Architectural Visualization: Realistic vs. Artistic

Architectural Visualization: Realistic vs. Artistic

It’s known to all that 3D visualization and rendering is now a necessary tool in any architectural project in the highly competitive construction industry. It plays an important role in both demonstrating the design and facilitating communication with clients. Thanks to its outstanding advantages, it has simply become a driving force for architectural design and marketing. Therefore, choosing the right type of 3D visualization really matters for architects and designers. Talking about 3D rendering genres, it is generally divided into two types: realistic and artistic 3D visualization. Which is better? More exactly, which is suitable for your project? This article will talk about this question.


Realistic vs. Artistic Rendering


Before comparing advantages and disadvantages, we should address the ambiguity when it comes to the two terms. In the ArchViz industry, realistic and artistic 3D visualization are also technically called photorealistic and non-photorealistic 3D rendering techniques.

On the one hand, realistic 3D visualization or photo-realistic technique focuses on making rendering images look like reality as much as possible through adjusting textures, lighting, shadows, and so on. That is to say, it doesn’t require much artistic creation. Instead, it requires 3D artists to find ways to make the buildings or other designs appear exactly how they would look in real life. This visualization presents the successful simulation of the physics of something.

On the other hand, artistic 3D visualization or non-photorealistic technique is based on the photorealistic one. Also, 3D artists are given the freedom to create arts, making their works look like what they should be. Such renderings can involve the inner structure of architecture and create a stylized environment in which collaboration and appreciation can occur while artistic 3D visualization is unable to achieve, being impressive at the same time. A good example of this kind of visualization is the exploded view drawing.


Photorealistic 3D Visualization


Realistic 3D visualization shows its advantages in displaying architects’ realistic expectations of a project. If the images are vivid and realistic enough, the concepts and ideas conveyed will be crystal clear. In that case, it’s helpful to avoid vague feedback or even misunderstandings in communication. Furthermore, when artists succeed in seamlessly blending the basic disciplines of photography and CGI, the works would be undoubtedly impressive.

However, it cannot be denied that realistic 3D visualization is unable to effectively communicate some things, such as the internal components of objects or buildings.



Artistic 3D Visualization


This is why artistic 3D visualization comes into use. As mentioned above, the exploded view is a kind of such visualization and an important function in 3D visualization software. Different from what objects look like in real life, the view drawing showcases various parts and components separated at a certain distance, which enables clients to see the relationships between the parts and understand the order of assembly. In the construction industry, non-photorealistic 3D rendering is used for the internal components of the building system and its electrical and plumbing drawings. It anticipates what the final look of a project should be, showing its important role.


So, Which is Better?


For sure, there are more pros and cons of realistic and artistic 3D visualization, but this article won’t go into much details. It has become clear that these two visualizations are really apples and oranges. In other words, they are different things. In any case, the question of which is better doesn’t have an infallible answer, as a mathematical question does. Obviously, it depends on the circumstance. Therefore, this question comes down to preference and necessity.

Certain parts of a project will always require a specific technology to implement because of different advantages and capabilities. So with that in mind, 3D artists can decide which visualization to use for certain parts. That is the necessity. And then in addition to technical applicability, artists have to take clients’ suggestions into account when choosing which visualizations to use during the project. Through adequate communication, artists should understand the client’s preferences and expectations and facilitate collaboration between the architect and the client at the same time, so that they can fine-tune the project. After all, the architect and the client are the ones who finally make a decision and have to fund the project.





Actually, it’s better to combine realistic and artistic 3D visualization. An architectural project generally involves many complex parts. Applying various visualizations helps with refining a project and gaining clients’ favor, so it’s quite essential for 3D artists to have an open mind and get their act together. In the long run, presenting excellent 3D visualizations is the most fundamental way for a 3D artist or even a 3D architecture studio to gain a foothold in an increasingly competitive industry. Anyway, don’t be left behind.

This article simply analyzes the advantages and disadvantages of realistic and artistic 3D visualization as well as the answer to the question of which is better. No matter which visualization we use, we are devoted to satisfy our clients’ need, no matter you are an architect, interior designer, real estate agent, constructor. As a studio with 16 years of experience, we are able to provide professional 3D interior services, 3D exterior services, architectural 3D animation services, and 360 virtual tour services. When you would like to partner with us, we’re glad to help you create impressive architectural renderings to get your project recognized.

Beautiful Ocean House Renderings: Making of Naladhu Island Resort – a Private Island in Maldives

Beautiful Ocean House Renderings: Making of Naladhu Island Resort – a Private Island in Maldives

3D renderings do bring designs to life! Come and check this private island in Maldives.

AIMIR is glad to work with our client Anantara Group again, for delivering the new look of this private island to its visitors in advance by our top-notch photorealistic 3D renderings.

It is always pleasure working with Anantara team. They are well-organized, detail-focused and they have insane creativity. The working procedure is clear. We are so proud to be part of this challenging at the same time amazing project, and we can’t wait to share with you the renderings!


The Start of Everything – a Complete Redesign


We received the email from our client Anantara Group in March 2021, asking whether we were able to create some photorealistic renderings. They are renovating a resort and need some renderings for marketing purposes. So we started this project when all files were received.

Naladhu Island is a private island with just 20 houses, all with private pool or beach. New York based designer Yuji Yamazaki redesigned the resort, which will reopen with a modern colonial look. Long noted for its beauty among the locals, this small private island is welcoming a complete renovation and will relaunch in November 2021 with an impressive new look and feel. Please enjoy the final renderings made by AIMIR.


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Brief and References

To ensure the efficiency and timely delivery of final results, the brief is an indispensable part of a visualization project. A brief should be as detailed as possible. The brief from Anantara was amazing, just like what we received in our past cooperation. Files and references were received at the same time. It included all the information we need to complete this project, such as the mood, surrounding context, floor plans, pictures of the furniture, texture, and other supporting files.

Photos of hotel rooms.

Floor plans and textures.

Furniture design.


Exterior Renderings

It is an interior renovation but it is still crucial for exterior renderings. This is because part of the interior scene is visible through glass windows and doors. So, the exterior views play an important part in showcasing the overall redesign.

Duplicated View

Since it’s a renovation project, Anantara provided the site photo with the wanted camera angle and mood. They were looking for a 100% duplicated rendering of it but with new interior design. Our 3D artists built the whole model according to the photo and this is the final look:

Final rendering of one of the villas based on provided site photo.

Site photo. Can you tell the differences?

They also requested a view with two different surroundings: one facing the beach; one facing the ocean. AIMIR used different sunlight and shadow direction to convey this difference.


Interior Renderings

This resort is undergoing a total redesign with all the accommodation and public areas, including the restaurant, bar, wine cellar, spa room and gym. Anantara needs renderings for them all.

As the first step of everything, we confirmed the camera angles with Anantara before moving to next. Eye-level view is the typical and effective way to showcase an interior space. Then, we refine the model with colors and textures. Of course, every piece of furniture had to have a unique texture.

At this stage, it is very important to make sure that our client and our team are at the same page. It will save a lot of time and money if we are, and cost a lot if we are not. Back to the topic, the brief and supporting materials are crucial to this stage.

One of the challenges was to have the right background view. AIMIR’s 3D artist had done a great amount of researches on Google Earth to set the background correctly. As a result, our client was super satisfied with the results.


Renderings Help Marketing

When the final delivery was made, Anantara team was excited about the results. They use the renderings for their website, pamphlets, media and other marketing platforms. These renderings are so photorealistic that you’ll find them on the booking page, to show visitors what the villas look like.

AIMIR’s renderings displayed on booking page.

Renderings on local media.

The Naladhu Island Resort Redesign project shows what AIMIR has been insisting: a detailed brief; a strict workflow; and a dedicated team. We are so grateful that Anantara Group offered this opportunity for AIMIR to contribute to this fabulous project. We can’t wait to visit it one day. And we are looking forward to working with them for their exciting projects in the future.

How about the story behind Naladhu Island Resort Redesign project? Do you like to showcase your design before it’s built? Contact AIMIR for architectural visualization solution for your next project!

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