Image by MIR

What are the most important things in an architecture visualization? Content or form. What it represents, or how it is being represented?

Today, we don’t understand this difference, between visualizing architecture and hitting a render button on a computer.

This is why we think it is important to point out things to keep in mind when making architecture visualizations.




Story is king. If your image or images don’t tell a story, it may be just a “render” or a shallow image. Tell a story, if may not be directly with the building you are showing but the activity that it holds, or the context that it is in.

It can be a very easy to read story, like for example a girl in a red dress looking at her lover, or her parents, or a lot of people watching a concert. Or, it can be a story read in between the lines. A story that is being told by the weather, or very miniscule details.

Image by Luxigon

If your image tells a good story, there is a high chance of it being a good image.

One of the best representations of this is MIRs the Early Bird.  A mundane activity like the garbage man coming to pick up the trash in an early city  morning day, is represented in such a way that we can all relate to the story. We can even hear the sound of the truck as it is moving and the garbage guys throwing the bags on to the back. Obviously this image is also an excellent representation of other skills, but the dominant one, is for sure the story.
The Early Bird by MIR



I once heard someone say, if story is king, then composition is queen. Without a great composition our story will fall apart, or it will be told in the wrong order.

The term composition means putting together, and can apply to any form of art, from music, to writing, to photography and yes, architecture visualization.

There are different types of composition, and different rules. We can talk on principles like, symmetry, hierarchy, rhythm, repetition, transformation, axis, etc. Or talk on topics like, form, scale, space, organization, proportion, scale, etc. Many of the things you compose architecture itself with, can sometimes be applied to portraying that architecture.

Drawing by Pezo Von Ellrichshausen
Building by Pezo Von Ellrichshausen


Look at all the images below, although they are from different projects they all have the same principle of composition. Symmetry. It is their symmetrical disposition what orders the image and gives it the depth and interest that it holds.


Like Vitruvius said in the ten books of architecture : Symmetry is a proper agreement between the members of the work itself, and relation between the different parts and the whole general scheme, in accordance with a certain part selected as standard … In the case of temples, symmetry may be calculated from the thickness of a column, from a triglyph, or even from a module. (Vitruvius, p.14.)


Ok, let´s not get too deep!



To know the difference between a good image and a bad image you must know what a good image is…. This is only achieved by studying and knowing everything about architectural visualizations.

Of course, architecture representations don’t come from modern culture, they go way back, and that implies studying painting ! Luxigons visualizations would not be the same with works of Rembrandt, or constable. References are everywhere! You can get them from a movie still, a painting, a piece of music, your own landscape, photography, and so on and so forth.


Of course, you can get references from other architectural visualizations, but I would recommend first going into other fields and then go to architectural visualizations for very specific technical references.



A correct palette of colors can be crucial to represent a good image. Of course this starts from the architects decision on what the facades material is going to be, but it ends in you deciding the color of the shirt of the person you are putting in the foreground of the image.

Color Palette of a Constable Painting

Color also has to be studied a ton, but in the meanwhile you can go to different websites to get a set of colors, and start your image from there.



Color and mood are almost two identical twin brothers, the colors influence the mood of the image and vice versa. Its best if you decide beforehand what day of the year it is and what is going on in the image. This will help you a lot to get the right mood.

If you don’t think about this before hand, you will end up with a render
Image by MIR



This is so important!!! You have to know the client and the market your images are going to. It is very different to make an image for a competition than for a private residential complex. Of course, we all have styles of representation and if your client wants you, it is because he is looking for that style.

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But if you’re in that general area where you can do many types of images, then you should know what style the image is going to have.

It can be a realistic image, or a collage like image, a hand drawing, or an overblown image. These are all suited for specific clients!



This is crucial. They are all crucial!haha  But your image has to have information. It has to be a tool for whoever is reading it. It can be another architect, or a family that is about to buy a house, or the guys at the construction site. If your image lacks information then it is no good. This means having every minimum detail solved. It has to have a proportional amount of information according to the final size of the image, or where it is going to be viewed.

La Ville Radieuse by Le Corbusier

If it is going to be printed in a very huge place, then you should have a very detailed model. But obviously if your image is going to be almost a thumbnail, don’t waste your time!



Although a good technique is important, it is not the key to a good architectural visualization. You mastering vray is NOT going to get you cool images, it is just going to get you in the best of cases, an accurate render. But a render is not an architectural visualization. There is more to it than hitting a render button.

Image by Estudio Altiplano

Right, if you get all the tips before technique right, a good technique could express a bit better the idea. But don’t rely on it, it is not the base.

Having that clear, check out what technique you are good at or would love to spend hours and hours on, and just do it. Everything is not a render, don’t lose your hope on hand drawings, or matte paintings, or collages, etc. There is room for all of that in the market. Just do it.


Break the rules

Like everything in life, don’t be so strict with this. Let intuition and gut get to you and just follow your own process. Yes, some people have got it figured out and could help you with that. But don’t stick only to that.

Image by Alexandra Egarmina


What tool do you use the most? Comment down below and share this with your friends!


2 replies on “8 Tips to make  Awesome Architecture Visualizations

  1. Hey! Am really glad that now you do written post! Keep going like this, you helped me a lot at learning new skills in this new world for me that is architectural representation!. And rigth now i stick to rendered images with post production but i would like to go in more abstract ways.

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