The key role of the environment for architectural visualization

otoczenie w wizualizacji architektonicznej

The environment for architectural visualization is what water is for fish. You cannot make a photorealistic rendering of a building without taking care of everything around you. The surroundings can include trees, bushes, vehicles, and people walking around. When visualizing a skyscraper, there are billboards or street lamps in its surroundings. If we want to achieve the maximum realism of architectural 3D visualization, it is necessary to take care of the building’s elements.

Designing the environment (also known as the context) is one of the biggest challenges facing a 3D graphic designer when creating an architectural visualization. It is thanks to him that we get an accurate and dynamic image. Elements placed in the surroundings are a reference point for the viewer, thanks to which he can feel the building’s height. In this article, we will present how individual elements of the environment can affect the recipient’s perception of the visualization.

The most important elements of the environment for architectural visualization


Plants are a symbol of natural beauty and vitality, so they play such an essential role in architectural visualization. By placing plants surrounded by plants, we enrich the scene. Also, the trees themselves allow the viewer to find out about the presented property’s estimated height quickly. However, the elements of nature must constitute only a valuable addition to our visualization. They should not distract from the presented object, much less cover it and prevent its reception.

produktowa wizualizacja 3D przedstawiająca szklany ogród zaaranżowany na salę weselną w zielonym otoczeniu
3D visualization using trees in the environment

Vehicles and characters

The sight of moving cars and people walking in the area is a perfect combination of the building’s statics with dynamic elements. In this way, a living, realistic scene is created. Active components of the environment can also cast shadows on the building, thanks to which the viewer can imagine the moving figures and draw attention to the perspective from which the building is presented.

An architectural visualization containing these elements is an image full of life. A person placed in the right place in the environment can create space in the viewer. It is worth ensuring that the elements presented as moving objects have a delicate “blur” effect, which will give them additional dynamism. The use of blurring will also prevent the details from attracting the recipient’s excessive attention, thus avoiding the chaos of 3D visualization and not taking the viewer’s eyes off the main object.

Architektoniczna wizualizacja 3D nowoczesnego osiedla mieszkaniowego - apartamenty Polna 1
Architektoniczna wizualizacja 3D z ruchomymi pojazdami w otoczeniu

Billboards and advertising boards

Placing billboards and billboards is mainly used when visualizing commercial complexes. The graphic artist should design the sign placed on the architectural visualization so that the contrast between the background and the character is visible. According to the principle of distinction, if the environment is a dark, heavy color, the text should be light and light. All signs and billboards on the visualization should be simply clear and legible in reception.

When placing an advertising board on the 3D visualization, it is worth taking care of the appropriate positioning of the shadow that casts it to emphasize the three-dimensionality of the photo. Sometimes it may also be necessary to apply a reflective effect to the board, thanks to which our architectural visualization becomes even more photorealistic.

Wizualizacja architektoniczna 3D nowoczesnego budynku handlowego wraz z aranżacją otoczenia i parkinkiem
3D visualization of a commercial object with an advertising sign


The sky is an indispensable part of any architectural visualization. With its help, the 3D designer provides the recipient with information about the weather or time of day. When adding the sky to the environment, it is worth sticking to one basic rule regarding the color of the sky:

The closer to the viewer, the sky should be heavier and darker, the further it should gradually brighten and take on lightness.1 .

In other words, the sky just above the horizon should be the brightest, while the part closest to the viewer should be the darkest. That has a significant impact on the sense of space and perspective.

For the sky to look good on the architectural visualization, it is necessary to place clouds on it. Thanks to them, information about the weather conditions prevailing on the visualization is provided. Also, clouds placed at the right angle will be another element that will give the whole image a strong perspective.

Projekt wizualizacji architektonicznej wraz z otoczeniem
3D visualization of the estate with its surroundings

We hope that our article will be a guide not only for 3D designers but also for developers, architects, and investors who want to present real estate realistically and attractively.

If you are wondering what environment will be most suitable for your property – please contact us. We are happy to know the details of the investment and advise on the best solutions for the facility’s presentation.