Difference between drafting, rendering, modeling, visualization?


For context, I am a technical writer who wishes I had gone to architecture school, so as a hobby, I draw (manually, on graph paper) basic floor plans and elevations of homes I might like to build with my husband someday. I'd love to learn how to translate my 2D designs first into attractive renderings that will help me visualize what the house will look like--similar to what I imagine an architect might present to a client in a proposal. I'd also love to eventually create my own construction documents that a contractor could use to build our home, but that's probably naive and unrealistic without diving head-first into architecture school. 

My question(s):

Where do I start? Should I be searching for courses in drafting? Illustration? Visualization? 3D modeling? Something else entirely? What software should I learn? 

I envy all of you architects out there and would be humbled and delighted if anyone might have a moment to offer some wisdom. 

Thank you!

Sep 11, 19 8:05 pm
Non Sequitur

Learn Sketchup

it's free and dirt-simple.  30min learning curve if you're somewhat already comfortable with 3D orbiting.  Plenty of tutorials and free 3D models to use or modify and you can sculpt the spaces in your imagination and see the end result from all angles.

Sep 11, 19 9:05 pm

Sketchup is great, easy but also has a lot of versatility. 

There's a huge jump from a 2d plan to a polished render though. I remember one professor in architecture school hated sketchup since students would just use the paint bucket tool willy nilly to select materials like brick, stone or wood without much thought to what they really meant other than their aesthetic quality.

I'd also suggest building some models by hand. Get some bass or balsam wood and try building yourself a model. 

Also, not enough designers think in 1:1, especially for space planning. It's amazing how bad some people perceive space. I remember making use of an empty lecture room late at night to layout a space in 1:1. It was a big help. A glossy render will never make up for a really poor layout. 

Sep 11, 19 9:13 pm

Thank you both so much! I will take both of your suggestions.

Sep 11, 19 9:28 pm
Wood Guy

You might find it helpful to see how architects present information. This author is influential in that regard:

You can jump right into computer drafting if you want, but for what you're talking about, I would focus on getting better and hand drawing. 

Sep 12, 19 11:38 am
atelier nobody

Agreed on both points.

atelier nobody

Personally, I still enjoy hand drawing more than the computer, so if you're not planning on doing it professionally, learning to do it by hand might be more fun. In addition to the Ching books suggested by Wood Guy, textbooks by Kicklighter or Jefferis are used in many intro-level drafting courses (or at least were back in my day).


In order to draw well you need to know what you are drawing. Observation is thus the first step.

Sep 12, 19 12:17 pm

When we planing to home improvement, interior design firstly comes in mind. We can establish a new design into our homes like new furniture, tables, chairs & some wardrobes in the bed rooms. if you have a enough space in your bed rooms you can build a walk in wardrobe other built in wardrobes is the best idea to make your home stylish. It can contain your whole cloth accessories, kitchen accessories & other. I have establish the walk in wardrobes from Silva Wardrobe Co Sydney in my bed rooms & it looks like a luxury homes.  

Nov 7, 19 4:25 am

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