What is Architectural Visualisation?

Just as the name suggests, ‘architectural visualization’ means to visualize any space or to create something in a void. Today architectural visualization can be done quickly using building information modeling, also known as CAD. Simple to use and produce, it allows its users to visualize a project from various perspectives. It is not limited to two-dimensional drawings. Multiple software are available that grant architects and designers to further progress with their designs. One of the crucial benefits of architectural visualization using the software is that it permits one to get an idea of the whole project before its construction (Wall, 2023).

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2D architectural visualization_©CGArchitect

There are various kinds of architectural visualizations present in this day and age. Starting with 2D drawings, they are utilized by architects to communicate the building’s layout using floor plans, sections, and elevations. 3D modeling is a strong tool used by architects and artists to showcase their ideas better. It allows architects to illustrate different perspectives of the project. It has made communications between architects and clients easier. The next two types are real gamechanger. Virtual reality is an immersive tool that allows clients to see the project meticulously. It provides information to architects that allows them to create more precise projects. Lastly, augmented reality is an interactive tool where projects are shown in a more realistic environment. It creates a more engaging environment for its user, hence assisting architects with a more detailed realistic overview of the project (Designblendz Team, 2023).

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_Virtual reality_©Vilmate


Architectural visualization in history appears in the form of photographs, paintings, drawings, and engineering archetypes. Evidence of architectural visualization has been present since the early times of Mesopotamians and Egyptians. The beautiful buildings of the past like the Notre Dame Cathedral, Pantheon, etc. are all live examples of architectural visualization. Of course, the ancient people worked with more detail and it was time-consuming as well but we all cherish these buildings now. The amount of hard work and detail that were put into producing these buildings and their drawings is astonishing. 

With the help of BIMs today, better engineering and understanding of buildings are produced. BIMs have made it possible to visualize projects that are accurate and time-efficient (Designblendz Team, 2023). 

Architectural visualization and movies 

Graphics and visual art are an integral part of present cinema. Architectural visualization is not limited to a certain profession or region. Film industries all over the world use it, be it Hollywood, Bollywood, etc. Apart from movies, the automotive industry, product designing, landscape, and interior design also use architectural visualization as a tool. Directors are known for imagining scenes that are impossible to be seen in real life. In situations like these tools of architectural visualization are used. Renders and animations are used to bring the impossible ideas of film directors to life (Easy Render). 

Movies have had a positive influence on people who find it difficult to picture scenarios when reading books. The use of visuals in films creates an entirely new realm of fantasy. Using 3D renders, it is possible to reconstruct the past, the present, and the future. Older cities are merely the products of the writers’ and filmmakers’ imaginations in historical films that reproduce them. All of the fantasy books that were adapted into films did it with the aid of BIMs.   (Easy Render).   

Several movies out there have used amazing architectural visualizations to portray their storyline. One such movie is Inception, where one has to rewatch it to connect the dots. Christopher Nolan, a filmmaker, successfully used 3D renders to create amazing visuals in the movie. The latest buzzing movie with the same director is Oppenheimer. With spectacular scenes that are shown, the audience is left in awe (Lad, 2023). Same way Star Wars, Avatar, and Sin City are all movies that have left quite an impression on their audience (Easy Render).

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Scene from Inception_©ArchDaily

Bollywood films are also successful in using architectural visualizations. Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a well-known director, and he is more well-known for his heavy-set designs that showcase various Indian cultures. Movies such as Padmavati, Gangubai, Ram Leela, and the classic Devdas have magnificent movie sets. He is known for his attention to minute details (Jain, 2022). The Indian cinema has produced several movies that showcase the architectural heritage of India such as Jodha Akbar, Mughle Azam, Swades, Bahubali, and many more gems (Iyer, 2022)!

Scene from Devdas_©TalkFilmSociety

Benefits of Architectural Visualisation

Architectural visualization allows architects to provide their clients with precise visuals. As a result, communication between the two parties is quicker, making it efficient. Designs can be enhanced, and any mistakes or alterations can be made right away. When designing a project with BIM technology, the architect can swiftly evaluate a variety of forms and views from various angles. Without having the project developed, it is simple for both of them to walk through it from beginning to end. Except for these, it enables the architects to verify measurement accuracy. It also provides flexible solutions that can be applied to the project. Structural drawings can also be corrected and fixed if any inaccuracy is seen. All of these benefits make the use of software time and money-efficient (Easy Render).

As the industry is expanding, new technologies are growing too. As identified before, the role of architectural visualization is not restricted to one industry. The video game industry is rapidly growing and demands highly skilled professionals (Wall, 2023). Architectural visualization is a strong tool to recreate and reimagine scenes in movies that have never existed. It is generally used in the architectural industry for a constant flow of work assisting architects to show their clients a new perspective on their projects. It has also completely changed the way of storytelling industry known as the film industry.  


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  2. Wall, S. (2023) What is architectural visualization?, Benefits & industries using it. Available at: https://www.cgspectrum.com/blog/what-is-architectural-visualization (Accessed: 03 August 2023). 
  3. Architectural visualization in movies: Top picks (no date a) Architectural Visualization in Movies: Top Picks. Available at: https://www.easyrender.com/a/architectural-visualization-in-movies-top-picks#:~:text=Architectural%20visualization%20is%20now%20widely,of%20the%20craziest%20ideas%20imagined. (Accessed: 04 August 2023). 
  4. Lad, A. (2023) Oppenheimer and 6 other Christopher Nolan Films with spectacular visuals, Architectural Digest India. Available at: https://www.architecturaldigest.in/story/7-times-christopher-nolan-stunned-viewers-with-spectacular-visuals-including-oppenheimer-release-date/ (Accessed: 05 August 2023). 
  5. Iyer, S. (2022) 10 bollywood films architects Must Watch, RTF | Rethinking The Future. Available at: https://www.re-thinkingthefuture.com/fun-architecture/a3451-10-bollywood-films-architects-must-watch/ (Accessed: 05 August 2023). 
  6. Jain, S. (2022) Sanjay Leela Bhansali as an architect, RTF | Rethinking The Future. Available at: https://www.re-thinkingthefuture.com/fun-architecture/a7900-sanjay-leela-bhansali-as-an-architect/ (Accessed: 05 August 2023). 
  7. (No date) All you need to know about architectural visualization & its benefits … Available at: https://thefridmangroup.com/blog/all-you-need-to-know-about-architectural-visualization-and-its-benefits-for-real-estate (Accessed: 06 August 2023). 
  8. Mathur, M. (2017) The films of Sanjay Leela Bhansali: Devdas (2002), Talk Film Society. Available at: https://talkfilmsociety.com/articles/the-films-of-sanjay-leela-bhansali-devdas-2002 (Accessed: 06 August 2023). 
  9. Baratto, R. (2020) 6 movies that use architectural visualizations to tell stories and create atmospheres, ArchDaily. Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/942402/6-movies-that-use-architectural-visualizations-to-tell-stories-and-create-atmospheres (Accessed: 06 August 2023). 
  10. Vilmate (2023) Archviz – virtual reality for architecture and Design, VILMATE. Available at: https://vilmate.com/blog/virtual-reality-for-architecture-and-design/ (Accessed: 06 August 2023). 
  11. Corporation, Cg.D.M. (no date) Pure 2d elevation rendering of mixed use project: Cai Peng, CGarchitect.com. Available at: https://www.cgarchitect.com/images/b7558035 (Accessed: 06 August 2023). 



Asma is a fresh graduate, eager to learn more about the architectural industry. Apart from her interest in architecture, she enjoys exploring new languages and culture as she believes both of them have a strong impact on architecture. She loves to write and has a poetic outlook on life.