Photomontage and Verified View

A photomontage for architectural purposes is a visualisation which combines a photograph and 3D model, the aim of which is to accurately represent what would be seen of a proposed development at a chosen viewpoint. Simply put, we demonstrate your proposal in context. This is often for use in a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) or as an aid to the planning process. Depending on the project we can show your proposal at year 1 and then again at year 10 to highlight the changes made by proposed vegetation.

What's the difference between a photomontage and a verified view?

Essentially a Verified View, sometimes known as an Accurate Visual Representation (AVR), uses the same process as a photomontage but with a couple of crucial differences. A surveyor will be used to ensure the highest degree of accuracy is achieved at each stage, and the process is documented allowing the process to be traced back following the Landscape Institute guidelines. Also, a photomontage viewpoint can be selected to show the development at its best whereas a verified view’s viewpoint location often must be selected to show it from sensitive places, usually after consultation with the planning authority.


Photomontages Verified Views


*Photomontage: Viewpoints are chosen to best show the proposal.
Verified View viewpoints are chosen after careful consultation with local planning authority


Photography is undertaken on site using a full frame sensor camera, usually as a series of photographs that are then stitched to create a panorama. We always aim to be as flexible as possible in visiting the site on a sunny, clear day for best photographic results


During the photography site visit our surveyor will take accurate GPS coordinates of the camera position and pre-identified ‘control points’ within the viewpoint
* Surveyor may not be necessary for basic photomontages



The supplied CAD data is organised, cleaned of unnecessary info and imported into our 3D software


Cameras are created and settings adjusted in our 3D software to match each photograph that was taken on site


A 3D model can be supplied by you or made by us. We will almost add additional detail to a supplied model to ensure the highest level of realism is achieved in the final visualisations


3D models of trees, hedges and shrub areas are added at their correct heights (Usually at Year 1 and then at Year 10 or 15)


Textures are applied to the 3D model and settings adjusted to match the proposed finishes


Lights are added to the 3D model to accurately recreate the conditions experienced on site at the photography stage


Our rendering software calculates lighting, materials and geometry to produce a rendered 3D image


Rendered 3D image is composited with the original photograph, areas masked, control points aligned, to produce the final visualisation


Draft versions of the visualisations will be produced allowing tweaks and changes to me made before final delivery


For ease in determining exactly what you need and to be as cost effective as possible we use a stage based system. Each stage offers a different output in the final visualisation:

  • Stage 1: ‘Ghosted’ shaded area showing the extent of the proposal
  • Stage 2: Wireframe model showing the size, location and degree of visibility of the proposal
  • Stage 3: As Stage 2 with the inclusion of solid colour render showing proposal form (Massing model)
  • Stage 4: As Stage 3 but fully rendered using proposed materials + lighting to match photograph