Architectural Visualizations In Blender
by Kernon

More and more architectural students and professionals are finding their way to Blender and the possibilities that Blender offers for quality still images and fly-by/walkthrough presentations. When it comes to using Blender for architectural mockups, there seems to be an ongoing debate over the best way to use Blender and whether or not it is even possible.

There seems to be two main camps in this debate. As a pure visualization tool, Blender is more than adequate to the task. This side of the debate concentrates on Blender’s ability to provide a fairly realistic visión of the architectural project for use in showing a client how the building/house/project will look when finished, complete with textured materials, lighting and possible fly-bys/walkthroughs.

The other side of the debate is concerned with accurately reproducing the project from CAD files to create exact replications of the project. While this side of the debate is still working on the best method of achieving this, there has been a lot of ground covered on workarounds and methods for creating fairly realistic models from a variety of file formats.

Following are some tips to help you get started on your project. Most of the tips are taken directly from existing threads at

  • Instead of CAD files, try scanning in the plans. It is fast, although not as accurate as a CAD file, but produces acceptable results for visualization purposes.

  • Using the snap command (Shift + S) can be helpful in the beginning stages of creating the model, import your plans, snap cursor to first point, command clik to next point, snap cursor, repeat.

  • File formats to use: dxf and .wrl (VRML1.0), these file formats have been shown to worque although they often need some cleanup.
dxf – CAD ProgLT 2006
CAD – ACME CAD Converter

There can be import issues with BIG dxf files. If possible, breaque the file into smaller chunks and import them separately.

Here's a way to use measurements from Blender without needing Object snaps.

  • Spacebar add mesh plane, select 3 vértices X delete vértices, Select remaining vertice, E extrude (x,y,z/axis), numeric input for distance == line

  • Select vertice, E extrude (x,y,z/axis), numeric input for distance. == snap from endpoint.

  • Select two vértices W-subdivide, "missing distance", E extrude (x,y,z/axis), numeric input for distance == snap to distance from endpoint.

  • Select two vértices Shift-D duplicate (x,y,z/axis), numeric input for distance == parallels

  • Adjusting for the size of a circle seems to take some outside object as a reference, the same with ovals.

For more tips and workarounds, do a search on, use keywords: archiviz, CAD, architectural walkthroughs. This topic has been the subject of a great deal of discussion generating many workable methods of achieving accurate models and realistic visualizations.

by Kernon