Architectural rendering

Autodesk provides architects and designers with the software they need to develop accurate, higher-quality architectural renderings.   

Rendering of Lombardini22 S.p.A., which won the Building Design – Small Project AEC Excellence Award in 2020

Image courtesy of Lombardini22 S.p.A.  

What is architectural rendering?

Architectural rendering is the process of creating two-dimensional and three-dimensional images of a proposed architectural design. The goal is to illustrate a lifelike experience of how a space or building will look before it is built, accurately representing design intent. 

Construction site at the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy building

Benefits of architectural rendering

There are three main benefits of using 3D rendering software for architecture projects:

  1. Develop design ideas more accurately
  2. Identify problems early in the development stages to reduce costs
  3. Communicate design ideas  with clients and partners

Types of architectural rendering

Rendering of the interior of the Autodesk San Francisco offices at One Market

Interior rendering

Details such as flooring, furnishings and lighting contribute to a space. Interior renderings suggest what it will be like to work or live in that space.

Rendering of modern buildings at dusk

Exterior rendering

Light, shadowing, and reflection factor into the creation of an exterior rendering. It conveys how a building will relate to the environment and people around it.

Aerial view of downtown Khed City organized around public squares, plazas and bazaars

Aerial rendering

An aerial view offers a dynamic perspective that leads to better understanding of landscapes, surrounding buildings, and complete visualizations.

How is architectural rendering used?

View out a window of the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere.


Traditional storytelling with modern workflows

DBOX stays on top of new technology to deliver the 432 Park Avenue project, the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere.  

Image courtesy of DBOX  

Rendering of 195 Broadway by Tagram 3DS, made in 3ds Max.


VR and architectural design

Tangram 3DS specializes in comprehensive design solutions for the AEC, interior design, maritime, and real estate industries.  

Image courtesy of Image courtesy of Tangram 3DS  

Modern dining room rendered in 3D from a design visualization project by Stefan Lopusny.


A fresh spin on interior rendering

Stefan Lopusny, artist and founder of design visualization studio Fat Tony Studio, tackles animated film with his project “In Circles.”  

mage courtesy of Image courtesy of Fat Tony Studio  

Explore related architecture topics

Learn more about communicating design intent and improving design quality using Autodesk architecture software. 

Architecture software

Autodesk architecture software solutions support the rapid innovation needed to meet today’s design challenges. 

Architectural design

Software from Autodesk empowers you to visualize, design, render, and build.  

Architectural drawing

Bring your design ideas to life with technical drawing technology.  

Architectural rendering software

Powerful BIM and CAD tools for designers, engineers, and contractors, including Revit, AutoCAD, Civil 3D, Autodesk Forma, and more

Plan, design, construct, and manage buildings with powerful tools for Building Information Modeling.

3D modeling, animation, and rendering software for games and design visualization

Global illumination rendering software

Fast, high-resolution renderings in the cloud

2D and 3D CAD tools, with enhanced insights, AI-automations, and collaboration features. Subscription includes AutoCAD on desktop, web, mobile, and seven specialized toolsets.

Architectural rendering resources

Autodesk's official CG community. Find free tutorials, customer stories, forums, and share your work in the AREA gallery.

See how the Autodesk AEC Collection makes project designing, planning, and building easier.

Watch video lessons on rendering and visualizations from expert rendering artists and architects.

Get started with virtual reality in architecture with these four tips.

Learn about innovative workflows to create interactive visualizations and virtual reality experiences.

ArchDaily shares these 3ds Max tips for design and project visualization.