What Is a Photomontage Render


You’ve probably seen a hundred of these images without realising it.  A Photomontage renders is an image which combines  3D CGI objects and real-life photography though the use of advanced photographic matching  techniques.  It is most commonly used in architecture, but is also used a lot in graphic design and graphic novels.

Image you are CEO of a company who wishes to expand on one of their properties, and you contact a local architecture firm to make a proposal based on your requirements and budget.  An average firm will get back to you with a bunch of drawings, blueprints and schematics that mean very little to you as you are not an architect yourself.  However, an outstanding firm in addition to the technical drawings, will produce high-quality models of their proposed developments and then insert them into digital photographs of the actual site, using their artistic skills to not only accurately show where the new developments will go, with accurate angles and dimensions, but also to blend the 3D images photo realistically with their surroundings and lighting.   You can therefore see exactly where the new buildings are going and appreciate how they will affect the other properties in your site.  For example:

Benefits of photomontage renders

Cost:  From a purely financial perspective, photomontage renders eliminate the need for costly mock-up photography that may include complex models and such in order to get the desired image.  A good montage allows you to display your designs exactly as they will appear in their real-life settings, and unlike more traditional methods, the bulk of the work is done by the graphic artist, with no need for elaborate photo shoots.  Different angles and elevations are also easily achieved as long as the architect has access to enough photographs.

Superior Design:  As the architect is designing the building, the render allows them to see what it will look like and how it fits into its environment at the initial design stages, long before and ground needs to be broken.  The architect can simulate how different surfaces and colors will look and take into account the aesthetic affects of different materials.  Most importantly, different variations and adjustments can be considered safely from the computer screen, not halfway through the construction, and any changes or considerations from the client, investor or planning authorities can be made with minimal effort.

Ease of understanding:  The majority of us normal folks aren’t  going to have advanced knowledge of architecture or construction, so technical drawings and blueprints are going to be almost completely abstract to us, and while they are 100% necessary, they won’t necessarily instil confidence in us them regarding your final design of the project we are commissioning.  Illustrations and watercolour renditions might be helpful, but if we really want to be able to see clearly how the proposed development will look in real life without having to decipher architectural plans and drawings, we should insist on photomontage renders.  Also, we can sit down with our architects and go through each part of the development, and if we want them to make any changes or try some different things, it should only take the artist a few minutes to show them on the screen.

Renovations:  This technique is especially useful when it comes to renovation projects, whether exterior or interior projects.  Before and after shots can easily let the client see how the proposed renovation will look, and good architects or designers will often show images with the renovations translucently imposed over the existing building or interior.  It makes much more impact than illustrations,

Confidence:  Even without taking into regard the render itself, knowing that the architect proposing the design has gone to the effort to make a photorealistic render tells you a lot about that individual or firm.  You can rest easy knowing that they are using modern architectural  techniques and that they have the confidence in their designs to show you exactly how they will look when finished.  This also has the added bonus of being able to sniff out a bad deal long before the builders turn up with the materials; if a designer gives you a sloppy photomontage as part of a proposal, don’t waste any more time with them and start looking for a better firm.

Should you ask for a photomontage renders?

Even if you do have some architectural knowhow, we advise anyone contracting architectural services to discuss photomontage renders as part of the package.  The first major benefit to using photomontages is that you easily be able to visualise the finished product clearly, appreciate how it will look in its surroundings and also discuss the architects design choices with him or her.  If you are anything like us, you won’t want to hand over a penny until you are completely satisfied with the proposed design, let alone risk having a bad development that could ruin  your dream home, decrease the value of your property or have adverse effects on your business.   Furthermore, options, such as colouring, lighting or materials can easily be discussed in reference to the render, and any desired changes or adjustments are explored with ease; you might get an email from your architect with a new version of the render, incorporating your suggestions, before you even get back from their office..  Finally, your clients will be able to rest easy during the production stage as they will have confidence in the design you are developing.