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What Does Architectural CGI Mean? The Most Popular Terms Explained

CGI stands for Computer-generated Imagery. In this article, we will explain the most popular Architectural CGI terms and concepts. It's crucial for persons who are willing to know the computer rendering industry's basics and principles. The main ideas are interior rendering, external rendering, elevation, floor plans, textures, models, shaders, renderers, render farms.

What is CGI?

CGI stands for Computer-generated imagery. CGI is a computer technique that is used in the process of production of computer-generated images. The concept is composed of three parts:

Computer-generated images
Computer-generated models
Programmable objects

The main idea is to create a picture in the form of computer graphics. Many variables are involved in the CGI rendering processes, such as size, shape, material, scale, subject, lighting, and color.

Types of CGI

There are many ways to create computer-generated images.

What is Interior Rendering?

The production of a rendered version of an interior of a house or office usually involves a team of at least three or four people. First of all, an architectural plan is created from the photos or drawings. The architectural designer makes adjustments to the project and provides the images for the final building’s rendering, which a generalist will do. After the rough work is done, the production of an interior rendering is a very complex process, which often requires intense work by a large team of people. 

What is Exterior Rendering?

Exterior Rendering is the rendering process that produces the final exterior images of the building or home.  The definition of exterior rendering is to use a flat 2D imaging technology to illustrate the realistic architectural design. This concept is used for the visual representation of how a building looks. Exterior rendering is the process of designing the whole part of a building like the main body of the building, building facades, roof, and exteriors like the gates, fences, and sheds. Each of them is constructed with multiple detailed images.

What are Floor Plans?

Floor Plans: It's a graphic display of floor plans in 3D space. It's usually done with 3D modeling software like 3ds Max. Floor plans are made in such a way as to offer interior views and exterior views of natural spaces. Floor Plans are the first-time option of rendering after 3D modeling.

What are Elevations?

Elevation: It's a graphical representation of vertical sections. Sometimes, elevation is referred to as a 3D "stonewall" view. Elevation has an important place in Virtual Reality. 3. floor plan (Relevant Reference): a.k.a. 'base'. 'First' or 'reference' floor plans are very important. They are usually re-created inside the computer. People expect such a floor plan to match the real one. b.k.a. 'genesis.’ A first-time rendering is based on the first-floor plan.

What are Textures?

A texture is a defined image associated with a given object. In a typical rendering application, we can copy the 2D image of any given object using different texture samples. The idea is then projected on a 2D plane. Hence, this texture provides a distinct appearance of an object. This technique can help achieve an accurate picture of the things as it shows the surface that will be on the object. How are Texture Descriptions Made in CGI? There are specific tools that render and modify the textures. These tools are used in creating textures. Professionals can change the surface with brushes and different lighting parameters. Designers can also enhance the texture with the removal of occluders, bleeds, and normals.

What are Models?

The most commonly used model in a 3d model is the 3d geometry. By definition, a 3d model is a computer model of a physical object, typically an object in three dimensions, such as a furniture item. Once we apply a few basic steps, we can produce our 3D models. We can see the depth of the images and interact with the object with 2d or 3D interfaces. Models allow you to see and understand the working of 3D scenes in virtual reality systems.

What are Shaders?

We will explain the Shaders terminology in detail below. The term shaders are used to describe the CAD (Computer-Aided Design) modeling techniques. What do they exactly do? Shaders are a special kind of 3D modeling that contains the "discrete shader" feature, which can convert several images into a single image (by using x,y,z coordinates). What are Collision Detection and Rendering? Rendering is the process of creating an image with specific colors for display on a screen. The difference between a Collision Detection process and a Rendering process is that the former refers to the generation of visual images. Simultaneously, the latter is the one that is done for rendering images (since you can't see visual effects in a CAD drawing, they are drawn with colors and not with shaders).

What is a Rendering?

Rendering is an image produced to show the different kinds of environments. There are various types of visual effects, but there are no physical elements and textures. It is an image created to show what is possible or shows a likely preview. The environment has been produced and made to work in different ways. There are different levels of reality that various computer graphics artists use to showcase their experience. What is the Difference Between Renders and Renderings? As the name suggests, renderings are a part of renders.

What is a Render Farm?

In the high-end CGI community, Render farms are what are called. Render farms are massive computer clusters of computers created by specific vendors. The art department or the marketing department can create 3D CG scenes and composites without worrying about connecting their computer systems. You will hear this term in the high-end industry, and most CGI works today. CGI Composites The CGI term is used to make an entire model for a construction project. In other words, a CGI composite is the computer-generated render of a particular real-world project.


Computer graphics is a technique of digital art that can produce realistic images. The advent of computer-generated imagery is the continuation of visual art, which creates a representation of a scene, a concept, or a situation on an electronic medium. Thus, there is no definitive and direct link between these technologies. Nevertheless, the designer can control the computer graphics through various means, including using a mouse and keyboard, right-clicking and dragging, and controls. CGI is among the most advanced of its kind because it's the only technology that can combine several different techniques and technologies to achieve digital art.

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