7 Tips to Make a Stunning 3D Exterior Rendering

3d exterior rendering services

If you work in real estate (whether designing or selling properties), you need to understand how important it is to present properties to your audience in an impressive way. Of course, you can hire a top-notch photographer to capture a series of stunning photos, but this is only possible if the building exists and has an attractive exterior. But what if it doesn’t?

Architectural rendering is a type of 3D visualization that will help you effectively showcase a property to the public. According to analysts at VerifiedMarketResearch, the market for these services is actively growing and is expected to reach a value of $9.4 billion by 2028. This suggests their effectiveness.

GENENSE experts have prepared seven tips for you on how to effectively implement vibrant and valuable exterior rendering for your business and clients. Use them to obtain an impactful image that can be used for marketing campaigns, investor relations, and more.


Stunning Visualization in 7 Steps

Every task requires a unique approach to solving it, and architectural visualization is no exception. To create an impressive image (or animation, 3D tour, etc.), you will need:

  • Specialized software tailored for 3D architectural rendering.
  • Sketches or photographs of the subject.
  • Topologically correct models with high-quality UV mapping.
  • Realistic, seamless textures.
  • Scene setup, environment, and lighting adjustments.
  • Post-processing with visually appealing effects.

Ultimately, you will obtain a high-quality image that you can share with a professional audience and use in portfolios, presentations, and more. Let’s delve into each of these points in detail.

1. Choosing the Right Software

First and foremost, you’ll need software for 3D visualization. It can be specialized solely for 3D exterior work or comprehensive, allowing you to model and compose decorative elements.

Among the most notable tools for these tasks are:

  • ArchiCAD: A professional package for comprehensive design and 3D architectural visualization.
  • Lumion: A specialized program for creating design, outside rendering, and image post-processing.
  • 3D Studio Max: A comprehensive tool that handles almost all 3D graphics-related tasks.

Please note that in addition to modeling and compositing software, you will need specialized tools, i.e., rendering engines (Corona, VRay, Arnold, etc.), as well as high-quality references.

2. Gathering and Analyzing References

If you have an original concept, you can implement it directly in your exterior architectural rendering software. However, at some point, you may run out of creativity or understanding of the project’s scale and details.

Professional visualizers always use references to stay focused and pay attention to details.

These references can be photos, sketches, images, and more. The key is to keep them in sight to quickly update your understanding of the development object.

3. Creating a Detailed Plan

To implement a spectacular exterior design, you will need a detailed plan or an architect’s drawing. For the environment, vegetation simulation is usually used according to the climate zone where the object is located.

Depending on the project’s type, you can focus on both an urban layout and a natural one (for example, visualization of a new housing complex) with green areas (forest, park, or other landscape).

In the case of a city panorama, the area can be reproduced from photographs or Google Coordinates to harmoniously fit the real estate object into the actual landscape.

4. Modeling the Environment and Objects

To create highly detailed and visually appealing real estate objects, you’ll need 3D models. This includes both the building itself and its surroundings. Here are a few tips on how to implement them effectively:

  • Start with low-poly and UV models, then add details.
  • Focus on correct topology for realistic-looking objects.
  • Compose the scene considering the project’s specifics and the building’s placement.
  • Avoid overloading the environment with excessive polygons.
  • Compare models with sketches and enhance them through detailing.

Remember, these are just the initial steps toward quality 3D renderings.

5. Lighting and Shadows

Properly configured lighting adds realism to the scene and enhances its attractiveness. It highlights details, emphasizes certain aspects of the building’s design, and more, especially when utilizing organic light simulations.

The same goes for shadows. If they are organic and soft, accurately falling on surfaces, they add depth and expressiveness to the image.

Keep in mind that lighting and shadows are no less critical to the scene than model topology, UV maps, and textures.

6. Applying Materials and Textures

When implementing your project, you can use various methods for working with textures:

Regardless of your chosen method, you’ll need to assign specific materials to models (or polygon groups) and configure their properties, surface normals, and more.

If maximum realism is your goal, allocate more time to textures and their reflection on models.

7. Post-Processing and Final Touches

Finally, you’ll have to add the finishing touches to your project, such as effects, color correction, and more. Some adjustments are made directly in the rendering engine’s menu, but the final editing is usually done in software like AfterEffects or Photoshop.

We hope this information from this material will be helpful to you. And remember, the 3D visualization process is quite lengthy and complex, so it’s often more cost-effective to delegate such projects to specialized studios like GENENSE.


Why Is It So Important to Delegate 3D Exterior Development to Professionals?

You can develop an architectural project on your own, investing your time and effort in learning software packages and methods of working with them. It also involves expenses, as most tools come with a price.

If you’re confident that you’ll only benefit from this approach, by all means, delve into the niche and carry out the project yourself. However, it’s advisable to first assess the advantages of working with professionals.

  • Expert Quality, Deadlines, and Understanding of Value

Usually, teams providing 3D visualization services understand the value of this type of content for businesses and their target audience. They strive to execute projects with utmost quality, aiming to showcase the potential of the real estate object from a perspective that matters to the client.

Additionally, professionals deliver work on time, knowing that time is money. In the end, you’ll have content ready for publication, which you can promptly use and start converting.

  • Resource and Cost Optimization

Every 3D modeling and visualization expert spends years mastering software packages, methodologies, principles, and work styles. The minimum learning period ranges from three to five years for a Middle level of qualification. There are exceptions, but this is the general norm.

The level of work such experts produce is high enough to use for marketing and in portfolios on platforms like Behance. At the same time, the cost of their services is far from the highest on the market.

Try calculating the potential ROI of delegating your project, and then conduct similar calculations for self-learning and project execution.

You’ll immediately see the difference, as the potential return on investment for hiring a specialized studio is significantly higher than the investment in self-learning and project execution.



Every job requires a certain level of skills, knowledge, and experience in the niche. If you’re a top realtor or architect, you should continue developing in your field without getting distracted by external processes.

Certainly, compelling and realistically rendered 3D visualizations are essential for your work, but that shouldn’t divert your focus to multiple areas.

If you need high-quality visualization and rendering of real estate objects, delegate the project to GENENSE professionals. We don’t just model, texture, and compose scenes; we also professionally render images and videos. With this content, your sales and reputation will soar.

Get in touch with a GENENSE team manager and kickstart your project development!



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