ARCHICAD Site Models: Images on Meshes

Years ago GSCNE, Inc, a now defunct ARCHICAD reseller out of Canada, had a website of great ARCHICAD tips. Their website is long gone, although you can still find relics that reference it. One of my favorite tips from GSCNE, inc was a tutorial on how to apply images to slabs.  Their technique is something I occasionally use and over time I have tweaked the process to incorporate new aspects of ARCHICAD. I most recently used it on a project I have out in Sammamish, Wa. If you’re following me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you might have seen this image:

Here’s that same view, unrendered from the 3D window:

Getting an image to align to a Mesh or Slab is easy, quick, and creates stunning images. The result shows up in renderings and 3D views. The 3D window becomes more captivating and a even quick rendering pops. Aligning an image in this manner makes both simple and complex models more impressive and marketable. Here’s an eight minute tutorial on how to assign an image to a Surface and align it properly to your model:

You should be creating renderings with ARCHICAD as soon as the existing conditions are completed. Setting up renderings at the earliest stages allows you to refine your visuals as model complexity increases. Rendering becomes part of the design process, yielding a series of progress images from existing conditions to early design through to finished product and professional photography. I know I’ve said this before, but site images on Meshes make this argument all the more valid. CineRender is very easy to use, if you know a few basics. If you haven’t already, check out my blog post on CineRender tips from Zoltan Toth over on GSNA’s blog: BIM Conference 2017: 56 hours in Las Vegas – Part 3. The renderings in this post reflect lessons learned from that post and were all rendered in about one to two minutes, requiring not much more than setting the view and clicking the render button.

Finally, in all these examples I’m adding images to fairly flat sites. If you have a lot of elevation change, you’ll need to distort the image a bit. The process is still the same. Set up your Surface, align the texture, then resize the image in the Surface until it looks right. Remember this is more art than science. What matters is that it looks and feels right, not that it’s perfect.

Subscribe to my blog to read more about the tricky world of being an Architect in the 21st century. Follow Shoegnome on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.


  1. Andrew Chaloupka May 31, 2017
    • Jared Banks May 31, 2017
  2. Jason Smith June 7, 2017
    • Andrew Chaloupka June 8, 2017
  3. Jason Smith June 7, 2017

Leave a Reply to Andrew Chaloupka Cancel reply