What are you looking for?

© Nmachine
© Nmachine

Architectural rendering software

Find out how architects, artists, and designers use Chaos products to plan and visualize their most incredible architectural rendering projects.
Get started

What is architectural rendering?

Architectural rendering is the process of taking an architect’s design and using software to create 2D and 3D photorealistic visualizations. These allow everyone involved in a project to see into the future and find out how a building will look. They also make it easier to make decisions and create better designs.

While it sounds simple, there are a potentially infinite number of options available for each project. What time of day will we depict in the image? Which angle accentuates the building’s features best?

Sometimes architectural renderings can be created in-house by a dedicated team or individual, or they can be outsourced to architectural visualization companies that specialize in creating eye-catching imagery. 

The benefits of architectural rendering

Architectural rendering offers a wide range of benefits, including:

  • Enhanced visualization: Architectural rendering provides a more realistic and detailed view of a design than traditional 2D drawings or 3D models. This can help architects and designers to better understand and evaluate their designs and to make any necessary changes.
  • Cost savings: An accurate architecture rendering can help to save money on construction costs by identifying and addressing any potential problems early on. It can also help to reduce the need for costly change orders during construction.
  • Efficiency: Architects and designers can quickly and easily test different design ideas, saving time and money in the long run.
  • Improved communication: With improved communication between architects, designers, and clients, architecture rendering can help visualize design concepts clearly and concisely. When everyone is on the same page, there is less room for mistakes.
  • Marketing benefits: Architectural rendering creates visually appealing marketing materials that showcase the designer's skills and abilities, attracting new clients and growing a business.

Types of architectural rendering

Architectural rendering can be broadly classified into two main types: interior and exterior rendering.


Interior architectural rendering

Interior architectural rendering is the process of creating images of interior spaces. It is an essential tool for interior designers and architects, as it allows them to breathe life into their designs in a realistic and detailed way.

Interior renderings can be used to showcase a wide range of design elements, including:

  • Materials and finishes
  • Lighting
  • Furniture arrangements
  • Artwork and accessories
  • Spatial relationships

This type of rendering is particularly important for interior design and construction projects, as it can help to identify and address any potential problems early on. It can also help to ensure that the final design meets the client's expectations.

Benefits of interior architectural rendering

  • Enhanced visualization: Interior rendering provides a more realistic and detailed view of a design than traditional 2D drawings or 3D models. This can help interior designers and clients to better understand and evaluate the design.
  • Improved communication: Interior rendering can help to improve communication between architects, interior designers, and clients by providing a clear and concise way to visualize design concepts. This can help to avoid misunderstandings and to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
  • Marketing benefits: Interior rendering can be used to create visually appealing marketing materials that showcase the designer's skills and abilities. This can help to attract new clients and to grow a business.

Exterior architectural rendering

Exterior architectural rendering is the process of creating photorealistic 3D images of buildings and their surroundings, allowing architects and developers to visualize and gain a better understanding of proposed architectural designs before they are built.

Exterior rendering can be used to showcase a wide range of elements, including:

  • The overall form and massing of the building
  • The building's materials and finishes
  • The building's relationship to its surroundings
  • Landscaping elements

Exterior rendering is particularly important for architectural projects, as it can help to:

  • Gain approval from planning authorities
  • Attract investors and potential buyers
  • Market the project to the public

Benefits of exterior architectural rendering

  • Communicating design ideas to clients and stakeholders. 3D renderings can help people to better understand the proposed architectural design of a building, even if they are not familiar with architectural drawings. This can make it easier to get feedback and approval for a design, and to avoid costly changes during construction.
  • Identifying and correcting design flaws. 3D rendering software can help architects identify potential problems with their designs, such as shadows that are cast in the wrong direction or materials that clash. This can save time and money in the long run, as it can help to avoid costly mistakes during construction.
  • Marketing properties and generating interest in new developments. Architectural renderings can be used to create stunning marketing materials for new real estate developments, hotels, and other commercial properties. The best architectural rendering software can also be used to create virtual tours that allow potential buyers to explore a property before it is built.
  • Analyzing environmental impact. 3D renderings can be used to analyze the environmental impact of a proposed design, such as the amount of sunlight it will receive. This information can be used to make the design more energy-efficient and sustainable.

How to choose the best architectural rendering software

Architectural rendering software is essential for producing high-quality and efficient renderings. The architectural rendering programs you choose will have a significant impact on the look and feel of your renderings, as well as the time and effort it takes to create them.

Factors to consider when choosing architectural rendering software

  • Ease of use: Architectural rendering software can range from simple to complex, so it is important to choose one that is appropriate for your skill level and experience. Some architectural visualization software packages are designed for beginners, while others are more geared toward experienced professionals.
  • Rendering quality: The quality of your renderings will depend on a number of factors, including the software you use. The best rendering software will produce realistic images with high levels of detail.
  • Compatibility: Make sure that the architecture rendering software you choose is compatible with your existing hardware and software. Some modelling software packages require high-end computers to run smoothly.
  • Cost: Architectural rendering software can range in price from free to thousands of dollars. Choose a software package that fits your budget and needs.
  • Available features: Consider the features that are important to you when choosing architecture rendering software. Some software packages offer a wide range of features, while other rendering engines are more basic.
  • Collaboration and Interoperability: Choose software that allows for easy collaboration with other team members. Interoperability with other software tools, cloud-based sharing, and team collaboration features can be valuable for group projects. Learn more about Chaos’ products interoperability >

Why Chaos V-Ray is the number one architectural rendering software

Almost everyone who creates architectural renders uses Chaos products. In CGarchitect's 2022 Architectural Visualization Rendering Survey, V-Ray was rated the top-used software with over 60% of respondents using it; Corona is second with close to 40%. Architects and designers can use the extensive Chaos portfolio to render any size project, from a home remodel to a city masterplan, exactly as it will look when it's built.

How are Chaos products used for architectural rendering?

Initial visualizations

From the project's inception, lifelike architectural renderings are crucial. Initial representations involve creating a massing model to establish the physical parameters of a building and its integration into the surrounding environment. Enscape facilitates real-time project visualization, enabling rapid idea communication and speeding up the decision-making and approval processes.

© Nookta

Perfecting designs

The diverse set of Chaos products is there to help with the evolution of an architectural rendering project. Property owners, planning authorities, and the architects themselves can benefit from photorealistic renders and virtual reality tours to explore ideas and the building’s impact on its locale.


Potential buyers and investors can be won over with glossy images and slick videos that show what it will be like to live in their dream homes. With V-Ray and Corona, artists have access to an array of tools and a rendering engine that can bring architecture projects to life and make them look stunning.

© Uniform

Work simply & in harmony with your favorite tools.

When time is of the essence, an intuitive user interface and compatibility with other software are essential. Chaos products are easy to learn — and their simple and intuitive interface gets more user-friendly with each new version — and they are compatible with the most popular plugins for architectural visualization. When your tools work together with seamless integration, everything is faster.

Realistic assets

Entourage such as trees, vehicles, and people can be used at every stage of the design process to add realism and a sense of scale, and help make decisions. Chaos products like V-Ray, Corona, and Enscape come with asset libraries full of high-quality models. 

Chaos Cosmos is a huge library with over 4000 free assets. Everything in Cosmos has been curated by Chaos and optimized for V-Ray, Corona, and real-time with Chaos Vantage, so users can use content with the added confidence that it will work flawlessly.


Connected workflows

Connecting real-time and photoreal rendering workflows across multiple software platforms can seem daunting. We've improved the interoperability between Chaos' visualization tools by introducing a standardized project file format (.vrscene), allowing seamless project transfers between CAD tools like SketchUp, Rhino, Revit, and DCC tools like 3ds Max and Cinema 4D. This standardization promotes smooth collaboration and streamlined workflows among architectural designers and archviz artists across the AEC industry. Learn more >

Real-time rendering

Real-time rendering provides immersive, interactive experiences that allow the exploration and evaluation of buildings and spaces in a highly realistic and dynamic manner. It enables real-time adjustments and decision-making, fostering better communication and collaboration. Depending on your needs, either Chaos Vantage or Chaos Enscape can be the right real-time tool for you.

© Brick Visual

See how Chaos Products are used for architectural rendering projects.

Made with V-Ray

Stunning photorealistic architectural renders created by our clients.

Our software for architectural rendering

Fast photoreal CPU & GPU rendering for artists and designers in architecture, games, VFX and VR.

The quick, easy-to-use secret for bringing SketchUp projects to life with exceptional realism.

The essential rendering software for architecture, automotive and product design workflows.

Professional rendering for architects, seamlessly integrated with the world’s top BIM application.

Professional 3D rendering software for Cinema 4D artists and designers.

The fastest way to bring V-Ray scenes into real-time and render ray-traced images directly from Unreal.

Powerful, artist-friendly simulation software capable of a wide range of effects including smoke, fire and liquid effects in both 3ds Max and Maya.

Thousands of high-quality models and HDRI skies that work perfectly with your V-Ray projects.

Create interactive experiences in real-time — in a 100% raytraced environment.

A professional image sequence player, designed for fast and smooth playback.

An easy cloud rendering solution that uploads scenes right out of V-Ray.

Enscape provides the fastest and easiest way to ideate, communicate, and showcase designs in real-time at every step of the design process.

Corona is the perfect choice for creating stunning interior design and architectural renderings right out of the box.

Trusted by architects & designers worldwide

© 2024 Chaos Software EOOD. All Rights reserved. Chaos®, V-Ray® and Phoenix FD® are registered trademarks of Chaos Software EOOD in Bulgaria and/or other countries.