Architectural Visualization

Where to Seek Inspiration for Your Next Architectural Visualization Project

Expand, diversify, and beautify your architectural diary with these ten inspiring resources from all over the internet.

Brilliant architectural ideas don't just happen.

It’s a discouraging myth that the ability to produce something genuinely new is given only to a few chosen ones. Sure, some creations are more inspired than others but don’t believe for a second that their creators were struck by proverbial genius.

They’ve been working as hard as you or me.

Because ideation requires an equal amount of time and energy as creation itself, we’ve compiled a list of resources to help you out with your architectural visualization projects. Hopefully, it will be your go-to wealth of ideas for years to come.

1. Architectural Digest

AD is not an industry staple for no reason.

The celebrated magazine has been around since the early 1920s and is still offering the most eclectic news from the architecture world on a monthly basis. If its coverage of the latest high-end projects doesn't inspire you, its extensive gallery will.

In case you like your ideas pinned to the wall where you can see them, the one-year subscription to the physical AD is only $25.99. The digital edition publishes all the same high-def photos and amazing articles without a price tag, so bookmark it.

2. Architect Magazine

Architect Magazine may not have the same gorgeous-looking layout and modern, Pinterest feel, but it’s still everything you need to get informed and inspired. In fact, this comprehensive site boasts thousands of projects in around 20 categories.

To help you with further research, every featured project includes not only building visuals but also a detailed description of the construction team and status. It’s very convenient that search results can be filtered by project scope, type, and size.

Podcasts, events, and news also come with the bundle.

3. ArchDaily

ArchDaily boasts a similar approach to project boards, but actually offers broader galleries and a more in-depth overview of the process, together with the architect’s commentary. It’s the closest you can ever get to picking your favorite creator’s brain.

And should we mention,

This is the largest architectural database on the internet.

Beyond its comprehensive project catalog, ArchDaily delivers daily news, events, and competitions, as well as interviews with both up-and-comers and industry leaders. It's no wonder the website is visited by tens of millions of architects every month.


The great thing about AZURE is that it offers job listings and school recommendations in addition to events and competitions news. That way, you can use for brainstorming stunning projects, submit your work, and apply for a job without switching tabs.

You’ll find this notable magazine to be able to cater to all your artistic caprices. From architecture and interior design to its “Curiosity” column which tackles news from space, culture, and more, AZURE never fails to impress, provoke, and motivate.  

Subscription for print & digital is $ 44.95 per year.

5. Architectural Record

Architects are blessed with great ED opportunities.

When it comes to resources for professional learning and development, Architectural Record is not an exception. Concerning the brand’s century-old reputation (and counting), the magazine is extremely authoritative but also very modern and affordable.

In continuing ED, Architectural Record offers more courses you can possibly take, with a focus on trendy subjects such as Multifamily Housing, Acoustics, Glass in Architecture, and Sustainability. Never a dull day in Record’s Academies of Digital Learning.


Much like Architectural Digest, DWELL is a beautifully structured bundle of news, useful articles, and inspiring visuals. You'll love it for its project catalog as well, designed to help you with interiors, commercial buildings, adaptive reuse, lighting, and much more.

DWELL also works as a social network for professionals.

If you take some time to build your own DWELL Pro profile and portfolio, you’ll be able to collaborate with like-minded people from the industry. Instead of leaving you to brainstorm alone, this website allows you to exchange and hone your ideas with others.

7. EntreArchitect

The first podcast on our list, EntreArchitect relies on the power of verbal storytelling to improve the architect’s visualization. It offers the widest range of industry topics too, from everyday tales of being a mother in architecture to how-to interviews on exploring Instagram.

EntreArchitect’s blog strikes a similar note with articles on running, branding, and marketing your architectural business. Though it doesn’t offer a lot of photographs, you’ll love this unique channel for its honest and relatable conversations about being an architect.

Plus, you can enjoy it while sketching new projects.

8. About Buildings and Cities

This one is for daydreamers, hipsters, and other nerds.

Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Play, About Buildings and Cities takes a different approach to architectural podcasts. You won’t find many tips and instructions here, but you will get to remember why you fell in love with architecture in the first place.

More than anything else, every About Buildings and Cities session is a 90-minute long walk down the memory lane. The podcast revisits game-changing projects from different epochs, casting a new light on the lessons you remember only vaguely from your school days.

9. Flying Architecture

Flying Architecture is the Amazon of the rendering industry.

It’s your go-to place for shopping templates and discovering new textures, materials, and cut-outs, but it’s also a great spot for learning new insiders’ tricks. Every category is completed with exciting visuals that will certainly get your creative juices running.

The website also offers a News section, though it rarely goes beyond what’s already available in Flying Architecture’s portfolio. Most of us use it for tutorials, aimed at novice architects and post-pro ninjas and centered around 3D modeling and rendering.

10. World-Architects

Last but not the least on our list of awe-inspiring architectural resources is a database of profiles of selected artists from all over the globe, aptly titled World-Architects. And it’s just what its name suggests - an all-in-one meeting hub for visionaries.

It boasts a catalog of projects, jobs listings, an exciting magazine, and a network of passionate collaborators from the industry. World-Architects is also available in ten different languages, which makes idea sharing even more diverse and inclusive.

It earns bonus points for making teamwork fun.


Made for enthusiasts and professionals alike, this short list aims to deliver a daily portion of gorgeous architecture from across industries and all over the world. Use it to expand, diversify, and beautify your learning habits, social media feeds, and professional ambitions.

5 Popular Photorealistic Architectural Visualization Styles

Architectural visualization is a big trend that is demanded both by customers and contractors. The best method is photorealistic visualization and here is how it can be done for different projects and what the main focus of each approach is.

In the business of architectural visualization, there is a constant need for improvement and bringing the quality of projects to the next level. At the moment, the new standard is photorealistic visualization designed to produce realistic imagery, which can help all ambitious architects.

Photorealistic architectural visualization can also help architects communicate with their clients, give them a better presentation of their ideas, provide real-life examples, and shape a project to their needs. This type of visualization can say a lot about a project and represent it in a powerful way.

This means that clients who look at these visualizations are not only impressed but they are also better informed. However, not every photorealistic architectural visualization is the same and designers need to recognize the right approach that is best suited for their projects.

1. 3D animations and CGI visualization in hospitality

When it comes to the hospitality industry, the experience is very important. The experience that guests have can be affected by many different elements, some of which are exterior and interior design. In the hospitality industry, architecture is very holistic and a good hotel design needs to have that wow factor, technology, aesthetics, sustainability, and functionality.

This is why hospitality visualizations incorporate 3D animations and CGI, which come with all the elements that are included in both interior and exterior design of commercial and residential structures.

This is how they create functional, welcoming, and beautiful hotels. Given the fact that this approach uses a lot of different elements, it is one of the most complex photorealistic visualizations.

Some of the essential elements that go into this approach include guest rooms where people can be comfortable and rest, luxury suites that have amenities and tend to the needs of all guests, common areas with a lounge, restaurants and reception areas, and entertainment areas with arcades, sports, and so on.

No matter how luxurious or not the hotel is, these and many other elements need to be the main selling points.

The time necessary for finishing a CGI or 3D animated photorealistic architectural visualization project can vary from the size of the building, the style, level of detail required, and the scope of the project overall. However,  the average time necessary for a CGI project of this kind for the exterior is from two to three days and for the interior, it can range from a day to ten days.

2. Visualizing commercial exteriors

Corner offices and large buildings have always been popular with business organizations. The design of such large office spaces can showcase the level of competitiveness that an organization possesses. Some of the major goals of an office building exterior are to convey professionalism, make the brand shine even brighter, and make the building stand out from the rest.

Common elements that are used for these exteriors include glass windows, exterior lighting, stylish textures, and materials, as well as a distinct front entrance and landscaping which can attract new clients. The important thing to understand is that businesses are willing to invest a lot of money for these kinds of projects.

This means that the architects usually have the time and all the resources to deliver a quality exterior visualization and add as many details as possible. Without having a detailed presentation that showcases all the important elements of the exterior, companies will not continue with the execution of the project.

The essential elements that need to be showcased in every commercial exterior render, no matter what kind of business we are talking about include:

- The way the building will fit in with the surrounding landscape

- How the building will impress people and what is unique about it

- How the brand image is showcased through its design

All these elements can be put together by displaying all the details of the facade, offering lighting options, giving as many camera angles as possible, and creating a photorealistic environment. It is also important to add a personal touch through stylish solutions such as other buildings, trees, vehicles, nature, and so on.

3. Visualizing commercial interior

With 3D visualization of commercial interiors, the essential design elements include patterns, textures, lights and color, lines, spaces, and forms.

These are all the fundamental interior design elements but with the commercial interior, it is also important that the focus is on practicality throughout all elements.

Commercial interior architectural visualizations need to display functionality and efficiency and there is no focus on how welcoming and pleasant a certain space is, even though it can be displayed as well. The aesthetic side is also important, but it shouldn’t be the first thing that the viewer notices when looking at a visualization.

An important element of the commercial interior is safety. This doesn’t mean that other architectural projects don’t require safety, it just means that commercial interiors are regulated by safety compliances which need to be fulfilled. At the same time, commercial interiors have a lot of personal areas and public spaces.

Even though most of the personal spaces always have some things in common, the public areas in commercial interiors can sometimes be completely different from each other, depending on the industry, brand, their organization, and so on.

For example, if you compare a restaurant and a typical IT company office, there will be many differences between the two.

4. Visualizing residential exterior

Unlike with commercial exterior in residential projects, the viewer is more emotionally attached to how the exterior will look like and there is a more personalized approach. With office buildings, the clients want the exterior to be aligned with what the brand is all about and by learning more about that business, you can get a better picture of what would work.

In this case, customers want hyperrealistic images of the tiniest details that they want their home to have on the exterior. It’s important to accentuate various textures and layers on the facade itself and the roof, but also on the surrounding grass, trees, leaves, and so on. To achieve this, it’s important to add structural elements, particularly on the facade.

The external surfaces need to highlight all shapes, finishes, and materials that are going to be used. All external construction elements such as porches and patios need to be detailed along with their parts.

The surrounding area needs to be presented along with the driveway, backyard, garden, and even the nearby street. At the same time, all buildings, landscape, and nature need to be visible as well.

The exterior of the property also needs to be presented both in natural daylight with different levels of lighting and settings, but also with artificial lighting that is present during the night. It’s important to pay attention to details and look at the surrounding area of the property and include all the things that can contribute to the ambiance and the atmosphere which will improve imersion.

5. Visualizing residential interior

Residential interior renders need to be undeniably beautiful with utmost personalization and atmosphere, just like the exterior. At the same time, they need to present the functionality of all living areas and spaces within the property.

It’s absolutely essential to create a balance between the two. With photorealistic visualization, it’s possible to bring all the interior design to life, including decorative details and essential structural elements.

With these kinds of renders, it’s essential to:

- Design and visualize all rooms with all their unique details.

- Visualize all supporting areas such as hallways, kitchens, utility rooms, and so on.

- Design all furniture and floor layouts while relying on ceiling plans and wall elevations.

- Add lighting for different camera angles and scenarios.

- Add different color scheme options, textures, and choices of material.

- Include views from various windows both inside and outside of the home.

- Add all the decorative elements, shadows, and try to emphasize the atmosphere as much as possible.

This is a very comprehensive process that might seem simple, but it has complex issues caused by a large number of elements that need to be well-executed while complementing each other flawlessly. At the same time, the time required for this kind of visualization can also be very flexible due to the demands of the client.

Some simply don’t require so many details while others will want to see a complete picture of their future home before they continue with the project. For example, when designing a basic living room, an architect might need around 3 days. But when we’re talking about the interior visualization of a whole house with two stories, the time required to finish the project could be around 2 weeks.

Photorealistic architectural visualization is an essential process that can improve architectural projects. All the parties involved can express their doubts and deal with them before the construction process has been put into motion. Quality visualization has become a form of art that is improving drastically each year, along with constantly improving software solutions and design techniques.

What are Some of the Best Universities to Learn Architectural Visualization

There are at least 200 top architecture universities and schools all over the world so, picking the best to learn architectural visualization can be a quite a tough job to do. The vast number of featured schools will surely leave you spoilt for choice, regardless of where you want to study.

Picking the best architecture university to learn architectural visualization isn't an easy thing to do at all. With over 200 top architecture schools all over the world, it's quite hard to make up your mind and go with just one.

Well, if you're looking for the top class education, things become a bit easier, as this helps narrow the selection down to a reasonable number of choices.

Almost every part of the world has some high-quality architectural universities, so it's really up to you and your desires. It's extremely important to be clear about what you want from your education if you want to find the right school for your needs.

With that in mind, we've decided to help you narrow down your options to a few top universities that should provide you with what you're looking for.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Considered as the world's top architecture university, MIT has consistently been the number one choice for many students who want to get their fair share of the highest quality education in America.

With a perfect score of 100 for academic reputation, MIT should be on your list of top choices without any doubt. Founded in 1865, MIT was the first architecture university in the US.

It was the first university to introduce modernism to the country and they established themselves as the leaders in the architecture industry by being the first university to commission progressive buildings.

With small class sizes of only 25 students, MIT's excellent and highly efficient program provides the students with the necessary dose of education while also providing an excellent atmosphere for inspiring students to start debates and give enriched feedback.

The University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

With the highest score in the architecture ranking for citations per paper, which is an established measure of research impact, UCB is the second architecture university in the US and it's ranked fifth for architecture in the world.

It has a very strong background in being one of the most dedicated architecture universities that encourages students to experiment with independent design.

UCB focuses its architecture degree on cultural, aesthetic and technical components of design, giving enough space to students to come up with an award-winning design. There is also the experienced faculty that makes this the world's most innovative architecture university with the brightest and most brilliant designers and thinkers.

Being a part of UCB is considered to be an honor.

Harvard University

There's no person in this world who hasn’t heard of Harvard University. It's one of the most well-known elite universities in the world and it's also ranked sixth in the world as an architecture school. Many highly influential and famous urban planners, landscape architects, and designers have graduated from Harvard.

With a long history starting around 1864, when the first architecture classes were taught, Harvard has one of the most successful architecture departments you can possibly imagine.

It's not just that it's successful, but it's also an excellent community of experts, rich in collaboration and idea exchange, as well as diversity, which gives you the most unique opportunity to learn from the best and the most experienced and knowledgeable people in the architecture industry.

If you consider the fact that it isn't only knowledge but also the experience that makes an architect great, it's safe to say that Harvard University is perhaps one of the best places to learn everything you can about architectural visualization.

One more important thing related to Harvard is that this university embraces any modern innovation in both science and design so, this makes the university well-suited for those who crave the most enhanced and advanced knowledge of architectural visualization.

The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL (University College London)

UCL is one of the very few architecture universities that can stand shoulder to shoulder with MIT. In fact, UCL is ranked second, right behind MIT. UCL is also one of the 11 constituent faculties of UCL.

It was established in 1841 and it's widely considered to be the very first architecture university in England. Everything related to the UK and architecture almost always involves UCL and it's the most frequent top contender in the league table for architecture in the UK.

UCL offers a bit of a different approach when compared to the aforementioned universities as it's the primary focus is active and original, and most importantly, experimental research.

UCL is mostly known for developing the space syntax theory and is also an excellent university for modern architects who fully understand and appreciate the importance of visualization in architectural storytelling, a thing that has become a staple of the modern architecture that's taking the world by storm.

So, as we can see, these four architecture universities are your best options when it comes to learning modern architectural visualization. All four universities are leaders in the industry and have spawned numerous leaders who dictate the standards in modern architectural visualization.

Since visualization and architectural storytelling are closely related and give the best way to present buildings and designs without physically being required to build them, it's more than clear that this approach is allowing both clients and architectures to make a revolutionary step towards the most unique design the world has ever seen.

With the rate at which modern architecture is advancing every day, we can expect to see even more amazing and incredible designs.

Whatever your needs and desires may be, these architecture universities are the finest in the world and will give you what you're looking for, if not even more, as your expectations will be exceeded.

Architectural Visualization LightWave 3D Unveils New Integration Tools for Unreal

NewTek announced the release of LightWave 3D® 2019! Are you ready to explore and take advantage of a bunch of new integration tools and improved interactivity, real-time collaboration and operational efficiencies? Let's see what's new!

Each year brings lots of modern tech solutions, as well as software and programs that facilitate various processes of 3D design. Thanks to the latest versions of 3D modeling and rendering tools, architectural visualization is simpler than ever.

Using these digital helpers, architects and 3D visualizers can complete hyper-realistic renders and projects much faster and, most importantly, with incredibly satisfying results when it comes to the end products.

Years ago, NewTek developers created the first version of LightWave 3D®. Thanks to its benefits and advanced tools, the development of this frequently used software in various industries such as architectural visualization, video game development, virtual production, visual effects, film, motion graphics, product design, and many more, has never stopped.

However, the greatest confirmation of success is the latest announcement of LightWave 3D® 2019, only a year after the previous release. We've prepared an overview of the latest features. Join us and find out what's new!

Real-time Collaborative LightWave™ to Unreal Engine

Using NewTek's NDI® network discovery mechanism, LightWave 3D® 2019 can now be integrated with Unreal Engine as a plugin for use in all projects or as a limited bridge to a single project. Thanks to the latest real-time technology, 3D artists can interchange Unreal Engine's workflow using LightWave 3D®.

Real-time collaboration between 3D artists, especially suitable for teamwork, is now possible using infinite LightWave seats. Put simply, a new bridge enables a live link between LightWave 3D® 2019 and Unreal Engine, supporting the instant updating of changes.

“We recognize the importance of this trend, which offers so many advantages including the increase in productivity for 3D artists, vast savings of time and resources, and limitless new ways to create and visualize. Imagine everything from video games to virtual sets, animated TV series to feature film pre-vis, interactive architectural visualization and more all in real-time,” said Dr. Andrew Cross, president and CTO for NewTek.

Improved FBX Interchange

The standout feature of this release is possible thanks to the improved FBX support, allowing users to interactively determine what to export or import, as well as what to add to present FBX files from Modeler and Layout.

Besides, using the latest LightWave 3D® 2019, users can import and export vertex maps, morph mixer, smoothing groups, vertex caches, animation baking, animation layers, meshes, pivots, bones,  hierarchies, mesh freezing, and more.

The latest version of LightWave 3D® supports the creation of smoothing groups from meshes. Thanks to smoothing groups, users will be able to create hard edges and creases more accurately than earlier.

However, using a vertex normal map, manually or using a smoothing angle threshold, the process of creating smooth surfaces is simpler because it can be done without breaking a model into parts or attaching extra control geometry. Also, smoothing groups can be imported or exported from other programs that support OBJ files.

Moreover, users can build assets from several FBX files, and revisit FBX files through workspaces.


The latest version of this 3D modeling and rendering software supports mesh sculpting and vertex map manipulation plugins.

New features of Metamorphic Animated Sculpting and Painting include: freeform animated modeling and sculpting, undo and redo system, fully-multithreaded sculpting using CPU cores, pen pressure support for brush dimension, force, and hardness.

There are now three methods of animation, non-linear interpolation of sculpting animation keyframes, predictive corrective morph sculpting with the built-in driver or driven controller.

It also supports nodal brush texture, converting sculpt animation keyframes to Endomorphs, as well as Full Motion Blur.

Shading Model Customization Tools - Shading and Rendering Enhancements

LightWave 3D® 2019 provides users with the opportunity to pull materials apart and create them accessing to Material Components, Material Integrators, and Fresnel Functions. Besides, the Material Tools Group can now support this capability thanks to renewing nodes.

Shading and rendering enhancements such as Edge Mode for softening hard corners and curve-based shader, Patina Node, for adding all the imperfections to the render such as Wear (a convex shader) or Dirt (concave) based on offset and radius are also included. Furthermore, the visualization of exteriors is also improved thanks to the physical sky and sun plugins such as the Environment plugin and Light Type simulator.

Another rendering improvement is the new Rho buffer. Using this option, users will be able to extract lighting and shading data from direct and even indirect buffers. Also, a new Weight buffer directly connected to the direct and indirect buffer can read the value of SSS (surface shader settings), which is helpful for complex compositing work.

Despike mode is another renderer option for still image visualization, and it can remove or reduce "fireflies" in renders. Using the NVIDIA OptiX™ library, a new Noise Filter option reduces noise in still image renders. The only requirement for this advanced feature is the NVIDIA card.

The latest version of LightWave 3D® uses advanced Image Caching, allowing users to use high-resolution images for textures and materialization, without overloading the memory of the computer.

Besides image caching, LightWave 3D® 2019 contains Procedural Shader Node, allowing users to use the third-party or integrated procedural textures and materials and display them with the standard nodal inputs and outputs.

Open VDB Content Creation

Using Empty Volume, a set of node tools, users will be able to create Open VDB content such as procedural surface shapes from particles, meshes, and the shape primitive distance estimator. Moreover, shapes used in workflows now can be converted to volumes from meshes and vice versa.

Furthermore, grid filtering, level set tracking, dilation, smoothing and erosion are additional operations available thanks to the tool kit for live CGS (Constructive Solid Geometry). Besides, effects like smoke, fire and fluid stimulation are also available.

Enhanced UV and UDIM Mapping Workflow

UV maps and UDIM tiled mapping is now enriched with new tools such as Flip UV-U, Flip UV-V, Move UDIM, Select UV Island, Spread UV, Turn Poly UV, Select UV overlap, Rectangular UV Grid. Also, there are new view modes available, including Sketch, Scale, Angle, and Overlap.

Workflow and UI

The latest version of LightWave 3D® has various popup menus that can be navigated using the arrow, mouse wheel, home, end, and other keys. By filtering and searching, users will be able to enter all large pop-up menus, and regular expressions can also be used in filters.

Furthermore, using the keyboard keys CTRL + Space, users can now enter a flattened version of any record from the main menu. By pressing the Enter key, users can enter and select the required command.

Besides, when we're talking about Workflow and UI, the Layout Undo System now has more systems, including Transforms & Keys. However, the Unlimited Undo option is now available in Graph Editor, New Scene Editor, Classic Scene Editor, Dope Sheet, as well as many Layout navigation tools.

Additional useful features are Node Graph UI Options such as Tidy Nodes Command, Background Grid, and Snap to Grid. Using these options, users will be able to adjust the color and brightness of the grid using Node Editor, to snap nodes to a settable grid size and to create cluttered, simple to read node trees.

However, one of the most advanced features of LightWave 3D® 2019 is Responsive layout – all documentation fits on any device using an online connection.

Users who use HiDPI and large-screen displays, as well as multi-monitor setups, can now enjoy NewTek's LightWave 3D® 2019 because it supports scaling UI elements for the mentioned displays and setups.

The bottom line

If you are looking for hyper-realistic renders and advanced visualizations, you should try LightWave 3D® 2019. We're sure that the results will amaze you, but if you aren't sure, you can download and install the trial version and enjoy this modern software for 30 days for free!

On the other hand, if you have ever used this program earlier, you can imagine all the benefits and advanced features, so you should hurry up and upgrade your previous version. The license costs $995, but if you are a student, you can download the educational version of LightWave 3D® for $195.

Before you buy your version, make sure that your computer complies with the system requirements prompt at the following website.

LightWave 3D® 2019 is one of the most beneficial 3D modeling and rendering software, so you should give it a shot! If you use this software, the results of your architectural visualizations will be excellent!

How do you like LightWave 3D® 2019? What's your favorite feature? Let us know in the comments!

Storytelling and Architectural Visualization A Change in Project Presentation

Since the relationship between the client and the architect is the most important part of any design process in architecture, visual storytelling is the best way to present a project to a client. The client brings the story and the architect interprets that story and shapes it into a design.

Achieving success in architecture isn't only about designing a building according to the client’s instructions, it's about making a difference in clients' lives. Every business is about relationships and architecture is no different.

In architecture, the most important part of the business is the relationship between the client and the architect. The clients seek the architect with a story, an idea in their minds.

The architect is tasked with interpreting that story and shaping it into a design. Converting this idea into a fully built building is a process in which architectural visualization and storytelling are closely intertwined and connected. In fact, that design process is exactly what makes a difference between two architects.

Every architect is required to articulate the solutions adopted, as well as their design choices. The work of an architect is pretty much esoteric in the eye of their clients.

So an architect must be able to tell a story using visualization so that their clients can get a full picture of what their ideas will look like in the real world.

Each architectural story is different

Each architectural story can be told in different ways, as no two stories are ever the same. The clients will have tons of questions regarding the shape of the buildings or the particular spot in the site plan and so on.

All these questions need answers, but more importantly, the clients need to understand those answers.

Every narrative consists of events that are tied together into a story plot. In terms of architecture, those events are the architectural elements, such as the intended use of a building, its shape or the concept. The architects can use visualization to guide their clients through the plot and present them with each stage of the project.

That visualization allows the clients to better understand the story that surrounds their initial ideas. The architects use architectural renderings and videos as tools to allow their clients to visualize the story behind each project that was based on the clients' ideas.

These tools help the architects tell their story in a way that will capture the attention of their clients and, by doing so, they clearly differentiate themselves from the competition. The more an architect is capable of telling their story in a compelling way, the more successful their storytelling will be.

Architectural renderings and videos

By using architectural renderings and videos, an architect is able to clearly illustrate certain points regarding a design project. That way, the audience gets a vivid idea of what their project will look like.

Since using just the image isn’t quite enough to explain why he did certain things with the design, an architect can use videos to explain things and guide their clients through the story.

The clients are able to fully understand the architect's intentions and compare them to what they had in mind. Videos allow the clients to interact with the story.

Interactive 3D storytelling

The most effective way to tell an architectural story is by using interactive 3D.

Interactive 3D presentations are an essential part of architectural storytelling, as these presentations allow the clients to directly experience their project ideas in real-time and a virtual environment.

The clients can interact with the models and this is what makes them feel closer to the project, which helps them better understand it. This understanding and interaction play a crucial role in strengthening the client-architect relationship.

Therefore, it's safe to say that 3D architectural presentations are crucial in communicating the architectural design to clients.

In fact, interactive 3D storytelling significantly improves design communication as the clients get a realistic 3D environment so that they can view not only the main project but the surrounding areas from any angle.

Such a collaborative and fluid interaction between architects and clients greatly improves the success of projects but also the client-architect relationship. With all that in mind, here are the advantages of 3D architectural presentations:

● Engage clients with 3D

● Effective design communication

● Single presentation with all design options

● The ability to share presentations on social media and websites via links

● Faster feedback

● Any device design communication

Architectural visualization trends in 2019

Since architectural visualization is such an important part of architectural storytelling, new ways require new trends.

Architectural visualization is becoming faster and better with each year, as there are always new techniques and tools. With the advance of real-time rendering applications, there has been a significant change in project presentation.

If you put these applications together with supporting technology like graphics cards, projectors, and virtual reality headsets, photo-realistic rendering is putting up some quite stunning storytelling with game-like presentations, interactive configurators, augmented and mixed reality worlds.

Such dynamic visualization allows both designers and architects to tell their stories to the fullest, but more importantly, their clients to fully visualize the projects and their surroundings in extraordinary virtual environments.

It’s all about allowing the clients to freely explore the project

We already mentioned how all this is beneficial for the client-architect relationship, but this also solves another very important problem.

The problem that has been bothering the architecture industry since the moment architects started using CAD software: bringing technical information and relevant photo-realistic imagery to a single platform so that clients can fully review and explore project design.

This is one of the biggest architectural visualization trends as the problem of sharing of information was posing a serious challenge to architects.

Having everything on a single interactive platform makes things much easier

To be able to actually present a design, an architect has to consider several items: technical specifications for building materials, studies, site plans, elevations and plans, a cost breakdown, videos, and renderings.

When presenting all these documents and visuals, the story and the beauty of design can easily get lost in translation.

Being able to share all relevant information to the project in one single platform solves this problem, but it also allows for much more effective communication between architects and clients.

By providing everything relevant to a project on a single interactive platform, the clients can review, collaborate, and explore architectural project presentation much better than ever before.


With all this in mind, the architecture industry is ready to take the next step in the visualization and storytelling evolution: the cave automatic virtual environment or simply CAVE.

CAVE is a five-sided virtual environment that allows the clients to find exactly what they want by exploring all possible options related to one architectural design.

With such an advanced level of architectural visualization, any architect can include all the details their clients deem necessary in their architectural storytelling. This way they can present a project where their clients can explore and navigate a design, to view it from any angle or perspective in full detail.

The entire point of architectural storytelling is to bring clients closer to the main idea of the project and let them participate, which means providing them with a personalized service.

Furthermore, it also helps architects better understand what their clients want and to better present their work to their target audience.

The importance of the modern project presentation

Both the client and architect have a story of their own in their minds. The client comes to the architect with the basic idea and the architect works to convert that idea into a full-scale project design.

Then, the architect uses the skills of storytelling and technology tools to make their clients visualize what their basic idea will look like in real time and space.

Since technical concepts such as these can be extremely complicated to explain on a computer or on paper, 3D, visualization, and storytelling make it easier on both architects to explain and clients to understand.

This way of doing things makes the entire workflow easier, as the architects don't have to wait until the entire project is done to get feedback and clients don't get disappointed because the final design isn't exactly what they had in mind.

That's why visual storytelling is an extremely important part of modern project presentation, as so much depends on it.

Visual storytelling somewhat revolutionized the way architects present their projects and it has become a bridge of understanding between the two parties involved. Single platform presentations have become a common way of doing things and things will get even better in the future.

Thanks to visual storytelling, the architects can illustrate their vision by telling their story to engage their clients even more. It's safe to conclude that architectural storytelling has revolutionized the way architects collaborate with clients and present their projects, which opens an entirely new field of possibilities and opportunities.

A Throwback to the First Architectural Visualization Exhibit Hosted by AD Museum in 2018

Well, we have had enough time to settle down the impressions from the Wireframes: The Visualization of Architecture exhibition, so it's time for a throwback to 2018. The exhibition was awesome, and you should join us and find out what we saw in A+D Architecture and Design Museum, Los Angeles, California.

Today, it’s almost impossible to imagine the early beginnings of architectural visualization. Lots of software solutions and the latest tools and equipment are here to facilitate all the processes of 3D modeling and visualization. While the rendering becomes simpler and more accessible, we're forgetting the roots of what was once considered a futuristic solution.

Like everything in this world, architectural visualization has its own storied history, starting from Martin Newell's teapot from the '70s, Zaha Hadid's very first renders from the '80s, to the latest technology-driven world of visualizations.

However, the visitors of Wireframes: The Visualization of Architecture exhibition had a chance to see that progress, and the best ones from this industry had a chance to become a part of that brief history.

If you couldn't make it, visit the A+D Architecture and Design Museum, Los Angeles during the last quarter of 2018, our impressions are now settled, and we will share our experiences with you.

The exhibition Wireframes: The Visualization of Architecture was opened since September 8, until November 25, 2018, at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles, California. The primary goal of this exhibition was to track the progress of architectural visualization.

While viewing the exhibited works, we experienced a throwback to the '80s, when the very first renders were created, but we also saw masterpieces of visualization of today.

Anthony Morey, CEO and chief curator at A+D Museum said:

“The history of architectural visualization tells the story of architectural communications”, and he added “From the first ‘wireframe’ to future updates in multi-sensory experiences, this is an art form that continues to mold public expectations about built environments that shape their lives.

As these images enter the public realm, they broaden our imaginations pushing forward advances in urban environments, and architecture. As architectural visualization practices advance, they give us a new form of freedom to explore where we are and our possible futures.”

Over 30 architects, 3D artists, and visualization experts participated in the show, including some of the most significant firms and names such as Alex Roman, Hayes Davidson, UN Studio OSAKA Render, Kilograph, DBOX, Neoscape, Studio AMD, Luxigon, Mir, and many more.

“Wireframes is a milestone for archviz, as it’s the first time a museum has honored our industry with a show. While visualization is often seen as an essential element of a marketing plan, it’s history and artistic achievements are rarely discussed.

This show aims to correct that, giving life to old stories and preserving a piece of history that would be lost if we waited much longer. It was exciting to be a part of”, said Denzil Maher, Branding Director of Kilograph, when he tried to explain why is this exhibition important.

Each visualization expert or studio had its own story panel, arranged so that it creates a part of the history of architectural visualization, starting from the first wireframe to the latest visualizations created using the modern tech solutions such as VR and AR.

The primary goal of the exhibition was to show the entire workflow along the way.

The central area of the exhibit was an interactive dome for the presentation of 3D projections and projects done using VR technology. The dome could hold up to ten visitors at the same time. Visitors had a chance to see Zaha Hadid’s Heydar Aliyev Center and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Trinity Chapel as a rotating loop of renderings or in virtual reality using VR headsets.

Morey also said “Influencing perception is an intrinsic part of architecture’s history,” and then he added ‘’Since its start, architectural visualization has been inherently tied to this pursuit, turning creativity and forethought into a persuasive art form. We look forward to exposing even more people to its charms.”

Moreover, the Wireframes: The Visualization of Architecture exhibition was a great occasion for the announcement of winners of the American Society of Architectural Illustrators’ Architecture in Perspective Competition 2018.

So, the additional exhibition Architecture in Perspective was also opened, and the best architectural illustrations, including the most noteworthy works of the winners Sergei Tchoban, Paul Stevenson Oles, Forbes Massie, and Steelblue, were also exhibited at the A+D Museum.

However, the most prestigious and largest CGarchitect Architectural 3D Awards were also a highlight of the Wireframes: The Visualization of Architecture exhibition. The winners, nominees, and participants, in addition to having their work displayed at the museum, shared a cash prize of over $436,000.

Winners of the CGarchitect Architectural 3D Awards aren’t only famous visualization studios, but also students and freelancers from around the world.

The 3D visualization enthusiasts, as well as random passers-by, had a chance to learn about the architectural visualization history, but also to experience the latest technology related to VR and AR for only $10.

Downtown Los Angeles was the center of architectural visualization and architecture in general. This exhibition was also a great chance for architecture students to see the renders and to experience visualization made by the greatest experts from this field.

The Wireframes: The Visualization of Architecture was the very first exhibition of this kind, and we hope that A+D Architecture and Design Museum will coordinate another one this year.

What part of The Wireframes: The Visualization of Architecture did you like the most? Have you tried the VR headset in the dome hallowed to Zaha Hadid and Frank Lloyd? Share your experience in the comments!