What is 3D Rendering? How does Architectural Visualization work? An In-depth Guide to 3D Render

What is 3D Rendering? How does Architectural Visualization work? An In-depth Guide to 3D Render

3D-generated images and animations are not difficult to find in today’s daily life. You’ll undoubtedly encounter visual works created by the 3D rendering process on countless occasions, such as blockbuster movies, skincare advertisements, or a magazine you’ve subscribed, and the billboards near the food court.

Now you may realize visuals on these platforms are used to attract you, or let’s say, their target customers. The truth is many industries can’t deny the power of using 3D rendering services in their marketing. It is now a crucial part of the job of architects, interior designers, marketers, engineers, manufacturers, and many other professionals. Stunning their clients with the design, impressing the jury with their vision, or sharing the new idea with their team, they are all beneficiaries of 3D rendering services. Thus, we’ve prepared the most frequently asked questions about 3D rendering in this article. Please keep reading to find out what is 3D rendering, what is the working process, and how to use it in modern society.


What is 3D Rendering?


To start with the definition, 3D rendering is the process of creating a 2D image from 3D digital scene using a computer. CGI professionals use specific techniques and special software to generate a 3D image. Here, the first thing to be clear is that 3D rendering is a process. During the process, 2D or 3D data are collected and used to contribute to the final result.

During the 3D rendering process, 3D models are inevitable. From building the 3D models, the real process starts. To create a realistic environment, there are more steps needing to be done, such as adding photorealistic textures and materials, and setting right lighting to make the scene natural. Moreover, optional effects may help bake the atmosphere. For example, a luxury villa with a large swimming pool is more convincing if there are people swimming and relaxing in or near the pool. Imagine you’re a real estate developer and are selling one of your properties. Does the real-time 3D rendered image of the future house more powerful and persuasive than just showing your client the land with you picturing how the house will be like?


3D rendering of the 710 Edge project in Miami, USA, created by AIMIR


What is a 3D Render?


A 3D render is the final result of the 3D rendering process. It may include 3D rendering images, 3D animations, Virtual Reality tours, 360º panoramas, 3D models, 2D or 3D floor plans, 3D products and many other forms.


Who Uses 3D Rendering?


3D rendering now is used by a various people from a wide range of industries, We’ve listed the most popular ones as following:

  • Architecture

3D modeling and rendering is no doubt the most powerful tool in the architecture industry now. Architects, interior designers, engineers and other professionals use 3D rendering to persuade their clients, juries and investors with their ideas visualized. Given the nature of architecture industry, where buildings are expensive and time-consuming to construct, 3D rendering services is a flexible tool to view the details of future structures, avoid possible design mistakes. Learn more about 3D Architectural Visualization.

  • Real Estate

Since 3D rendering is a great tool for architecture industry, no one will deny its charm in real estate industry. With the help of exterior 3D rendering images, real estate agents are able to show the buyers what their home will look like. Interior 3D renderings are a good reflection of the indoor life, and real estate agencies can even use 3D rendering services as renovation ideas to show the house before its renovated. Also, there is no easier way than showing the potential buyers a virtual tour in and around the building to introduce the business.

  • Interior Design

In the interior design industry, 3D rendering probably is the most frequently and most popular tool. Interior designers’ job is to design the indoor spaces for their clients. Therefore, it is inevitable to find a way to show their clients their design. We all understand it is not possible to actually renovate the interior home for review. Thus, 3D rendering services are the answer. It does not only showcase the designer’s vision in advance, but also allows modification anytime. Learn more about Interior 3D Rendering.

  • Manufacturing

There is no more explanation needed to explicit the use of 3D rendering in manufacturing industry. Whether you’re designing a new hair dryer or a new water bottle, 3D modeling and rendering is the ultimate tool. Similar to the above industries, product design is also a process which needs 3D tool to design, render and finalize.

  • Advertising & Marketing

In advertising industry, which is also the marketing industry, 3D visualization is the enchantment of the product or the service sold. Visual impression is a vital idea in advertising industry, and to achieve this, a strong visual presentation is the key to successful marketing. 3D rendering can be used on various platforms such as social networks, TV commercials, magazine advertising, and leaflets to attract new customers.

  • Entertainment

Finally, 3D rendering, the entertainment industry is able to create a dynamic world to offer people relaxation, dreams and laughs. Today’s visual world is unprecedented massive and advanced. Thanks to CGI technology, people are able to enjoy video games, animations cartoons, and movies with the most impressive and realistic effects.


How Does 3D Rendering Work? What is 3D Rendering Process?


Let’s try to figure out how 3D rendering functions in order to understand it more.

Numerous calculations are carried out by the rendering engine in accordance with predetermined algorithms. The 3D artist’s program-created scenes and models are gradually processed and converted into flat visuals based on the mathematical data. Due to physics and the positioning of other items in the environment, the models acquire distinct lines, colors, tints, realistic shadows, and reflections during processing. As a result, every pixel of the image is improved, and they appear entire and complete. And this is how 3D rendering work.


3D Rendering Software


What 3D rendering software to use to produce such promising result? This is a tricky question, because there are countless 3D rendering software and platforms on the market, and each of them has their own merits and down sides. Some of the most popular 3D rendering software, apps and platforms:

  • 3ds Max;
  • V-ray;
  • Lumion;
  • Blender;
  • Corona Chaos;
  • SketchUp.

We’ve talked to experts and summarized some of the best 3D rendering software here: Best Free Rendering Software for creating 3D Architectural Visualization.



3D Rendering Process


No matter you’re an amateur or professional 3D rendering software user, or you’re in some industry who is looking for 3D rendering services, understanding 3D rendering process is vital. It will help prepare pre-production files and information, choose the suitable service, and know how to get the best result. Now, let’s take a look at the 3D rendering process.


Step 1: Understanding the Project

The whole project team including the project manager and relevant 3D artists need to understand the client’s requirement. This includes the client’s aim, the vision, and the purpose of the project.

Step 2: Creating the 3D Model

3D modeling is the process during which the 2D materials and information are summarized and produced into a 3D model using 3D modeling software. During this stage, the model is able to change according to the design.

Step 3: Applying Materials and Textures

This probably is the determining step. The final result will look realistic only when the materials and textures are right.

Step 4: Setting the Lighting and Post-processing

Here, there is no real lighting used. Even when the 3D artists want to create a scene with natural light, such as the seaside, they use artificial lights to reproduce realistic lighting.

Step 5: Final Delivery of High-res 3D Renderings

When the rendering drafts are confirmed, 3D artists will output the final high-res 4K/5K visual works upon request.

Also check our case studies about 3D rendering process: Real Estate Rendering for a Private House in California, USA.




On today’s market, 3D rendering is an artistic visualized presentation of people’s creative ideas, visions, and designs. There are various parts involved in 3D rendering, such as 3D modeling, adding materials, setting lights and post-producing. Each steps is subjected to the actual project, and is flexible with the best results possible.

In this article, we’ve tried our best to articulate the nature of 3D rendering, the 3D rendering process, people who uses 3D rendering, and other frequently asked questions about it. Hope it may help you understand 3D rendering more. If you’re looking for reliable 3D rendering services or teams to sell your idea or products, you’re welcome to contact us! AIMIR is a professional 3D architectural visualization studio from 2006, we’re devoted to delivering high-end photorealistic 3D renderings to the world!

Real Estate Rendering Services for a Private House in California, USA: Case Study

Real Estate Rendering Services for a Private House in California, USA: Case Study

Architects and designers use 3D rendering images to showcase key effects and demonstrate the design details of the structure before, during or after a project is built. We’ve shared many case studies of architectural visualization projects for exteriors, interiors, hotels, houses, shopping malls, museums, and other various types of buildings.

Today, we’d like to introduce a 3D rendering project in a different way. A way from our professionals’ perspective. If you’re looking for a reliable 3D rendering services team, you may understand what we’re thinking in each of the stages and get yourself prepared to accelerate the whole process. On the other hand, if you’re thinking about working as a 3D specialist in the ArchViz industry, this article may provide you explicit details of each step of a typical 3D rendering process.

Okay, let’s get our 3D rendering process journey started!


Step 1: Understanding the Project


Desert Palisades project is a luxury private villa in Desert Palisades, Palm Springs, California. Our partner Paula was looking for 3D renderings to present this amazing structure. First of all, the whole team including the project manager and relevant 3D artists need to understand the client’s requirement. This includes the client’s aim, the vision, and the purpose of the project.

During this stage, a kick-off meeting is ideal for exchanging files and ideas. Or at least, necessary materials and the client’s vision should be shared through email or other platforms. For this project, the necessary information includes:

  • The design. Paula shared the Rhino model of the house. At the same time, she sent the CAD plans that helped our 3D artists to gain deeper understanding of the structure.
  • The landscape plan. Especially for this project, Paula prepared the reference photos for the desert landscaping. This is important for some atypical environment such as desert, seaside, and snow mountain.
  • The camera angles. Paula was very clear about the camera angles she wanted for this project. In some cases, we’d love to offer some suggestions if our clients do not have any idea of the views.
  • The materials board. The 3D model had included some materials. Also, Paula shared some images about the textures she wanted for the house.

Also, Paula shared more about the project including:

  • The site photos. This is because instead of building the surrounding environment, Paula decided to use photomontage for the surroundings. So she took some photos with the same camera angles of the final 3D renders she wanted.
  • The moods. Aka, the atmosphere for the renderings. In this project, we used photomontage for surrounding context, which meant the moods of the final 3D renderings should be the same or at least similar to the original photos. Paula wanted all three views to be regular daytime.


Step 2: Creating the 3D Model


After collecting all necessary information about the project, our team started the production. The first thing to do is to create the 3D model with the materials received. Because we’ve already received a Rhino model, there was no need to build one. However, the model is not ready to use.

During this stage, our 3D artists fine-tune the model. This includes importing the Rhino model to 3ds Max, sorting the elevations and lines, arranging the included textures, adding details to the 3D model based on the design plans received. The following images shows the comparison of the Rhino model received and the fine-tuned model:


3D model: before vs. after


When we shared the fine-tuned model to Paula, she was excited and she wrote:

“The renders look already very promising. It’s all good in the model except an area that is meant to be cantilevered in V1. The corner should float over the terrain.

I have placed some reference images so that you can see how the landscape and street looks like in that same development for the next phase.”

With the below image shared, Paula was happy with the model and mentioned a couple of minor adjustments to work on. Meanwhile, she sent through some reference images for the landscaping and materials and textures that were extremely helpful.



Step 3: Applying Materials and Textures


The next stages comes to the materials and textures. When working on the materials and textures, our 3D artists will carefully pick the accurate materials in order to show realism. This probably is the determining step. The final images will look realistic only when the materials and textures are right.

To create photorealistic renders, our 3D artists carefully studied the reference images Paula provided, and looking for the most similar and realistic possible materials in our library and the internet. For real estate rendering, or house rendering, we often care about the façade. That is to say, we pay great attention to the presentation of the exterior roofs and walls, our 3D specialists believe that the first impression of a 3D image depends on the overall photoreal materials.


As a result, our 3D team added and adjusted the materials and textures according to the information in the model and Paula’s comments.


Step 4: Setting the Lighting and Post-processing


In the 3D rendering working process, setting the lighting is the final stage. We will determine the lighting to show a better result of the subject. This is a complex process because the light and shadow will change how the architecture looks in total. Moreover, the lighting is able to improve the realism of the rendering.

Different from other projects, this private house rendering project and other projects using photomontage already has the lighting set. The photo used for photomontage has a fixed light and shadow setting, and as a 3D artist team, we need to adjust the lighting of the model exactly the same as the one in the photo.

As to the post-processing, we mainly use Photoshop to apply visual effects based on the whole image to make it more natural and vivid. Of course, the clients may come up with their ideas sometimes. For this luxury villa project, we added some paperback trees and cactus balls in the front of the image and adjust the landscape especially the road to melt the building into the surrounding environment.


Site photo vs. 3D rendering: with the magic of post-processing


Step 5: Final Delivery of High-res 3D Renderings


When the drafts are confirmed, our 3D artists will output the final high-res 4K/5K images. The resolution is subjected to the clients’ need, but usually is 4K or 5K. Actually, our professional project manager will talk about this issue with the clients before the start of the production. So, if you have any special requirements on the resolution, please mention it as earlier as possible. This is because the 3D team need to modify the resolution during the rendering process. It is quite difficult the change to a much larger resolution when the final delivery occurs.

Now, let’s enjoy the final renderings of this beautiful house in the desert.

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What do you think about the 3D rendering process for real estate industry? It can be challenging to get a grip on, so hope we’ve made the whole process easy to catch up on. We’ll happy to hear that you get what you want here.

Plus, AIMIR is a creative 3D rendering studio specializing in architectural visualization from 2006. We’re happy to talk with you about ArchViz process if you have any questions or any projects.

Exterior Rendering for a Private Property in Los Angeles: Case Study

Exterior Rendering for a Private Property in Los Angeles: Case Study

Exterior rendering can smartly and honestly showcase the design of a structure. In real estate industry, 3D exterior renderings help advertise by creating powerful atmosphere and photorealistic details of the design. Real estate agencies can use 3D visuals for presentation purposes, pinpointing all the subtle details and making the design more attractive to the potential buyers.

Avi, from a real estate company in the USA, was looking for a 3D rendering for one of their properties in Los Angeles. This is a private property and the construction was nearly finished, except the outdoor garden section. They hoped to have a persuasive 3D exterior rendering to market this property in advance.


Brief for 3D Exterior Rendering


A good briefing is half the success of a visualization project. To help us understand the project and start immediately, Avi shared the following information and files:

  • The current site photos. They help us get a general idea of the vision of this project which is important. The left bottom corner of the first image is the part under construction and Avi wanted to show. And the final rendering should have the same material and design as the current property. Thus, we could use them as a material reference.


  • The sketch of the house, the unbuilt part in particular. Although it is a conceptual sketch, the stairs and garden are clear enough.


  • The CAD plans. Our 3D artists would build the 3D model based on the information in the plans.


  • Some images as the references of the mood of the final image.



Exterior Rendering Process


As the first stage of the whole process, we built the 3D model after studying the CAD plans and the site photos. It was a process which turned 2D into 3D. Here, the important thing was to strictly follow the photo of the house as the structure, materials, and colors. Moreover, we added a view which demonstrated the part which our client really wanted to show – the outdoor stairs and garden. This was to confirm the structure of this unbuilt part.


As one of the best features of 3D rendering services, it allows architectural designing while creating 3D visuals. In this project, the 3D model created from CAD plans was not complete, and needed further adjustment. As a result, we’ve received Avi’s comments on the 3D model, namely:

  • The wall along the front and the two entrance gates will be black rod iron, consistent with the balcony and patio rod iron.
  • The fence block wall on the west and north should be lower a bit higher than the second planer wall.
  • Make a window next to the contrast color door on the first floor, and a window on the opposite side of the door.

We modified the 3D model as instructed and sent it to Avi. After Avi’s team confirmed back the model, we’ve moved into next stage: applying materials, textures, and lighting. Because we’ve got the site photo and mood reference images, we decided to directly create the final image. This meant our 3D specialists completed the materials, lighting, and post-production all at once.

Based on the reference images, we finished the final draft. To illustrate this private property, our final visual communicates how the structure interact with the nature which nestled in the vibrant greenery. Avi was very satisfied with the result. The final image is here:


It was a sheer pleasure working with Avi’s team on this amazing project. We’re so happy that they’re satisfied with our work and service. For real estate rendering services, they’ve prepared almost all necessary information and files in the briefing. And during the process, their comments on drafts were prompt and clear. This in turn speeded up the working process.


We all in a visual world. Instead of assigning budgets on traditional marketing for your real estate projects, why not try architectural visualization services and sell your property in advance with the help of powerful visuals? Contact our professional 3D rendering studio now to bring your real estate business to the next level!

Working with an Architectural Visualization Studio: Solutions to 5 Confusions

Working with an Architectural Visualization Studio: Solutions to 5 Confusions

Visualization, with plenty of benefits, is becoming more and more popular in architecture-related industries. To carry out architectural projects successfully, it tends to be helpful to gain efficient collaboration with an ArchViz studio. However, not everyone can have smooth and pleasant collaboration experience. Some architects may get tired from giving feedback on disappointing drafts repeatedly. In turn, studios may lose their patience when modifying endless details. Actually, such situations usually generate from misunderstanding of their roles in the projects.

If you are looking for an ArchViz studio to work on visuals for your architectural project, do not worry at all. This article will reveal some major confusions you may have so as to help you avoid impairing the project quality. Without following confusions, you will proceed with ArchViz projects efficiently, and more importantly, build sustainable collaborative relationships with ArchViz studios.


1. Choice of an ArchViz studio

When you start to seek an ArchViz studio, the first thing you may focus on may be the studio’s portfolio. Indeed it will show you the visual style most directly, but it can never be the only element for your consideration. As all should know, the production of 3D renderings is not to add visualization effects by simply clicking a button. It often costs some time to deliver quality images through complicated operations.

In that case, a studio with your preferred visual style may not always be the most suitable one. Imagine you are dealing with a project on a tight schedule, but the studio likes sticking to its lengthy process. That will result in the postponement of your deadline. Although you can judge the quality and style of an ArchViz studio through its portfolio, it is really necessary to learn more factors such as working process and software they use, before making your choice. Otherwise, you may suffer from hard collaboration and fail to get images with your expected effects to a large extent.

2. Budget for a visualization project

After you find an ideal ArchViz studio, one thing you cannot avoid is the price. Some clients of ArchViz studios may try to cut down the cost of visualization. They may be confused if it is worth spending large sums of money on producing wonderful visuals. It is understandable sometimes, but in fact, it is just short-term consideration and reduction of potential values.

As a client of an ArchViz studio, what you will get from the project is not only the nice renderings themselves. Besides the visuals of high quality, you will benefit from the rich additional values they bring for your long-term development. Not only are those visuals the representation of specific projects, but they are also powerful evidence of your expertise. They will enrich your portfolio and draw attention of your potential clients. In the long run, they will converse into more collaborative chances and multiplied profits greater than former expenses.



3. Brief for visualization projects

If you are new in working with an architectural visualization studio, it is normal to feel confused when briefing. Maybe you are wondering how detailed a project brief should you offer. Despite that, as long as you keep two core points in mind, you will start successfully.

On one hand, it is vital for you to clarify the intent and overall concepts of your project. This seems easy to do, but is often ignored by some architects and designers. They often attach little importance to reaching consensuses on the general idea with the CGI team. As a result, the ArchViz studio has to interpret the project as per a vague idea in the brief, which may cause extra hindrances that affect the output quality and your cooperation.

On the other hand, it would be better if you could define the expected boundaries for target viewers. You have the right to decide whether the project aims to fit the architectural concepts or pursues fascinating visual effects. Moreover, 3D artists can exactly dig out and present potential points that further convey your ideas based on your expectation.


4. Keys to communication

To smooth the process, efficient communication plays an essential role all the time. Possibly some architects and designers may find difficulties in their communication with the 3D studios. Here comes several tips for dealing with this core part.

Firstly, sticking to detail changes excessively can unnecessarily raise the final quality. As mentioned before, architects should focus mainly on the general concepts and boundaries of the project. When there are some subjective changes needed for tiny elements, it would be better to link with the clarity of intent. Otherwise, too many of them will only cost extra time and block the progress.

Secondly, great time management is beneficial to the completion. Specifically, the time you send a clear brief and relevant documents decides the pressure of time limit from the beginning. During the production, your prompt and accurate feedback can leave adequate time for ArchViz studios to proceed.

Thirdly, heuristics is never a good method for making decisions. Comments of 3D visual drafts should be supported by empirical evidence or end client’s expectations. Those stemming from unproven biases may only drive ArchViz artists to flog a dead horse. Whereas ArchViz studios can be professional enough to make reasonable modifications, the favor from their collaborative client is always appreciated.

Last but not least, simple words are adequate to communicate clearly. In visualization projects, stopping using too many sophisticated technical terms is the most direct way to avoid confusions owing to misuse. Honestly, layman vocabulary has already allowed you to explain your needs clearly although ArchViz artists know architectural terms well.


5. Development of a long-term partnership

It is found that plenty of architecture companies are trying to have their preferred ArchViz studios work for them only. Since they are afraid of the increase of studios’ charge resulting from business expansion with other companies. When the price reaches a level they fail to afford, they have to look for another suitable one. But the truth is the price doesn’t depend on how large the business of an ArchViz studios is. Given all that, architecture companies may need some approaches to maintain a stable relationship with an ArchViz studio.

In fact, the most important reason of maintaining a long-term partnership with an ArchViz studio is that your business portfolio will develop consistency. As we all know, every CGI team has their own visual style which other teams find difficult to copy. When you acquire 3D visuals from one team constantly, it in turn help create a consistent architectural professional portfolio.


Generally speaking, the success of visualization projects depends on efficient communications and collaboration with the studio fitting in different respects. Because of the realistic and potential values, those projects deserve your investment. Furthermore, collaboration will never be confined to specific projects. As long as there are mutual interests, consensuses and collaborative possibilities, clients are always welcome to build up sustainable cooperative relationships with suitable ArchViz studios.

So if you have some upcoming visualization projects, why not try win-win cooperation with AIMIR, a professional architectural visualization studio who has been delivering high-end visuals to the world for 17 years?

China’s National Day 2022 Holiday Notice

China’s National Day 2022 Holiday Notice

October 1st is China’s National Day and our studio is having a 7-day holiday from 1st to 7th October. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@aimircg.com if you have any consultation on ArchViz projects. We will get back to you in 24 hours.

As a 17-year architectural visualization studio, AIMIR continues to deliver high-end ArchViz works to the world. Many thanks for choosing us, and we look forward to create the future with you.

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