November 13th, 2018

It's All About the Angles

Selecting a camera angle is an integral part of crafting your photorealistic 3D rendering. The nuanced details, neighborhood context, and architectural highlights are showcased differently based on the camera angle. It’s a trade-off. Some angles focus on architecture, while others present the neighborhood in full view. This post will describe three of the most popular camera angles for exterior 3D renderings through one commercial development presented through all three angles. We’ll include details about why they might make sense for your next project. With this info, you’ll be well prepared for your next set of visualizations, and stand out by knowing just enough to impress stakeholders.

Getting Started:

Great creative work always starts by asking the right questions. It requires empathy that helps you connect with your audience. What details will they want to see? Does the neighborhood matter to them? Are the unique value propositions best conveyed at certain angles? These are just a few questions you should ask yourself when choosing an angle for your exterior rendering(s).

Three Most Popular Exterior Angles:

Contingent on what you want the image to enhance we’ve compiled a quick list of the three most popular exterior angles in arch-viz. With an understanding of the target market, these angles can be crafted to highlight aspects that resonate. Here are three examples using the same commercial project.

1. Aerial Birds Eye View, also known as a “Context Shot.”

This angle includes your development within the neighborhood’s context. These scenes convey a grand scale and are great at capturing attention. They’re great for showcasing branding or crown-signage opportunities too! In this case, you see the energy saving Green space above, and the rooftop patio (after work happy-hour anyone?). Obviously, if you’re selling a commercial unit on the ground floor, this may not close the deal for you. That’s the kind of trade-off we described above.  But, this sense of location, scale, and context definitely convey the prestige, traffic, and great exposure future occupants can expect. When done right, Context Shots pique interest and inspire potential buyers to learn more, which is when your visuals can start to highlight details.

2. Aerial “Close-Up”, your project viewed from slightly above and at an angle.

Aerial Close-Ups are photorealistic renderings perspectives that showcase exterior dimensions, structural aesthetics, and the “fit” in the immediate area. These scenes a great for showcasing curb appeal, scale, and how the development stands out without becoming an eye-sore. No, you can’t highlight the crown signage or the sheer height of your structure (and you don’t always have to). Buyers interested in commercial spaces need some details. Entrances, exits, standing out on the block, and where their sign will be (if they even get one), matter just as much. When you have a commercial development on the market, there’s no better way to showcase scale and details commercial (especially retail), buyers care for than with Aerial Close-ups.

3. Street View, your project from a bystander’s eye-level.

A street view 3D rendering provides information to your market on the design and construction of your project. This view is the most focused on scale, frontage, and your development’s “story”.. People and vehicles lend the scene with that sense of scale. Does your building have a high walk, bike, and/or transit score? Use busses and bikes to convey that part of the story (especially if your ideal clients have employees who bike or transit to work). Choose this angel when you want to show the audience an advance view of the building as they would walk by and interact with it on a daily basis. Adding people and vehicles can imply that it’s a busy area (location, location location, right?). Don’t be afraid to get creative at this angle, and use what you know about the project to give your ideal clients what they really want to see!

In Sum:

Architectural Visualization is subject to empathy, creativity, and resonance. Camera angles are an integral part of communicating the “story” to your ideal client, but they can’t carry everything for you. Take the time to really think about what your ideal clients really want to see. Get creative in how you get the point across with photo-realistic visuals and be clear about every detail, and why you’re including it. It takes time and attention, which is why experts exist.

Contact us at and we’ll set up a discovery meeting. Together, we’ll determine the best exterior angle for your next project. Also -  subscribe to our newsletter for more of our original content.

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