Basic architectural visualization practice

Hi everyone!

This is my first attempt at some architectural visualization,
loosely based on some building I photographed with elements added.

Rendered in Cycles (1000 samples) and then post-processed in Photoshop.

I’d be happy to hear any comments to improve myself and better prepare for some commercial work (hopefully).

One problem I already saw immediately after rendering is that the trees don’t have niches and just pop out of the ground or the grass.

I suspect another problem and would be happy to hear advice. The only light source I used was an environment (world) texture. Though the glass reacts nicely with it, the shadows are too soft and probably don’t work that well with such a clear sky. Should I add another strong light source for sharper shadows?

Comments on other stuff to improve are welcome!


I’m a character artist so don’t take my word too seriously, but IMHO the general color scheme prevails in architectural visualisation. Currently the trees and building stand out too much and their color might be a bit too ‘dirty’. The stone textures in the scene stand out a bit too much and are too repetitive. An HDRI might also help to make the lighting more interesting and a more positive sky texture might in terms make the building look more promising. Trees coming right out of the ground are not a primary problem IMO.

I’m sorry I wrote this so directly, but this is my third take on a reply because the previous 2 times I wrote it I clicked twice at your image and everything I wrote was gone :S

Yes, soft shadows on a clear day don’t work, I think this scene would be better for BI (unless maybe there’s a way to do sharp shadows in Cycles). Maybe you could use a 1.2+ slightly yellowish sun lamp and a .2 blue hemi lamp for lighting. Another option may be making the sky cloudy to match the lighting. I like the building design (I don’t see any doors though).

Thanks people,
@kiriri: I’m going to try a different floor tile texture which might seem less repetitive, and a HDR map.
@yg3d: I did a quick version of the scene with the Blender Internal renderer, and the results war far less attractive compared with the cycles version, especially all the glass / metal materials. The lighting clearly needs improvement though, and I need to set up a strong primary “sun” to cast sharper shadows, and have the HDR map for the reflections, coloring and bounces.

just drop in the sun lamp and set the size value to something like 0.001. the building itself is strange, is it a factory? i suppose it is office building, so it should have more transparent windows, it is also important to point where the entrance is.

how did you make the grass, it is a little bit too even, but a little improvement would make it perfect for the scene