3D architecture design is the three-dimensional perspective of two-dimensional drawing with length, breadth, and height. The perspective drawings are detailed to satisfy the client’s needs, and requirements and meet their aesthetic appeal. To do this, architects, designers, and 3D visualization experts master the skills required to visualize an abstract idea from the client’s head and capture how it would look in real. Below are ten tips for creating the best 3D visualizations of architectural drawings. These tips are specified for workflow with Trimble SketchUp and are applicable to other 3D architectural design software.  

Tip #1: Conceptualise views | 3D architecture design

Before beginning any work on the software for the 3D architecture design, it is best to plan out what kind of views will be required to present to the client. It could be an exterior two-point perspective view or an interior mid-level view. The views are to be selected based on the purpose that should be served, particularly highlighting an element or a function.  

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Conceptual Sketches of Views_cPhoto by Jolita Mo.

Tip #2: Start from the basics

While starting a new 3d architecture design, it is necessary to set the basic settings so that it doesn’t cause trouble onwards while working on the project. Initially, check the units and scale of the workspace. Also, while making components and objects, keep in mind to group the various entities. The best method to work is in layers, where one could switch on and off layers based on preference.

Tip #3: Set views at an early stage | 3D architecture design

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Perspective View_©Photo by i.pinimg.com

After a basic skeleton of the views is formed, it is best to set the required views. This helps save time so that one doesn’t have to work on the entire model in detail. The scenes that are set can be worked on with more time and effort for the best results. 

The scenes can be set at different angles as per the purpose of the views like one-point perspective view, two-point perspective view, isometric view, axonometric view, etc. 

Tip #4: Add details to match the existing site conditions 

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Site Landscape Details_©Photo by azizidevelopments

The success of a 3D architecture design as appreciated by the clients is when the views made directly match the existing on-ground physical conditions. The more the clients can relate to the reality of the buildings that don’t exist still, the happier and more convinced they are. To master this, it is important to match the landscaping, floor patterns, climate conditions, and particular distinct objects that are only found on the particular site with the 3D architecture design.  

Tip #5: Use preset settings in 3d render software | 3D architecture design

There are multiple free and paid rendering software out there today or marketplaces like Freepik to find free 3D models. Some of them are 3DS Max, Maya, Blender, Lumion, V-Ray, Cinema 4D, etc. These softwares are designed with various technical tools to control
various factors like lighting, texture, sky, and material. This softwares also add humans and 3d elements and help in creating walkthroughs. The latest software updates in
Revit, Lumion and ArchiCAD also support virtual reality walk-throughs to give the clients an immersive experience of the site and the project that is proposed. Some softwares have templates that are already made, the best way to take a render instead of starting from scratch is to use these template settings and adjust according to the requirement.

Tip #6: Use realistic textures and patterns

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Realistic textures and materials_©Photo by archicgi

The application of realistic and high-quality textures is important to get better-quality views. The quality of the texture used gives a photorealistic touch to the render and aids in the visualization of the client.  

Tip #7: Post-production 

After the rendering process, it is best to post-produce the renders in any software like photoshop or illustrator. This is done to fine-tune the views or walkthrough according to the client’s taste and apply a finishing touch to the 3D architecture design. In this stage, one could even add illustrations or cutouts to help the client identify the scale and feel of the proposed project.

Tip #8: Add humans and animals | 3D architecture design 

Addition of humans_©Photo by renderpeople

The addition of elements that the client could relate to is a very important part of 3D architecture design. If the render is set in an Indian village context, the cutouts and humans added should be of that particular region. This also gives the client an idea of the scale and proportion of the project.

Tip #9 Choose colours wisely

While producing the final render it is important to choose the color palette wisely. The colors should be chosen to create a focal point and please the client’s aesthetic appeal. Pleasant, calming, and natural material palettes are generally preferred and pleasing to the eye.  

Tip #10: Stay updated on new rendering engines | 3D architecture design 

The rendering game is a continuously updating field. It is important to know about the various advancements in the technical aspects to deliver the best results. It is also important to excel in a particular 3D software and play around with the multiple options in that software.  


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Ann has completed her B.Arch from VNIT Nagpur and M.Arch in Recreation Architecture from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. Her passion lies in the design of public spaces for a livable city that are inclusive and accessible to all. Her focus lies in creating spaces that are resilient to time and need; than just satisfying the aesthetic appeal.