The type and the style of rendering are the two most important aspects that define the quality of the visualization. You should not combine conceptual images and technical renderings into a single set. The style of the visualization must complement your design.
We have prepared a small questionary to help you better understand how many renderings of what type and style to pick.
These questions will help you decide how many images you need to represent your project. The optimal number is 7-10 conceptual images maximum (1-3 of them are hero shots). The number of supplementary technical renders is unlimited, but you should break them into groups of up to 7 images to facilitate their perception.
1. How large is the project?
· small scale (bus station, pavilion, single-family home, small store interior, small gallery, chapel);
· mid-size (residential development, residential interior, hotel, museum, administrative building, church);
· large scale (shopping mall, theater, library, subway station, small park, square);
· extra-large scale (urban development, train station, stadium, large museum).
As a rule, larger-scale projects require additional technical renders. The number of conceptual images ought not to exceed the proposed optimum of 7–10.
2. How many variants of the design do you present? Each variation of your design proposal requires its own hero shot with corresponding conceptual and technical images. The more variants you present, the more renderings you need to order.
3. How easy is it to discern the concept of the project (shape, spatial configuration, layers, zoning, etc.)? Complex design requires additional conceptual and technical renders to make it more understandable.
4. How detailed should you make your proposal? Is it a presentation for the investors or a city council, a competition entry, a slideshow for the project website, or a press release for an architectural magazine? How long do you expect people to be looking at your project?
Illustration: "BCDA Iconic Tower" by Iddqd Studio. The skyscraper designed by Caza architects has a very complex tree-like shape and implements many green solutions. The proposal is hard to grasp from a few images. This is why the presentation was supplemented with additional renderings and a movie.
These questions will help you understand how free you can be with the visualization style. A proper render makes your projects stand out, tells the story behind the proposal, and shows its strongest sides. Visualization should be tailored to the client's taste but also relay your vision. There should be no visual dissonance between the design and its presentation.
1. Who is your client?
Is it a private client, an investment firm, or a cultural, financial, or public institution? How would you describe the client on a scale from conservative to adventurous? What values and tastes does your client have? What are the client’s cultural background, education, and aesthetic preferences? What does the client expect from the project? Which values does the project embody: luxury, avant-garde, lifestyle, ecology, subtlety, opulence, etc.? How would you relay these expectations through a visualization?
2. What is your project?
What kind of project are you designing? What are the typology and function of the project? Is it a commercial housing development, a public library, a theater or a church, a landscape design project, etc.? The function of the building should be clear from its visualization as much as from the design itself.
3. In what style or manner did you design? What color palette, light and shade balance, and thickness of the air will complement the style of your project?
4. What is the landscape and climate of the site? Sunny renders make little sense if you design for a predominantly foggy and rainy climate. In your opinion, what is the best way to represent the relationship between your project and the surroundings?
5. Is there any cultural context that you should take into account? Is there some culture-specific local understanding of visual harmony, cultural preferences for color, brightness, shapes, and so on?
6. What kind of interaction between the space and the people do you propose? How are the people supposed to use the space? For example, they may hide from the sun in the gallery or enjoy drinks in the courtyard. Engaging scenarios of space use look complimentary in presentations.
7. What is the main idea of your design? Is there a way to make it easy to comprehend? People should be able to discern the concept at first glance.
8. Which qualities describe your project the best (spartan, opulent, colorful, playful, strict, elegant, expressive, etc.)? What are the defining features of your design? Those can be deep texture, bright or muted color palette, shape (curvilinear, orthogonal, diagonal), mass (heavy or light), material (wood, glass, concrete), or scale (small-scale, human, larger than human). Are there any outstanding features and iconic elements? What atmosphere and mood should your design convey?
The visualization must stress those qualities, traits, and features rather than downplay them. For example, if the building is heavily textured, its walls should not look too glossy in the render.
Illustration: "Wellens" by Iddqd Studio displays the aesthetic qualities of the design (color, texture, shape), its relationship with the surrounding nature, the climate of the site, mood and atmosphere of the design (lyrical and slightly nostalgic), the values that relate to the client (understated and spartan yet luxurious).
Pick the questions you think are most relevant to your project. You may add the answers to your brief and turn them into guidelines for the archviz studio. You may fear strict guidelines might hinder the architectural rendering firm's creativity. In this case, you can use them as personal checkpoints for various aspects to be reflected in the visualization.
Header illustration: "Vortex" by Iddqd Studio.