The Art of Rendering: Photoshop Cheat Sheet

Using Photoshop can be hard. Let us make your life a little easier.

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Rendering is a complicated art, and there seems to be an infinitely large combination of tools and techniques that master visualizers use, but Photoshop is one program that is bound to appear in almost any work-flow. It’s an exceptionally versatile program that can be used for everything from sketchy collages to photorealistic views, but it’s also an idiosyncratic complex beast that can take years to master.

We’ve gathered together a collection of our most popular and helpful articles on rendering with Photoshop to create a one-stop shop for whatever kind of visual you want to make.

Style Guides

Not all renderings are photorealistic. Impressionistic watercolors add earthy atmosphere and artistic collages can convey a lot of information without getting bogged down in details. Try out the processes in these articles to get some surprising effects.

Sketchy: How to Emulate an Emotive Architectural Sketch in Photoshop

Watercolor: Create a Stunning Watercolor Visual Using SketchUp, AutoCAD and Photoshop

Collage: How to Bring Your SketchUp Model to Life Using Nothing but Photoshop

Photorealistic: How to Create “Sarmiento Museum” Using SketchUp, V-Ray and Photoshop

Photorealism Tutorials

Photorealistic renderings are tricky, and we have a host of tutorials that walk you through how certain masterpieces were achieved. These demand a host of other programs, but Photoshop always plays a key role.

How to Create a Stunning Prefab Home Using 3ds Max and Photoshop

How to Create “Hotel 114” Using Cinema 4D and Photoshop

How “Cliff House” Was Brought to Life Using V-Ray and Photoshop

How to Create “Arts & Crafts” Using 3ds Max, V-Ray and Photoshop

How to Create “Arrival” Using SketchUp, V-Ray and Photoshop

How to Create “Lugano Lake House” Using SketchUp, V-Ray and Photoshop

Tips and Tricks

There’s a lot you can do with Photoshop, but it can be hard to know where to start. These articles walk you through how to convert a rendering from day to night, how to add realistic textures, add the perfect sky, manage layers in complex files and more.

Turn Your Architectural Visualization From Day to Night Using Nothing but Photoshop

How to Add Realistic Textures to Your Architectural Visualizations in Photoshop

How to Create a Rain-Soaked Architectural Visualization

6 Tips for Creating the Perfect Sky in Your Architectural Visualization

How to Manage the Many Layers of Photoshop


Although you can render 3-D people in your scene, it’s also easy to add them in postproduction. Check out these links for free cutout people.

5 Places to Download 2-D People for Your Architectural Visualizations

10 Cutout and Texture Resources for Your Architectural Visualizations

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