15 Best architectural rendering software in 2022 for Windows, macOS, free and paid versions 

Best architectural rendering software 3D Rendering

Intro

Thanks to 3D architectural rendering software, artists achieve very realistic visuals of the project. The main activities of the architectural rendering process are the ability to model, texture, and render at a professional level. It is an essential tool that offers great results for a flawless presentation. Using the right architectural visualization software, 3d architectural illustrators can create the best architectural renderings at a very high level, paying attention to every detail in projects. That is why we present to your attention the top of architecture render software in 2022. Read about the best architect apps this year and make a choice in your favor. You can find some of these programs in our article about the Best 3D rendering software. Information is relevant for 2022.

Best 3D  rendering software for architecture

NamePriceLevelOSLast version
3ds Max$1,700/year. Free trialFor professionalsWindows2022
Lumion 3D€1499/licenseFor professionalsWindows2021
Revit$2,545/year. Free trialFor professionalsWindows2022
V-Ray$699/yearFor professionals and beginnersWindows, macOS, Linux2021
Maxwell€745/licenseFor professionals and beginnersWindows, macOS, Linux2022
Cinema 4D$94.00/month. Free trialFor professionals and amateursWindows, macOS2022
Corona Renderer€289.99/yearFor professionals and beginnersWindows2021
EnscapeFrom $39.90/month. Free trialFor professionals and amateursWindows2021
Octane Render€699/year. Free trialFor professionalsWindows, macOS, Linux2020
BlenderFree. DonateFor professionals and amateursWindows, macOS, Linux2022
ArtlantisFrom €190. Free trialFor professionals and amateursWindows, macOS2021
AutoCAD Architecture$1,775/year. Free trialFor professionalsWindows, macOS2022
FStorm€20/monthFor professionals and amateursWindows, macOS2021
Unreal EngineFreeFor professionals and beginnersWindows, macOS, Linux2022
Twinmotion$499.00/license. Free trial and free educational licenseFor professionals and amateursWindows, macOS2022

What is architectural rendering?

Architectural rendering is a graphic display of an object that allows you to evaluate and present the external characteristics of any future structure. Realistic architectural rendering allows you to display the future building from different angles and with all the details.

Buildings rendering allows you to take the discussion with the customer to a whole new level and significantly reduces the time to make a decision. 3d architectural illustration is much clearer to potential consumers and future customers than drawings and sketches.

With the help of 3d architectural renderings, you can get acquainted with the future appearance of the building at the project stage, whether it be a business center, a cafe, or a residential complex. You also can evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the structure, its compliance with the architectural concept, and the location of objects in the adjacent territory. Therefore, architectural rendering artists need to find and choose the right architectural rendering software.

Rendering software for architects in detail

1. 3ds Max

3ds max logo

Price: $1,700 per year, with a free 30-day trial

Level: For professionals

OS: Windows

It is impossible to imagine this list without 3d Max at the first stage. 3ds Max is considered to be the best architecture visualization software. With this architectural rendering program, artists have the tools to create accurate, high-quality architectural designs. This architect rendering software is great both in modeling and animation.

Advanced modeling, texturing, and lighting functions in 3ds Max create photorealistic images. Built-in 3ds Max rendering tools enable complex detailing. Besides its features needed for architectural visualization, 3ds Max has powerful plugins such as V – Ray and Corona Renderer and supports AutoCAD files. This allows you to import existing-working drawings, rather than create them from the beginning.

Our company prefers this architectural rendering program for creating building renderings. Use our 3d architecture animation services to see the real results of using this software.

2. Lumion 3D

Lumion logo

Price: €1499 per license

Level: For professionals

OS: Windows

Lumion 3D is an architectural visualization software with a set of powerful real-time 3D visualization tools. Lumion also allows you to quickly do landscape and building rendering. This architecture renderer is ideal for creating cinematic video and static scenes of various projects with dynamic environments. The results are rendered using GPU rendering technology.

Lumion is compatible with all popular programs such as SketchUp, Revit, ArchiCAD, Rhinoceros (LiveSync online synchronization), and 3ds Max. Another advantage of building rendering software is the ability to quickly update the model. Lumion includes a huge library with objects (over 5000), materials, artistic effects, and tools. This 3d architectural rendering software is greatly integrated, so you can add atmosphere, people, trees, lighting, and other content all at once for realistic architectural rendering.

3. Revit

Revit logo image

Price: $2,545 per year, with a free trial

Level: For professionals

OS: Windows

Autodesk Revit is also one of the best rendering software for architects. The house rendering software implements the principle of building information modeling (BIM). It is a powerful tool for building rendering and architectural design. By rendering in Revit, you can create custom objects and model building elements in 3D. As a house rendering app, Revit provides opportunities for a flat drawing of the structural parts. You also have the possibility to organize joint work on the project from start to finish. Revit creates 2D projections of an architectural design automatically from a 3D model.

The Revit database can contain information about a project at various stages of a building’s life cycle. The architectural 3d rendering software also has a powerful set of tools and a wide range of textures and patterns. If you are looking for the best 3d architectural rendering software that can do just about anything, Revit is for you.

4. V-Ray

Vray logo

Price: €629 per year

Level: For professionals and beginners

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

One of the best software for 3d architecture rendering. V-Ray is most often used in conjunction with 3ds Max because it was one of the earliest modeling programs with a big user base. Over time, this 3d house rendering software has acquired many settings. Versions of V-Ray have appeared for various modeling programs: SketchUp, Rhino, Revit, ArchiCAD, Maya, Cinema 4D, Blender, and many others. 

The V-Ray material editor has a wide range of possibilities: procedural maps and a huge number of flexible settings allow you to render any materials from a large library and create your own. The program for artistic rendering is user-friendly for most modeling software. To achieve photorealism, you need sufficient experience in this 3d rendering software for architecture. Learn how to create Photorealistic 3D renders.

5. Maxwell

Maxwell logo soft

Price: From €745 per license

Level: For professionals and beginners

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Maxwell Render is the perfect solution for creating the physically accurate and photorealistic architectural renderings that designers and architects require. The functionality of the best 3d rendering software for architecture offers everything you need to achieve professional results, while it is very easy to learn – suitable even for beginners. The camera parameters of the program work and are configured in the same way as a real camera, and light intensity is measured by real-world values. It’s easy enough to create complex scenes and get the best architectural renders.

Maxwell Render offers a fast interactive rendering tool, Maxwell Fire, which provides consistent results while setting up a scene. An app offers several necessary functions for preparing, editing, and rendering photorealistic images. That program for architecture 3d rendering can help architects, designers understand what interior and exterior lighting, and even the finished product, will look like in the end. It also integrates with many major 3D and CAD programs.

6. Cinema 4D

cinema 4d logo image

Price: $94.00 per month, with a free trial

Level: for professionals and amateurs

OS: Windows, macOS

Cinema 4D is a popular 3D graphics and architectural modeling software. It is simple, and therefore popular with both beginners and professionals. This architecture visualization software is always complemented by plug-ins since the basic version is quite limited – this has a positive effect on system requirements. True, you will have to spend some time mastering all the details and functions, since there is a rather steep learning curve. In this case, it is better to use the trial version.

Having mastered all the tools in this house rendering software free, you will be able to: create 3D graphics; animate objects; render scenes; create visual special effects; create textures for 3D objects. You can customize and process characteristics such as textures, materials, lighting, and more. All the necessary modern modeling tools are available in this free house rendering software. In each update, new tools from developers are added.

7. Corona Renderer

Сorona render logo

Price: €289.99 per year

Level: For professionals and beginners

OS: Windows

Today, Corona is fully functional only in conjunction with 3ds Max and Cinema 4D, but a version of the engine is being prepared for ArchiCAD as well. 3d architectural design software has a concise interface and predefined parameters that allow you to achieve high-quality building rendering without additional effort. It may be used as stand-alone software. The main difference between Corona Renderer and other programs for architectural 3d rendering is its flexibility and speed. 

Corona also has a rich and free library of materials that is constantly growing. Setting up the physically correct display of objects in Corona does not require additional time – even the light in the scene for rendering can be automatically set. This software for exterior architecture rendering allows you to seamlessly export the already created materials: a scene created for V-Ray can be converted to a scene for Corona in one click. Corona Renderer is also a good choice for architectural interior rendering. Learn more about Interior design rendering software.

8. Enscape

Enscape logo image

Price: From $39.90 per month, with a free 14-day trial

Level: For professionals and amateurs

OS: Windows

Professional real-time architectural rendering software. It works with SketchUp, Rhino, Revit, and ArchiCAD. Any changes you make to your project will be displayed in real-time. The architectural house rendering program offers a wide range of features and tools for creating walkthroughs and 360-degree panoramas. This is a great and fastest way to turn models into immersive 3D objects. It’s also a good option for collaborating on the same project.

A simple and intuitive interface of the program for creating architectural renderings allows you to work without special knowledge. The main advantage of this 3d architectural rendering software free is the ability to design, visualize and document at the same time using a single model. There is an extensive library of 3D models (trees, bushes, additional buildings, cars, etc.) ready for use. Floor plans, photorealistic architecture renderings, virtual reality, 3D penetrations, animations, panorama renderings and real-time 3D renderings are all possible with Enscape.

9. Octane Render

Octane render logo

Price: €699 per year, with a free trial

Level: for professionals

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Octane Render is state-of-the-art software that can be used to implement a wide variety of projects in the field of architecture, where it acts as a graphics engine. The software for architecture rendering allows you to visualize 3D models of any complexity and integrates with numerous software. The peculiarity of the architecture renderer is that it works exclusively on GPUs, with Nvidia graphics cards (GPUs).

The Octane Render interface is intuitive and easy for advanced users to master. For beginners, there is a guide on the official website. Thanks to Octane Render features, you can get high-quality exterior architecture rendering in a short time. After all, Octane Render is considered one of the fastest engines for 3d architectural design. Using Octane Render, you can render even the most complex scenes. It also offers an extensive library of materials, textures, and powerful tools.

10. Blender

Cycles rendering logo image

Price: Free, offers Donate

Level: For professionals and amateurs

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Of course, this list cannot do without a Blender. It’s one of the most popular visualization solutions, and it’s the best architectural rendering software free. It includes features for modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, and real-time interactive 3D playback. Likewise, Blender 3d architecture software also contains a video editing function (sequencer) and a compositing application. Easily integrates 3D elements into real images, including using built-in 3D tracking. This free architectural rendering software allows you to create high-quality static images and animations. It will not be difficult to design a house or an entire skyscraper.

Useful features complement each other and simplify the process of modeling in architecture and other types of visualization. Thanks to the many useful tools and features, as well as its ease of use, Blender is suitable for beginner hobbyists to professional designers and animators. For those who still have questions, there is always an active online community of program users who will help you figure it out. You may also use Blender as Product rendering software.

11. Artlantis

Artlantis logo

Price: From €190, with a free trial

Level: for professionals and amateurs

OS: Windows, macOS

Artlantis is the fastest standalone application designed specifically for house rendering. Available in two versions, Artlantis offers a line of products suitable for different needs and purposes. As the best software for architectural visualization, Artlantis allows you to create realistic images, assign and change the optical properties of materials, set the perspective and sources of natural and artificial light, create virtual reality scenes, and edit motion trajectories for animated videos.

Artlantis 2021 combines previous versions of Render and Studio in one powerful application, including all their features, offering useful display modes such as perspectives and parallel views, and creating images, panoramas, VR objects, and animations in very high quality and in a short time. Collections of materials, textures and objects, known as Artlantis Media, allow users to simulate naturalistic scenes. The clear and rich catalog is set up intuitively for easy navigation. You can use your own images as materials. Data import in DWF, OBJ, and FBX formats as well as DXF, DWG, and 3DS provide interoperability with all leading CAD manufacturers.  If you are looking for software to change outside of house, Artlantis is the right choice.

12. AutoCAD Architecture

Autocad

Price: $1,775 per year, with a free trial

Level: for professionals

OS: Windows, macOS

Of course, this list cannot do without AutoCAD, which is popular in the field of 3d architectural visualization. AutoCAD Architecture is a development from Autodesk specifically for architects and building designers. The program was created based on the usual AutoCAD. Special tools have been added to the interface for solving complex problems (windows, walls, doors, roofs, specifications, etc.). This is a powerful architect rendering software in which you can create complex projects from scratch without the skills of working in 3D. The program has a convenient and improved user interface.

This version of the product contains tools for architectural rendering drawing, which allows you to increase design efficiency and prepare the necessary documentation. The AutoCAD Architecture software package allows you to create architectural drawings, rendering architectural plans. The home rendering software is designed for architects and features a set of functions that automate all drawing operations as much as possible, significantly reducing the number of errors and increasing productivity. The user has the ability to make independent settings for displaying objects in 2D and 3D. AutoCAD Architecture is included with an AutoCAD subscription. Read about AutoCAD as one of the best CAD software.

13. Unreal Engine

Unreal engine logo

Price: Free

Level: For professionals and beginners

Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux

Unreal Engine offers completely new possibilities for the presentation of architectural objects, other methods of working with light and materials – realistic lighting, camera spans, and the effect of presence. It is also great free 3d architectural design software. Unreal Engine saves render in a second, allows you to “walk” within the project and interact with objects. To improve 3d building renderings, Unreal Engine suggests adding some interactive elements such as opening and closing doors, music, various sound, and visual effects. 

This architecture animation software also allows post-processing of finished renders. Unreal Engine 4 supports many post-processing effects: darkening or lightening the edges of the frame, and highlights from bright light sources. Besides, the 3d architectural animation software reproduces the effect of the refraction of sunlight into the camera lens and gives animated noise, simulating a movie camera. Looking for the Best free rendering software? Then follow the link and find the best for your special needs!

14. Twinmotion

Twinmotion logo

Price: $499.00 per license, with a free trial and free educational license

Level: For professionals and amateurs

OS: Windows, macOS

Twinmotion is a simple and fast real-time 3d architecture visualization solution based on Unreal Engine technologies. Twinmotion is used to create photorealistic objects, visually accurate space rendering and presentations in virtual reality. Thanks to the tight integration of Twinmotion and ArchiCAD, the visual and architectural models are synchronized in real-time, allowing artists to edit the ArchiCAD model, and all changes are automatically updated inside Twinmotion. It is also a great solution for producing panoramas and 360° videos.

Using one program, you immediately get the geometry of a 3D model and all BIM information about architectural objects. This architecture animation software is compatible with all BIM programs and provides direct synchronization also with Rhino, Revit, SketchUp Pro systems. Using the FBX, C4D and OBJ formats, you can import data from almost any 3D modeling software. The software for 3d building rendering allows you to design realistic, highly detailed 3D models of buildings, streets and environments. All this can be accompanied by weather effects and moving in real-time, animated objects (animals, plants, people). It is also possible to visualize the stages of the construction of the project and create a trajectory for the movement of objects, moving pedestrians or vehicles.

15. FStorm

Fstorm logo

Price: €20 per month

Level: For professionals and amateurs

OS: Windows, macOS

Another powerful GPU renders engine made special for 3ds Max. The advantages of FStorm are an excellent ratio of rendering speed and quality, ease of use of materials and light sources, relative simplicity, and realism. You can create outstanding artistic renderings with this program. FStorm Render does not use any existing solutions implemented in other rendering engines but uses only proprietary technologies, which give outstanding, unique, and photorealistic results. 

Built-in scene converter easily and neatly converts any scene from other 3d architectural programs such as Corona, V-Ray, and Octane Render. This architectural rendering animation software may be a great solution for creating impressive presentations.

Conclusion

3D modeling and rendering play a very important role in the architectural industry in promoting and marketing a variety of projects. Architecture companies use 3D modeling and rendering, 3d architectural animation, and walkthroughs to showcase their design. Real estate rendering helps agents to give the customer a clear understanding of the architectural design, textures, lighting effects, and environmental situation. This is very valuable and provides a significant advantage when selling designs. 

To achieve their goals and big results, architects and designers need modern and high-quality 3d architectural rendering software. If you are one of them, this article is right for you. We followed you through our top of the best architectural rendering programs in 2022. Hope, you find the one that attracts you the best. Some Exterior rendering software may also be useful for your project. 

Author of Applet 3D articles. In passion about art, so writing about design, architecture, the animation is a great chance to enjoy my work. Rule of life - set little goals but achieve big results.

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Applet3D has allowed me to present high quality and professional renderings to my clients. Emma and Julie are both quick to respond and go far beyond to help me meet deadlines. Communicating ideas are easy. They just get it!!!! My clients and I are extremely satisfied with their work. Applet3D has far exceeded my expectations!!!! Excellent Customer Service and Superior Talent!
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I'm a designer and hired Applet3D to prepare some 3d renderings for my client and was beyond impressed. The renderings excellent quality and perfectly convey my design. The team was very responsive, professional and a easy to work with. Quick turn around and fairly priced. I plan to use them again and would definitely recommend them for all of your 3D needs.
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