If you’re studying architecture, you need to become accustomed to the different design software available today. These software are constantly evolving, and their capabilities grow even more advanced every year. While each individual design software is designed with unique needs in mind, it’s important to feel confident using a variety of software. As a professional architect, you will likely jump between several programs as needed, so the more you can learn as a student, the more prepared you’ll be to succeed! Here are the best programs for architecture students.
When beginning any project, it’s helpful to start with a conceptual phase. SketchUp is perfect for these simple, quick designs. The best part about using SketchUp, especially as a student on a limited budget, is that it’s free for download! Most of its well-known features are free. Because Google owns SketchUp, it’s a popular and obvious choice for most architects, no matter the skill level. While you’ll need to pay more for advanced features, SketchUp has a large component library and surface textures!
3D Studio Max
If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a professional TV or film studio, now’s your chance. 3D Studio Max is used by some of the top game developers, film studios, and architectural studios alike. With it’s easy to use interface and powerful modeling capabilities, you can do almost anything with 3D Studio Max. This is easily one of the most popular 3D modeling softwares on the market today, but it does have a steep learning curve when you’re just getting started.
While 3D Studio Max is great for designing advanced architectural designs, PhotoModeler is making a name for itself as one of the best in a number of fields. With this software, it’s as simple as taking photos of an object to create a 3D replica model on your computer screen. Measuring architecture with a camera is something other programs simply don’t do! That’s why PhotoModeler is quickly becoming one of the most popular options for a number of things like architecture, BIM, conservation, and architectural preservation.
You might not think Photoshop is an essential skill as an architectural student, but it’s basically a requirement for any successful architect. You’ll need to create high-quality visual renderings of your concepts. Photoshop is the most powerful image creating and editing software on the market, but it isn’t always easy to use. The sooner you can learn Photoshop, the better. Luckily, it’s easy to purchase a student membership for Adobe Creative Cloud, and there are a lot of free resources online!
Finally, for visual realization you can’t get any better than V-Ray. This plug-in works with SketchUp or ArchiCAD to create a realistic rendering of your concept. These renderings are so high-quality, you might even mistake them for real-life pictures! With lighting tools, material options, and real-world conditions, there are so many ways to bring your design to life on the screen with V-Ray.
Mastering Your Architectural Design Skills
As a student, the more you can learn about architectural programs, the better. In today’s marketplace, there is a lot of competition. Those able to easily adapt to new programs and design software are most likely to succeed with ease. Luckily, there are so many excellent resources and tools to get started today. In addition, most advanced architectural programs offer free versions or student subscriptions, so you can make the most of your time in school! The most important thing you can do as a student is to simply experiment with different programs, styles, and designs. When it comes to functional design, practice makes perfect.