Transforming Architectural Sketches into Lifelike Renders with AI

September 11, 2023 0 Comments

Prepare to be amazed once again by the wonders of AI technology. In this article, you’ll discover how AI can transform a simple sketch into a lifelike architectural rendering in under 30 seconds. Say goodbye to the sleepless nights of architecture school once you’ve mastered the art of harnessing this remarkable tool.

But before we dive in, let’s explore the two tools that can help you achieve the best results when converting a sketch into a rendering. The first option involves downloading Stable Diffusion and Control Net onto your computer. Below, I’ll provide a link to a tutorial that I found extremely helpful in guiding you through the setup process. The second option doesn’t require any downloads but comes at a modest cost. Allow me to walk you through it briefly: it’s called Run Diffusion. This web-based service yields the same precise results as Stable Diffusion and Control Net, but it operates on a cloud-based server to generate the desired outcomes, hence the fee. However, don’t fret; the cost is minimal. I initially deposited $10 and, after several weeks of frequent use, I’ve only spent about $2. So, even though it’s a paid service, it’s budget-friendly and performs just as effectively.

If you’re striving for top-notch rendering results in your quest to convert a sketch into a realistic architectural masterpiece, follow these essential tips to optimize your outcomes.

It all commences with the perfect sketch. While AI plays a pivotal role in enhancing realism and quality, many individuals overlook the importance of providing a sketch that AI can readily interpret. Establish a hierarchy of line weights or, at the very least, emphasize the most prominent elements and building outlines with thicker lines than the rest. Skipping these steps can make it challenging for AI to grasp the sketch’s depth and background. When incorporating elements such as trees, people, and objects, try to render them with a hint of roughness. Outlines are preferable to intricate details, as this allows AI to work with the objects and their forms more effectively. Keep in mind that perfection isn’t necessary in this regard; it’s simply crucial because AI sometimes struggles to create objects solely based on a prompt.

If you’re struggling to find inspiration, there’s a handy solution: downloading precedent images and incorporating them directly into your rendering process. This straightforward method offers quick assistance from existing high-quality renders and aids in conveying your desired vision to the AI.

However, all the preceding tips will prove futile unless you configure your settings correctly. To begin, locate the “Stable Diffusion Checkpoint” in the top left corner and opt for Stable Diffusion version 1.5. I highly recommend exploring the various options in the dropdown menu, but the one that consistently yields the most realistic results is “Realistic Vision version 20.” This setting consistently delivers the highest quality renders, transforming sketches into exceptional final outputs.

Now, let’s proceed to the “Control Net Tab.” Upon opening it, you can upload and import your sketch image. Once uploaded, remember to click the enable checkbox; this step is pivotal for the AI to recognize and utilize your imported sketch. Next, navigate to the dropdown menu directly below it labeled “Preprocessor,” offering several choices. There’s a diagram here illustrating how different settings affect the import and results. The “scribble” setting has proven to be the most effective for this particular input. On the right, under “Model,” select “input scribble version 10.” If you still find your render quality lacking, consider adjusting the CFG scale slider slightly higher. Be aware that this may impact processing time, but it significantly enhances the final image quality.

Before importing a sketch, it’s beneficial to test a few prompts with text-to-image generation to provide an example of the initial renders without reference sketches. As you can see, they begin to take shape as more realistic structures and forms, but the impact of importing a reference image is remarkable. Using a well-defined, high-quality image as a reference allows for greater creativity and precision in your text prompts, significantly influencing the final outcome. Occasionally, certain design elements may not appear as realistic or fully developed, requiring prompt adjustments and fine-tuning along with some sample setting adjustments to achieve the best results. While it may involve some trial and error, once you’ve mastered the process, it becomes more efficient and less time-consuming. Comparing this approach to the hours spent setting up a 3D rendering model, it’s clear that this method is not only more efficient but also an invaluable resource for generating innovative architectural ideas.

The latest rendering result has turned out truly remarkable, showcasing the incredible attention to detail and realism that this technology can achieve. Now, let’s shift our focus to interior perspectives.

For this particular project, I opted not to create a sketch and instead sourced an image from Google, which worked just as effectively. My aim was to craft an interior space with the design concept of a living room featuring wooden floors, contemporary furniture, lush greenery, artistic accents, and abundant natural lighting, evoking the ambiance of a tranquil jungle retreat. While I encountered some challenges with representing people sitting on the furniture, I remain deeply impressed by the rendering quality and overall outcomes.

It’s worth noting that I consistently used a similar prompt for each iteration, and while the generated results were consistently excellent, they always bore slight differences. However, as I began to experiment and introduce creative variations, the process became increasingly exhilarating.

I decided to shift the theme towards a beachfront bungalow experience, and to my delight, the outcomes remained equally realistic. In some instances, the room’s shape and style took on a different character due to adjustments in the settings and prompts. However, after a few of these experiments, I returned to my initial approach, brimming with excitement and eager to share my discoveries with you through this article. It’s truly remarkable how this technology continues to offer fresh and dynamic creative possibilities.