architectural visualiser george nicola

By George Nicola (Expert Stager)

If you are looking forward to hiring an architectural renderer, keep reading to be enlightened on how to work with one, the software they use, their workflow types, the types of rendering involved + associated costs, and many more.

House flipping actually involves purchasing a below market value home, meaning you are likely to have more than one mortgage and at the same time come up with a down payment.

Read on to know the practical steps of buying a house to renovate and sell, the best and worst scenarios as well as the pros and cons of house flipping.

What is Architectural Rendering?

Architectural (imaging) rendering refers to the process of creating 3-D images of a proposed building or construction to illustrate its layout. The final product of an architecturally rendered space represents the intended design of its actual space before it is built. 

In the modern-day real estate world, architects typically use 3-D modeling software to help them create renderings for presentations. As a matter of fact, architectural renderings play a key role in helping architects envision where the standing of their existing projects.

If you hired an architect to do your project, they might have an established rendering method to visualize. Since their primary purpose is a client presentation, often the results are brute force images, suitable for preliminary presentations but not useful for marketing or promotions.
Ask if they can improve the quality or consider getting a 3rd party renderer to help and polish the project.

How to Work with an Architectural Renderer?

You can save a lot of money when working with an architectural renderer, but you need to know the industry’s negotiation rules and critical aspects. So everything starts with the initial search.

In this post, we share where do you find architectural renderers and even how to hire one.

Before engaging with an architectural renderer, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What’s the size of your project?
    • The bigger the size, the higher the pricing.
  • How complicated is your project?
    • Informed clients usually list everything their designs need.
  • What design stage is your project currently at?
    • Constructions that are yet to be started cost more than those at progressed stages.
  • What are the average prices in the industry?
    • Conduct some research by starting locally and then comparing prices.
  • What are the timelines of your project?
    • Timing can make or break your project because it affects the budget.
  • What is your budget?
    • Always ask for more than one quotation. One should have fewer 3-D services.
  • What are my expectations?
    • Communicate your expectations, such as using high-quality components to create more realistic designs.

Click here for more tips on how to negotiate with an architectural renderer.

What Software are Architectural Renderers Using?

Architectural renderers use both web-based and offline software to bring their designs to life by showing different angles of a building and highlighting its surroundings.

Common ones include:

Autodesk 3ds Max

3ds Max is a premium software (no free version) that works best for modeling, meshing and texturing designs thanks to its user-friendly process flow and wide-ranging plug-in options.  

Autodesk Maya

If you want to create realistic 3D models, simulations, animations, lighting, painting, and character rigging, Maya has in-built and easy-to-use tools that simplify such tasks.


Many architectural renderers find the award-winning Cinema4d software more than satisfactory because of its powerful set of features, intuitive user interface, and procedural workflows.


SketchUp stands out as the most popular software for 3D modeling and design globally because of it models nearly everything from energy-efficient buildings to intricate treehouses.

Autodesk Revit

Revit has a set of powerful rendering engines and wide-ranging models, along with customer and community support ideal for any architectural design projects.


This building information modelling software comes with an intuitive design environment, unique workflow, automated documentation and open collaboration for architects and engineers.


Twinmotion is a real-time architectural visualization software with impressive customization capabilities ideal for architectural renderings, landscaping and urban planning.


Lumsion is suitable for making images, videos or panoramas that render ultra-fast. It also comes with a huge library of exquisite objects and materials for creating beautiful renders.

Before engaging with an architectural renderer, talk to your design or architecture team; it’s best to obtain the source files (2D, 3D BIM) or any data on your project. This will give them a better understanding of the potential workflow of the project. 

The workflow of any project is responsible for turnaround, pricing and sometimes even the quality of the final output.

The more information they have, the more accurate your proposal will be.

Architectural Rendering Workflow Types

Workflow in architectural rendering depends on the project type and the time frames. The common step is finding the right architectural rendering company like Tallbox that reassures you of a successful workflow.

A typical workflow follows the below process:

Preparing the Project

You must decide your project’s feasibility and scope. This starts with exploring the site of the building and taking photos to determine what is practicable within the existing code of practice. The complete sets of files should also be submitted to the architectural rendering company.

Designing the Concept

This phase is the most exciting for architectural renderers because it involves the creation of visually appealing designs of the proposed building using powerful software while at the same time evaluating iterations.

Developed Design

Here, architectural renderers further develop the schematic concept of the design by consulting key specialists such as civil engineers, interior designers, landscape architects, etc. Using automated tools, roofs, walls and floor plans are added while adjusting the size of the building.

Finalizing and Submitting the Design

Architectural renderers finalize the detailed design and specify the requisite materials, fixtures, and services. They also customize various elements of the proposed building to ensure that all design features are added realistically before submitting the completed version.

Click here to learn more about the architectural rendering and illustration workflow process before committing to a project.

Type of Rendering + Approximate Costs

Below are brief descriptions of various types of architectural renderings, their approximate costs, turnaround times, and the project they are used in.  

Interior and Exterior Rendering

Interior renderings focus on interior spaces, while exterior renderings focus on the bird-eye view, street view, worm-eye view, and close-up view of proposed buildings.
Exterior rendering is standard among real estate companies and builders, while interior designers use internal rendering. As a result, exterior rendering costs are at least twice the price of interior rendering.


Popular among landscape architects, urban planners and engineers, photomontages combine photographs of a real building with digitally rendered pictures of proposed designs.

Usually, the actual photo covers the surroundings, while the 3-D rendered pictures cover the foreground. Photomontages inspire onlookers to envision how a proposed design would look in an existing

Verified View Photo Montages

Verified Views or Accurate Visual Representations (AVRs) are more accurate than basic photomontages and help show how the proposed project would look in the real world.

It uses site-specific data, and computer-generated images (CGI) captured at specific angles to assess the visual effect of a local planning authority project at various stages of the planning process.

Aerial Rendering

3D aerial view renderings provide a realistic bird’s-eye map of a site and its surrounding landscape. It assesses the impact of a proposed construction project on existing surroundings and helps you identify compliance requirements.

Aerial renderings are used by a myriad of property professionals: architects, developers, builders, agents, advertisers, 3-D marketers, investors, customers, etc.

Off-plan Rendering (3-D Floor and Site Plan)

If you want to know the ins and outs of a property even before it’s constructed, off-plan rendering works best.

While 3-D floor plans portray a bird’s-eye view of floor plan layouts, 3-D site plans visualize how the landscape would look like with plantings, structures, etc. Therefore, off-plan rendering is ideal for property plans, garden plans, landscape design, backyard plans, etc.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual reality produces 3-D walk-throughs to visualize a proposed space or a building still under development.

It uses simulated media to produce an uninterrupted flow of sensory images in a photorealistic setting embedded with texture, lighting, etc. Although its development costs are high, VR is widely used by architects and developers to communicate ideas.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented reality (AR) is an enriched version of the physical world using digital components. Architects, construction engineers and planners use AR to create genuine experiences in space through 3-D live presentations so that clients can understand how their ideas will work in real space and time while making necessary changes effortlessly.

360 Panorama Renderings

360-degree panorama is an interactive real-time experience that allows you to explore and experience space by going through every detail and moving around freely like you would in real life.

It’s one of the most effective types of architectural 3-D rendering for persuading clients and investors to purchase a design through their own intuition.

Animation Rendering

This visualization method is developed like a 3-D animation movie to provide clients with an in-depth understanding of space while focusing on specific parts of the project.

It is time-consuming and costly, and that’s why it has a time limit of 30 seconds to 10 minutes. This 3-D animation is widely used in show houses, websites and marketing suites.


Photogrammetry uses a large set of still photos taken with a digital camera or drone to create a navigable 3-D model. Renderers extract information from the intersecting images before converting them into 3-D or 2-D models used in surveying and mapping space.

Average prices of different types of rendering

Architecture renderers‘ services are not expensive and can be cost-effective if the provider has complete information about the project brief and its goal in advance of their proposal. That ensures better planning therefore optimized pricing.

Average price
Interior rendering
$900 (£650)
4-5 days
Exterior rendering
$1150 (£840)
6-8 days
$880 (£650)
3-9 days
Verified view photo montages
$1020 (£750)
5-12 days
Aerial rendering
$1190 (£870)
5-12 days
3-D floor plan rendering
$510 (£375)
2-4 days
3-D site plan rendering
$1290 (£950)
6-12 days
Virtual reality (VR)
$6.12 (£4.50) per sq ft
16-24 days
AR (augmented reality)
$8000-$12000 (£6000-£9000) per project
25-40 days
360 panorama renderings
$1280 (£940) per panorama
6-8 days
Animation rendering
$7,955-$11,970 (£5,850-£8,800) per 90 seconds
20-45 days
$999 (£750) per 10000 images per project
6-9 days
Photogrammetry conversion to 3D model
$610 (£450) per one average size model
2-5 days

Click here to learn more about the cost-effective types of 3-D architectural visualizations

Should You Hire a Company or Freelance Architectural Renderer?

An architectural renderer can help you produce beautiful 3-D illustrations through special CAD and BIM software. If you are torn between hiring an architectural rendering company and a freelancer, start by assessing their pros and cons:

Pros and Cons of Architectural Rendering Company

High-level professionalism
Higher prices
Provides legal contracts and liability insurance
Often Overbooked
Guaranteed expert advice
Edits attract extra charges
Wide-ranging technical skills
Less Availability
Quicker delivery
No control over the process

Pros and Cons of Freelance Architectural Renderers

Lower Prices
No guarantee of quality
Easy to find them online
You might need to hire many renderers
More dedicated
Hard to supervise
Round-the-clock availability
Requires constant communication
Some lack professionalism & expert advice
Lack of employee support

Pro Tip: 3-D Rendering companies are more professional and organized while freelancers are more cost-effective and available. Base your decision on such considerations.

Amateurs versus Pro Architectural Renderers (Pros and Cons)

As architectural rendering grows in popularity, many investors are becoming keener on whether to hire amateurs or pros. This is because the world of visualization and modelling is growing fast. Almost every industry is adopting architectural rendering to see how different characters and objects would look in real life.

On the one hand, amateur architectural renders may appear cheap at a glance. They are ideal if you need some work on a simple design that does not necessarily need an expert eye. Otherwise, cheap is always expensive in the long run. The low pricing sacrifices quality because they lack specialist understanding. You might also incur extra charges in subsequent stages of your project.

On the other hand, professional architectural renderers use state-of-the-art software and are professionally trained to carry out their tasks effectively and successfully. Even though their pricing might be steep, they can be trusted to deliver high-quality work for any rendering. 

Click here and discover what cheap amateur renderers don’t tell you and why you should be cautious.

Main Clients of Architectural Renderers

Nearly all property-related industries require architectural rendering. The following are 7 main clients and their top three potential projects:

Category of Clients
Potential Projects
Internal and external renderings – Aerial renderings – Off-plan renderings
Interior Designers
Internal renderings – Virtual tours – 360-degree panoramic renderings
Aerial renderings – External renderings – Photogrammetry
Civil Engineers
Internal and external renderings – Aerial renderings – Off-plan renderings
External rendering – Animation renderings – Augmented reality – Virtual tours
Residential Clients
Internal and external renderings – Aerial renderings
Furniture and Manufacturing
Internal renderings – Virtual tours – 360-degree panoramic renderings

Key Takeaways

  • Architectural rendering creates 3-D images of a proposed building to illustrate its layout.
  • Architectural renderers use software to bring their designs to life.
  • 3-D rendering companies are more professional and organized, while freelancers are more cost-effective and available.
  • Amateur architectural renders are cheap but always expensive in the long run.
  • Pro architectural renderers are professionally trained and can deliver high-quality work.
  • Nearly all property-related industries require architectural rendering.

George Nicola

VIRTUAL STAGING EXPERT / After eight years+ working in high-end design and property business I realised that we are missing a critical part of the property business. We were not providing enough value to these old and empty properties. Not every buyer would have the opportunity to see the potential of vacant property or in a bad state. The idea of Virtual Furniture Staging the property gives the buyer and seller an incredible chance in seconds of taking the critical decision.