Chief Academy 2022 has come and gone, and we are left with the notes from the information we shared. I was tasked with the opportunity to provide some thoughts on the rendering functions of Chief Architect and how to go about the process. I’ve condensed my PowerPoint slides and reformulated them for reference in this post. I hope you find some helpful pieces in your rendering journey!
This will be a high-level topic that explores a lot of moving parts. Follow the embedded links throughout to learn more about different topics.
A design studio in Hattiesburg, MS achieves success in a surprising variety of projects by focusing on harmony with surroundings and a respect for history.
We first got to know the team at Lake + Land Studio back in October when they won first place in the Chief Architect Residential Design Contest, and discovered their involvement in a number of impressive projects – including HGTV’s series, ‘Home Town’. As ‘Home Town’ celebrates its 4th season, we checked in with them to learn more about the various projects they are involved in and the challenges of designing for a t.v. show.
Did you know that a person aged 60 needs three times the light as a 20-year-old?
That may seem like a drastic amount, but Certified Living in Place Professional (CLIPP) Adam Gibson explains the reasoning behind this statement: people over 60, “need more light, and everyone needs a high Color Rendering Index (CRI) to best reveal the colors of various objects. It’s no fun going outside in your black socks only to realize they’re blue. One solution? Light-colored walls washed in light provide more ambient light than the same quantity of recessed lights pointing toward the floor.”
No matter the type of tools you use, you want them to work for you and perform in ways that make your job easier. We know this is especially true for software, a tool that has specifically evolved in our culture to enhance speed, efficiency, and accuracy.
By Adam Gibson, Architectural Designer, CMKBD, CLIPP, CAPS
There’s a growing need to make homes safer and healthier with thoughtful elements that don’t compromise aesthetics.
Many of us use assistive devices that have become part of our everyday lives, things we consider normal… take glasses and hearing aids, for instance. Why not take this same approach when designing a home?
Baby boomers are retiring at an astonishing rate, creating issues not often addressed. Aside from them, many families have specific needs (outside of age) for features embedded in design. We are doing them a disservice if we don’t educate ourselves, and in doing so, them, on how to contribute to their health and welfare.
“My design business added a powerful tool in 1995 when I started using the Chief Architect platform.This provided me with a way to articulate ideas in the most efficient way possible. I am fortunate to be among the team of designers and architects that have participated in beta releases and provided feedback as part of the Chief Architect user interface/user experience process.
“When engaging with new clients, I encourage them to create an Idea Book in Houzz or Pinterest, collecting images that appeal to them. They are instructed to note, in each image, the specific element they find alluring. It could be lighting, the look and feel of the space, the color and texture of cabinets, or myriad other elements. By creating in 3D, I can design for their aesthetic rather than guessing what moves them.”
Taunton Press’s Fine Homebuilding Magazine has been the gold standard reference, covering quality home design and construction for over 30 years. I remember as a youngster sifting through the stacks of my dad’s coveted back issues, soaking up the details and anticipating the next “Great Moments in Building History” featured on the last page. It wasn’t long after I purchased my first fixer upper that I started an archive library of my own. (more…)
Chief Architect Software is a leading developer and publisher of 3D architectural home design software for builders, designers, architects and home DIY enthusiasts.
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What Our Customers Are Saying
Powerful and Easy-To-Use Tools
I have worked in other BIM software before, but Chief Architect makes it easier to put my concepts into drawings, and I can spend more time creating instead of fighting with obscure tools and interfaces. The powerful but easy-to-use tools… along with the realistic rendering capabilities are extremely valuable in my work. Read more “Powerful and Easy-To-Use Tools”
Thank you Chief Architect for a great program.
Since we have been using Chief Architect, we have been able to give our customers a complete visual of what we proposed for their project, as well as, boost our credibility, our sales, and our overall profit for all projects… we have sold. Thank you Chief Architect for a great program. Read more “Thank you Chief Architect for a great program.”
Great job Chief Architect team!
I’ve had great results using this software. I started with Home Designer Pro and then moved to Chief Architect Premier. I really like the way the software is set up, it’s much easier to use than other products. My clients… love the 3D renderings and I know it’s helped me get new projects. Great job Chief Architect team! Read more “Great job Chief Architect team!”
I’ve been using Chief Architect since 2002 – and the program has continued to improve dramatically over the years. The improvements have always reduced drafting time while allowing the design process to flow and be inspired – not hindered –… by the limitations of the program. I’ve never found myself in a situation where I said, “I would love to attempt this design, but unfortunately Chief Architect cannot do this so I must change my design idea”. I think it – Chief allows me to model it – and now – raytrace it photo realistically. I used to export my Chief model into a 3rd party rendering program – now I design and raytrace all within Chief Architect. Read more “I think it – Chief allows me to design it”
Iv been using Chief since ver 7, I also have ver8. It took me a couple days to figure out where every thing was..but Im loving it. My first building is a pole barn..I wish this ver had a way… of placing perlins, gerts, post ect. Other than that its great. Read more “Using Chief since ver 7”
Keith L. Dobson
Aspen Construction Co., Inc.
The Student’s Key to Success
I chose to use Chief Architect [for interior design school] specifically because of its ease of use on the interface, great tutorial videos, alignment with NKBA graphic standards, and the convenience of creating all deliverables from 2D plans to specification… schedules to beautiful 3D renderings Read more “The Student’s Key to Success”
Will pay for itself in one job!
I have been using Chief Architect since late 2005. As I tell everyone who is interested in doing 3D design, Chief Architect is the best way to go. It is a powerful program, easy to learn and use, is at… a great price and will pay for itself in one job. Read more “Will pay for itself in one job!”
The rendering quality and user-friendliness are unmatched!
I have been using Chief Architect since 2015 and have used a few other software programs in the past, but the rendering quality and user-friendliness are unmatched! This software helps clients truly envision their project coming to life, and helps… close sales because there is a sense of confidence in what their final product will look like. Read more “The rendering quality and user-friendliness are unmatched!”
Chief Architect Software is by far the best and most useful program
I have been using and operating CAD programs for over 30+ years and in my opinion, the Chief Architect Software is by far the best and most useful program for my needs as an Architect that designs and builds all… types of buildings and homes as a professional. Use and have used AutoCAD, Sketch-Up, V-Ray, Revit, and the current version of Chief Architect. Read more “Chief Architect Software is by far the best and most useful program”
I started using Chief Architect as just to show interior room concepts but it has grown to producing full exterior views and selling more then just interiors but selling full build concepts. I work with a builder and our business… has seen a huge impact from being able to show prospects and current clients how things would look etc. Read more “This program changed my career.”
I use Chief Architect software exclusively in my design business. I started out with CA Home Designer Pro, used that for two years, then “graduated” to the full-blown Chief Architect software. The structure and platform of all their products is… identical so, moving up to the next, greater version is SO comfortable! I’m getting raves about the work I’m doing – thank you, Chief Architect!!! Read more “Thank you, Chief Architect!!!”
William Haigh Design
Best Architectural Software!
I’ve been using Chief Architect for over 10 years and would not choose anything else. Other design software just doesn’t compare to Chief, it is by far the best. It is built with ease and simplicity in mind, no need… to load anything in as it comes with everything straight out of the box! There is no limit to what can be modified, everything can be modified to fit your design needs, literally everything! Read more “Best Architectural Software!”
Bridging the Gap between 2D planning and 3D Rendering
Every time we are able to walk our clients through their future home or project with the Chief Architect 3D Software, it’s a success. Many of our clients are not visual. Chief helps bridge the gap between the 2D floor… plan and grasping what the finished project will look like. We hear constant feedback on how impressive the capabilities of being able to see the scale of the spaces, customize materials, try different cabinet configurations, etc. We are able to save them so much headache and heartache in the design phase vs. going through a change order process in the field. Being able to offer the 3D aspect for our projects has truly set us apart from our peers. Read more “Bridging the Gap between 2D planning and 3D Rendering”
Students have asked about Chief Architect more than any of our other programs. I use it at the end of the semester because if I used it in the beginning, I would never get them to move on to other… units… It will be the one program students will use voluntarily and will assure me learning is taking place at home. Plus it will make me the most popular teacher. ha ha Read more “Kudos for making the student a priority”
We had one client who took his home model and projected it onto his lot in the mountains using Chief Architect’s 3D Viewer mobile app. While using the Augmented Reality feature he was able to walk around his home and get… a feel for the layout. He sat and waited in his “living room” to see what the fall sunset would look like out of his living room window. At that moment he said he was sold. It was his home. This is the opportunity that I would love to allow every client to have. Read more “Chief Architect’s 3D Viewer Mobile App”
Our favorite software. I have been using chief for about 6 years now, I believe I started in x4. Chief was the clear choice for architectural design and plan sets, with its import and export into other CAD and BIM-based… products, its extensive catalogs, its massive collection of support articles, bustling internet forums and decent rendering abilities. There is no other software on the market that is as user-friendly, capable and fast. We’ve recently started using Chief Architect for market advertisements as well as importing into high-end visual video walkthrough software such as Lumion. We’re quite happy with Chief’s versatility and ever-expanding features. Read more “Our favorite software”
You don’t have to be an architect to learn Chief Architect. The software yields impressive professional project results within a fairly short time. The many built-in options provide the user with the tools to try different styles on a wide… variety of objects with the click of a few buttons. Read more “Fun, intuitive, user-friendly”
The best home design software we’ve ever used! Finally, a program that works or “thinks” like a designer as opposed to a program for the manufacturer of boxes or materials. Great quality renderings too.
Chief Architect has been a game-changer for me, it offers a very efficient workflow with an output that makes my clients feel individual. The documents look crafted and relate to the project, not generic. Chief covers the whole spectrum from… 3d visuals through to detailed sections, plans etc and even offers a 3d viewer app for construction professionals and clients alike to share 3d models. This would, could, and should be a global market leader with just a couple of tiny tiny tweaks! The house in the picture is in outer London England. The work has commenced, all detail and outline designs were produced within Chief Architect. The pen should be an intuitive tool to convey ideas and information and not entirely a skill of its own, Chief has nailed it! Please remember CA, Interiors are only 1/10th of architecture. Read more “A Game Changer”
Chief Architect Software helps clients visualize the proposed designs.
Not only does Chief Architect Software create beautiful renderings, but it is imperative that I can also create drawings that are clean and straightforward for our contractors to reference on-site. Every client is so impressed with the renderings Chief Architect… Software produces, and the walkthroughs help them visualize my proposed designs. Almost every time, the walkthrough helps us finalize the details in one sitting instead of going back and forth during several meetings. Read more “Chief Architect Software helps clients visualize the proposed designs.”
I instantly fell in love with the easy to learn, user-friendly interface, and the details it was capable of capturing. My clients have been very happy with their design, the process, and the finished product.
Renting the program has made the commitment to Chief a total no brainer … I am among many designers that find the program not only profitable but fun to use.
We are a residential design-build firm in Minneapolis Area. We have been designing additions, renovations, and new construction in our area for over 20 years. Chief Architect has made our design practice stand out. It is a great tool for… our trade. We have owned and used other mainstream software and they have not been what we needed. Every new edition of Chief is exciting because it becomes a better user experience each time. Read more “20 years!”
I love the capabilities that Chief Architect has over all other design software! I am able to create floor plans, electrical plans, schedules, elevations, and RENDERINGS very fast (plus so much more)!! This tool allows me to give my clients… an amazing experience and create incredible designs. My business would not be the same without it, and I recommend it to everyone! Read more “Lifeblood of my business”
We use Chief Architect every single day and it is an absolutely indispensable part of our business. The ability to show a client, with extreme accuracy, what a space will look like before the work has even begun is everything.
Chief Architect Software makes 3D CAD design so easy. I can render with a push of a button. Other software makes the process much more difficult and complicated. This is the second CAD software I’ve learned, and I definitely won’t… be changing! Read more “3D CAD design made easy”
I love the software. It’s very capable and the expert knowledge built in is very helpful. I learned to use it by completing all of the tutorials. There were a few places where the lessons didn’t match the UI. I… suspect that’s because the tutorial revisions haven’t kept pace with changes to the software. It also seemed that the documentation writers were a bit fatigued when they got to the final couple of lessons, as there were a few lines that were obvious cut and paste revision oversights. Having written and reviewed documentation, I know how tedious this can become. Overall, great software and I’ll give it a strong endorsement. Read more “Great Software – Tutorials need a bit of TLC”
We built our dream home!
It took me two years to design and exactly one year to build our dream home. With the help of Chief Architect, we were able to see our vision come to life. With a custom home, we had to provide… many visuals in the drawing package for the contractors to catch our dream. Chief Architect’s outstanding visualization and renderings made the design and build exactly what we had imagined. Now that we have been in our home for about 3 years, we realize we would not change anything! After we spent so much time during the design process our friends and contractors sometimes offered change suggestions to our design to consider. My pact with my wife “Stick to the Plan” and that’s what we did. We love our home and we want to thank Chief Architect for providing a software product that allowed us to achieve our vision. Now, I am currently using Chief Architect Premier to design a home for my daughter and her family! Read more “We built our dream home!”
Michael S Burt
Chief Architect has been invaluable!
We use Chief Architect through the entire design and planning process here at Spectrum Design Group. Having a tool that allows us to “walk” our clients through their renovation in 3-D and incorporate actual specified materials and finishes ensures that… our clients know what the end product will be. It has been invaluable in communicating our designs to not just our clients, but also our contractors. Read more “Chief Architect has been invaluable!”
Chief Architect does it all! It is the bread and butter of my business.
“I haven’t had to look for any other programs when it comes to designing. Chief Architect does it all! I think my business is a Chief Architect success story in itself. It is the bread and butter of my business, and without… it, I couldn’t do what I do for a living! I get to work with clients nationwide because the software enables me to design spaces from my computer.” Read more “Chief Architect does it all! It is the bread and butter of my business.”
I am an interior design professional who has been using Chief Architect software for my business since 2010. The software is a very powerful tool I use on all my projects and allows me to create detailed plans, elevations and… very impressive 3D renderings for my clients. The software has taken time to learn, but the support from Chief is quick and helpful, and the tools including videos and online forums also very helpful. Read more “A very powerful tool”