Hyper Realistic Renderings vs. Architect Hand Sketching

Hyper Realistic Renderings vs. Architect Hand Sketching

Have you ever looked at a photograph and also a drawing of the same scene? Which one did you like more? Have you ever thought about the different feelings that each one could evoke?   

The difference between a photograph and a drawing of the same scene is similar to the difference between a hyper-realistic render and a hand sketch. Through all various stages of architectural design, a good presentation plays an important role in easing the communication between the architect and the client. Now, let’s take a closer look at both of these graphical methods to discover the benefits and drawbacks of each one in different steps of design. 

  3d models, living room, white couches, brown couches

Syncronia.com – 3d models  


Hand sketches  

We have a term in architecture called “the thinking hand” which means that other than our mind leading our hand while drawing, the hand itself induces thoughts into the sketch as well. With all the technological developments, many architects still believe that hand sketches are more reliable and open to creativity. While drawing with hand, many ideas and feelings are bombarded onto that piece of paper as if the designer’s senses are heightened through the touch of the pen. Hand sketches are the best option when presenting preliminary ideas, as nothing solid has yet been shaped and you want to freely explore many ideas.


Besides all the benefits of a hand sketch, there are also some drawbacks to it. One of the most important ones is that hand-drawn sketches are time-consuming, they are difficult to revise, and a digital copy will still be needed, as everything relies on technology these days.  

Architect hand sketching – FrankFranco Architects 


Hyper-realistic renderings  

Nowadays, a plethora of software and numerous methods are being introduced and used for creating realistic renderings. The goal is to show the final result of the work as detailed as possible in order to help make decisions, such as:  whether to use brick or wood for the cladding; if the size and placement of windows will optimize natural daylight; if we prefer raised ceiling in the living room. Although realistic renderings are time-saving, accurate in detail, and easy to share, it also can have drawbacks. 

Besides being expensive to create, their realistic appearance could lead to some misunderstandings. As an example, a viewer might expect to see the exact image after it’s been built, while the realities of a construction project might change the details of the project slightly. Moreover, hyper-realistic renderings tend to provide a dreamy utopian image, while the human eye might perceive the scene differently. 


Upcoming project, hyper-realistic rendering – FrankFranco Architects 


At FrankFranco Architects, we understand the benefits of using both hand drawn sketches and renderings to present various stages of the design to our clients. During the preliminary design stage, we enjoy sharing hand sketches with our clients. From there, we present more detailed 2D perspective renderings, clay model renderings and finally, realistic renderings. As hyper-realistic renderings can be extremely expensive to prepare in-house, we prefer to outsource the task to prominent companies who are professional in portraying our vision of your building. 

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