Architectural visualization workflow

the intention of this topic is to learn about each other’s workflow in design visualization from early conceptual design stage all the way to final presentations. This includes visualizations, rendering & presentations in the design process as well as when we need to communicate with clients. Please note we have a separate topic for tools and software used in visualization here.

Starting with cad drawings is what we prefer in terms of being accurate. You may not always be provided with a dwg drawing or a 3d model such as Revit or Sketchup file. In that case we start by drawing two dimensional over a pdf and use that as a base for 3d modeling. We try to finalize the texturing, coloring and the lighting as much as we can at the end of the modeling process but we also render elements like GI, reflection, refraction, lighting separately. Finally compositing, color correction etc. and post-production.

Have you ever considered moving to real-time platforms like UE4 or even Twinmotion and Lumion to save time for texturing, lighting and rendering itself?

Lumion 10 is impressive by the way:

And this one:

Lumion has definitely evolved and improved a lot. I have seen very high quality renderings lately. Still there are limits to what you can do in Lumion or UE4 comparing to 3dsMax. I personally do not prefer fast but limited results to less limited and quality products. But it is probably a matter of familiarity you have with the software as well. Unreal Engine is totally something I look forward to mastering due to the ability of real time rendering, AR and VR.


Totally. I am not a fan of out-of-the-box toolsets like Lumion. I believe, UE4 is becoming mainstream sooner than later given its free for architects and its evolving rather fast.

The end-result can be pretty persuasive as well:

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