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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.

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