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  • Writer's pictureJamie Wilkes

From Design to Promotion - The 3 Fundamental Roles of Architectural Visualisation

I've accumulated many years experience working as a 3D visualiser and typically the images we create can be classified into one of three categories.

These three categories are

  • Design development,

  • Marketing, or to

  • Supplement a planning application.

In this blog post, my objective is to delve deeper into each of these categories. By doing so, I aim to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of how 3D visualisations can be leveraged within your project.

By integrating 3D images into your workflow, you can significantly enhance the final outcome for your clients, end users or stakeholders.

Design Development and Communication.

When presented with plans and elevations for the first time, even seasoned professionals often find themselves meticulously studying the plans and elevations to gain a comprehensive understanding of a proposed project.

While well-crafted elevations can pop out of a page through the careful use of shadows, hatching and line weights, nothing quite matches the depth of insight provided by a 3D visualisation of a scheme. A well modelled 3D visualisation can illustrate the intricacies of a project, showcasing essential elements like materials, lighting and texture in a format that readily conveys a wealth of information with just a single glance.

Non construction professionals will also benefit from 3D images as they will not be familiar with construction or architectural terminology. Whether you are working with the general public or a client without a construction background, even the most basic 3D model can serve as a powerful tool to illustrate the form and layout of a proposed building.

What often emerges when collaborating with clients who use 3D images for design development and communication, is that they identify areas where the design can be improved. These 3D models act as catalysts for enhancements and refinements within the scheme. Crucially, these improvements are best identified early in the process, as implementing changes once construction is underway can come with a considerably larger price tag. It's far more cost-effective to move polygons and pixels on a screen than it is to reposition bricks and mortar on site.

3D models offer versatility in their ability to display the fundamental shape and form of a project. This allows viewers to grasp the proportions of a building before delving into the specifics of, materials, texture and lighting.

By incorporating 3D models in the initial stages of the design process, multiple layouts can be explored, tested, and refined before progressing further into the planning or marketing phases. This iterative approach provides architects and stakeholders with a clearer vision and the opportunity to fine-tune the design to perfection before moving on to the next stage.

Marketing and Promotion.

High-quality architectural renderings play a pivotal role in presenting a project to clients and securing vital investments. When introducing a new concept to a group, it may well be the first time they have seen the proposed design and by offering an accurate representation of the project, enables them to envisage the final outcome.

These 3D images and videos can be used on promotional websites, landing pages, social media, brochures, banners, and more, effectively raising the profile of the unbuilt development. This helps the public anticipate what's "coming soon" and generates interest and excitement about the project, along with the positive impact it will bring upon completion.

When a 3D visualisation is used for residential or commercial property sales, a 3D model can be meticulously tailored to resonate with the property's target market. Prospective buyers or tenants can then immerse themselves in the envisioned space, fostering excitement and an emotional connection. This emotional connection, in turn, piques their interest, making them more inclined to become stakeholders as potential buyers, tenants, or investors.

A recently completed project showcases the power of 3D visualisation. We embarked on a journey to transform an old, dilapidated barn into executive office suites. Through the magic of 3D visualisation, the barn's owners were able to generate significant interest and excitement about the project and found new tenants even before the physical development had been completed.

I had the privilege of visiting the site before any work began, witnessing the sorry state of the old barn. More recently, I revisited the location again and the transformation was nothing short of remarkable. The 3D visualisation served as the bridge between the past and the future, enabling potential tenants to grasp the vision of the owners. Consequently, local businesses have decided to make these new offices their new home and have moved in now the renovation is completed.

Supplementing a Planning Application.

When submitting a planning application, incorporating a 3D visualisation can be a powerful tool for effectively conveying your proposals, to both planning authorities and the general public. This approach allows you to provide a clear and realistic representation of your project, giving stakeholders a vivid preview of what's in store.

The use of photorealistic images ensures that you can confidently show viewers, that what they see is precisely what they can expect, once the project is completed. This level of visual clarity can be particularly beneficial, especially when dealing with individuals who are not well-versed in construction drawings and plans.

Understanding these intricate technical documents can be challenging for those outside the construction industry. However, a 3D visualisation can bridge this gap by vividly demonstrating how a building will seamlessly integrate into its surroundings. By presenting a visual representation of your proposal, you can effectively communicate its impact on the local area.

A well-crafted 3D image can also provide insight into spatial layouts and the practical application of your proposal. This invaluable tool can be shared with both authorities and neighbouring communities to offer a comprehensive understanding of the project's visual and functional aspects.

In contrast to traditional 2D plans, 3D visualisations can convey a wealth of information in a format that is easy to understand. With just one image, you can easily communicate your design concept in a manner that is readily digestible.

To illustrate the effectiveness of this approach, consider a recent project we undertook involving a residential apartment block. In collaboration with the architect and their client, we used a series of 3D images to support their planning application. Our goal was to showcase that the proposed building would be in keeping with the existing residential structures on the same street. We aimed to portray how these proposals would enhance the overall aesthetic of the street scene, compared to the current state of the undeveloped site.

Incorporating 3D visualisations into your planning applications can be a game-changer, enabling you to communicate your vision with clarity and precision. Whether you're addressing planning authorities or concerned neighbours, this approach ensures that your proposals are presented in the best possible light, fostering understanding and support for your project.


Generally the work we do here at Resolution Studios fits into one of the three categories. These categories play pivotal roles in conveying design concepts, promoting projects, and facilitating planning applications.

3D visualisation used in the design development phase, not only enhances the design concept, but also contributes to its refinement. Our images breathe life into schemes, making them more coherent and efficient.

Marketing images act as enticing previews, generating anticipation and excitement. They offer a sneak peek into what's on the horizon, making it easier for all interested parties to see what is coming soon

Here at Resolution Studios, we excel in creating meticulous 3D representations of proposals for planning applications, offering planning authorities an accurate portrayal of how a scheme is intended to appear. Our visuals provide a user-friendly way to grasp the full scope of the project.

In each of these categories, Resolution Studios uses the power of 3D visualisation to bridge the gap between a design vision and a completed scheme by showcasing the project in a photo real image, giving clarity to our clients and their stakeholders.


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About the Author

Jamie Wilkes has worked as a 3D visualiser and has over 20 years experience working with 3D CAD in the architectural industry. He is now owner and director of Resolution Studios, a 3D visualisation firm based in Halesowen in the West Midlands.

Starting out as an Architectural Technician, Jamie worked on a number of commercial and residential schemes, producing CAD plans, elevations & sections of buildings. After completing his Masters in Digital Architecture Jamie then followed his passion for 3D & took a role as a full time 3D visualiser working mainly in the leisure sector.

Resolution Studios was established by Jamie in 2008 and has since provided 3D visualisations, animations and interactive imagery for planning applications and marketing developments in many sectors throughout the UK and abroad.

Do you want to be making use of the latest tools and technology with your next project, if so then please get in touch and we can see how we can work together.

Email me at or 0121 674 40 20

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