Humans are intrinsically visual beings, with brains that are fundamentally cinematic. Visual by definition, it’s only natural that the architectural sphere relies heavily on visuals as part of the pre-planning phase. From luxury homes to ‘avant garde’ buildings, architectural rendering is used to manipulate this partiality for visuals, across all niche architecture verticals.

So what does the term refer to, and why does it hold so much sway?

Architectural rendering, defined

Simply put, architectural rendering describes the art of creating two dimensional images that bring a proposed design to life. The tool is a form of CGI, that relies on a combination of purpose built software, and cold, hard human talent.


The animations trend

Video is quickly emerging as one of the most formidable marketing tools of the Digital Age, a concept that made global headlines when Forrester Research’s Dr. James McQuivey famously calculated that “a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.” This same concept is applied to the architectural sphere, with designers often creating not just images, but animated videos that take viewers on a virtual tour of what’s to come.

Artistic license

As well as the structural characteristics of the building itself, architectural rendering allows designers to paint a picture of how they envision a space to feel. This dimension is heavily influenced by trends, creativity and unique client preferences. Years ago, there was a fad that saw zeppelins superimposed onto the skies of commercial renderings, while a similar infatuation with exclusivity led to supermodel-esque figures peppered across spaces. Other architectural rendering trends include the ‘urban wasteland’ effect, the ‘film noir’ aesthetic, uncannily lifelike interpretations, ethereally ghost-like depictions and of course, eternally popular romanticised versions.


Cinematic techniques

Thanks to sophisticated tools and techniques, the art of architectural rendering has taken on an almost cinematic quality. Inspired by Hollywood’s greatest minds, designers now manipulate the power of colour, lighting, composition, framing and angles to set the mood, and ultimately influence the reactions of viewers. It’s a form of storytelling in itself, where tangible visuals and intangible emotions collide to bring an architectural vision to life.

A practical perspective

As well as inspiring, exciting and manifesting, architectural rendering serves an inherently practical purpose. Drawings and sketches may serve as the backbone of a project, but the intangible nature of these outlines means that smaller imperfections are all too easy to miss. When putting together a CGI representation referring to initial diagrams, architects can hone in on any issues, and make changes before they materialise as problems.

More than simply a transitional phase between a concept and its realisation, the art of CGI in an architectural context is a product in itself.  Today, it’s established itself as something of a pornographic infatuation, which empowers architects with the scope to inspire clients and inject ideas with life, without having to commit to a single brick. Looking for architectural rendering services in Devon? Specialising in premium property renderings, our team creates bespoke, visually stunning interpretations.

Archilime are architectural visualisation experts and we are dedicated to transforming your creative vision into reality. If you would like to discuss this article or any of our services in greater detail then please feel free to get in touch via email or give us a call on 01364 654 267.