Architectural Rendering

What is architectural rendering?

Architectural rendering is the art of creating photorealistic three-dimensional digital images that depict an architectural design before it’s been built. Architectural renders are commonly used as marketing assets and design analysis tools in order to visualise a building prior to construction.

Architects, Property Developers, Interior Designers, Builders, Planners

Nick Martin 


What are the benefits of architectural rendering?

There are many benfits to architectural renderings but two of the most significant are: 

  1. Property Marketing. Architectural renderings are widely used in property development and real estate marketing to sell homes ‘off the plan’. Photorealistic architectural renders provide everyday people with a more tangible and perceptible understanding of the design than traditional architectural drawings.
  2. Design Anlaysis. Architects and designers can accurately visualise their projects in the design development phase. This allows for careful design refinement and simpler collaboration with clients, partners and stakeholders. 

What are the different types of architectural rendering?

Architectural renderings come in many forms. Below we will run you through the most common forms of architectural visuals and how they can benefit your project:

External Hero Shots:


External Architectural Rendering

Street appeal is one of the key qualities that prospective buyers look for in a property. Today, external architectural renders (also known as ‘Hero shots’) are more or less essential for even the most basic of property developments. Buyers simply expect them. A high quality external 3d render will not only build trust in your brand and property but it will help differentiate you from your competition.

A high quality architectural rendering will increase the perceived value of a property. It will help you achieve faster sales at a higher price and will help your project stand out from the competition and create positive brand recognition.

“Hero Renders”…  show the whole building from its most complimentary and impressive perspective. All property marketing campaigns should include at least one of these.

Interior Renders:


Interior Architectural Rendering

Interior architectural renders provide potential buyers with a glimpse into their future. Typically, most people want to see key spaces such as the kitchen, bathroom, master bedroom, ensuite and living rooms. Alfresco dining and balcony spaces can also be great selling points, especially if there is a view or an noteworthy landscape design to go along with the home. But basically, the more the better. Most people struggle to understand and visualise a floor plan so 3d renders provide them with a more tangible understanding of the design.

Internal 3D Renders Create Desire. Aspirational images boost emotional engagement to your project. Emotions are the primary driver behind purchasing decisions. Interior lifestyle renders help buyers visualise a better life when living in that space.



Vignette 3D Renders. Selling a Lifestyle.

Carefully styled and composed vignettes should play a part in most property marketing campaigns. They provide glimpses into a lifestyle. We don’t sell apartments or houses… we sell lifestyles. We sell stories.  

A vignette is more of a zoomed in, close-up style image which focuses on specific selling points in a design. Vignette style images work extremely well as sales tools. They are aspirational. The evoke more emotion than a traditional ‘back of the room’ shot. And emotional connections are what sells property.  

We highly recommend a mix of vignettes and more traditional wider shots be the backbone of your visual assets. For more info read our in-depth article on choosing the right balance of 3D renders for your campaign.

Vignettes are fantastic ‘teasers’ and work extremely well on social media platforms like Instagram. They can be created with a strong narrative that works in harmony with the overall marketing strategy. Vignettes are more suitable for advertising and magazine style publications.

“We don’t sell apartments or houses … we sell lifestyles. Emotional connections are what sells property”.

Colour Schemes:


Colour Schemes

Colour scheme variations are a great way to show potential buyers what their options are and provide them with a valuable choice. Directly comparable 3d renders enable informed decisions to be made and allow for easy comprehension of the differences.



Architectural 3d Animation / Film

Also known as ‘fly-throughs’, an architectural film is an exceptional way to create some hype and buzz around your project. The video format allows for a more captivating and entertaining asset that can be used across a wide variety of marketing platforms.

Video often performs significantly better than still images as it is more engaging, interesting and exciting. Animation allows for additional emotions to be tapped into by utilising music, voiceover, lifestyle footage and infographics.



Virtual Reality / VR / 360 Photos

For a fully immersive and highly engaging experience, nothing beats virtual reality. VR comes in multiple forms. The two most commonly used in architectural visualisations are:

#1 The fully immersive VR experience which enables the viewer to move through the space and interact with objects within the scene.

#2. A more simple 360 photo where the viewer is pinned to one location (typically in the middle of the room) and can rotate around ‘on the spot’ to see in all directions from that single vantage point.

For more info please read our more in-depth analysis on virtual reality.

More info on architectural rendering:

Architectural Rendering Prices

How much does architectural rendering cost? In this article we’ll explain architectural rendering prices and provide you with a guide on how to get the best value for money when working with a 3d architectural rendering studio.

Architectural Rendering Software

What software do you use for architectural rendering? There are a lot of options available. In this guide to architectural rendering software, we’ll walk you through what we use at Harp and all of the most popular alternatives as well.

Architectural Visualisation Jobs

Are you an architectural visualisation artist? How much does an architectural rendering artist make? We are always on the lookout for talented and passionate people. Check out our careers page for more info.

Harp’s Architectural Visualisation Qualifications

How do we stack up as a 3d architectural visualisation company? Here’s some more info on our team, their credentials, who we’ve worked with and how we’ve bcome one of Australias’s leading architectural visualisation studios.

Architectural rendering case study:


Architectural visualisation of a boutique apartment.