Exterior Conceptual Rendering [Everything You Need to Know]

Aurimas Pocius

Aurimas Pocius

CEO of ArchVisualizations 3D Studio working in 3D property rendering market from 2011.

Exterior Conceptual Rendering

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Are you interested to do a 3D Rendering of your real estate project? Please contact us and we will do our best to help you.

Eager to learn about exterior conceptual rendering? Well, you are in the right place! This article will tell everything there is to know about this creative field known as exterior conceptual rendering. 

You will learn about what exterior conceptual rendering is, who can use it, where exterior conceptual rendering can be applied, its types, its camera views, and its complete process. 

So, what are you waiting for? Get started, and make sure to read till the end!

What is an Exterior Conceptual Rendering? 

Before getting into the complexities of exterior conceptual rendering, let us first understand exactly what this concept entails. 

Essentially, exterior conceptual rendering, as its name suggests, depicts the exterior of a building through specialized rendering techniques and software. Using this technology, you can create an immersive experience for people viewing the rendering to learn about the design of a building.   

You can portray the building’s front aesthetics or any significant surrounding landmarks, among other things. These will ensure that you can accurately depict the design ideas and the potential of buildings or properties to your audience.

Who Can Use Exterior Conceptual Rendering?

Anyone with a passion for designing can learn and use exterior conceptual rendering. However, architects, real estate agents, and construction firms will especially find it useful for a number of reasons.

1. Architects

If you are an architect, when you have a design idea for a building, you need to be able to communicate it clearly to the client. This will ensure that the client has complete knowledge about what to expect of the completed building. 

If there is something that clients do not like, you can immediately change that part to match their requirements. However, such a feat is not possible with just the traditional method of hand-drawn sketches. 

They can never convey what an exterior conceptual rendering can. With exterior conceptual rendering, not only will clients fully understand your idea, but you can also win them over with appealing visuals. 

2. Real Estate Agents

If you are a real estate agent, you have the same use of exterior conceptual rendering as an architect, but the benefits you reap are a bit different. 

As you know, the field of real estate agents is extremely arduous. You will get calls from people who are interested in a property, but they might not be interested in buying it. 

You have to exert a great amount of time and patience to take the client through property viewing, but they may not buy it in the end. 

Therefore, using exterior conceptual rendering to showcase the property to potential customers really aids you in your work. You can even upload the video on social media platforms or your website (if you have any), as a form of marketing strategy.  

3. Construction Firms

If you are a construction firm, you can make use of exterior conceptual rendering in a different way. As a construction firm, you need to secure investments and funds before proceeding to construct a property from scratch. 

However, how will you get this funding? If you show exterior conceptual rendering to potential clients to explain the design and its potential, they will be able to envision it, unlike in 2D hand-drawn sketches. 

Once they have an idea of the design’s functionality and aesthetics through this immersive experience, they will be more willing to invest.  

Exterior Conceptual Rendering Applications

There are a number of buildings where exterior conceptual rendering can be used.  

1. Hotels or Restaurants 

When you plan a date at a hotel or restaurant, you first look at the place’s reviews and see if there are pictures or videos available for the place, right? The idea of exterior conceptual rendering for a hotel or restaurant is the same. 

In a hotel, you can use exterior conceptual rendering to promote their business. You can use it to depict the front of the hotel or restaurant, highlighting its name. Or use it to present an outdoor or rooftop seating area or any features that make them different from other such establishments. 

With this, customers can check out the videos to get an idea of hotel or restaurant’s ambience and it will help them decide whether they want to stay there or not. 

2. Commercial Buildings or Retail Stores

In a commercial or retail store, you can use exterior conceptual rendering to depict the building in a visually appealing manner that will promote its business. 

The exterior conceptual rendering can showcase not only the building’s overall design but also the signage placement and integration with the surrounding environment. When people view these aspects of the store, foot traffic, and business will increase. 

3. Residential Areas or Houses

Exterior conceptual rendering for residential houses or areas is especially useful for pre-construction sales and marketing campaigns. 

When you showcase in detail how the exterior of the residential house or area will look after its complete construction, more people will want to buy it. After all, even before the area is constructed, they can visualize it. 

The people who want to buy houses, and especially people who want houses in that particular area, will contact the relevant people for property ownership. 

Types of Exterior Conceptual Rendering

Now that we know the various applications of exterior conceptual rendering, it is time to move on to the types of exterior conceptual rendering. There are various types, and you can use them depending on your purpose.

Still-Image Rendering

Ever watched stunning 3D images of various buildings’ exteriors? If you have, you will surely know how captivating these images can be. And if you find them attractive, you will surely want to visit such establishments or perhaps buy a house there, right?

If you know that you are attracted to such still-image renderings of a building’s exterior, don’t you think others will be as well? Therefore, you should definitely use 3D still-image renderings of exteriors to attract customers to that place. 

The still-image rendering is a single, high-resolution image of a building’s exterior, whether it be a restaurant, commercial building, or a housing area. You can use them in presentations to display to potential clients or in your marketing campaign to boost your business. 

Flyovers or Walkthroughs 

We talked about still-image renderings. But, how about instead of just still images, you could feel that you are practically walking through the exterior of a building? Fascinating, isn’t it?

That’s right, flyovers and walkthroughs in an exterior conceptual rendering allow you the luxury of exactly this. These animated flyovers and walkthroughs provide you with an immersive experience of viewing the exterior of a property as if you were right there.

If you are someone who is presenting your design idea of the exterior of a restaurant, retail store, or housing area, you should have your client experience the virtual walkthroughs or flyovers. It will, no doubt, impress them and earn you the deal.

VR Headset 

A Virtual Reality (VR) headset takes virtual flyovers and walkthroughs to another level. Whereas, before you could feel as if you were standing in front of a building, a VR headset allows to practically view the building’s exterior before your eyes. 

Of course, you require the VR headset and any relevant technology with you for it, but if you can get them, it will definitely boost your business to another degree. 

Use it especially so if you dealing with some high-profile clients and you need high-impact presentations and stakeholder engagement. It takes your clients through an immersive 3D experience of viewing the exterior of a building in great detail. 

Exterior Conceptual Rendering Camera Angles

Just as there are various types of exterior conceptual rendering you can choose according to your needs, there are also several camera angles you can opt for depending on your requirements. 

1. Aerial View

First of all, we have the aerial view. This view is akin to a person viewing the exterior of a building from a very high vantage point. This way, you can not only see the top of the building and all of its exterior but also a large portion of the surroundings.

It helps you experience the building in its surroundings and how it fits and integrates with surrounding structures. This bird’s eye view enables you to make informed choices about whether the building is really suited for that neighborhood.

For instance, if the building is a restaurant, you would want it in a surrounding where are there is a street, some shopping stores, or retail stores after which customers can come in for lunch. If it is a residential area, you would prefer that it has a shopping areas and the like in the vicinity.

Therefore, you can see how a building would fit in with the existing infrastructure. 

2. Semi-Aerial Perspective

The semi-aerial view is a bit different from the aerial view. As it name suggests, it is an aerial view but something less than that. Therefore, while the aerial view offers you a view from a very high vantage point, semi-aerial view has a lower vantage point. 

It brings you closer to the building and its surroundings, but not offering a very large portion of the surroundings offered by an aerial view. You can consider it as a nice balance between the view of the building and that of the surroundings.

Semi-aerial view allows you to observe the restaurant, commercial building, or housing area from a closer view and see in what scale it fits in with its surroundings. 

3. Wide Perspective

Though appearing to be synonymous with the aerial view, the wide perspective is again different from both the aerial and semi-aerial view in a number of ways. 

While aerial and semi-aerial views are from the top, wide perspectives are from the ground and are a lot closer to the building than the aerial and semi-aerial views. With this, you can observe the restaurant, commercial building, or housing area a lot closer and in greater detail.

In addition, you can easily determine how the building fits in with its immediate neighbors and the street. For instance, if the building is a large supermarket, you need to ensure that the street is such that it will not become crowded during peak hours. 

It will ensure that any housing areas nearby are not disturbed by the honking of cars and the like. 

4. Street View

The street view is again different from the wide perspective. A person observing the street view would find himself/herself at eye level with the building from the street. It shows how passersby would find the building. 

When you are creating a building to do business in, such as restaurant or a commercial building, you need to know how it would affect the pedestrians. If pedestrians have a good outlook of it, they may want to visit the place, boosting your business. 

On the other hand, if pedestrians do not find the building’s exterior favourable, they will never turn towards it. It will delcine your business.  

5. Worm’s Eye Perspective

So far, we have talked about how a building would fit in with the surroundings or how pedestrians would be affected by it. Now, we will talk about a perspective whose sole purpose is to highlight the building’s grandeur. 

That’s right, the worm’s eye perspective shows you the image of a building’s exterior from the ground up. It is dramatic in nature, particularly so if the building being viewed is very tall. On another note, it is precisely because of this that you would find a building awe-inspiring.

This view is especially useful if you are designing a very high-class building meant to lure customers.

Exterior Conceptual Rendering Process

Having discuued all the different aspects of exterior concpetual rendering, we wll now go through the complete process of exterior conceptual rendering. 

What Does Your Client Want

If you are the one creating the exterior conceptual rendering, remember you are providing services to your clients. In this case, you need to give your clients what they want, not what you think should go in the design. 

Obviously, you can guide them if their proposition is not a suitable requirement, but ultimately, what the client wants goes. 

Therefore, your first priority upon getting any such project is to have a detailed talk with your client and determine their needs and wishes. What type of exterior do they want? Are there any materials they have in mind that they want to incorporate?

Getting such types of questions answered will make your task easier. If you submit what the client wants, they will like your work, spread word about your business through word-of-mouth, and ultimtely boost your business. 

Begin the 3D Process

Having understood your client’s demands, next you need to start the exterior conceptual rendering. You will lay out a basic foundation of the completed vision. 

Draw the architectural requirements, select the materials you will be employing, and prepare any design specifications that your client has requested. 

During this process and your upcoming processes as well, make sure to keep in constant touch with your client and show him/her whatever you have created. Doing this will ensure that things are proceeding as per the client’s requirements. 

Add Textures and Materials

Now that you have created a 3D architectural model and have gotten it approved by the client, it is time to move to the next step. Now, you will apply the necessary materials and textures. 

You need to apply textures for brick, wood, glass, and other building materials. This will, thus, create a visually rich and detailed representation. 

While you need to focus on textures and materials that will give the building in the render a realistic look, don’t become overenthusiastic and give it an unrealistically beautiful look. That will be misleading not only for your client but whoever else will view it as well. 

Add Lighting and Shadows

Textures and materials are done. Now, you move to lights and shadows. After all, the exterior conceptual rendering cannot be without light (sunlight and artificial lights) and shadows.

First, understand what time of day your client wants to depict in the exterior conceptual rendering. Is it daytime, nighttime, dusk, or perhaps dawn? Depending on your client’s requrements, you will add lights and shadows accordingly. 

Nighttime will have little light, whereas daytime will have more natural sunlight-type light. Dawn and dusk will have different hues of light and assisting shadows to give the exterior conceptual render a realistic feel. 

Post-Processing for Final Touches

Now that everything is done, first get it approved by your client so that if they do not like anything, you can change it accordingly during the processing. 

After the client has approved the rendering, move to post-processing. It involves some post-processing techniques to enhance the overall quality of the rendering. 

You can deal with color grading, add atmospheric effects, and make some final adjustments to ensure a cohesive and impactful visual that will complete exterior conceptual rendering. 

Final Words

In conclusion, we now know that exterior conceptal rendering is a digital representation of the exterior of a building. Architects, real estate agents, and construction firm all can use exterior conceptual rendering to boost their business. 

Exterior conceptual rendering can be made of various buildings, such as restaurants, commercial or retail stores, and residential areas or houses. There are three types of exterior conceptual rendering you can use: still-image rendering, flyovers or walkthroughs, and VR headset.

There are various camera angles you can opt for in exterior conceptual rendering, such as aerial view, semi-aerial view, wide view, street view, and worm’s eye perspective. 

Lastly, the complete process of exterior conceptual rendering involves understanding the client’s requirements, beginning the 3D process, adding textures and materials, adding lighting and shadows, and post-production for final touches.


Q. How long does it take to create an exterior conceptual rendering?

The complete time frame is dependent entirely on the complexity of the project. If the exterior conceptaul rendering is not that complex, rendering artists can complete it within days. If complex elements, such as flyovers or walkthroughs, are needed, it may take weeks. 

Q. Can clients provide feedback and revisions during the rendering process?

It depends on the deal made at the beginning of the process. If the deal states that any feedback and revisions required by clients need to be fulfilled by the rendering artist, they will have to follow them. 

Q. Can exterior rendering be customized to reflect different weather conditions and seasons?

Yes, it is definitely possible. Clients need to communicate their requirements to the rendering artists clearly so that they can depict the right season or weather conditions. 

Exterior Conceptual Rendering [Everything You Need to Know]

Article by
CEO of ArchVisualizations 3D Studio working in 3D property rendering market from 2011.

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Are you interested to do a 3D Rendering of your real estate project? Please contact us and we will do our best to help you.



Are you interested to do a 3D Rendering of your real estate project?

Please contact us and we will do our best to help you.

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