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What are the most important things in architecture visualization? Content or form? what it represents? or how it is being represented? Sometimes we just focus on getting our projects done, or our classes done and that is it. But we forget to look deeper into our “love” for what we are doing. This is just a reminder that it doesn’t matter if you know how to use architecture software if you don’t know the basics of architecture visualization. 

This is of course an oldie but goodie video, where we talk about these things. Watch the video here. 

1. Story

The Devine Way laria Di Carlo
Raffles City Chongqing, China by Sadfie Architects. Image © Zhu Wenqiao

If your image doesn’t tell a story, it is just a render or a shallow image. The story doesn’t have to be direct with the building you are showing, but the activity that carries out around it. It doesn’t have to be all out, it can be something easy, a story that is being told between the lines, with very minor details. 

2. Composition

The Theodore Gouvy Theatre in Freyming-Merlebach, France by Dominique Coulon & Associes. Image © Eugeni Pons
Guggenheim Bilbao by Frank Gehry © Duccio Malagamba

Without a great composition, our story will fall apart, or it will be told in the wrong order. Composition refers to putting together, and it can apply to any form, from art, music, photography, and of course architecture visualization. 
You can take into account some basic composition principles, like, symmetry, rhythm, hierarchy, repetition, transformation, etc. 

3. References

How can you know your image is a good image? Architecture visualization doesn’t come from modern architecture, it goes way back. So this also implies studying all the way back to a painting. You can also get some references, from music, paintings, even movie stills. 

4. Color palette

Fernando Guerra
© Denise Kwong / EyeEm

Color palette can be crucial to represent a good image. Of course, it also has to be with the material of the building that the architect has decided on, but it also has to do how you can match that color with the rest of the elements in your image. 

5. Mood

The Seashore Chapel in Qinhuangdao China by Vector Architects. Image © Ai Qing
Photographer: Inigo Bujedo Aguirre - Building: Blok 23, Novi Beograd, Belgrade, Serbia / Aleksandar Stjepanovic. Image via Arcaid Images

Color and mood are almost the same, the colors inside the mood of the image. For your image, you can decide the day of the year, the time, and what is going on in the context, this will help you with the mood of your image. 

6. Client

Barozzi Veiga. Image © Luxigon
The Earth Chapel. Image © JPAG Atelier

You have to know the client and the market your images are going to. It is not the same as making an image for a private client as making an image for a competition. If you are in the area where you can do different types of images, you can present a project to your client whether is a realistic render, or a collage type, illustration, mix between render and collage, etc. 


Post-Earthquake Prototype – Rural Dwelling / AL BORDE + El Sindicato Arquitectura

Your image has to have information, it has to be a tool for whoever is reading it. If your image lacks information, it is no good. Has to have a proportional amount of information according to the final size of the image. 

8. Technique

You mastering a software is not going to make you have cool images, maybe just a good render, but a render is not an architecture visualization. If you don’t have a good technique, it will be just a render. 

What other tips do you recommend to improve architecture visualization? Watch our video below! 

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