Rendering an Exterior without rendering! (Part 2)

Welcome to part two of making an easy exterior elevation rendering 🙂

**As usual, I’ll have a link at the end of the post with some goodies, enjoy!**

So, to continue my previous post found HERE, I’m going to jump right to it.

After following the steps from before, you should be getting a similar result to this:

Exterior Elevation
The result from the previous tutorial.

So how about we add a bit of flare to it; a background maybe and some plants (like that little guy next to the front steps).

Adding a Background

When adding a background (or sky) you need it to compliment your design in a subtle way; a background that is too busy or too colorful isn’t going to help one bit.

What I did is that I used 2 different backgrounds and stacked them in a way that would give an abstract winter-y sky.

The first one is a pale dusky sky with some soft clouds (Found on Google Image Search)

Texture Image

The Second one is a white photographer’s background that I found at

Effect and Ambience Image

First I put the ‘White BG’ as the very bottom layer and the ‘Clouds’ to the layer right above it, and then set the Clouds layer to ‘Overlay’.

Set the ‘Clouds’ and ‘White BG’ layers to overlay.

This is the result I got:

Exterior Elevation
After the overlay.

You can see that the Sky layer got tampered down by the White Background layer, so that it doesn’t pop out over the colors of the design. The White Background layer also added some corner shadows that are similar to a vignette effect while maintaining the peach and blue hues of the layer behind it.

These two layers with their added effects on each other compliment the main focus of the render, which is the building.

Adding a Boundary Wall and Plants

  • For the Wall:

I selected the bricks under the railing using the ‘Selection’ tool and copied it on its own layer (Ctrl+J) and from there I duplicated the layer a few times and moved the copies around until they formed a full solid wall with a height proportionate to the house (less than half the height of the house).

Afterwards I merged all those layers together and moved them right above the sky layers (behind the house).

The wall sets a kind of starting point to the horizon.


  • As for the Plants/Trees:

I used a brush set I found a long time ago somewhere on the internet and have never parted with it since. I chose the color black to give it a bit of a dramatic effect and then selected a few random brushes from that set to give the illusion of foliage.

Just keep in mind, when doing something like that, you need to keep the scale looking as realistic as possible (E.g. a flower is not as big as the window..).

Final Result


Exterior Elevation
Trees add to the visual interest.

It’s a pretty simple procedure, and when you get a hang of it it’ll take less time to go through it than when you first try it out (quitting is not an option here, people!).

Try it out, and if you have any questions or suggestions, leave them below and I’ll get back to you ASAP 🙂

As for the goodies, you can download the images used for the sky as well as the Tree Brush Set (+an extra one) all in one file HERE.


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