How You Should Be Using Photoshop for Architecture

13 July, 2017 | Ryan

Creating impressive architectural rendering lies in the details. We’ll tell you how using Photoshop for architecture design can take your work to the next level

Photoshop for architecture can help turn the rendering of a house into a home.

Adding images of people, animals, and objects to your rendering can bring the entire project to life.

Including pictures from “real life” gives context, texture, and depth to a rendering.

Pictures tell a story. Stories sell the project.

Using Photoshop with skill can also help architects attract clients and keep existing clients happy. By using Photoshop to illustrate your vision, you will be better equipped to manage and grow your architecture business.

Real Life Renderings

No matter how well done, a two-dimensional picture always requires a leap of imagination.

Even a 3D rendering can seem like a cardboard miniature of the project in question.

Ultimately, the architect’s rendering has to be approved by the client: the developer, homeowner, or business proprietor. That client has to be able to imagine what the rendering will look like in real life.

They have to be able to envision where people will walk, where they will park their cars, and where the sunlight will hit.

By using Photoshop for architecture, you can better convey the sense of place you envision for the project. It helps the client see what the architect sees.

Photoshop for Architecture: Easier Than You Think

Industry leaders recommend Photoshop as the most important piece of software for architects and architecture students to learn beside their main CAD or 3D program.

There are lots of tutorials online to guide architects on how to use Photoshop in their renderings. These videos will guide you through the process step by step.

Why Bother with Photoshop when I have my 3D program?

Photoshop for architecture takes rendering into another dimension. It creates visually arresting imagery which makes the architect stand out from the competition.

Whether it’s a classroom presentation or a business pitch, an impressive presentation can be key to closing the deal.

This house may never be actually built in Iceland, but setting its rendering there certainly gets your attention.

While 3D programs may add the technical “wow” factor, photos of people appeal to the emotion. They add the heart.

Add People to Your Pictures

Architects often add figures to their renderings to show scale. However, placing realistic photos of human beings living in the architectural landscape brings an added emotional dimension.

A photograph of a smiling teenager shopping at the mall in the architect’s mock-up of the mall project does more than place a person in the picture. It illustrates who will be using that environment.

It can also appeal to the client on a subliminal level.

If your architectural rendering includes faces from your client’s target audience, you are helping the client envision a successful project.

Many online sites offer cut-out imagery which can enhance your renderings and appeal to your target audience.

Day and Night

Photoshop also helps you easily depict your rendering at different times of the day.

Alex Hogrefe has been called the “the architect’s visualization artist.” He offers online tutorials on how he has created dramatic stories in his renderings through a variety of innovative techniques.

Hogrefe uses Photoshop for architecture to show renderings of buildings at all times of day and night and also in different types of weather.

Adjusting the context of the project enables prospective owners and clients envision the building in all kinds of conditions.

It also helps with practical concerns like how to design the lighting.

Photoshop Helps Architecture Clients See What You See

Architects see the world spatially: they can look at a room and envision how it would change with a window added there, or a wall removed there.

Most of us do not see space in this way: that’s why we rely on architects.

I knew my family needed more room, but I could not imagine how to achieve that on a limited budget. I would never have agreed to spend my hard earned money on demolition until my architect showed me renderings.

The pictures my architect showed me told a story: my children could be playing while my husband and I enjoyed wine on the back veranda. My mother-in-law could be taking a nap in the guest room while the rest of the family cooked in the expanded kitchen area.

Pictures of people injected life into the proposal.

Cut-outs of people, pets, and other fun details can be found online and added easily into your renderings using Photoshop.

A Way to Help Your Clients

For commercial projects, architectural renderings must do more than touch the clients’ emotions.

They must guide the construction.

They must also help the marketers. When condos are sold in advance of construction, it is often on the basis of a convincing rendering.

Your Photoshopped renderings of the project can help a real estate developer convince others to buy his property.

Show the sun setting behind the apartment complex.

Show the foot traffic going past the retail space.

Help the property owner illustrate her project in the best possible way,  and you are more likely to get a call again when the developer decides to embark on a new project.

Kick it up a notch. Use Photoshop in your architectural renderings.

Photoshop and other tools are revolutionizing how architects do their renderings,  and the techniques continue to grow.

In the fierce competition for clients, both individual and corporate, an architect has to make a strong and impressive impression.

In a side by side comparison of one rendering made using Photoshop and one without, there is really no comparison.

You have a better shot at getting the job if you add elements of life like people, pets, cars and activities.

Show a prospective client how their project will function in the real world, being used by real people in real time and real weather. It can improve your chances of getting the job.

Once you get the job it can help you anticipate challenges and design around them.

It’s easy to explore the many ways Photoshop for architecture can help you add life to your renderings.

Go For It!

Photoshop for architecture will show your clients how their projects will be used in real life and help them market their buildings to their target audiences.

So go for it! Start using Photoshop for architecture.


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