It’s easy to assume architectural rendering is all about the architecture. It’s in the name, right?
But behind architecture, and the inherent reason that it exists is the people and the world who will interact with it.
Imagine a rendering of a single building on a blank horizon. It feels weird, right? No matter how fantastic the design, this building feels incomplete. Empty, maybe even a little creepy.
That’s because the structure lacks context, and context is exactly what entourage provides.
Not sure what entourage is, or what exactly it can achieve? Read on to find out.
Entourage provides the various imagery used to make an architectural rendering feel alive and populated, without distracting from the actual structure’s visual elements.
Here’s an analogy: your architectural feat is a celebrity, and the entourage is all of the celebrity’s cool clothes and accessories. The celebrity is the real talent, but the clothes are pretty important too.
Dress your rendering up with people, plants, and animals. Don’t let your designs go naked.
The people textures often referred to as “scalies”, provide a sense of scale for the rendering (hence the nickname). Effective entourage often includes much more than just that to provide well-rounded context for the image as a whole.
Entourage can be anything from people riding bikes, to trees, to the minutia of offices, like photo frames and computers. Some trends in modern architectural rendering even contain random features, including kayaks, fireworks, and giant butterflies.
While some entourage products have the opportunity to seem random, it’s true purpose is nearly as important as the architecture it features.
Now that you’re familiar (or more familiar) with what entourage is. Let’s move on to what it can do.
Truly effective entourage achieves a form of marketing in your rendering.
The scene you make with entourage paints the picture of a pursued lifestyle. Entourage helps represent the completeness of your design and it helps to connect by engaging with the concept behind it.
The people textures you choose to include in your rendering are going to represent the demographic for your design. If your architectural rendering is how the structure will look, then the scalies are how its consumers will look.
For example, imagine an architectural rendering for an upscale resort. Golfers and well-dressed scalies reinforce the idea of the market. Alternatively, picture families playing in an urban park or garden.
Besides creating a more realistic portrayal of how your design will look, well-chosen scalies help sell your design. The representation of a realistic demographic reinforces the idea of an active market and demand for your design.
Pragmatic entourage makes your architectural rendering appear to be a part of the landscape.
After that, all that has to be done is the building.
According to the American Institute of Architects, women and African Americans make up less than a quarter of architects in the United States.
With such a white and male-dominated industry, it’s not hard to imagine that the representation in its production is lacking. But why is this important? Populating images are just there to represent scale, right? Why get all Affirmative Action about it?
Well, at their most basic, renderings need to realistically represent how public spaces and buildings interact with their surroundings. People of all types are an important part.
Well-done renderings will sell an appealing, believable, and modern narrative. Fair representation in your entourage is how to create that effect.
So you’re all up to date with the importance and influence entourage has in your architectural rendering. How do you find what you need to make your entourage as effective as possible?
Understand the intended market for your design (like the resort example from earlier), or do research for a particular region to make your entourage as fitting as possible for the location.
For example, the plants and people for an outdoor space in London would surely be different from one in Phoenix.
Resources are available for creating 3D renderings if you cannot find the exact item you need in order to complete your entourage.
Tools like Blender allow you to create and edit both photorealistic and more stylized 3D images.
Building images this way is more time-consuming. But it’s an option for when you cannot find the perfect component to complete the entourage in your architectural rendering.
Entourage is basically all the stuff that makes your rendering look like it is a part of the lived-in world. Don’t create an architectural rendering that looks eerie and post-apocalyptic. Like our example above, sometimes it’s the difference between a cool famous person, and an indecent exposure charge.
If done right, including entourage in your renderings, will help you sell your designs by humanizing them, and reinforcing the demand.
Honest and realistic representation is a key part of the purpose of entourage. Without it, it cannot be fully effective.
And finally, you can find great, high-resolution, Photoshop-ready entourage of various categories on our site, or you can make your own.