Showcase your design proposals with realistic imagery

Image by travelnow.or.crylater

✓ Supporting planning applications

✓ Accurately portraying a development within its surroundings
✓ Gives scale, depth and realism to imagery

Merge computer generated imagery with photographs of your proposed development site. Using either a professional architectural photographer, or existing photographs of the site location, we create realistic imagery that presents your development design within its proposed location. The final image is made up of both real photography and the new proposal design, matched to look like it's part of the original photo.


An excellent tool for planning applications as the photomontage CGI shows your design proposals in context with its immediate surroundings. They leave very little room for interpretation when it comes to assessing the impact a set of buildings might have on their surroundings.

Photomontage CGIs are realistic images that can:

Be extremely important for supporting planning application

Present very believable imagery for marketing purposes

Show a development accurately set within its surroundings

Giving planning officers this type of imagery can often help gain their support for your application, especially for a contentious development.

We would highly recommend Blue Cube Studios for high quality property CGIs or photomontage CGIs. They produce excellent results and offer a timely and professional service, working collaboratively with the design team. Having experienced architectural members of staff enables them to achieve very high standards of accuracy, not to mention realism.

David Rose - ADP Architects & Town Planners

Gray Structure

Approach & Process

The process for creating Photomontage is:

1: The required angles are agreed with you and marked on a location plan for the photographer.

2: Photographs are taken from each of the locations with several variations of angles and positions for each location. Each of these positions are added to the location plan at the time of capture.

3: A 3D model is created of the proposed development.

4: Known points of interest that can be seen in the photo are added to the 3D model using survey data for position and height.

5: A virtual camera is positioned within the 3D model at the location points at the correct height and angle used to produce the original photographs.

6: Materials are applied to the buildings and scene lighting is added to match the conditions in the photographs.

7: A computer-generated image is rendered and overlain onto the original photograph to check positioning. A composite of the rendered image and original photograph is created to complete the photomontage CGI for your review.

8: Following any technical or marketing comments, we amend the render and re-supply for a final review.

9: The final version is rendered at ultra high resolution to truly appreciate the level of detail included.

Present your development within its surroundings

Help others visualise and understand how the location and your development fit together


What information is needed to obtain a quote for production of an Photomontage CGI?

Usually a site plan and some indicative elevations will be enough to quote from. We will also need a location plan, showing the camera angles required for the photomontages.

What information is needed to carry out the production of a Photomontage CGI?

We need the site plan, floor plans, and elevations for each building. These drawings should be in CAD format (preferably DWG format). We need a topographical survey with surrounding/adjacent features, including existing and proposed levels. We also need the materials schedule and landscaping drawing, which can be CAD or PDF format as these are just for reference.

How many sets of amends can we make to the Photomontage CGI?

Our costs usually include two sets of amends. We allow for two rounds of comments or feedback sessions during a usual project. It’s worth noting that ‘design changes’ are not usually included in these costs. If design changes are made to any part of the project that we’ve already worked on, then we will just add the cost of making those changes to the final invoice. We will let you know in advance of these charges, if they occur.

How long does it take to produce an Photomontage CGI?

A single photomontage will take around 3-5 days. We should always factor in the photography as this is almost always dependent on suitable weather conditions.

Can we change the viewing angle for an Exterior CGI once it has been produced?

Unlike most of our services, it’s not possible to change the angle of a Photomontage CGI after it has been produced. This is because the angle is dictated by the photograph supplied. We always advise on taking multiple photos for each angle, so that you have some back-up angles. Changing to one of these back-up angles after we have created the first draft Photomontage CGI would usually incur an additional fee to cover the cost of the re-matching of the photography.

How do you align the 3D model into the photograph?

Using the chosen photography as a backplate, we will use the topographical survey, to position the 3D camera in our software. We can match the camera focal length and other settings of the real-world camera to our 3D virtual camera, and then align the vertical and horizontal rotation of the 3D camera to match the photography, using the existing features on the site as a guide. This makes it vital that we have a good level of survey data for the existing site, and how this relates to the proposals, including height information and levels.

Who should supply the photography for the Photomontage CGI?

We prefer to supply the photography as this ensures we capture the best visuals possible, and in the most suitable format for our photomontage processes. We can work with photography supplied by others, as long as they are able to give us an accurate position and height for each photograph.

What is the difference between a Photomontage CGI and a Verified View?

A verified view is similar to a photomontage CGI. Verified views are created to a very high level of accuracy, using a very precise and strictly recorded methodology. This methodology is detailed in a supporting document that accompanies the imagery. They cost more than double a normal photomontage CGI and are usually only needed for contention planning schemes or appeals. They often form part of a Landscape Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA).