Understanding Archviz

While Archviz has been around for generations, only recently has it grown into an industry of its own...

Since the availability of computer-aided design, three-dimensional visualization has been employed largely by architects as a medium for illustrating architectural concepts. Archviz is the creation of architectural vision through 3D rendering, illustration, and alternative mediums to lead a planned architectural design to life in a 2D form. 

In this article, we dive into the details of Archviz and discuss how you can become an Archviz artist and find your first job!

Archviz – what is it?

The term Archviz, which stands for architectural visualization, refers to the realistic representation of a design project prior to its actual implementation using complex modeling methods and powerful rendering computers

While Archviz has been around for generations as a pillar in designing and communicating buildings, only recently has it grown into an industry of its own, with enthusiastic artists spending years grasping the methods, programs, and professional intelligence needed to provoke mind-bending, photorealistic imitations of un-built work.

Simply put, Archviz serves to illustrate the appearance of a building to all parties, from architects and constructors to the end client. It is a technique that allows an artist to produce two-dimensional animations and/or illustrations with the primary objective of demonstrating all attributes of the final design.

Image by Lucia Frascerra

Why is it important?

In the world of architecture, visualization is the expression in which communication is conducted between a designer and their client. There are endless opportunities. Through visualization, you can allow the viewer to explore the entire project without having to present your design on a piece of paper or on the computer screen. These techniques are useful when showing architectural solutions that are very complex to interpret and imagine.

There is an abundance of benefits for architects using 3D visualization software for their designs. Not only can you ensure that the design vision is brought to life with this technique, but you also complete designs and identify flaws before building or spending money on your project. This impacts the budget and timeline of the project massively, as well as enhancing customer satisfaction.  

In an extremely competitive industry, and with online platforms being flooded with content, it is imperative to have a competitive edge. Architectural renderings are not new, but they have become more relevant with the growth of social media marketing, where designers can generate a significant amount of interest in their new projects well before they ever get started.

They are used as promotional materials on websites, targeted ads, social media platforms, and for print media such as booklets and infographics that capture prospective customers’ interest.

Leicester Rail Museum by Pixel Flakes

Styles of Archviz

Computer-generated architectural visualization, in its initial form, could merely simulate buildings in three-dimensional models. Connected with photo-real visualization styles, architects, designers, and artists can break the mold with their fresh and extraordinary ideas. It ranges from basic sketches to sophisticated 3D renderings and interactive virtual tours.

Architects and designers design visibly appealing scenes and stage environments that seek to mirror theatrical atmospheres as their architectural visualization styles. Various rendering genres have loomed over the years, analogous in approach and style to intimate cinematic impressions.

These are as collage, sketch, photorealistic renders, atmospheric renders, illustrations, painterly and mixed media renders.

Head over to our article here to learn about these different styles and get inspired to make your next concept pitch unforgettable.

How do you become an Archviz artist?

Architectural visualization has grown into an intrinsic part of any architectural project, as it extends many benefits that are crucial to the progress of a project. However, becoming an Archviz artist does not happen overnight. While experience is essential, the key to winning a new project is weighted heavily towards your portfolio of past work. 

Even if you have the synthesis of imaginative elegance and professional knowledge needed for Archviz, taking the early step in your career can be a challenge for some. The best place to start is by learning the software required.

To provide the highest degree of quality, many use Autodesk Revit for 3D modeling, Autodesk 3DS Max and Chaos Group’s V-Ray for 3D visualization and rendering, and Adobe’s Photoshop and After Effects for post-production. 

There is a tremendous amount of online content tailored to learn how to get started with Archviz. Each software provider has a learning platform on their websites to get started.

Park 1 by Mir

Background and skills

Architectural visualization calls for an excellent mix of creativity and rigor. While a proper education is extremely valuable, you do not need to have an architectural background. Practice, passion and persistence are excellent tutors. 

There are several criteria by which an artist’s 3D competency is examined. A strong portfolio is one of them, but it’s clearly not the sole thing that matters. 

  • Expertise with Specialized Software

Profound grasp of professional software is the most primary prerequisite for an architectural visualizer. To work quickly and thoroughly, it’s essential for a 3D visualizer to learn every single tool and feature within the software. 

  • Possession of Strong Artistic Skills

Architectural visualization demands a steady knowledge of exterior and interior design, awareness of color theory and image composition, and many other. A 3D artist requires to be able to accurately pick up styles from clients’ references and come up with flawless creative solutions.

  • Good Communication and Team work skills

Without proper communication, entire projects can fail. It’s important for an architectural visualizer to reach out not only with other professionals on the team, but with clients and project managers as well. All must be talked about, considered, and put to practice once the decision has been made. 

  • High Level of Time and Workflow Management 

An Archviz expert must have the capability to efficiently organize their work process and to know how much time they need to wrap up a particular task. The more experience an artist has, the better they will manage their time.

  • Industry Knowledge

The more knowledge an artist has about the present market scenario, the more it pushes them to stand apart from their competitors. They need to understand the prevailing demands and follow the modern trends regardless of whether they are working for a client, for themselves, or for practice.

Luxury Hotel by The Boundry



Modeling is the base of any Archviz project. You create the geometry of the building you are seeking to render in a 3D viewport. This geometry may alter from a primary cube to an intensely complex arrangement of wires. While each piece of geometry encompasses individual faces, or polygons, a fancy scene can easily have over 20 million polygons in it. 

While most firms have their own 3D models, 3ds Max is the industry standard for modeling for high-end imagery, as it can model organic, highly complex models.


Scene lighting is important for setting the mood and revealing the story of any 3D project. Lighting affects the color scheme of an image. Rendering programs, like V-Ray, generally have lighting tools developed into them. By boosting virtual lights and directing them onto 3d models, Archviz artists can shape very realistic-looking forms.  

Mostly, V-Ray is used for lighting. V-Ray is a render engine that plugs into 3D Max and has its own lights, materials, cameras and render settings. It comes with realistic virtual cameras that assist massively to the lighting of a view. You can again adjust it through exposure settings.


The way we grasp details is not just determined by form and light, but also how light bounces off those forms. To deal with this in 3D, we use bespoke materials and seamless textures. Materials boost life and reality into your models. Once you produce these materials and apply them to your models along with lighting, you start to see realistic results.


Once you merge all the above pieces simultaneously, it is time to create the rendering. Different techniques and certain software and hardware are used to develop a rendered image. The computer will take all the guidelines you have produced – your models, lights, materials – and generate how they will look. 

Post processing

Post processing works are performed after the rendering is done. This is generally produced in Photoshop or After Effects. You can add people, buildings in the background, interiors and a number of other illustrations. You can further maneuver the light and color grades through Photoshop.

Visualizing Architecture – Alex Hogrefe

Finding your first job

Get noticed online

One of the best ways to secure a job is to actually make the job come to you. Self-publishing grants you the flexibility to express more about your inspiration, your background and your passions. It raises a platform for authenticity and helps you draw a high-quality audience who follows you because they’re genuinely interested and supportive of your contribution.

You can make the most of social media and use the platforms to feature your works. People who admire your work will follow you with the intention to either learn from you or to collaborate with you. 

Showcase the work you enjoy doing

If you want a prominent position, you need a great portfolio! Your portfolio acts as an introductory presentation that not only reveals your work experience but also serves as the style and personality that separates you from the rest. 

It’s a great idea to include a visual rundown of projects at the start so that the audience knows what to foresee and may skip to the part that excites them. Your portfolio should be a combination of your best work (not all of your work). So concentrate on raising the quality of your projects rather than increasing the quantity.

Take part in competitions and do personal works

Competitions give you the opportunity to step out of your day-to-day routine and evaluate new concepts and ideas that you have. It is an excellent way to gain experience without experience. They provide you the ability to present your skill sets, make mistakes and learn from them. 

Taking part in competitions offers opportunities for fresh artists that are usually not available through other straightforward methods. It helps you boost your portfolio!

Get active socially and go to events

Going to events is a great opportunity for growing artists. Events are also great places to meet people. Many companies have recruiting delegates at these meetups who are always on the lookout. On top of that, it pushes you to stay ahead of the curve and absorb the different ideas presented.

Think outside the box and experiment

A diversified portfolio is always eye-catching! The most innovative designs usually come from artists who dare to walk off the path of linear thinking. Presenting images with different approaches, composition styles, moods, project type and scale, reveals loud and clear that you are a talented artist, an able problem-solver and that you can think outside the box. 

Get a head start on your job hunting 

A good internship will show you facts you didn’t know. A great internship will prepare you to master them all by yourself. And that is a valuable asset to acquire as a professional. Securing a job straight out of college can be a disaster in several forms–the most critical being that you might rarely have a mentor to go to with your million questions. An internship is an introduction to this and a major way to ease into the professional path.

Be prepared for the interview

Before any job interviews, study as much as possible about your potential practice to confirm it would be a suitable fit. Explore their work and try to pick up a sense of the company’s culture. You should always practice answering interview questions and draw up your own questions about the job and the firm. It’s critical to be self-confident and unafraid to make your expectations known.

Interior Scene by Polymachine


Today, Archviz has grown to be an essential tool for interpreting concepts in architecture. The masters of this field can add life to the renderings through smart color sequences, intricate textures, elegant lighting, and by the addition of true-to-life scenarios, communicate precisely the presence of the un-built projects and persuade likely investors.

We hope we’ve provided you with the insight you’ll require to understand Archviz in a convenient, competent, non-hair-pulling way, so that you can enhance your visual content and kick it up a notch.

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