Information Technology
Architectural rendering software
Could someone please "borrow" me Chief Architect 9.0 software, in return I can borrow you almost any other programme or we can negotiate a price...
Niels Svensen
Architectural rendering software
Hi Niels Svensen,
I regret to state that I can't help you in request you made, However, I'm looking myself for a dynamic 3D visualization program, although I tried Autocad rendering but that cannot be presented to client. Can you advise me on what is the best software to use for client/architect 3D presentation?

As shown recently on BBC, world architects around the world are using software whereby one can walk-through a building. I am very much interested if anyone can guide me.
Maneer Khan
Architectural rendering software
Unfortunately, I too am unable to "borrow" you this program but in response to Maneer Khan, there is a program called Rhino (for which I am led to believe downloadable versions are available) which along with its plug-in, Flamingo, is a very good illustrator of rendered 3D projects. It is not quite as accurrate as AutoCAD but serves to provide realistic images and walk-throughs.
Timothy John Barnard
Architectural rendering software
Can anyone compare the merits of Chief Architect over Archicad? I'd be most interested in knowing if this could be a viable alternative.

Autocad may be the defacto CAD software but it is burdened with complicated tools and bloated features (for architects) due to its history of catering to engineering applications.

3D Max is ofcourse superb as should be mentioned Artlantis
Mustafa Zafar
Architectural rendering software
Hello Niels,

Just a gentle reminder from the ArchNet Administrators...

"Borrowing" of licensed computer software is an illegal act of piracy. As you know, ArchNet is a free and open resource for educators, students, designers and researchers working in the field of architecture and urban planning. Anyone is welcome to download and use any of the images or publication files on ArchNet, because we have procured copyright permission for each. Our aim is to encourage the sharing of knowledge and expertise for mutual benefit. However, "borrowing" of copyrighted intellectual property such as Chief Architect 9.0 is beyond the scope of ArchNet, and is also beyond the scope of legal behavior because it will be doing injustice to the computer experts who worked long and hard to develop the software in exchange for their salaries.

Legal technicalities aside, I hope this discussion topic continues to be of mutual benefit for all involved.

Yours sincerely,

Chikako Sassa
Architectural rendering software
Adding to my earlier post... There seems to considerable momentum towards BIM is arch design, and perhaps its time to look for alternatives beyond Autocad. Rethinking the rendering scenario, 3DMax has a high learning curve and is not totally suited to architectural design. While there are alternatives, I fidn the new Archicad to have both design tools and sophisticated rendering capabilities. For choice see:
Mustafa Zafar
Architectural rendering software
If you want realisic renderings, 3ds will certainly be the best. However, you have to be aware that such a programme doesn't come cheap.

Archicad is certainly better than Autocad in rendering capabilities, but for a person not using Archicad as a drawing/modeling software it seems ridiculous to invest in it.
Thomas Hick
Architectural rendering software
Another 3D software by Autodesk is Revit. It is much more user friendly than AutoCAD.
Shruti Namjoshi
Architectural rendering software
There is also another application for really fast and still nice 3d models. Although SketchUp is rather new, it satisfies the toughest clients. You can download a Fully functional version from their website at:
Alireza Farrokhi
Architectural rendering software
Alias Maya is a fantastic 3D package with a full suite of modeling, rendering, animating and dynamics tools. Please refer to my muqarnas image collection for examples.
Daniel Owen
Architectural rendering software
Suprised nobody mentioned VectorWorks 11, for Windows and Mac, far superior to Autocad (is it used by architects?) and the ArchiCad, at the 1/10 of the cost. So you do not need "borrowing".
How would you feel somebody "borrowing" your designs and selling them!
Ivan Sutila
Architectural rendering software
I agree - 3DS Max is a great program for architectural rendering. You can often find trial versions for download at
Anthony Roebuck
Architectural rendering software
Hi... I would recommend 3D Studio VIZ from Autodesk. It is equivalent to 3DS Max, the difference being that it has been specially designed for architects and interior designers in many respects. Its tutorials in help menu demonstrate a new horizon for architects and interior designers. Plus you can import your Autocad generated 3D in this program.
Shama Anbrine
Architectural rendering software
All -

3DS Max 7 combined with VRAY is the best 'photoreal'Architectural rendering software Hands down.
Dont forget to check out the renders in the gallery.
J Rodarte
Architectural rendering software
There are some free rendering programs on the web - here is a link where you can find some under development. I agree 3DS is very good but takes a lot to really know the program. If your looking for a simple program that is inexpensive try freeware or shareware. Search 3d web sites / cad. Here is one link. I also would be interested in any freeware or beta test programs on rendering software.
Paul Merkl
Architectural rendering software
You guys have lit up a topic, which is the core I work in! Being an architect, now I work for a Reseller of Autodesk in Mumbai, India. As someone earlier, has brought some light onto Revit Building on this thread, let me tell you'll... its one of the best tools available today for Designing/Modelling Architecture & Interiors. And yeah, Revit does have Accurender inbuilt to give you some great renderings, right out of the box, instead of flipping to other applications. Though, if you are a Max Enthusiast, you'd probably not like anything else. And hence, you may take your Revit Model to 3d Max or Viz to get absolute photo-realistic renderings!!

Read some about all this here>>
Chirag Dedhia
Architectural rendering software
I have a question for you all, I hope that you can shed some light for me.

I work with a custom home builder and what we really need is a 3D program that will allow me to put in every piece of timber for the stick framing and print out a cut list.

Currently I am using AutoCad and we are drawing each piece several times from different angles and counting it all by hand. I know Cad Work does this, but are there others??

Enlighten me.

Ryan Paisner
Architectural rendering software
I have heard that ArchiCAD does this work.

go to
Chitradeep Sengupta
Architectural rendering software
I purchased NewTek's Lightwave 8, 2 years ago and have found it to be useful. The extent of the realism is dependent on how much you use it. I have not obtained the level of realism that I want as of yet, but I have seen output that supports its potential.
Adam Dailide


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