Architectural Visualization Defined - Renderings and Virtual Tours

 Architectural Visualization Defined - Renderings and Virtual Tours

What is the Definition of Architectural Visualization?

For developers, the process of designing a home and taking it out of the ground is a time consuming and expensive endeavor. Once the process has begun and changes that a client requests, whether it's changing the layout of the kitchen, or upgrading materials comes at a cost. This is why developers strive to provide their clients with the most accurate vision of their custom home or building before any construction begins.

Using the process of architectural visualization (or Arch Viz) is the way that this gets done. Architectural visualization is a relatively broad term that describes the way clients can “see” architectural designs before they are built.

What Is Architectural Visualization?

Many of us understand what architectural modeling is and what these models are. Architectural visualization is a little different. An architectural visualization is graphical architectural renderings of a model or an architectural view of a model. The process can take place on paper (physical rendering) or more often today, on a computer screen (digital renderings). But more and more, the process is being accomplished using video, animation or maquette as ways to provide clients with an architectural visualization of their future home or building.

When architectural visualization is used on a project, we can see how architectural design concepts work together in an unforced way as they are applied to a structure. Architectural visualizations allow us to see the difference between theoretical concepts and their practical application within a structural design.

Builders, architects, real estate agents and interior designers use this process to sell their products and services. Images are more effective than words to secure sales, and architectural visualizations can give clients a clear, easy to see a representation of what they are buying.

3D Architectural Visualization

Basic sketches, floor plans and blueprints used to be the most common way for architects and builders to describe, market and sell properties, and they still have their place in the industry. Unfortunately, 2D drawings don't always translate for buyers. If you are not familiar with reading plans, it may be difficult to grasp how a space flows, or what a building will look like in its environmental context.

Advances in technology, allow builders, architects, and designers to create interactive 360-degree panoramas that will enable buyers to view a space from every angle as if they were standing inside the building. 3D architectural visualizations include:

• 3D Renderings, or Computer-generated Still Images

These offer a photo-quality view of a home, building or development. Images can be used to show the building's exterior, landscaping features, and nearby buildings, or even the interior spaces. The quality is so high that often these drawings are indistinguishable from photographs.

• 3D Virtual Tours

Immersive virtual reality has changed the way homes, buildings and developments are being built, marketed and sold! They offer a 360-degree view of the project and its surroundings, including the view from the windows, materials, fixtures and finishes, flooring, paint and more. Created using high-tech simulation software, these tours can take clients inside the building and around the grounds. Virtual tours allow you to swap out design features – crown molding or siding for example – to further customize the look of a property. Clients can see how their home will look in context with the surrounding community.

3D architectural renders benefit everyone involved in the process from architects and builders to interior designers and clients. Using visualizations allows builders to avoid the time and expense of costly change orders. Design changes are easier than using traditional drawings and clients can see realistic images of changes in almost real time, allowing them to understand the impact and make decisions before the project moves forward.

Villages Features offers 3D renderings, panoramas, walkthroughs, and virtual video tours created from the same type of simulation software used by the military. Clients use the visualization products in marketing materials, brochures and on billboards. They’re used on websites and social media platforms, and they’re mobile friendly. 

A Growing Industry

The use of 3D architectural visualization is growing worldwide. Most of the growth is being driven by the need to improve marketing. Construction companies and developers are increasingly incorporating 3D design technology to create and promote their products. They're finding that customers prefer to see a 3D visualization of a space to better understand the interior, exterior, amenities, and landscaping.

As far back as 2009, an industry survey from CGarchitect showed that 85% of commercial projects and 79% of residential projects were using architectural visualization at that time. Today, those numbers are growing even faster as more developers, architects, builders and interior designers begin to understand the true impact of 3D architectural visualization on the entire home building, marketing, and selling process.