Beautiful outdoors created with Cedar Architect: 7 tips for breathtaking renderings of your exteriors


We’ve just celebrated Halloween and here comes November already, along with its usual chilly weather, shortening days and darkening sky. While all you’ll be thinking about for the next months is curling up under a blanket with a hot mug of hot chocolate or pumpkin spice latte, we at Cedar Architect have decided to remind you of the summer days! That’s why we’ll be talking about outdoor spaces, gardens and decks. And who knows, maybe you’ll still be able to take a stroll in your garden this week-end!

Cedar Architect can be used to create and design all your outdoor spaces in 3D. In case it rains and you have to stay in, here’s a selection of the 3D outdoor design features you can try out to create a cozy living area just outside your door! Until you can put them into action next spring, we give you a few tips and tricks for successful landscape design ideas.

1. Cover your floors with different materials

Differentiate your spaces using distinct materials: dining area, lounging spot, alleys… Mix and match colors and textures to add contrast.

Project by J. Taral

Your Cedar Architect tip: use hidden walls in the “Layout” tab or create Ground areas in the “Exterior” tab to mark off zones. Then cover them with your chosen outdoor materials: wood, pavement, grass, tiles, pebbles, natural stone, etc. Don’t hesitate to combine contrasted textures to accentuate the visual effect.

2. Use multiple lighting sources

Well-placed lamps and other light fixtures invite to enjoy the yard even at night. Place lights in your flowerbeds and in your bushes or add spotlights to the floor of your terrace.

Project by E. Hecquet

Your Cedar Architect tip: in the “Furnishings” tab, when a customizable light is added to the project, you can choose to turn it on and off. Click on the inserted light in your 3D home project and then click on the light bulb thumbnail on the right: choose the lit up one and voilà!

3. Direct the attention with tiles

Natural stone tiles, inserted into a wooden floor or placed on the grass, make it possible to structure space, create an alley to get to another part of the garden but also to direct attention to specific elements of your landscape. With the right lighting, the result can be truly impressive. Play with the tiles’ shape, texture or alignment to give your virtual garden the look you prefer, whether it be more traditional or resolutely modern.

Project by T. Février

Your Cedar Architect tip: create outdoor tiles with shapes from the “Materials” tab, resize them (you’ll find that most of the time, a 2cm height is more than enough) and apply the chosen texture.

4. Put colors in your furniture

To truly create another living area, furnish your terrace the way you might furnish your living room: a nice table, comfortable chairs, an outdoor sofa, etc. Use color: it’ll make your virtual garden look fresh and dynamic.

Project by L. Pietri 

Your Cedar Architect tip: when you insert a customizable piece of furniture in your project, you can change its material by clicking on the right thumbnails in the panel on the right.

5. Play with natural light

Don’t hesitate to use pergolas, trees and fences to create visual shadows on the walls of your house and garden. The light effects capture your client’s attention and give both volume and depth to your 3D outdoors.

Project by D. Drean

Your Cedar Architect tip : you can get spectacular light effects by manually adjusting the sun’s position in your real-time 3D view. Go to the “HD Visual” tab then to “SUN ORIENTATION”. Modify the sun’s position according to the desired effect and to the angle you have chosen for you HD exterior rendering. When you are ready to start rendering, choose the “Sun for outside” configuration in order to use these new sun settings.

6. Add flowerbeds for visual organization

Flowerbeds or low-bedding plants and shrubs bordered with taller trees can be symmetrically placed in the garden to structure spaces. Free-form, custom flowerbeds on the other hand will counterbalance a square garden’s geometry and give a modern look to your outdoor (whether it’s a backyard or a terrace.)

Project by M. Meynier

Your Cedar Architect tip: you can create custom flowerbeds by going to “Exterior” and then draw a custom surface. For better effect, you can surround it with a border. Once you’ve create your flowerbed, go to “Furnishings” to insert plants, flowers and shrubs at will and then to “Materials” if you want to select another texture for the ground of your flowerbed.

7. Organize space with different levels

Differences in levels allow to create perspective and define zones without having to resort to crude partitioning. Go vertical and create slopes and outdoor stairs to emphasize volumes: this trick will work wonder with smaller surfaces.

Project by J. Uusi-Autti (Finnish Design Shop)

Your Cedar Architect tip: to create different levels, you can create surfaces on the different floors of your 3D project in the “Exterior” tab and adjust their height. You can also insert shapes (in the “Materials” tab) and modify their dimensions and textures to build your exteriors in 3D.

Have these tips helped you find inspiration?

If they’ve been useful, share them on FacebookTwitter ou LinkedIn and remember to publish your best exterior HD renderings on Pinterest!

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