look sci-fi
When it comes to architectural rendering, one of the most critical rules everyone needs to remember is to stay within realism. However, this is often not the case. Visualizers have a lot of tools at their disposal, and they get carried away.
Of course, architects do many things to make their designs more impactful, but crossing the line might have a counter-effect. Clients expect to look at designs that are going to resemble real structures. Even though it’s a visual representation of something that doesn’t yet exist, it needs to be realistic.
Once it loses its realism, the story-telling effect of visualization gets lost as well. On the other hand, as much as it is crucial to create impressive renders, you need to know the purpose of your work. You aren’t making a sci-fi game for kids. Keep it professional and within your niche.
Originality is significant in architectural renders. Making sure that you add natural elements is crucial. Make sure to create as much of your visuals, look to showcase their quality, add cohesion, and establish your style.
Even if they aren’t the best, they will leave a better impression than combining random events you found online. In most cases, visualizers overdo it by adding too many stock images. When you make your visuals, it will be easier to fit them all together.
Additionally, taking shots on your own will allow you to get the right resolution. Stock images are more difficult to appear genuine and unique. Furthermore, people can often recognize them as they’ve seen them elsewhere.
There has been an argument in the architecture world about whether or not it’s possible to grow trees on tall buildings. Yes, it’s possible. However, this doesn’t mean that every visualization should have trees on top. The issue is not if a visualizer can put them there or not, but whether they are needed there.
Even if there is a plan for a garden on the roof, it doesn’t mean that trees will grow. Furthermore, not all roofs are suitable for such kind of pressure. You need to be practical and stay on the realistic side.
We’ve seen a lot of examples of trees on skyscrapers, but in reality, this is a rare practice. It’s impractical to do this and requires a higher investment while not bringing any noticeable benefits. On top of that, this is an old trend, and nobody is impressed with trees on roofs anymore.
At first, architectural visualization was all about presenting the project and nothing else. Structures mattered only and nothing else. However, with the advancement of visualization tools, it quickly became necessary to add details, surroundings, and details that will enhance the look of the main object.
The building is still the main focus, but it has additional elements that all work in making it look even better. A lot of architects misunderstand the role of these details, and they end up focusing too much on them. With this kind of approach, clients will be able to see a lot of irrelevant information that won’t tell them anything about the structure.
Nobody wants to see how good you are at highlighting small details that don’t carry that much importance. They want to see a realistic presentation of architecture and how it interacts with its surroundings.
Leaving a melancholic and grim atmosphere isn’t the best approach unless this is the overall tone of the rendering narrative you’re following. Don’t try to make your visualizations depressing; there is rarely any need for that. After all, your work is focused on user experience.
There is a need for your narrative to lead to a happy ending in which architectural visualization is realized. When a client looks at the project, he or she shouldn’t be consumed by thoughts of Armageddon or sadness.
Instead, they need to have a positive outlook on things. The construction needs to inspire feelings of well-being, prosperity. The whole idea is to make people like the concept and want to go through with the project.
Naturally, sometimes you will have to use visuals from somewhere else. This is fine just as long as you don’t overdo it. However, a lot of architects get lazy over time and find models or elements that perfectly scale in their projects. They repeat themselves many times and add the same things they’ve used before.
This is an easy way to make the whole process faster and easier. However, it loses originality and doesn’t look genuine. Recycling some minor elements from time to time is not a big deal, but if you do this very often, people will see through it when they check out your work.
A lot of people like to recycle scale people. This can be distracting to viewers, and at some point, it may become ridiculous. Additionally, even if you are using template elements, you need to put in the work to incorporate them into your presentation so that they don’t look unnatural.
A lot of people try to cut down on their work by adding fewer light bounces. They do this because this is how the rendering will last a shorter amount of time. However, light bouncing is very important as it affects the way the shadows are rendered.
It’s also called indirect lighting or simple global illumination. When there are several light-bounces, all of the shadows will get dark. Your whole project won’t be visible and will seem unnatural. This is why it’s essential to take the time and add more bounces.
This is a huge issue when it comes to photorealistic presentations. However, as visualizations need to be as realistic as possible, it’s become essential to add enough light bounces here as well.
Almost all architectural renderings need to have animation. It can help sell the idea and communicate the overall project to the client. The problem is that most designers go with a fly-through view. Even though this method is useful for showing the sides of a structure and the features, it can be dull.
Everyone is doing it, and it doesn’t leave any particular impression on the viewer. Instead, look to break the whole animation into multiple scenes. It does require a bit more work and time, but it’s so much more versatile and dynamic.
You can add dramatic cameras, design snippets, and unique viewpoints. These work together to excite the audience and get them involved in what you’re trying to present. Additionally, using scenes makes it much easier to present essential features and potential ideas.
Like all visually creative work, architectural rendering needs to be done with style and modesty. Adding too much detail or doing too little when it counts can make your final design have less impact. This is why you should pay attention to these nine mistakes we mentioned today.
Many architects find Substance by Adobe a potent tool. While they use it daily to bring their ideas to reality, the tool didn't offer as many opportunities for architects as some others do.
The quality of architectural visualization deliverables depends not only on the 3D engine architects use but also on the library of materials they have access to.
To answer this need, Adobe decided to update the Substance and remove the frictions from the design process. To help you understand the new potential that Substance offers architects, we take a closer look at the recent update.
Let's see exactly what Adobe did and how this change will affect your workflow and help you streamline your daily tasks.
The quality of architectural visualizations doesn't only depend on the knowledge and creativity of architects that stand behind them – it also depends on the tools used to create the visualizations. The vital part of these tools is the material library.
Since materials paint give architectural visualizations both the look and the feel, their quality will determine the overall quality of the render to a great extent. To answer the needs of the industry, Adobe has delivered the Substance suite and with it, the Substance Source Material library.
Thanks to the abundance of high-quality digital material, architects can create realistic objects and communicate their design ideas to colleagues, clients, and shareholders.
The Substance Source Material Library contains thousands of high-end digital materials. World-class artists and specialists create these materials. What makes them valuable are modifiable parameters. This means that you can reuse the same material over and over, and always create different results.
The Substance Source Material library is also valuable as it can be ported to all major 3D tools. Thanks to this versatility, it quickly became a valuable resource to professionals in the architectural visualization circles.
But a library is only as valuable as the pieces it contains. Adobe recognized this need in time and decided to keep it updated with new and more stunning digital materials.
The architectural visualization industry can let out a sigh of relieve. Adobe has decided to update the Substance Source Material library. The software giant has recently expanded the library.
Designers all over the world can now feast their eyes on brand new 2,400 materials. But what's more important, those in the architectural visualization industry now have access to a stunning set of 580 new materials.
These new materials are brought in to help architects improve their deliverables and create realistic-looking architectural visualizations. The Substance Source Material is definitely going to remain the number one go-to resource for specialists in this niche.
To furthermore help architects Adobe has decided to conveniently group the materials that came with the latest update in two categories – Interior and Exterior Design.
Materials in both categories are not set in stone. One might easily say that they are dynamic. To achieve this, Adobe leverages the power of procedural generation.
Materials are no longer manually created. Instead, sophisticated algorithms do all the calculations and rendering in real-time to deliver the custom-tailored look for each material in the library. All you have to do is change parameters, and the material you are editing will change it's look instantly.
We are not talking only about the color and texture here, but also about shape. In a few clicks, architects are going to be able to manipulate all these parameters and see how it complements the other elements of the design.
Saving newly created variations of the materials is straightforward and enables architects to reuse them in future projects. It has massive potential in terms of optimizing workflow without sacrificing any of the creativity.
This is a huge deal for architects and designers in general. With the ability to modify materials in real-time, architects can now explore as many design possibilities as they like, until they settle with the one that resonates the best with them and the project requirements.
Nicolas Paulhac, Head of Content Creation for 3D & Immersive at Adobe, was unable to hide his excitement: "Our goal is to create a toolbox of digital materials dedicated to architectural professionals. Beyond a simple texture, with its derived forms, each material behaves like a mini library of inspiration."
All materials in the Interior Design category have adjustable parameters. To adjust these parameters and custom-tailor the materials, users have to access the Control Panel. The Control Panel features different settings that give users complete control over the materials’ look and feel.
In a few clicks, users can change patterns on the floor, play with the aggregate of elements on different surfaces or change the shape and size of 3D elements on walls, floors, furniture, and accessories.
This creative freedom allows architects to bring to reality their ideas no matter how complex and sophisticated they are. What's more important, the fine-tuning of the materials can be used to make suitable for any of the popular styles in architecture.
When it comes to the type of materials in the library, architects are going to be happy to find out that the common materials are still there, including PVC, terrazzo, and cement tiles. Those interested in creating vintage architectural visualizations will be stunned with new alternatives, including caning, cork, and parquet.
Translucent concrete is one of the brand new materials, and it’s quite stunning. It features optical fiber strands cast into a block of cement. The renders with this material are magic-like.
Thanks to the newly introduced interior design materials and hundreds of settable parameters, architects are only limited by their own inspiration and creativity.
The new interior design materials library is there to support any creative effort, whether it is leaning on the principle of vintage or modern interior design.
Thanks to the sophisticated algorithms powering the procedural technology, the new materials in the exterior design materials category can be used to design any project despite its scale.
Whether you want to generate a small building render or apply new materials to an entire neighborhood, the procedural technology will make it happen in an instant.
With Adobe's new technology, there are no trade-offs. The quality of the materials is consistent throughout the render, even if you decide to texture an entire city. The procedural technology will help you cut down your production times and add textures with extreme precision and articulation.
New exterior design materials library update features curtain walls, window panels, brick walls, pavements, and paints. Users can play with exterior design material parameters in the same way as with interior design material. Bring up the Control Panel and custom-tailor the textures as you please.
Curtain walls, for instance, feature 25 unique panel system. Users can play with each one of the 25 panel systems to create endless design variations.
You can start by customizing and refinding each panel. Since each panel is made out of tiles, you can also edit the tile layout, change the shape of the tiles, or even add perforations. You can also edit the pattern and how condensed the perforations are. Panels can also be made mat or reflective.
Procedural technology will bring all the changes on the screen as you apply them and allow you to see how it reflects your design as a whole.
When it comes to the streets and the pavements, Adobe didn't disappoint. There are plenty of ways to give context to your architectural projects. Some of the materials featured in the update include tactile brick pavers, cobblestones, and pavement slabs.
The "Seed" parameter in the control panel is particularly useful. This option takes the material and creates thousands of unique variations of it. It's a great feature to help architects enrich their architectural visualizations with unique-looking streets, squares, and plazas.
Adobe's team takes pride in the new Glass material update, as it can be seen in Nicolas's statement: "You can conjure instant glass skyscrapers by tweaking the window size, the floor spacing, the panel shape, and the glass type."
The glass materials are accessible in two categories: glass panel generators and types of glass. The "types of glass" category features glass materials, and lets architects create variations of a glass material. The parameters for glass are color, surface finish, and transparency.
"Glass panel generators" are very convenient to use. Architects can use the materials in this category to create a window layout, define the window distribution system, and create amazing exteriors.
The new materials Adobe introduced to the Substance Source Material library in the latest update are quite powerful.
With procedural technology, dozens of parameters to play with, and high-quality interior and exterior design materials, the new Substance Source Library has better architectural visualization capabilities.
If there is anything architecture firms struggle with that is project pitching. Getting investors interested to the point when they actually want to give you their hard-earned money and support your project is a tricky business. You have to consider all the options available for you to stand out from the competition and play the right hand.
Sometimes whiteboards, presentations, and the 3D physical model are not going to be enough to cut it. Today we are going to explore architectural visualization as one of the opportunities you have. Let’s see how it can make project pitching easier and put you in a position to get more investors interested in your designs.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then 3D renders of your design are worth a novel. Quite often, the investors are worried about how the building’s exterior will look like. And, more importantly, how it will fit in the surrounding area. Presenting them with sketches or even with a physical 3D model won't be enough for them to experience the exterior to the fullest.
3D architectural renders really shine in this department. You will be able to incorporate all the surrounding structures into your designs, including buildings, trees, lawns, benches, and so on.
The clients will be able to take a take a virtual walk and see what the building will look like once it is finished, and how it will make the entire area look more engaging and beautiful.
When it comes to the interior of your architectural designs, you are very limited in choosing the methods of showing it to your investors. A 3D physical model that can have its parts removed or sketches of the interior are all viable ways to do it. But the question is: “Will it be enough to make your investors give you a green light?”
Architectural visualization can help you with this as well. Since you can have an entire building’s interior rendered at a time, you can take your investors on a virtual tour of the building.
Let them experience it from a natural perspective and see for themselves how it feels to walk the hallways and rooms of your design. This is an efficient way to show them that your design is worth their money.
The details in your architectural designs can help you complete the experience and tell a story to the viewers. The sketches and models are very restrictive in this case. Putting details in the models may overcrowd them and make them appear messy and overstuffed. You can play with sketches, though, but it will require you to spend a copious amount of time doing so.
Architectural visualization is a real savior here. You can incorporate all the details you want and do it fast as well. Whether it is the furniture, lighting, plants, tapestry, wall textures, or colors, you will be able to add it to your design. This is a great way to show your design in its full light and delight the investors, making their decision an easy one.
Presenting the clients with panoramic views by using any of the old school methods is borderline impossible. And there are clients who specifically demand to see the building in the environment. For instance, they might ask to see how it sits adjacent to the local river, hill, neighborhood behind it, and so on. Failing to deliver this will cost you precious projects.
But, on the other hand, if you decide to use 3D software for architectural firms, you will be able to generate realistic panoramic views of your building from whichever angle you want. A visualization of a panoramic view is great, as it allows the investors to take a look at the building from whatever height they want to.
Many investors closely cooperate with potential developers as well. In many instances, a developer representative may be present when you are pitching your project to make sure that your design is realistic to the point that it can easily be brought to life. On top of that, there are specific demands and conditions investors might require before they can greenlight your project.
With software that makes architectural visualization possible you will be able to deliver renders and get instant approval. If investors want to check a specific thing, you can take them directly to your solution in a matter of seconds.
Very rarely do investors say “great job” when you pitch a project. More often you will have to answer dozens of questions and make adjustments they want you to. Answering the questions is easy, but making changes is really hard, especially if you have access to limited assets and resources. This is where architectural visualization can really help you.
First of all, it will help you completely showcase your project to investors so that they can identify the things they would like to see changed. And secondly, you will be able to make those changes very quickly via appropriate software and send them new renders. This means that they won’t have to make room for you in their busy schedule to get the things they asked for.
If you choose to use 3D rendering software for your projects, you will eventually build a large portfolio of designs which you can use as marketing material. You can share it on your official website and social media platforms. Doing things in this fashion will also help you build a reputation of a trustworthy firm that puts the requests of the investors and clients first, and complies to them in very short notice.
As you can see, architectural visualization can help you a lot in terms of pitching your project to investors. You can take them on virtual tours, present them with landscape renders, incorporate details in your designs, and make all the necessary changes efficiently.
Architectural visualization is a very old practice that has been used even in ancient Egypt. However, this term today is used to describe technology-aided representations of structures. During its existence, architectural visualization has changed many times, however, the changes have been drastic during the 21st century, aided by technological development.
Since architecture visualization is slowly becoming a must and there are more and more professionals using real-time rendering, we are able to recognize new trends emerging aided by new technology. One of the latest trends that appeared in 2019 is integration, and not just any kind, but of various new technologies that can improve previous workflows within the visualization process.
This is what we are going to discuss today and why the many opportunities for integration carry so much relevance in the world of architectural visualization.
Every architectural firm or a freelance professional rely on different CAD software solutions in their work. Not only that, but they also have different compatibility for their solutions, even if they are using the same one, different professionals have different workflows and processes they utilize to do their work.
On the other hand, there is also a different kind of output that professionals can choose. Even though professional visualizers understand that they need to improve their videos and stills constantly, they still have a lot of options available and ways they can do this. Are they supposed to produce complete VR experiences or rely on real-time rendering to speed up and enhance videos?
Some might benefit from making their whole design process a VR experience, but should they use it to finish the final imagery or work on their clay models? Is there a way for integrating new technologies that would allow the adjustment of every step to offer an even better service to customers?
We’ve just explored a couple of options and possible scenarios and it is already clear that it would simply be impossible to create a program that would be able to suit every possible workflow. Even if such a program existed, it would have to be very expensive, complex, and it would require a lot of resources to work properly.
This is why the industry and established professionals in the field have turned their focus towards the integration of other solutions within their processes and adding new workflows whenever necessary. The fundamental tool used for rendering in real time is the engine which is powering a certain piece of software.
For example, Epic Games has the Unreal Engine that stands above the rest when it comes to architectural rendering. The reason why it’s better the most is that it has great photorealism potential with real-time speed going from 30 frames per second and up to 90 frames per second.
Unreal Studio is the gateway to this engine and it is a completely free tool suite which has a Datasmith plugin used for importing all the necessary CAD data.
Unreal Studio comes equipped with a lot of out-of-the-box real-time tools but the Unreal Engine is a completely open platform that offers a lot of integration possibilities.
For example, in the case of Mindesk, the tool allows sculpting features that can be used for virtual reality model building and is currently being developed to allow Unreal Engine integration with all the lighting solutions and material options.
This is a typical example of innovative integrations that are going to bring the new era in architecture design and visualization. These kinds of applications will allow architects to work solely with hand motions in a completely stereoscopic 3D environment, where they can sculpt photorealistic models.
Another example of real-time rendering integration with Unreal Engine is Twinmotion. Twinmotion is a software that has always had a prototyping tool that allows architects to do real-time prototyping in a completely intuitive environment on a user-friendly interface.
However, they recently started working on bridge-ing it with the Unreal Engine, as this will improve the level of output quality with realistic lighting tools and physical materials. This potential integration will drastically change the level of quality and open up many options for designers that they haven’t had before.
V-Ray is currently probably the most popular renderer used for Sketchup, Rhino, Maya, and 3D Max, and they are also entering the real-time rendering game and following up on the trend. The developers Chaos Group has announced that they are working on developing V-Ray that will work on Unreal Engine and create a direct bridge between these platforms.
When all the design options from V-Ray get integrated within the Unreal Engine, all the lights, materials, and effects will be converted into real-time equals, while at the same time retaining a constant connection to all the originals. Simply put, it means that it will be possible to create maximum-quality renders while using the Unreal Editor only.
Unreal Engine is completely scriptable with Python and this was a clear opportunity for real-time professionals to start building brand new tools that would help improve and speed up their process of visualization. The group Theia Interactive are one of the first voices of virtual reality real-time rendering and they just released Optim.
Optim is a large number of Python scripts which add new functionalities to Datasmith plugin and more importantly, it automates a lot of the optimization tasks which are repetitive and constantly pop out when architectural data is imported.
These integration opportunities and efforts will break down many barriers concerning virtual reality, immersion, customer experience, and interactive design.
All the design workflows that were previously used can remain intact with an added bonus of all the benefits of real-time rendering. Stay tuned with Unreal Studio and try out some of the tools that are already available to tighten your workflow.
The roots to architectural visualization can be traced back to the prehistoric period when humans built their first homes out of wood, grass, and leaves. Even though many things have changed when it comes to how we build things, the principle of representing the design of a certain structure remains fundamentally the same.
In the prehistoric period, people used to draw the designs in the sand and dirt and now we do this on computers. Even though the technology has drastically improved along with the skills and methods, the basic principle is the same – we present and visualize what a certain project will look like before starting the construction process.
However, technology hasn’t necessarily made things any easier, as better options demand a higher quality of work. Today it’s no longer enough just to represent a certain design, but you need to make the visualization immersive and realistic with many details.
Today we are going to talk about some do’s and don’ts of architectural visualization that will help you finish up projects with better results.
A lot of designers forget what the basic goal of every architectural visualization is – impressing the customers and communicating the details of a certain architecture project the best you can. With all the software, techniques, creativity, and artistry, people get carried away and forget why they are doing the project.
A lot of designers make the project about themselves and focus most of their attention on things that they think matter, but those things might be simply irrelevant to your client. Learn as much as possible about a certain project before starting visualizing it, as this is how you will know what matters.
Many people forget or simply avoid working on details after they’ve finished the “major” portion of their visualization. However, the devil is in the details and you will never be able to blow someone away with your visualization unless you invest time and hard work in fine-tuning all the details.
Let’s say you are working on a visual representation of an interior design, adding furniture, proper walls, and windows is important. However, you need to include shadows, lighting, consider light sources and how they behave with the shadows, as well as the objects within the place. Simply put, you need to work on as many details as possible to make the visualization realistic.
As we strive to finish our project on time and tweak it as much as we can, we often get so caught up in our work that we forget about taking a break. More doesn’t mean better and if you work 10 hours every day non-stop, you might feel like you are accomplishing something but you are probably missing out on a lot of creative ideas and making mistakes.
Go socialize with other people, get out of the apartment, get off topic completely and refresh your mind. If possible, try to travel while you work, as this is how you can break down those barriers you have in your head and get inspired to create better visualizations. Experience the real world so that you can represent it in your work more truthfully.
You can have as many good ideas as you want and put them in your notebook every day, but if you don’t act on them and don’t learn how to realize them, they won’t do you any good.
Bear in mind that your ideas are only as good as your ability to execute them. If you have the emotional and creative capacity that allows you to come up with artistic pieces instantly, then you have an advantage.
However, if you haven’t put in the time to execute them properly they won’t do you much good. Practice makes perfect, so don’t rush things and take the time you need to develop new techniques and perfect the ones you have.
Don’t forget that architectural visualization is a profession just like any other and that it requires discipline and hard work. Yes, it is a creative job that gives you artistic freedom to some extent, but it is a job like any other that requires diligence, organization, and time management. You can’t take a break every time something presents an issue and think that you will be able to handle it later.
At the same time, the projects of architectural visualizations can sometimes take months to finish and you need to properly organize yourself to ensure that you will finish everything on time. Remember, the faster you finish a project, the sooner you will be able to take on another one and make more money.
No matter if you’re working in an architecture company or you are working independently as a freelance visualizer, you need to rely on other people’s help from time to time. It doesn’t matter if you’ve learned everything on your own so far and you are a bit of a lone wolf. This doesn’t mean that your peers won’t be able to help you.
The field of architectural visualization is very wide and there are always things you don’t know. At the same time, things constantly change and it can be difficult to keep track of all the new things. Talk to your coworkers or find a community of visualization artists if you are a freelancer so that you can exchange knowledge and share ideas.
It is important to have your own style and look to perfect yourself in one primary style, however, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t’ expand and try to work in a different style. Creating your own personal brand is important, but people won’t always want you to do what you do usually, and the more versatile you are, the more work you will have.
Perfecting multiple styles will help you improve overall and help you understand where you can mix different approaches to come up with something really unique and special. Learning new visualization and rendering techniques will help you meet the demands of the market and understand your profession much better.
Most people who limit themselves to sticking with one style, also limit themselves with the software they use to do their work. Of course, the software on which you learned to do your work and where you feel comfortable the most is what you will always go for, but a professional improves only when he keeps challenging himself.
Some software solutions have limitations that others don’t and you will have to use them. Some are simply better suited for a certain type of work and this is why learning to use several of them is generally a good idea.
Even though there are many pre-established practices that you will learn in architectural visualization it doesn’t mean that all the work you will do is predetermined with the sets of techniques and methodologies that you will be using. When you have enough theoretical and practical knowledge, you will be able to come up with solutions on your own.
When that moment comes and you have the inspiration to innovate and come up with something new, don’t be afraid of taking the risk and putting your creativity to work. After all, this is an artistic job where creative ideas have value and can be the competitive edge you need.
One of the worst things you can do with any job and especially those that require creativity is to compare your work to someone else’s. There will always be others who are better than you. Simply put, only a small number of people have that exceptional talent and put in the insane amount of work needed to make them exceptional.
Looking at someone else’s work that is much better than yours can demotivate you. Additionally, you can’t compare yourself to people who have been doing this for over 15 years while you’ve been doing it for 3. Focus on yourself and compare your work now with your best work in the past.
In the end, remember that it’s important to follow your own instinct and sometimes do things your way. Being an architectural visualization artist means that you need to have your independence and learn to make decisions on your own. Every project is different, so you need to establish your own rules that work for you and can help you deliver a high-quality final product.
Architectural startups and small businesses represent an overwhelming majority of architecture firms in the industry and, in such a crowded business landscape, it has become extremely hard to stand out from the crowd and lure in new clients and projects. On the other hand, being a startup or a small architectural firm means that you cannot afford to spend your entire budget solely on marketing.
Marketing your firm suddenly poses a serious challenge that requires you to think strategically and find all the possible ways to make things work to your advantage.
Fortunately, we live in an image-driven world and today's architecture is all about visualization. With the full expansion of social media and other similar platforms, you can use architectural visualization to market your firm on a budget.
Well, when it comes to architecture marketing, social media can help. There are so many internet users using this media and, with a proper marketing strategy, you can easily take advantage of all those potential clients.
For example, you can use Facebook to start a group where users will get the opportunity to find out everything they need to know about your business and much more. This allows you to get really creative and make a significant bond with the users which is excellent since you can never know when a business opportunity will arise.
You can have the most amazing visualization but it will mean nothing if you do not have social proof to back it up. Even though your architect-marketing budget is already stretched to its maximum, creating a website to promote your brand is a major component of your marketing campaign, and it is absolutely important to keep your clients in mind when designing it.
Most architectural firms make a mistake and design their websites for other architects, but if you want to convey your message to your clients, you need to tell them your story. Most clients have their own story in their minds but it's your job to replace it with your own.
Social media presence, your website, all of this is part of your branding strategy. In fact, the definition of branding is: "the sum total of the experiences customers have with your business". This includes the type of information you share in your marketing, your customers' interactions, what you do and how you do it but most importantly, the visual elements of your business.
When you put all these elements together, you get a chance to establish credibility and trust for your business. From that moment on, your marketing efforts will become much easier. You need to set the terrain for your marketing efforts as people need to get used to your presence and expertise.
The more information you include during the trust-building phase, the better the chances of reaching new clients. Every business is about relationships as they are the vehicle for all your business interactions. So, be authentic and real when talking about your work, services, and firm in general. That's the only way to cultivate your relationships with clients and gain their trust and loyalty.
Before we move on with the importance of visualization when marketing your architectural firm, it's important to mention one of the most effective online architect-marketing tools: email newsletter. You can engage your interested prospects and client base by sending out email newsletters on a regular basis. This isn't only the most effective way to engage with your prospects but it's also the most cost-effective.
On top of all that, it significantly increases your chances to bring in new prospects. You can do this through an email signup form on your website or through in-person interactions. By doing so, you will not only be reaching out to them, but you'll also provide all the necessary information that your potential clients may value. Additionally, it's also the best way to introduce yourself and what you do to a wider audience.
If you want to use architectural visualization to your advantage and market your firm, you need to follow the technology trends in architectural marketing. 3D modeling tools and visualization are the latest things in architecture nowadays and this could help you get ahead of the competition curve. If used properly, visualization can do miracles for your company.
You can make innovative and impressive presentations to clients to capture their interest, but more importantly, you can also use it to manage their expectations.
The biggest benefit of architectural visualization is that clients don't have to wait until the project is done to know what it's going to look like or cost.
You can use visualizations to introduce your clients to each step of the project development, which is the main point of using visualizations to further market your work. With all this in mind, here are 7 excellent ways to use visualization to market your company and get new clients.
We can safely say that the only successful marketing is when the firm's reputation precedes it. The main goal of your marketing campaign isn't only to present your company as experts but as demanded professionals and opinion leaders in your industry. We already mentioned that you need a website as the main element of your digital marketing.
Well, the best way to use this element is by putting on images of real projects. To best showcase your experience, expertise, and skills, use before and after images of your projects. Digitally recreate your projects by using photorealistic architectural rendering to bring them to life on your website. You can do it in two ways:
- Display your development and work by blogging 3D imagery and include all the available information as this is extremely valuable for your prospects and clients. Your 3D graphics are supposed to showcase the functionality and splendor of your projects but also provide the audience with a clearer view of the project to draw their attention.
- Showcase your mastery by putting 3D renderings in a portfolio - look at your portfolio as the architect's display case with the most stunning, impeccable imagery. 3D renderings are much better than standard photography.
To overview suggested solutions, stated issues and a topic in general, you can use a white paper as a report. That way, you're being promotive and educative which makes your prospect even more interested but more importantly, encouraged to further explore your company. You can build a mail list much faster if you offer a white paper and you can ask for a newsletter subscription in exchange.
Still, whitepapers aren't that eye-catching as they are useful and educative so you can make them more interesting by including photos and 3D renderings as your prospects want visual proof of your skills more than anything else.
We already mentioned how important social media is for your marketing efforts. The best thing about social media is that it allows you to take steps that spark interest. So, you can build an entire community of potential clients and prospects on social networks to get all the exposure and brand recognition you need to ensure the prosperity for your firm.
This is especially important if you include prospects who are already thinking about hiring an architect. That's exactly where visuals kick in. You need the highest quality visuals as you can use them to better engage your potential prospects. In this era of the internet, people love visuals. So, posts with images and videos are far more likely to get more client engagement than those with text only.
It's more than clear that today, videos and images play the most important role in any digital marketing campaign. Social media and networks allow you to use marketing visuals to attract more potential customers. Aside from Facebook, you can also use YouTube as a powerful and efficient video marketing tool while Pinterest and Instagram are social networks where users engage with companies the most.
By posting videos and images, you're not only attracting targeted audiences, but you are also educating and entertaining them. Since all these social media channels bring a lot of power with them, it’s a power that you can leverage to your advantage. 3D visualization, animation, and architectural illustration will help you get new clients across a wide variety of social media channels that most people use today.
Once you capture the attention of an audience, you can engage with them further by using email marketing tactics. Since we already mentioned that text-only emails aren't enough to fully captivate your potential prospects, they need clear proof, a demonstration of your mastery and skills as this will surely and without any doubt encourage them to get in touch with your firm.
Therefore, 3D rendering helps showcase your architectural mastery in all its splendor, earning you more clients.
If you're looking for the most effective ways to generate more leads, trade shows are a good place to start. These work quite well when it comes to lead generation for numerous business industries, so naturally, architecture isn't an exclusion.
3D graphics will work just fine whether you put them on a widescreen or on posters, it doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that 3D graphics greatly help draw attention. We can safely say that architectural 3D animation works like a charm in such situations.
Once your animation sparks interest with visitors, use 3D images to showcase both the interior and the exterior to get the contacts. At this point, it's recommended to make lavishly illustrated architecture marketing brochures with 3D graphics so that you increase your conversion rates and, eventually, generate more leads.
One of the very effective marketing strategies as well as networking tools is the architectural conference. In this case, these can greatly help to make the best of the marketing efforts you've made so far. The people who visit these conferences are your potential clients, every single one of them, and it's up to you to capture their attention, cause their interest and get them to become your clients.
One of the good ways to make the best of these conferences is by taping a report about the conference and posting a video on your website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel. That way, you get irrefutable proof of your expertise. Your clients are far more likely to hire your services if they can clearly see that you're a professional listened to by other professionals.
Then, there are public lectures that are even more powerful than taped reports of architectural conferences. By delivering public lectures, you get a chance to interact with a much broader audience and although this might seem challenging, the effort will most certainly pay off.
It's almost certain that potential clients will approach you after the lecture, asking to submit their contacts or for your business card. Regardless of your effort being a public lecture or a conference, 3D rendering helps you convey your message, story, and ideas, as well as their value clearly and persuasively.
In case public speaking is your thing, you can underpin your efforts with CGI-based slides to provide proof of your skills, knowledge, ideas, expertise, and success.
We already mentioned how important it is to stay ahead of the competition curve today. The business market is a very busy place with lots of good and skillful candidates. Everybody is looking for a place under the sun. Well, architectural contests are some of the best ways to present your skills and get public recognition, which is the main goal of your marketing campaign.
Let's take one obvious truth out in the open: you can't win the contest if you aren't the best of the best. So, that means that you have the chance to prove yourself not only as a bringer of ideas and one of the best but also as a pre-eminent professional, someone who has the ability to change things as they see fit. Potential clients will love this.
You can make an entire story of your participation that will be more than worth sharing. So, as you can see, a contest can serve your marketing purposes very effectively. On top of all that, most contests attract hundreds and thousands of participants. It's an excellent opportunity to see what are the top leading technology trends in architectural marketing today.
This is where 3D graphics play a critical role in your marketing efforts. They are easy to notice and are an excellent way to highlight all the benefits and advantages of your project. In fact, it's absolutely safe to say that 3D rendering can help you win the jury over and actually win the contest.
It's also important to make sure that the jury clearly comprehends and understands your vision simply because, if they can, so can your potential clients and everybody wins. Include all the benefits of your ideal solution in a context along with your 3D graphics to make them see why your project is better than all the others.
So, as you can see, 3D rendering plays a crucial role in your architectural marketing. If played right, it's a sure way to find reliable partners, get public and brand recognition, grow your business and finally, expand the client base.
Use photorealistic 3D rendering to immerse your potential clients into your project with the main goal aimed at communicating all the benefits of your design. Visualization is the greatest part of your architectural storytelling and a sure way to capture the attention of the targeted audience.
Therefore, including high-end imagery in your marketing efforts significantly improves your chances of success and boosts your architecture marketing campaign. When you're a startup architectural firm, it's extremely important to make results in the very beginning and these 7 steps should clearly lead your way step by step. All in all, visualization helps you to better convey your message order to tell your story using your knowledge and expertise.